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Monday, November 28, 2011

Understanding the Feng Shui Garden

Feng shui is an art and science of selection of good and proper plants to bring harmony in your garden. In simple terms feng shui means wind and water and if these principles of feng shui are considered before making a terrace garden then it will give you a satisfying and good result. The feeling of being relaxed and refreshed is what you will get from your feng shui garden.
Tips for a feng shui garden begin from first considering the map of ba gua and the  five elements and directions. Just like you would feng shui your house so also consider the same principles for your terrace garden. Remember your house is yin and garden is yang so choose your plants carefully and selectively.
1- select red and purple coloured tall plants for south. blue and light greens for the north and yellow and pinks for the south west region of your garden. Darker plants for north and lighter , brighter for south.
2. If there is a drain try to minimise the negative energy here and encourage positive chi in this feng shui garden. As in feng shui any drain will affect your finances negatively try to keep the drain concealed with few plants. In my garden we have a big drain hole in the south and we have planted a huge tree in a big container to block the negative energy of this area. Simultaneously if your drain is in the north area or any other area that corresponds to your finances and career or family health and relationships consider planting some heavy plant to pull the energy upwards instead of downwards. Avoid low falling creepers and climbers are good here.
3. Try to incorporate stone, soil, plants and metal into your feng shui garden. In this way you will bring all the five elements, water, wind, wood, metal and fire into your garden. Having a small fireplace or open grill for outdoor cooking can be a good enhancer for your feng shui terrace garden and also give you a reason to party. If not possible select red coloured plants for south and blue flowers or purple plants for north.
4.Since it is very auspicious in feng shui to have a water feature and encourage birds to feed and bathe here it may not always be possible to install a water fountain or waterfall  here due to electricity and wiring problems. If it is not possible to have water element in your feng shui garden then make do with small bird bath or small container with water. Also you can put up a picture of water flowing or water fall in your garden to improve energy of your career and helpful friends area. In fact any area of your garden where you need an extra push in energy can have a water feature except for the south as we all know that south area corresponds to your fame and recognition area and the element here is fire and water is not good for fire and this will extinguish your desire for any progress and work.
If your garden comes in the north area of your house, then it may not be possible for you to have many plants here and you can have a rock garden here having rocks, tough plants and dry areas especially make a rock garden for the north east as this is the area for self realisation and getting the true path of your life.
Understanding the feng shui garden by the principles of feng shui will give you a better guidance for selection of plants and care of your feng shui garden. Another thing which I have personally learned through experience is that try to use less water, as in feng shui water is considered money and the more water you waste in your feng shui garden the more it will affect in your rise in finances expenditures.

Silver Jade Plant

Green Jade Plant- Money Plant in Feng Shui
If you want to improve your finances and wealth through feng shuing your garden select plants with rounded corners and round shaped pots as in feng shui round resembles money.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rare Flowers on Cactus Plant

The rose flowers have competition. With winters becoming chilly and the morning breeze flowing the cactus is a great break from the other dry and dull plants. At its maximum beauty the cactus plant has bloomed quite well. It is an attractive break from the greens as this colour flowers look very good. 

 The plant though has thorns, and really big ones, which are concealed behind the green foliage of bright green leaves looks at first glance like any other plant. The flowers are peach coloured and new flowers start with tiny buds of yellow colour. Later the flowers develop into peach coloured and mature flowers are bigger in size. Flowers on this flowering cactus grow in bunches and never alone.
With no special care this cactus plant is a welcome addition to any garden. Do take care to avoid close contact with the plant as they have thorns which at first glance are not visible. The thick foliage of green leaves cover the stem and this is nature’s way to protect the plant from pests and animals. Care is required only to protect this cactus from butterflies as this is their favorite to lay eggs and the larvae feast upon the leaves and sometimes excessive larvae may even kill the plant. I had almost lost mine last year but prompt care saved this plant.
Also remember to avoid placing this plant on the floor as anyone may be caught unawares by the thorns which are not visible from outside. Avoid placing this plant indoor if you have small children and pets in your home. A window box would be good idea for planting this cactus as you can enjoy the blooms without going too close. I have placed my plant in between the thick foliage of tall palm plants and as the breeze flows this looks very attractive as if a bird with peach flowers is dancing.
Just like any other cactus plants this plant also requires less water and we have to take care of this plant in the rains. Except that if the soil is well draining and the pot porous then there is no problem even in the rains as the extra water will flow.
This cactus is worth for its blooms. Enjoy the winter show!

