28 February 2011

The gods must be laughing

The weather gods must be laughing at me. Soon after I brought the tomato plant to the Norris Road flat, we had days of cloudy weather (not to mention heavy rain one evening that knocked out the power till 9 a.m. the next day). Perhaps because of being moved and then not getting enough sun, the tomato plant has 'frozen'. No new growth as far as I can see and no flowers, despite feeding with NPK (after letting the plant recover from its move for a few days). I'm not giving up hope though; the single tomato on the plant has turned a lovely red . . .

. . .and I will continue to nurture the plant until it does as well as the siblings it was torn away from.

Yes, as well as those previously languishing siblings! The sun has returned to the balcony of the Lavelle Road flat and after a single feeding with NPK, the two plants there have started bearing in plenty. I'm going to leave them there since they are doing so much better than their separated sister.

Another sign that things have really picked up on the Lavelle Road balcony is that the poi saag vine is flowering. I remember Arathi mentioning that her poi saag vine had flowered too. I wonder what it means? Arathi, if you're reading this, did you harvest seeds from the flowers? Perhaps I should ask Raj Panda, the 'father' of our poi saag vines.

The new momentum at Lavelle Road has inspired me to start planting in Norris Road; I've been letting too many things get in the way of fresh planting. I'm going to start some tomatoes, chilis and radish from seed. I'm also going to try something new: details in the next post.

14 February 2011

The lone tomato

Today I brought just one tomato plant from the old apartment to the new one. It has only one tomato, since it was getting barely any sun in its old spot. In the new one, it will get 6-7 hours of strong sunlight. I can't wait to see how the plant responds, especially after I feed it.

I will bring over the rest of the tomato plants -- I think there are two more -- and a chili plant on the coming weekend. My husband, A, has promised to help me move the potted plants I want to the new flat.  In return he's getting the orchid, which gets neglected over the weekend when I'm at the other flat, and is showing it. There's always someone at the other flat to give the orchid its daily spray and I give it its weekly feed on the weekend anyway.

09 February 2011

Goa gaiety

We went to Goa for the wedding of a friend's daughter and had a wonderful time. One of the highlights was the blooms in the hotel garden -- nothing special, just bougainvillea, hibiscus, ixora and lantana, but everything looked so beautiful and gay in the sun.

I love the look of the bougainvillea in round pots; will try one or two on my balcony. My next post will be about the beginnings of my new balcony gardens; there won't be anything very interesting to see for a while but I do mean to record things from the start up to (finger's crossed) blooms and/or vegetables.

01 February 2011

The tardy and the hardy

I can't believe it's been three months since I've updated my blog. A lot has been happening and I've also been waiting for something to happen -- the weather to improve.

This has been a dismal winter for the plants in my garden. With barely any sun for months on end, they are in bad shape. Only a few hardy plants are managing to bloom, the violets and the mandarin orange. The mandarin is  remarkable -- the plant has barely any leaves but continues to put out flowers and fruit. It looks as scruffy as it does in the picture but produces oranges valiantly. There are lots of green ones that can't be seen in the picture.

There's not much I can do in this garden until the weather warms up and the garden gets more sun. But the good news is that I don't have to wait for this to re-start my gardening attempts. I have  moved to another flat close to my old one, as part of a larger plan to sell the old flat and buy a place with space for a garden, or at least a terrace garden, on the outskirts of the city. The new flat will then be our place in the city.

My new flat offers only two balconies for gardening but one gets strong sun throughout the morning, which is a wonderful development for me. I'm going to grow as many vegetables as I can there and at least one rose. I yearn to grow roses and for the first time have the right conditions to do so. But the balcony is small so I will have to restrain myself.

Here is a picture of the front balcony, which is a good size but is shaded by a large jamun tree. I will have to grow partial shade plants here but don't grudge this since the tree is a beautiful sight.

Jamun tree

 I have had trellises put up on both balconies, which are awaiting vines. Meanwhile, an orchid is occupying one on the front balcony.

I have a few potted plants, some bought, some gifts. These will soon be complemented with plants I grow myself from seed or seedling. The weather is improving rapidly and in my new flat it's already sunny and warm enough to start some tomatoes and capsicum, and maybe eggplant (will check on geekgardener's forum).

Curry leaf and poinsettia on the sunny balcony, which is enclosed in netting to keep the monkeys out when the veg arrive

Spider plant, geranium and syngonium; the last is a cutting taken from a friend's garden and needs  repotting

I live in an old neighbourhood of Bangalore that still has many of its original bungalows. Here is a view of a neighbouring house from a bedroom window.

Looking forward to renewed gardening attempts and blogging about them.