Chilli pepper

A green chilli plant in the back yard had dried up during summer. Now, it has got a new lease of life after monsoon rains started. It is full of dark green leaves now, with small white flowers and small fat chili peppers.

 

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Here are a few chillies. These are the shorter variety  grown in south India.

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Roses

Ooty… lush greenery, serene lake, and of late crowded with tourists. Ooty botanical gardens have remained the tourist’s favorite for a long time. A search for other attractions led us to the Rose Gardens.

Roses in all colours and sizes abound the rose gardens.  The view is spectacular with thousands of roses, and the Ootacamund valley in the backdrop.

 

Red rose

 

All colours and hues …

Purple rose

And white being no exception…

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One more white beauty

White rose

Dazzling in te bright sunlight..

Yellow rose

Soft, gentle and happy roses 🙂

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As also majestic and splendid beauty…

Rose Ooty

Is not beauty all about peace, joy and cheerfulness ?

Roses ooty

 

Every time I think of these roses, my mind becomes overcome with peace and happiness.

They come in all shapes and sizes

They burst out of the earth… They are conquerors,  winning over every inch of land leaving no space for anything else.  They are known as weeds and grasses.

Weeds

One of the oldest inhabitants of the earth, so much earlier than us humans. They continue to thrive.. nurturing the soil, animals, and humans.

Grass

They are beautiful plants… their beauty visible to those who are willing to take a closer look.

Grass

Looking at the earth from behind the grasses is a feast to the eyes.

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Even the ever beautiful sky becomes more prettier when viewed along with wild weeds.

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One of my favorite Zen quotes… “Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.”

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To sum it up, Nurturing soil, pretty weeds, hovering bees, little flowers…  , , ,  …beauty, silence, fullness, Nature.

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Wild flowers – Thumbai

This is the season of cyclones for South India. The season for unpredictable rains and strong winds. Downpours last for several hours, followed by humid and hot days… but only till the next cyclone brews up.

With every rain, the ground opens up to show its glorious beauty. Grasses and wild flowers of all sizes and colours sprout up everywhere. One of my favorites is the Thumbai poo. It’s botanical name is Leucas Aspera. It is a small plant only about 50 or 60 cm in height. It has single petaled white flowers.

Thumba

The flowers are filled to the brim with honey. You sip the flowers and the honey flows straight onto your tongues.No wonder that the thumbai is a favorite with the butterflies. Once the thumbai flowers, butterflies come visiting by the dozen. No doubt that the thumbai has an important role in the ecosystem.

Thumbai Poo

If not for all these, the thumbai is an important ingredient in traditional medicine,s especially ayurvedic medicines and home remedies. Their leaves have healing properties that cure cough, throat infections, tonsillitis and sinus.

Thumbai

Is it not amazing that there is a lot to write about a wild weed…? Sad that this beautiful plant is almost extinct in the cities. Every wild plant, grass and weed has a role in balancing the earth and is worthy of preservation.

Remember flowers from the backyard?

Hybrid Roses, Hydrangeas, Plumeria,  etc are the must haves for any flower lover’s garden today.

About 15 years back, not many of us knew the names of these exotic variety of flowers. There were another host of flowers then, which were synonymous with daily life.

Come, let us take a walk together looking out for the much loved flowers that have been growing in our gardens…, from as long as we can remember 🙂

Kanakambaram” flowers..Commonly known as Priyadarsha in hindi. These flowers do not have a fragrance, but their bright colours made them the top contender for decorating long slender hairstyles.

In terms of frgarance, nothing can beat the “malli” or Jasmine flower pandals… Many houses have jasmine flower shrubs next to the fence or the boundary wall… the long slender stems crawl up a supporting pandal or wall, and are soon covered with dew drop like flowers. Their fragrance during the night is heavenly 🙂

Arali” or Nerium flowers are the next… they come in pale pink or pure white colors. Long leaves and tall shrubs are characteristic of these flowers. They are widely used for pooja and temple worships.

Shenbagam” or Golden Champa (Michelia Champaca) flowers… Their fragrance is striking and is even known to attract snakes (though not sure if snakes have noses or can smell.. I guess it is another old grandmothers tale). Yellow champa trees are more common than the rarely found white champa.

There are many more to this list. Evenings were spent in hand picking these flowers, stringing them together, and then storing them away wrapped in a damp cloth. As kids we used to look forward to decorating long plated hair styles with these stringed flower garlands 🙂

Lets hope these flowers continue to be grown in our backyards, to bring joy and dreams.