I love gardening and I have always loved to have a full fledged garden with flower beds , a variety of plants, a lawn and some trees – the list is endless .But the problem was that we never got to stay in a house with garden space I love gardening and I have always loved to have a full fledged garden with flower around it. Home has been an apartment on the second storey .But i decided to make the best of whatever was available to me and managed to have a garden of my own. I am thankful that I have a fairly large entrance patio which can be used to to place my pots as there is a spot which allows a lot of sunlight.
To describe my home as I said earlier , we have a huge area at the entrance , part of which is open to the sky and gets plenty of sunshine.This space I felt was an ideal spot for growing flowers and those plants that needed a lot of sunshine.Then I had 2 balconies, part of which could be used for arranging some plants that were shade loving as one of the balconies got a little sun only in the afternoon.
I started by collecting a lot of cuttings from my friends and planting them in earthenware pots . I got ready to use garden soil and some sand which is needed for repotting.
I prepare the pot in the following manner :
I cover the bottom of the pot with large pebbles and then a layer of coarse sand until all the holes are covered.This is to make for an easy flow of excess water, so that the holes do not get clogged by soil.After that I fill up the pot with the ready mix of potting soil that I buy from a plant nursery.I plant my sapling and let it grow in shade until well established.Then depending on the requirement of the plant , they are placed either on the outer balcony where there is lots of sunlight or in the balcony that is next to the sitting room where there is medium sunshine.
I have Jasmines that flower all round the year and some Orchids and Chrysanthamums. I have some Gerbaras which are absolutely delightful looking flowers and they make me so happy whren they all bloom togethe and some very interesting flowering plant which is popularly known as Bethleham Lily.This plant has sturdy long stem and leaves.The blooms appear from the little nodules on the leaves and grows to an amazing size looking like a lotus bud.The flower blooms at night and withers by next morning.It flowers once a year.We wait eagerly to see the flowers which blooms late at night.Last july we had 9 flowers from one plant blooming at the same time and it was such a beautiful sight! The greatest joy for a garden or plant lover is when the plants start flowering.One feels blessed!
The other plants that we have are African Violets in shades of blue, Violent, mauve, pink and purple colors.These are lovely indoor plants and can be used to decorate any corner of one’s house.They look so elegant with their velvety green leaves and lovely colorful blooms. It is very easy to multiply these plants by placing a healthy single leaf in the sand or a prepared soil and in a month’s time you have a new plant.One needs to be careful while watering African violets as they require little water at regular intervals.
My balcony is filled with plants of all kinds. There are several varieties of Crotons which are hassle free to grow, and 3 different varieties of Moneyplant which is a must for all balcony gardens, because it is so easy to grow. I have many varieties of colorful Begonias which give add a lot of color and contrast beautifully with the rich green shade of other plants.
I repot the plants depending on their need. One can easily make out when the plant needs to be repotted .The flowers start becoming smaller in size and there will be hardly any soil left in the pot. It is the same with the other varieties – the leaves become smaller and the plant growth slows down. This is when they need to be repotted.I generally transfer the plant to a slightly larger pot since the plant would have grown since the last time it was planted.
I have a Tomato plant and a Curry leaves plant in fairly large pots , and the latter has been with me for many years and is one of the most essential plant needed every day as we use the leaves while cooking. I use the water that is used for washing rice for watering the plants. It has a lot of nutrition in it. I , also collect used tea leaves and egg shells in a tin and dry it up and mix it with the soil while repotting the plants. It is an excellent manure for plants, especially flowering plants.
I use soapy water once in a while to water the plants, because this helps in getting rid of most of the fungus and other pests that attack the plants. But there are some pests and fungus that need stronger treatment like a plant spray. Once we had a lovely variety of rose completely covered by white mildue which was thankfully cured at the last minute when it was reduced to a mere twig. But now I am careful to take proper care the moment the plant has been attacked by some fungus.
In my house we have arranged the African Violets together on a stand and when they are in bloom , the entire shelf is a riot of colour and all our guests and neighbours complement and comment about its beauty .The other plants have been arranged all over the balcony and some around the living room and on the window sills of our bedrooms.
I have some Mint growing in a pot on the Kitchen window sill . I am told that mint is helpful in getting rid of flies..
All in all we all love our little garden , especially me as it gives a lot of joy and keeps me occupied in a healthy manner. I enjoy adding more plants and tending to the plants every day.