Photographs Pictures of Beautiful Sky View the Sky

Great sky pictures snapped using mobile camera. So easy and quick unlike earlier days when we needed photo reels and cameras for capturing the right moments, now we have mobile cameras which are so handy and I still need to learn to capture the right moment , but still good pictures for an amateur photographer!
Evenings on the Terrace Garden

Inviting Evening Sky

Enchanting Night Sky

Full Moon in Sky
Full Moon Night

Moon after Sunrise

Moon in Day







Beautiful Sky from Terrace Garden

View of Sky

Sparkling Sky

Moon in Day
The Sky  with its Moon a beautiful capture



Setting Sun Sky
Every photographer will swear that sky is an challenging and quite favourite topic for photographs, and as nature has immense challenging potential the sky is never left by photographers a swell as artists who love to paint sky paintings at different times of the day and night. I love the watch the still night clear sky under a blanket of stars glowing at late nights , the serenity is irreplaceable!
Pleasant Evening Sky


Sunrise
  Warm Sun rising in East
 Sky in Afternoon

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I don't Need the Lawn Mover and Tips for Growing Green Grass on Lawns

I do not specifically like lawns and though we have a green grass lawn in our society garden it does look fresh and green form a distance. Green lawns look very attractive in any form and are an important part of any landscape design of a garden. With being able to sit and relax on the fresh grass there is no other form of happiness for a child when they touch feet on the freshly watered grass. With many therapeutic uses of walking on fresh grass along with health benefits grass lawns have come to be well known and an important part of any landscape. People grow grass in any form either as a ground cover or as a corner base for other plants and also on side walks to make an attractive green cover for flowering plants.
I have specifically avoided adding a lawn to our terrace garden as I have learnt that in long term the base will get corroded due to continuous daily watering of the lawn and thus will lead to leakages in the flat below. Anyway lawns look good when they cover a larger area.
Lawns can have grass grown by seeds that are planted just before the rainy season and when the grass plants come out they will get the required quantity of water for flourishing and growing tall. When the first green grass grows it will be growing in an unkempt and hap hazard manner. You will see the grass growing like wild and the picture will not be that attractive. After the first growth immediately a lawn mover will be needed to trim the grass and maintain its uniform texture and this will give you an beautiful and attractive green lawn.
The lawn mover will be required every few months according to the growth rate of your lawn grass and if you use less fertilizer for your soil then the cuttings will be delayed and if you have been fertilizing your garden plants regularly than your lawn grass will also get the extra nutrients and grow like wild which will need regular and frequent trimmings to maintain the even texture of your lawn.
Problems faced with lawns and effective tips to maintain green grass on lawns- Lawns are a cover of grass and tiny plants which need care and maintenance to keep its beauty. Regular trimming using the lawn mover will keep the plants growth in check. There is also another problem faced by many gardeners having lawns is that of red ants during summer seasons. This will erode all your tiny grass plants and also make the soil very loose and after watering the grass will not be able to grow back as earlier as the roots may become weak due to ant attack. Treating the lawn grass with required antidote for red ants would save your grass.
Also if your lawn gets direct sunlight for many hours or the main after noon sunlight than your green grass may begin to turn yellow and burn as the tips of grass plants are very delicate and tiny. So you end up with yellow patches and dry patches on your green lawn.
Very important tip is how to water your lawn. Never use big hose pipes with pressure for watering on your lawns. The grass plants are tiny and you must use small nozzles and allow water to flow in the lawn slowly and evenly or use a small sprinkler to distribute water evenly on the whole lawn.
After few years your lawn may need refurbishing that is new soil added and fresh seeds also planted for getting fresh and healthy blooming green grass. This can be done by digging the old soil and removing all the grass and adding fresh soil along with new seeds and then watching the show! The first green grass looks very attractive and the leaves are of fresh lime green colour with delicate tips which on maturing develop a colour that is darker green and there is nothing like sitting on the fresh clean lawn and enjoying your garden.

