24 September 2010

A harvest and feast with thanks to our expert bloggers

Today I want to thank three people who have benefited me a lot with their steadfast blogging and great advice: Raj Panda of Organic Kitchen Gardening, Mani of geekgardener, and Raji of the food blog Talimpu.

I picked some poi saag leaves from a creeper grown from seedlings Raj gave me and made some fritters with them for lunch, using a recipe from the Talimpu blog (http://www.talimpu.com/2010/09/16/mixed-greens-fritters/). The recipe is for mixed green fritters but I used only the poi saag because it was the first time we were eating it and I wanted to know how it tasted. It was wonderful -- mild and sweet, maybe how lettuce tastes when it's cooked but I'm not sure that's the right description. Next I will try a poi saag recipe I got from a blog on Oriya cooking. If Raj sees this post, maybe he'll send me his family recipe!

Poi saag plant 

Leaves washed and drained -- some are as big as my hand

Poi saag fritters

The next harvest will be of marmande tomatoes for which I need to thank Raj for the seeds and Raj and Mani for their fabulous workshop at which I learned how to properly grow vegetables in containers. I would  never have got the results below without their expert advice.

Flowers in my garden this September

Nothing spectacular to report  but my pink hibiscus is putting up a good show (for my sun-deprived garden anyway) so I thought I'd record it. And while doing so, I decided to record the other blooms in my garden this September.

Pink hibiscus

Heliconia golden torch


The pink wall you see behind the plants is the bane of my life. It cuts out most of the sun from my garden.

On the patio I have:

Voilets . . .

. . . and perennial bloomer dancing lady begonia

Finally, not a flower but a sight that gladdens my heart:

Mandarin orange

The strange thing about the mandarin orange is that some creature seems to be picking off the fruit when they are tiny. A lot of them come out but only a few survive (and there are none fallen below). When the same plant was in a bed next to my patio, I used to get enough fruit to make marmalade. The monkeys leave this fruit alone; they must know it's very bitter. I can't imagine what creature would want to feed on these bitter fruit unless it's some type of bird. If anyone has any idea, do let me know.

10 September 2010

Linking to a wonderful garden: Elephant's Eye: September garden walk and our beginning

Elephant's Eye: September garden walk and our beginning


As in an earlier post, this time I'm keeping a perspective on my gardening attempts instead of just lamenting my lack of success with vegetables. (At the moment, the only veg growing well are some marmande tomatoes.)

Today there was some rare sun in this monsoon season so I got a few pictures. I also took a 'perspective' shot of a corner of the garden and got in one of some plants I'm growing in water in my living room. This is to keep some moisture in the air for some antique Chinese furniture, of which  you can see a red cabinet in the picture. The wire at the base of the bowl is for a small electric motor that keeps the water bubbling to prevent mosquitoes. The plants don't show up well enough in the picture, unfortunately.

Bamboo, elephant's ear and spider plant growing in water

Dracena and clerodendron enjoying the sun

Philodendron in the sun

Clerondendron tangling with the bamboo  
(looks less untidy in real life)

Philodendron and money plant starting to fill up the trellis
(nothing else will grow since it's a shady area)

A corner of the garden with a 'rustic' gate, palms and other greenery

Schefflera, monstera, heliconia and star jasmine sharing a bed