Thursday, November 3, 2011

To be back soon :)

I will be back soon, after one and half years. I have so much to tell! See you soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

When you feel like giving up on someone, there is a second chance.

I have this jasmine shrub in my garden for over three years now, and it barely flowered. Despite regular care, manuring, putting it in a larger container, changing spots - it didn't seem to do well. It was blighted, the leaves would wilt and fall with no sign of recovery for good three years. We didn't know what we were dealing with. Disappointed, we decided to get rid of it last autumn to put the container to better use. We soaked the shrub to wrench it out of the pot but it didn't budge, troweled to scrape off the roots sticking to the sides and tried yanking it out again. Having failed, we brutally chopped off the shrub (about 3 inches is all that remained) and planted some cuttings into the same pot. Seven months since then, it shriveled and we were reasonably sure that it was finished until one morning in early April. The stem sprouted sending off shoots in all directions. I was amazed. In the middle of scorching summers (111 F), it grew sparkling waxy green large leaves, long branches and restored itself into a healthy bright shrub when the other plants begun to wilt in the heat. In blistering May, it started flowering profusely like never before. It's incredible.

Moral of the story: Don't give up on those who let you down. Don't stop hoping for a change.

"Don't give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying." -Nancye Sims

Friday, April 30, 2010

Last few flowers...

It's blistering in Delhi (it went up to 111F). I wonder how these petunias lasted, but they did pull through. My next couple of posts will be about the burns and bruises in my garden this summer unless luck strikes and I find a rare bloom to beat the heat.

Happy weekend to all!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Garden Cottage - Meeting Mr. Conrad J Nunes in Old Goa

If you happen to visit Goa and are a sucker for plants, Conrad's garden is worth a visit in Old Goa.

About Goa: Goa is mostly about the sun, sand and the sea and famous for its exotic beaches while Old Goa is a 15th century city, famed for its opulent buildings and churches. The remains of the city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A week before last I made a trip to Goa with my husband, and we hired a bike to explore the place. Tropically nested, you cannot miss the palm, frangipani, hibiscus, gingers, banana and cashew trees along the coastal line.

Riding around Old Goa (off the coast), we chanced upon the 'His Creation Plant Nursery' cottage. The sprawling place is dotted with tall palm trees, and those of cashewnuts, avocado, love apple, jackfruit, italian lime and more. We felt at home as soon as we met Mr Conrad who enthusiastically took us around his garden and showing the treasures he owned. Mr Conrad is an avid plant collector, with species growing in his garden that were once considered incompatible with the tropical climate. A challenge keeps the gardener going!
The container water gardens along the pathway, flowering shrubs and trees teamed with rich foliage around it bring a colorful character to the garden. The striking feature is the assortment of unique plants he has. Mr Conrad left his job abroad to settle in Goa and follow his passion for gardening. We were glad to meet someone like him who followed his heart, and with such ease while the rest keep dreaming that some day they will. You cannot miss the feeling of excitement and pride in his voice as he spoke of his garden, very similar to that of a parent. He has a history of plant acquisitions, and interesting ones. I have rarely heard of italian and israeli limes growing in India but Mr Conrad has it all.
At the end of the visit, we got ourselves a few ferns, and free. In return, he has made us promise that we would visit him again and bring back some unique plants from the North. My memoir will not be complete if I do not mention the cashew fruits and love apples (fresh from his garden) he packed for us to carry home.
Taking a stroll around the garden, I snapped a few pictures that I leave you with. There are a couple of arrangements I loved especially around the water garden.
golden fern
dark pink hibiscus

I wish I had more time to spend at the garden cottage. Just in case you are in Goa, the address is given below.

Conrad J Nunes
His Creation Plant nursery
San Paula, Old Goa

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saving seeds to have the same colors in the next season

To collect Petunia and Phlox seeds, I let a few of the blossoms die back naturally and did not deadhead them. When the flower dries and falls off, the calyx swells (this is the seedpod), turns brown and dry and splits open. The pod contains numerous tiny little dark seeds. Put these seeds in an airtight container or paper bag for storage.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Phlox is my spring delight

I wrote about growing phlox last year. See Phlox tips for more. This year, I had some blooms from the seeds I saved last year. I took some pictures from the garden my in-laws have. The last picture (seedlings) was taken about three weeks after I sowed the seeds.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


My husband photographed this, and I think it is a brilliant one. What do you say?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Finding Peace in Nature

These pictures are from my peace preserve :)
Looking at them I realize that Nature has no worries about the future, no stress, no fear or anger - it's about being in the present.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


It's hard to watch parents growing old. Trying to cope with the change is tougher. My parents are having trouble doing the things they used to handle effortlessly. They face memory glitches, repeat themselves, are tired easily and often sick. I am guilty of feeling impatient, and at times angry at them and finish feeling dim about it.

When they call while I am at work and repeat themselves, I promptly cut it off by saying "Yeah, you've told me that before", or promise to call back once I'm home. As we age we no longer wish to share our ordeals with parents sparing them the stress that we'd rather deal with on our own. There is a lack of things to talk about, and therefore a repeat conversation is likely to be some sort of a connection or interaction for them. I read that the point of talking to people isn't to receive information in the form of words; it's the pleasure of the interaction and expression of sharing and trusting.

So, I tell myself that listening over and over again, or simply receiving the interaction, is not really so hard to do. But I feel sorry for the way I act sometimes with my parents.

Sorry Ma. Sorry Dad. I hope you will understand.

PS: Pansies mean 'thoughts', so these ones in my garden just for my parents.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gloom to cheer!

Last couple of months were a bit of a roller coaster. I felt glad that I could still maintain my container garden despite the chaos. I was juggling relationships, health matters in the family that left me depleted to spend time on blogging. I don't think it was insufficient time, I think it's more about my mind and what goes on in it. I have never been good at compartmentalizing my life, and my head. Therefore, a problem in my personal life pretty much affects all facets of who I am. On a bad day I would typically end up staring at the screen wondering what to post. That's when the inertia set in, and I never managed to get over it for a while.

My husband usually says that when something goes wrong in life, it's an easy downward spiral from thereon. And during these times does one really gets to figure out the person one is. While one would like to hold out but personal questions are unsettling unless the mind develops enough skill to field them gracefully. It took me good 3-4 months to find answers or make peace with myself, and with people and situations around me.

I feel better, brighter and life is beautiful again. By the way, my pansies and petunias did their bit to dispel gloom and bring cheer. Thank you colorful buddies.