Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2017

On a complete side note before we get to the flowers, today is also Independence Day here in India. My balcony garden here in Delhi does not have much new going on, in part due to a somewhat lackluster monsoon. Even with daily attentive watering, there is a notable explosion of growth and flowering within a couple of days after every good day of rain we get. Conversely, whenever it has not rained for a week many plants begin to notably decline. We are now in one of those dry spells, and with it has not only come drought but also temperatures rising from day to day. Even so, here are a few things that are blooming these days:

Double butterfly peas (Clitoria ternatea

Globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa), very much the star of the show right now

A coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) grown from a wilted torn branch I found on the street one day

A new addition - the deliciously fragrant mālatī (Aganosma heynei), a native vine that is undeservedly rare in gardens

My two heirloom roses continue to bloom, though in the heat flowers rarely last more than a day, especially if it is sunny; this one seems to be a Bourbon of some kind, the other is 'Gruß an Teplitz'

Hopefully there will be more rain for us in the near future. Meanwhile, see what others have blooming today at May Dreams Gardens.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Indian Travels - Part I: Saheliyõ kī Bāṛī, Udaipur, Rajasthan

A high school friend was visiting the last two weeks, and we did a fair bit of domestic travel. Making our way down the western side of the country, we made stops in Udaipur, Mumbai, and Kochi. Of course saw much of garden interest; one of our first stops was the Saheliyõ kī Bāṛī or "Garden of the Maidens" in Udaipur. Located in the north of the city near the Fateh Sagar lake, this pleasure garden was created in the early 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh for the women of his court. The garden is renowned particularly for its ornate fountains, including a pavilion in the middle of a bathing tank in an enclosed courtyard in the center of the garden which spouts sheets of water from its roof. This quirky feature is called Bādal Binā Barsāt, or "Monsoon Rain Without a Cloud". While we were, there, however, the actual monsoon was actually in full force, varying behind light drizzle and heavy downpours, which made this water-themed garden appear particularly lush and misty.

A palm-lined path

A lovely door that is probably one of the most photographed features of the garden, based on how often I have seen it on social media

One of hundreds exceptionally lush and sturdy balsam plants, most of which were just beginning to bloom

One of several ornate fountains

Purple globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) intermingling with Thunbergia grandiflora

 A waterlily pond with with an even more elaborate fountain and elephant statues spouting water from their trunks

The Bādal Binā Barsāt pavilion in its tank in the center of the garden

A lovely niche overgrown with bougainvillea in the main courtyard

Due to all the rain we did not spend as much time at this garden as we might have otherwise done, and even with the drizzle and downpours it was quite busy with visitors. It is lovely though, and quite special in its quirky playfulness.