Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sowing Petunia seeds

Last year I had bought Petunia seedlings from a nursery. Those seedlings had grown into the most beautiful Petunias. I completely fell in love with them. So I decided to save some of the seeds and try to grow them myself this year.
After the Petunia flower shrivels and dries up one can pull it off easily. That exposes the small, dried, brown seed pods which are full of tiny black seeds. One can pry the pod open easily and shake out the tiny dot like seeds. I managed to save seeds from all the different colored Petunias.
For the sowing medium, I used Soilrite, which is a commercially available multipurpose soilless compost and soil conditioner. I put some of the Soilrite in a bucket and then added water to soak it.
I filled the seed tray and a couple of shallow plastic containers with the moist Soilrite and evened out the surface using my fingers.I sprinkled the Petunis seeds on the surface of the Soilrite and patted the seeds into place with a gentle to and fro motion. Petunia seeds are surface sown as they are very tiny and not able to push through a heavy layer of soil. Finally, I covered the seed tray and containers with a clear plastic film which helps trap the moisture.
The Petunia seeds have begun to sprout in the picture below.
I also sowed Marigold and Pansy seeds in the tray. Once some seedlings began sprouting I propped up the plastic film using toothpicks so that the seedlings did not touch the plastic. And when most of them had sprouted I removed the film completely.                             

Sunday, October 21, 2012


It amazes me to see how perfectly Nature recycles everything. Anything found in Nature, gets assimilated back into the Earth completely once its life cycle is over. It is only the man made stuff that clutters our earth like plastics, glass, rubber etc. And we realise how true that is when we compost. All the nutrients tied up in organic waste are converted back into a rich compost which can be used to grow new plants, to renew life. A huge pile of garbage gets converted into a small pile of rich compost but a tiny piece of plastic remains untouched even after months!
I started composting about a year ago in a big plastic drum that I had at home. I started putting in all my kitchen scraps, old newspapers (after wetting and tearing them up), dried leaves, tea bags and egg shells sometimes. Once in a while I would stir and shake it up. It is amazing to see how all the waste just keeps getting reduced into a small pile of compost.
I am looking forward to seeing the effects of this compost on my plants. I have combined the compost with cow manure, sand and soil to make the potting mix. 
The flower pots are ready and waiting.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

While we wait for the winter flowers....

It seems I go into hibernation in summers. The Delhi heat wilts every plant and the lawn burns. So I just give up trying. But the weather is turning now and the prospect of the coming winters is exciting! There are very few flowers around currently but that should change once winters are here.
These Dianthus are have reseeded in last years pots. Dianthus are also called Carnations and Pinks. Its common name comes not from the pink color of its flowers but from the jagged edge of the flower petals which look as though they have been cut with a pinking shear. It is thought that the color pink may be named after the flower- the verb pink dates from the 14th century and means "to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern".
These shaded pink and white Portulacas are one of my favorites.

When I was growing up I remember seeing the Rosy Periwinkle (below) everywhere. But now there are so many bright and beautiful varieties.                                                                                                               


White Carnations on my balcony.
 Hibiscus in my garden.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Amaryllis everywhere,,,in my garden!

The Amaryllis are in full bloom and this year almost all my pots are blooming. And the best part is that I have not done anything for them all year except water them. I did not divide the bulbs and put them in new pots so  most of them are crowding their pots. The only time I repotted the bulbs was when the pots broke, maybe from the crowding!
All my Amaryllis pots lie on the terrace of my house all the year around. Even when the temperature touches 107-111°F during May and June they remain there under the blazing hot sun without any problem. I find the Amaryllis extremely low maintainence and yet the blooms are so splendid and beautiful.
Around the 17th of last month, I went bud spotting on my terrace and I was delighted to see many of the pots sending up buds.
Soon there were many stalks loaded with buds. The sight above, made me so happy! And now they are blooming in abundance in various nooks and corners of my house.
As you might have guessed already, for me there is no such thing as 'too many' where these lovely blooms are concerned!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


My balcony is looking rather pretty these days with beautiful Petunia blooms. I always found Petunias a little plain and boring but last year I noticed that things seems to have changed . Now there are many new cultivars with bright colors and stunning patterns. So November last I planted some petunias I bought from a nursery and now I'm so glad I did! 

The Petunia Picotee variety with the contrasting margins are particularly eye catching. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dahlias in a Springtime garden!

I just love the giant Dahlia in my mother's garden when it is Spring.
 For pictures of Dahlia from my garden, last year, please click here
Wordless Wednesday
Todays Flowers

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


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