Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pictures of my little garden

My little jungle in my small little apartment is doing reasonably well. Apart from pesky doves which destroy plants and try to nest all the time - and I really mean all the time (they are like rodents) I am having a decent spell of good luck with my plants. The conditions in my apartment are a little challenging - lack of space, not enough sunlight - on a good day I can get about an average of about 2 hours of sunlight in about half the balcony. So, when plants thrive it is a big victory for me! A catalog of what I currently have -

a. Orchids - Update to the previous post.
My Dendrobium orchid is flowering profusely - three stalks now have flowers - totalling about 16-20 with some buds to go. My Vandas are rooting well now.

b. Bougainvillea - One amazing plant - flowers endlessly and grows out of a small foot wide pot kept in a shady part of the balcony. It has seeked out sunlight and hangs off some pipes and gets the most sunlight because of its location. Lovely delicate flowers (well not technically flowers but bracts but who cares) that are a golden yellow at their peak.
c. Pentas - Lovely lovely plant - flowers profusely and manages with just 2 hours of sunlight - I don't have any pictures of it right now. I have a nice lavender one - the softest of colours - it is just gorgeous.

d. Miniature exora - I have had a tough time with this one - it needs a lot of sunlight which it does not get - but it still flowers with whatever little it gets.

In addition I have red and yellow Canna which flowers regularly and profusely. This one has been a pleasant surprise - I didn't expect the Canna to flourish but it has done amazingly well. It is quite happy with about 4 hours of direct sunlight and has the most gorgeous flowers. There is a picture to the left.

I also have many ferns - Nephrophelis (Boston fern), Hare's foot fern, Asparagus Fern.

I have a fish tail palm and a parlour palm. I have bamboo and benjamina ficus.

I am waiting for my Zantedeschia to bloom - the flower stalk is just peeking out. I also have two Spathyphilliums (propogated from one big plant) which are blooming regularly. I have this un-identified plant (to the left - the guy who sold it to me called it Malwa). I also have Diffenbachia (propogated with stem cuttings) which is just starting out now.

I have Euphorbia Milli (left) and Jatropa both of which are hardy plants and are doing very well. The Milli requires sunlight but is happy with what it gets and flowers all the time but the Jatropa is doing fine in indirect light.

I seem to have lousy luck with Begonias and Impatiens which is a shame because they are both ideal for low light. I don't know what I am doing wrong. I also have some Beloprene Guttata which does well in indirect light and Croton which is a difficult plant - and delicate. I have Nandibatla (the botanical or common English name of which I am not aware) which almost died of pests but I have managed to recover and is getting ready to flower.

More flowers as they happen...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Home Grown Orchidaceae!

The highlight of last week was the orchid I acquired in Vythiri (Kerala) in August last year flowering after me having almost killed it. Here's the beautifully delicate flower and there are about 10 more buds.
This is a Dendrobium Orchid (or so me thinks:-)) and this is the first flower of my orchid.
This is a Dendrobium Orchid (or so me thinks:-)) and this is the first flower of my orchid. Although, I am deliriously happy my joy has been blunted by the fact that this gorgeous flower is only 1.5 cm wide!!!! Imagine my shock on expecting a gorgeous large orchid flower as is commonly photographed all over the place and get my carefully nurtured (he he) orchid putting out a tiny flower that needs magnifying glasses to be admired :-D. Yet it is a perfect orchid flower demostrating its unique structure in its flower. I am thrilled.

My orchid collection is improving - I now have 2 vandas, 2 dendrobiums and 4 others that are unclassified. Hyderbad is discovering orchids big time - and people were picking them up everywhere - we are all probably going to massacre these lovely plants in our hot and dry city together!! There were several tens of varieties on sale in the recent Horticulture Exhibition at Tank Bund. Starting from Rs 50/- all the way upto Rs 2200/- The priciest ones were just gorgeous.

References -
Dendrobium in Wikipedia

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New Year 2006-2007

The highlight of our New Year party for 2007 was that we got to meet Phani and Mini - his girl friend. We always love Phani and now we love Mini too! We are very very happy for them both. Happy New Year you guys and Rajiv and Sarita too and everyone else!!!

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At St. Philomina's in Mysore

I am quite sure I am spelling the saint incorrectly - my apologies.

