Category: Garden Log

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.

Garden Harvest for May 2nd Week

Kitchen Garden Harvest

Kitchen Garden Harvest for May 2nd Week from My Vegetable Garden

Methi Seed Pods
Green Beans
Tomatoes (Celebrity, Better Boy, Cherry)
Cucumbers
Okra
Banana Peppers
Guntur Mirchi
Brinjals (huge & long varieties)
Tomatillos

Garden Blooms ~ Malle Poovu

Gundu Malli
Pleasant and Fragrant, My Favorite Flowers ~ Malle Poolu

Garden Harvest for May 1st Week

Garden Harvest

Vegetable Harvest for this Week from My Organic Garden:
Coriander Seeds (dhaniyaalu)
Tomatillos
Fennel Bulbs
Kohlrabi
Brinjals (vankaaya)
Tomatoes
Banana Peppers
Bell Peppers
Guntur Mirchi
Habanero Peppers
Pequin Peppers (in the cup)
Okra (benda kaaya)

Garden Roses ~ Angel Face

Angelface Roses
to mothers and daughters who make Mahanandi a home
Happy Mother’s Day

Garden Harvest for April, 2011

Garden Harvest
Garden Harvest from My Vegetable Garden
Cucumbers, Yellow Zucchini, Brinjals, Green Beans, Banana Peppers,
Tabasco and Guntur Mirchi, Peas and Okra ~ Perfumed by Gardenia Flower

Garden Log ~ March, 2011

Fig Plant ~ Spring 2011
Fig in Spring

This will be my third year of vegetable gardening and I am very much looking forward to working and harvesting. Now, I feel more experienced with Houston seasons and I am also putting my experience to good use. I am working as a garden consultant to two first time home gardeners. I am advising them with design layout, plant selection etc, enjoying the role very much.:)

Last year, I employed succession planting to maximize the limited space I have and the growing period. During spring I started with cool season spring crop (peas, green beans, yellow and green zucchini, cucumbers, methi). Followed by a Houston-heat loving summer crop (turia-beerakaaya, papdi lilva-chikkudu, karela-kakara, okra-benda, gongura etc).

This strategy worked. I had a steady harvest throughout the growing season, from April till the end of November. During those months, my expenses on buying vegetables from stores was less than ten dollars a week, usually it would be around thirty dollars. During the past growing season I would only buy onions, carrots and fruits from the stores and all other vegetables that had cooked were from my garden. Not only my kitchen needs were met, I was also able to share the excess vegetable harvest with friends. Succession planting is a joy and I am planning to stick with this strategy this year as well. If weather permits and I could, I would also do a third fall crop.

Here are the list of plants I planted for this growing season:

Box 1: Okra, Peanuts, Fennel Bulbs, Kohlrabi, Tomatillo, Kerala Potatoes

Box 2: Tomatoes (Celebrity, Cherry Tomatoes), Cantaloupe (from last year seeds)

Box 3: Vines – Green Beans, Peas, Cucumber (Persian and Pickle), Lemon-cuke (budamkaya), Malabar Spinach (bacchali)

Box 4: Vines – Zucchini (yellow), Mexican Squash, Grapes, Papdi-liva&Valor (chikkudu), Chinese and Indian Karela, Turia (beerakaaya) (for summer)

Box 5: Aaku Kuralu – Methi, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Coriander, Purslane (payala), Amaranth (thotakura), Gongura (for summer)

Box 6: Herbs – Mint, Rosemary, Marjoram (maruvam), Lemongrass, Turmeric, Dodda Patre (Coleus Aromaticus, Karpooravalli)

Box 7: Peppers – Pequin, Guntur, Habanero, Cayenne. Bell Peppers and Banana Peppers

Box 8: Brinjal – Fairy tale, Japanese, Indian and Italian

Box 9: Tomatoes – Better boy, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple

Planning to try out something new – Tuvar and Parval

Here are the boxes in long shot:


Boxes 1, 2, 3 and 4


Boxes 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9


Fruit Trees ~ Cherry of Rio Grande, Orange, Loquat, Mandarin, Fig, Guava (looks dead right now due to last winter frost), Pomegranate

Garden Log: April, 2010 ~ The Second Year
Garden Log: March, 2009 ~ The Beginning

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What are you planning to grow this season? Any new ideas? I would love to hear from you fellow garden enthusiasts.

Spring under the Holi Moon

The First full moon of Spring 2011. A renewal of the growing season.
Here are some photos from my garden.

Spring Moon
Peaceful and Pleasant ~ Spring Time Holi Moon

Jasmines in Bloom
Perfume in the Air ~ Jasmine Flowers (Chambeli)

Gardenia Flower
Gorgeous Gardenia

Orange Flowers
Beautiful Buds ~ A first for my Orange (mandarin) Plant

A Rose
A Rose Under the Moonlight

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