Custard Apple Tree in Container

Custard Apple Tree in Container
My experience and knack to grow different plants led me to try different fruit plants in containers. The custard apple fruit being a favorite I had learned that it is also easy growing fruit plant that gives fruits sooner as compared to other fruit plants.
After buying a custard apple plant the main problem I have had was about sunlight requirements and feedings for the plant which is growing in a container in my terrace garden. The plant has progressed quiet well over the past month after planting it in a huge container. There have at present been no specific feedings except for the daily watering.
I think the plant will give fruits like any other plant after at least five years after planting or if I am lucky it may also flower and fruit earlier. The leaves of the custard apple plant are wide and have dark ridges. The tree in the container looks like a small plant in the beginning but the size of the leaves is okay like a big tree of custard apple.
The fruit custard apple can be used in many dishes and also eaten by itself and it sure is a treat if you get sweet custard apples on your own tree. Two months and the plant has been growing well and new leaves seem to be appearing and growing on the custard apple plant. As I get any new progress will keep posted.
The fruits will appear as tiny small fruits on the plant stems and will grow in size gradually as the fruits mature on the plant itself. I have observed closely this progress on many custard apple plants and thus went ahead with this decision of planting a custard apple plant in a container. The fruits first will appear as tiny green fruits with small nodules on the surface and these fruits will increase in size and as time will go the fruits will turn darker and ripe waiting to be plucked.
Challenges for growing a custard apple plant in container will be the same as I am being faced with the cherry plant in the container on my terrace garden. I do not know whether even these fruits will fall in the beginning or need extra strength since the soil will have limited nutrients in the container, so I have to be prepared with extra care and nutrients and am sure I will be gifted with many tasty custard apple fruits soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cheery Yellow Flowering Plant

Yellow Flowers in Bunches
How would it be to bring bright colour in your garden. Yellow colour is proved to improve your mood and uplift your moral. Planting some yellow in the garden will surely brighten up your day and this plant is very easy growing and can tolerate some hours of direct sunlight.


 
Beautiful Yellow Flowering Plant

 The sun yellow is a very good colour and these flowers are a mixture of mango and lemon yellow colour. They grow in bunches and the whole stem looks very attractive when it is laden with yellow flowers. Each stem has a bunch of buds coming up and they bloom together to give a great show.
.
Yellow Flowers
The plant though a tough one is prone to white aphids and fungus, usually due to over watering. This plant will bloom with the regular feedings of water and fertilizer, but the fungus sometimes does prove fatal to the plant and many times there is no cure except to replace the plant.







Effective and Cheap Air Purifiers- Plants

Beautiful Couple of Fragrant Roses
With atmospheres cooling and giving a pleasant climate we have chilly mornings and hot afternoons. With gardening over the many years I have now learned to focus on planting important plants and those that will last longer and be all seasons plants. Many people are not aware that plants act as air purifiers and air fresheners and that too along with giving us the pleasure of being with nature at its closest.

  Having mentioned a lot about air freshener plants like the fragrant roses and rajni gandha let us now mention a few plants that act as air purifiers. We know that the pollution levels are at a high rise and we are daily bombarded with fumes, grime, company wastes and along with that the construction debris, all accumulate and have a bad effect on our health. On studying about plants I have come to understand that plants act as natural air purifiers.
As they are living and give out and maintain the oxygen level in the atmosphere. Some people do have a view point about plants exhaling and inhaling as they are living but this is much lesser than the benefits of plants as air purifiers.

