Category: Garden Log

Summer Colors ~ Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea in the Frontyard
Royal Purple Bougainvillea in a Pot ~ Coloring the Frontyard Garage Space

A brilliant performer, bougainvillea does well in hot Houston summer. Passionately colorful, passionately vibrant, passionately floriferous – they remind me of bright, eye-catching, gorgeously swirling Rajastani dresses of Bharath.

Garden Goddess ~ Radha Manoharam

Rangoon Creeper
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.

Rangoon Creeper
Radha Manoharam

Spring is in the Air

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)

Goddess of the Garden ~ Kanakambaram

Kanakambaram ~ the sacred saffron!
Kanakambaram ~ Divinity in simplicity!

Goddess of the Garden ~ Zinnia

Button Zinnia ~ A bright and beautiful shade of red
Button Zinnia ~ A bright and beautiful shade of red and an elegant arrangement of harmony!

Zinnia ~ Multi colored and multi faceted: A beautiful sprinkle of color
Zinnia ~ Multi colored and multi faceted: A beautiful sprinkle of color

Goddess of the Garden ~ Althea

Althea ~ Translucent petals through transforming light
Translucent petals through transforming light
Althea, The Rose of Sharon in Bloom from My Garden

Goddess of the Garden ~ Nityamalli

Nitya Malli (Vinka/Periwinkle))
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!

Goddess of the Garden ~ Swamp Hibiscus

Swamp Hibiscus
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.

Goddess of the Garden ~ Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle Flowers
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.

Goddess of the Garden ~ Dontara Malli

7-layered Sambac Jasmine (Dontara Malli)
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.

Goddesses of the Garden ~ Desert Rose

Desert Rose Flowers
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.

Goddesses of the Garden ~ Sunflowers

Sunflowers in Bloom from My Garden
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.

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