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Our Vythiri Trip

Aruna at Vythiri in Kerala. It is an amazingly gorgeous place - rains heavily for 10 minutes and then takes a 10 minute break and then rains again. We just loved it - misty, wet and amazingly green. The clouds rolled right into us at this heavenly place.
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Friday, August 04, 2006

The Power of Language

This is about how easy it is to bond with someone if you know their language especially when they least expect it. I live in Hyderabad where the local languages are Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and English. Hindi and English are the lingua francae of everyday living and no one really thinks much about it. Infact so is Telugu but mostly for the localites.

But there are people from all over India in Hyderabad and the other day I went to a road-side eatery where I overheard the guys who owned the place talk in Marathi (language from a neighbouring state) so I asked him (in Marathi) if they were from the state.

He said "No, we aren't - we are from a border state - we speak Kannada (another neighbouring state's language)".

So, I asked for what I wanted in that language (I stumbled through it actually but managed to convey that I know it) - and the service for me from that point on just changed - he was just happy to have someone from his state talk to him in his language. We bonded so simply - people who wouldn't have otherwise bothered with each other and may or may not remember each other the next time we met. It is amazing how language can get you a shortcut into someone's good side! And this isn't the only time this has happened.

I wonder if the same thing happens in America - would a German or Dutch store owner warm up to a customer who spoke his language? I would guess the charm is very much the same anywhere?

Arbitrary musings...

I went through a painful loss recently - painful because it involved going through a lot of documentary hassle to fix it. I read a fantastic account of the feelings of loss - especially such material loss. Very apt - here it is.

Amongst other things - we seem to keep losing friends to other cities or having them leave on long stints of travel (usually abroad). The latest is Swathi and soon Shareen. But Phani is coming back! Yah!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Breaking the Blogger's Block

Its been such a long time since I blogged anything. This is just to get back into the "groove"- just to throw my hat over the fence. Some of the lovely things I have come across lately -

a) Terry Pratchet's Light Fantastic is a lovely lovely sequel to The Colour of Magic. Enjoyed it as much.
b) My Terrarium (only botanical) is growing an amaranthus rather nicely. The daisy couldn't makle it though :-(. I will try and post some pictures. I am trying to propogate the plant in the terrarium now.
c) Aruna's bought a Sony Ericsson T610 (I know there's a new version called 630 - I still like the 610) and boy, is it a gorgeously styled phone. I could drool over the solid, simple, straight lines with the brushed aluminium and solid black cover and that gorgeously generous display. I know there are better mobiles out there but hard to find one that is so immaculately styled.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Weekend at Nagarjuna Sagar

Back from an exciting and immensely action packed trip at Nagarjuna Sagar which is about 150 kms. from Hyderabad. Aruna ended up being the only female in a group of 5 on Saturday, a status which ended when Rajiv and Sarita managed to join us on Sunday morning. Not that she minds though - she is very comfortable amongst the guys.

This time around (the last time we were there it was 3 years ago) we had a blast with excellent weather and absolutely gorgeous greenery around Nagarjuna. The reservoir itself was a brilliant hue of blue with a cool strong breeze that kept everyone feeling very much in the holiday spirit.

I would love to link some pics up. Unbelievably, no one in the whole bunch has a digital camera. Thanks to Kiran who has an excellent camera we atleast have snaps. Got to scan them and put them up.

The best part of the trip was the "tokri" boat ride which is basically a flat 6 feet wide basket which is waterproofed using tar. It sits about 6 inches off the surface of the water and it rocks like crazy. It was the most exhilirating experience we had. With waves splashing into the boat, the boat man swirls the thing around faster and faster giving us the time of our lives.

Phani drove quite well both ways and must've gotten mighty tired. But he did an excellent job. Thanks!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Wet Hyderabad

The Monsoon's are finally here. And it's been a great week with Aruna and me enjoying the rain to the hilt. Been taking walks while its drizzling and getting completely soaked, having hot masala-chai in the rain, chatting till past midnight sitting in the park right in front of our house and reflecting on how wonderful life is. We must have looked pretty crazy to our apartment's guard walking joyfully into the rain. We just couldn't get enough of it so when it stopped raining we made our own by shaking the leaves of the trees. [Reminds me of the Beatle's song "Nothin shakin but the leaves on the trees".] When the leaves are wet and you shake the branckes, you get the most refreshing, tingling cascade of water drops.