Thursday, April 02, 2009

Simple steps to happiness


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

How less they demand. And how much they give back...

My mother's love for gardens was instrumental in making us shift from a flat right in the city, to a house on the outskirts. She nurtured rose beds and creepers that gave huge orange flowers. She grew bhindi (ladies fingers) and brinjals and we were trusted with the task to collect them. The bhindis grew so much that we began gifting neighbours and family with the produce. After a time, we complained of 'garden fresh bhindi' she thrust down our throat in every possible form. Bhindi stir fried, bhindi with vegetables, bhindi with kadhi. Bhindi, bhindi, bhindi.

Those were the days when our garden had gone mad with a sudden flush of fertility. Everything grew and bloomed and blossomed. The Sona (Kanchan or Bauhinia purpurea) she planted all those years back is now a tree and covers the lawn with bright pink petals every winter.

When I moved here in Kolkata, I had a faint image of the kind of house I wanted. I wanted to recreate Ahmedabad in the small space I had. I bought lots of plants, only to realize I was either duped with bad cuts or the good ones just died due to watering too scant or too much.

When I set my eyes on this Adenium plant in the nursery, I knew I wanted it. It was costly and after some haggling, with both the nurserywala and my husband, I got it home. It has stuck. We have made some emergency visits to the nurserywala when the leaves turned soggy in winter. It was left in his care for a fortnight. This plant tends to go a little weak when it rains a lot or in cold. The nurserywala had told me told water it once a week. And so I did, only to realize that the plump obese stem (from which it gets its scientific name Adenium obesum) was shrinking away.

A person selling manure shook his head in disapproval when I told him this. "Water it daily, you understand. With this hot weather, how can you feed it just once a week." And he put some packets in my hand with precise instructions. That was about four months back. The leaves had developed some worrying spots then. I was keeping my fingers crossed after the medicine, manure and plenty of water routine. Last year, the flowers were great too, but now, they seem to have a new life. This year the bloom has been extravagant...

Click here to read the description.

8 comments:

~mE said...

oh ya i almost killed this plant by watering daily..:)
nice pretty flowers

feddabonn said...

"how less they demand"? wow, lady, i wish i was as good with plants! i'm the sort that could kill a cactus!

Sara said...

I'm not much of a gardener myself, but last summer I planted tomatoes,green chilles, coriander and what abundance of veggies there was - we also distributed it to neighbors.I'm planning to do that this summer too!!And your plant is awesome -such beautiful flowers!!

Julia Scissor said...

I am no green thumb but I love all kinds of flora. Plants are people to me. :)

BTW, you have been blogrolled.

Calliopia said...

I love bhindi these days, both lightly boiled and cooked in a little oil with tomatoes.

Lovely flowers. I don't have much of a green thumb myself but over the last 4/5 years I've made a habit of planting petunias in winter. I get the plantlings around November and they usually flower in Feb. The rest of the year since I'm terrified of caterpillars I don't go anywhere near plants!

Darshan Chande said...

The flowers in the slideshow are beautiful :)

Gauri Gharpure said...

Sharanya--- Water every 2-3 days except in rainy season and extreme cold..these plants flower around march end till may ..:)

feddabonn-- i have killed my share of plants too!

Sara- the list is impressive.. I am sure Ishaan also helps you out.. i remember, we had great fun tagging along with mum in the garden..

Julia-- as i said, i am no green thumb either.. this plant is very sturdy and i got the right advice at the right time.. many thanks for blogrolling:)

Callopia-- bhindi the way you have described tastes excellent..

petunias are nice bright flowers, love them.. and how about lilies? the plant springs up religiously every year after a period of lull to give lovely red flowers..
abt caterpillars-- i am wary only of the hairy kinds that cause rashes..

Darshan-- thanks.. :) but i can't fix the slideshow right, a part of the photos on the right along with the description always gets cut off.. any idea how i can fix it?

sangeeta said...

this is marvelous Gauri !!
i had to give away a fully grown adenium when we were transfred 3 years back n now i am nursing two Adenuium babies in shallow ceramic pots...time to change the pot as the flowers in this plant make me think...
i love gardening n the 'bhindi bhindi bhindi' i can relate to very much ...i grow many veggies here in my garden too.......i am no millionare maintaining a garden in the heart of delhi....we live in a govt. campus n are blessed with a front patch.....i will post some pictures n let you know...

abd the bauhinia tree you mentioned is also called kachnar n it's buds are edible...a yummy subzi and pickle can be made with them...