Saturday, August 29, 2009

Angelwing jasmine,barleria,railway creeper in my garden

This is jasmine nitidum - one of my favorite jasmines because it blooms nonstop from April till november. divine fragrance. i am growing it in a 16 inches clay pot.
jasmine nitidum angelwing jasmine

Gomphrena - bachelor's button, pink color - seems out of focus pic.
gomphrena bachelor button lahore

Can someone help me Id this butterfly bush?. it has fragrant white blossoms and flowers in late summer from August-October here. its leaves are broad as compared to buddleia davidii.
sweet almond verbena aloysia virgata

some dragon fly on star jasmine stem
dragonfly lahore

Barleria. not one of my favorite but color is good
barleria cristata lahore

Water hyacinth, the official flower of province sindh in pakistan. gorwing in a round clay pot of 10 inches diameter. it is found abundant and wild not only in sindh but in our province punjab as well. considered a weed here.

what a shot, isnt' it? both my tropical water lilies in one shot. and both are blooming non stop. they will go dormant in winter. the upper pot is bigger than the other. i just love them. note that the the first one is fully opened but panama pacific below is just starting to open. first one is also viviparous and you can see the viviparous leaf in the picture.

close up of waterlily in smaller pot

Tradescantia blooming

And last but not least, the railway creeper. i am growing this vine in a plastic square container in which i am also growing allamanda and morning glory. and that container is placed 12 feet high on a concrete shade. just parallel to my terrace. now this is what i call urban/small space gardening.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Attracting wild life to your garden

It is not easy to establish a garden which would attract butterflies, bees, sun birds if you are living in an over populated urban city with lots of pollution around. Situation gets worse if you have as little space as i have got. Sure plants can be grown in containers and they will flourish but nothing compared to those which are nourished by sweet mother earth. After all, plants get to know they are in containers, nah? what about a patch full of self seeding bright wild flowers!!!

Although butterflies do visit my garden many times a day but this lemon tree just next to my home is something all the butterflies and bees just adore. Sometimes i think that they come all the way to sip nectar from this tree instead and in the way they also visit my garden. well i don't mind it either. My dwarf murraya tree does compete hard and tries to allure those butterflies back through its intense sweet fragrance. The competition goes on.
butterfly on lemon flower

This bee also visited my murraya tree just before coming here but i could not capture it there.
bee on lemon flower

This butterfly was wandering around these phlox flowers and they were hundreds in a row. something i wish i could ever grow.
butterfly on dianthus flower

Now this wild flower garden is something i am talking about. Self seeding annuals in a natural way.
gaillardia wild growing lahore

Hope some day i will have a patch full of butterfly bushes with tons of butterflies around. Dreams never die actually.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thunbergia,rudbeckia, senecio flowers in my garden

August is the month of monsoon. We root cuttings, transplant perennials, prepare beds for fall plantings this month. Those climbers and bushes which are late summer bloomer and those which did not bloom because of intense summer heat are coming back to life. see below the flowers blooming in my garden. Just a treat to see these blooming and blooming.

Rudbeckia - black eyed susan.This is a raised bed as i dont have much space. It is just 4 inches of soil and beneath that just concrete/cement. i will plant crocus bulbs here as soon as 15th september arrives. They flowered well here last year :P
rudbeckia black eyed susan

gomphrena in a small pot
gomphrena bachelor button

Senecio confusus (mexican flame vine)my all time favorite vine and butterflies just love it. blooms are fragrant too.

Thunbergia grandiflora (bangal clock vine) at Lawrence garden Lahore
thunbergia grandiflora bengal clock vine

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rain lilies blooming in lahore

Rain lilies or zaphyr lilies are late summer bloomers specially after rainfall. they are available in many colors including pink, yellow and white. they self sow as well. they need to be pot bound to bloom. i am growing 4 bulbs in a 7 inches pot. botanical name of rain lily is zephyranthes lily. they are native to many other areas including india and pakistan.

strangely local gardeners or mali here call it nargis. although it is not nargis, nargis is botanically called narcissus and it normally treated as annual as compared to this zephyr lilies which are perennial here in lahore. note that these lilies like moist conditions and full sun to bloom. sadly, bulbs are not easily available here in lahore at modern seeds shops or even local nurseries. i got these bulbs as gift from a mali. i have got all the 3 above said colors and all are blooming except white one. note that these lilies need a dry period soon after rain spell. now you must be thinking that why not fool the plant with tap water thinking into rain....he he he.... try it... plants get to know you are trying fooling them :P
zephyranthes grandiflora pink rain lily

an this is a bit smaller yellow one.
yellow rain lily zephyranthes citrina

Thursday, August 13, 2009

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Monday, August 10, 2009

A sight to behold - Water lily blooming

so it is the second waterlily blooming in my garden. it is first day of its bloom. wonderful sight. note that it is not deep blue as compared to the first one but light blue with shades of white and yellow center. i just love it. my brother says it reminded him of old movie scenes lolz.

pic from my cell phone. at 9am sharp
tropical waterlily

This one taken at 2pm.
light blue waterlily careaula

blue waterlily

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

5 tips for making your jasmine(motia) bloom more

Arabian jasmine or jasmine sambac is locally called motia. It blooms almost all year except in winter months. Here are some tips to make it bloom more and bigger.

1- Give it moisture and water. In summer heat of lahore, this plant will drink all the water you will give it. specially those plants which are in container. Keep it moist. this can be achieved through wet trays of pebbles or misting leaves in the evening. Water in the evening instead of morning.
2- Digging and hoeing: This is what we locally call 'godi'. Do this almost every weekend or atleast every month. Purpose is to move soil beneath the surface to come up and absorb sunlight while surface soil to go beneath.
3- Protect from afternoon sun - let it give full sunlight but protect from blazing afternoon sun
4- Give it acid-loving ferilizer high in phosphorus . you can also give it water soluble/liquid fertilizer for blooming. in monsoon when temperatures drop, you can give well rotted cow manure which will promote plant's health. i usually prefer leaf mold in hot summer months. then in late summer cow manure. Also try epsom salt, it works wonders for most shrubs specially jasmine.
5- Prune it in winter. growth will be vigorous and blooms will be bigger on new growth

one more important thing. Buy indian motia instead of pakistani motia. indian one has leaves more darker and roundish than pakistani motia. it is also called labenese motia. i will also post pics differentiating the two. Another form slightly variate is called bela.

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