Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Garden foliage collection....the remains!

During the construction of my house I lost many many plants to careless workers who couldn't understand why I was so bothered about saving them. Even though we moved the pots umpteen number of times trying to keep them out of the way we still lost many to falling rubble, careless handling etc. These are the few that I have left. You will notice I'm partial to green.
Though I do love flowers they seem to be more like 'fair weather friends' whereas the greenery is always there!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saffron Flower and Corm

The picture above is from the website-
Recently an uncle and aunt of mine visited Kashmir. They went to the saffron fields near Srinagar and brought back a corm with a flower. The flower was wilted but still had the strong saffron fragrance. It was quite fascinating.
Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. In India, Saffron cultivation is unique to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The annual production of saffron is confined to Pampore in the Kashmir valley and to the Kishtwar valley of Jammu province and varies from 10 to 12 tonnes.
The botanical name of Saffron is Crocus sativus. The purple colored flowers appear just above the ground and are a beautiful sight.The flower is the only part of the plant which is seen above the ground. The blooming time of this flower is autumn. Saffron has a unique sweet smell and is used in dyeing and cooking.
The orange-red stigmas of the saffron plant are harvested and produce a pleasant aroma and a warm golden orange color. Each plant only produces three small, red colored stigmas. Approximately 100000-150000 flowers are needed for one kilogram of dried saffron!
Saffron has to be harvested by hand which also drives up the price. Another difficult aspect to harvesting saffron is that all the plants flower within two weeks of the year and they only flower for less than a day. That means that thousands of workers have to work on constantly rotating shifts twenty four hours a day for two weeks.
The yellow stamens are also harvested but they do not have the same aromatic and color properties of the stigmas. Pure saffron consists of only the stigmas of the flower. Saffron is also believed to have many medicinal properties. It is called Kesar in India.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Marigolds on my balcony garden

I enjoy my morning cup of tea out on my balcony these days with Marigolds for company.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A visit to the garden nursery continued

I absolutely love foliage plants and my garden always has more green than color. So while at the nursery I just soaked in the green all around.


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