Quisqualis indica – Radha Manoharam (Telugu), Madhumalti (Hindi), Rangoon Creeper
We had Radha Manoharam growing up in Nandyala and I wished one for my Houston home garden too. Luckily I found a small seedling this March at Fort Bend Master Gardeners’ Sale. I planted it in the backyard, near the patio column, hoping it would cover the column and eventually make a nice arbor between the columns. It thrived in that spot and draped the entire column in just five months with vigorous growth. It started blooming in late August. Right now, the whole vine is adorned with hundreds of pretty flowers.
The flower buds open in the evening in pale white color. On the following day the bloom changes to pink and then gradually darkens to red and deep magenta by the third day. The clusters of blooms usually open few flowers at a time, so in blooming season multiple colors – white, pink and red are always visible on the plant making it visually very appealing. The flowers also seem to stay fresh at least for a week on the plant. I have noticed that during the day, pink and red flowers are visited by a wide range of visitors like bees and hummingbirds for the flower honey, and in the evenings freshly opened white blooms are visited by moths. The flowers have a pleasant fragrance that scents the air we breathe. So beautiful and divine, no wonder the plant is named in Telugu after the celestial romantic pair Radha and Krishna.
Another must have for fragrant flower lovers, heavenly Radha manoharam is my autumn garden goddess.
The birds are chirping, bees are buzzing and seeds are sprouting. Spring is in the air. What a joy to experience the seasons in the sun again! It feels good to be alive.
We had couple of day-long rain showers in February. Houston needed that soaking rain after last year’s drought like conditions. Thanks to the rain and pleasant weather, my garden space is coming alive with plenty of new growth. Here are some garden goddesses that are in smiling bloom.
About to bloom ~ A Red Rose Bud
Pretty in Pink ~ An Azalea (Autumn Carnation)
Golden Beauty ~ The Chrysanthemum
Petal Perfection ~ The Red Camellia
A New Addition to The Garden ~ Tulip Magnolia (Jane)
Nityamalli (Vinka) after a morning shower
A shower in the morning, the emerging light on the east and refraction through droplets on the petals – The goddess Nityamalli had never looked prettier!
Swamp Hibiscus in Afternoon Sun
Like the sindhuram that brightens up a mature face, the palm-sized, five petal swamp hibiscus flower in bold crimson color lightens up a landscape. This cheerful goddess is a sun worshiper, showing up with sun, smiling broadly as sun does his afternoon stroll and shying away with sunken sun.
Swamp hibiscus plant dies to the ground in freezing winter but comes back from roots in spring in Houston weather. A reliable, low maintenance plant with beautiful vigorous blooms, it’s another must have for a hibiscus collector.
Honeysuckle Flowers in Bloom from My Garden
Honeysuckles are fragrant flowers that exude sweet nectar. Picking a fresh honeysuckle flower and sucking the small bits of honey out of it used to be a joy of my childhood summer outings. This sweet goddess is the nourisher of bees and hummingbirds, a beneficial herbal medicine for summer heat and a must have for fragrant flower fans.
Dontara Malli (7-layered Sambac Jasmine)
A little youthful exuberance, layers of calming elegance and wide-eyed with innocence. A whiff of its heady scent, the passion swells. This lovely seven-layered jasmine has to be one of the most beautiful jasmines out there in garden world. She is the goddess of day dreams, fantasy and romance.
Desert Rose Flowers
I am very fond of Desert Rose flower, another goddess of my garden, because the flowers resemble the gorgeous frangipani of India.
I have desert rose plant for the last two years. It was a tiny seedling then, with four to five young leaves. I planted it in a container and placed it in an east facing spot. The plant thrives in sunshine, it doesn’t need much water but needs protection from winter cold. Desert rose comes to life during summer with flowers in beautiful shades of rosy pink. It truly is a collector’s plant.
Sunflowers from Our Garden Space ~ Flowers for Meditation
Flowers are the goddesses of the garden, I believe. Like thousands of deities, there are thousands of flowers in nature. Nodding gently in the wind with delicate fragrance and with serene beauty, flowers are as enchanting and spiritual as the deities they adorn. It’s well-known that flowers posses healing properties, the essential oils from flower fragrance can influence the mind and the body. Stop for a moment and observe a flower, the colors and the scents, it’s easy to reach relaxation and clarity. The colors, the aroma and the beauty would appeal to different senses of the brain to create a calming and happy feeling to the mind and body – an effect one would generally get from meditation.
In June, I will be publishing flowers from my small space that create the serene environment for me. To be in that moment of flowering beauty is pure bliss. I hope you too share that feeling and joy.