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.