Tall Spider Lily Plant

Peace Lily

Peace Lily Plant as Air Purifier

Chinese Evergreen Plant
Some of the plants that are beneficial for purifying air are peace lily, snake plant, Boston fern and bamboo that is ever green and brightens any environment.
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Elegant Tall Snake Plant as Air Purifier

Variegated Snake Plant

Spider Lily Plant
There is scientific evidence that plants act as good air purifiers and are an healthy choice compared to air conditioners and air purifier machines.
While selecting plants as air purifiers do consider a few points- If you have pets and small children please find out about the toxicity of the plant. Better to avoid placing plants on the floor and for this purpose you can have hanging pots with air purifying plants.
Also consider the amount of water and sunlight your indoor plant may require and as having a healthy plant is very important than having to look at a sick plant that is dying. Place the air purifying plant near the window for best results. Money plant is also a good option of ever growing green plant that requires less care but I am not sure of the benefits regarding this plant as air purifier. Peace lily plants are proved to be good air purifier plants. Snake plant and mother in laws tongue or variegated snake plants are a good choice though in Feng Shui some people avoid long pointed plants indoors, but the benefits of these plants are good for the environment. Chinese ever green is another plant that is soothing to the eyes and also good for the air.
The basic principle before selecting air purifying plants is to do some research on their toxicity and edibility as accidently a child or pet my eat them. So take the necessary precautions before bringing plants indoors for air purifying purposes.
Having a jade plant is also very good and also considered lucky in feng shui. This plant I do not know about the health benefits but they do improve the look of your living room and also the added bonuses from feng shui come along!
I have tried many plants and the few best ones are noted here, though the list is unlimited as to what plants you can grow and there are many plants that are very good for health as air purifiers, the list remaining endless and I being an amateur gardener still have a long journey to go in learning about plants the wonder creation of God!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

White Tiny Flowers Creeper

Very Small White Flowers in Bunch
 I do not know the name of this creeper growing in a hanging basket but it sure is a treat to the eyes. Each visit to the terrace garden gives me immense pleasure and being in the attitude of gratitude towards God the creator and care taker of all.  Plants growing in all sizes, colours, with big leaves and small leaves, with big blooms and tiny blooms which gave me a mention about this creeper growing in a hanging basket. The leaves of this trailing plant are velvety and rough having I think tiny spikes or fine hair which are clearly not visible to the naked eye.
Close up of White Tiny Flowers
The blooms are very tiny white flowers growing in bunches. The flowers look almost like small white dots when observed from a distance. At first glance I thought the plant was infected with white moulds. On closer look you get to see the wonder and creation of God by making so tiny flowers. You will almost lose the beauty of flowers if you do not give this plant a second look. Only an experienced gardener will notice the white tiny blooms which I repeat can be mistaken for fungus or mould growth.
I have not felt the fragrance of these white tiny flowers growing in bunches but they have a woody and jungle smell which made me first think that this was a wild grass growing and the poor plant was about to be shoved during weed removal but due to the coming of these tiny white flowers it was saved!
The plant looks very attractive in a hanging basket and does not require much care. This creeper grows best in partial shade and can grow well in a place which receives indirect sunlight light. Maybe this plant can grow in full sunlight also since the leaves are thick and rough on the surface, I have to try growing this plant in full sunlight so that I get the shaded space for another new delicate plant.
This is what I like of gardening, that is the changing aspect , you will never see the same plants in the same position , no chance of getting bored in my terrace garden!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ixora Flowering Bush

Ixora Bush Red Flowers
A great plant to grow in the sun but requires partial shade for keeping the blooms fresh longer. This Ixora red flowering plant is grown as a bush. The plant can be trimmed according to your desired space available and grows into new shoots from the cut sides. Ixora bush is available in many colours and shades ranging from light pink to peach and deep red or maroon. White flowers also look good in bunches. The Ixora bush does not require any special care and except for watering my plant is giving regular blooms and the plant is always laden with flowers in red bunches.


 
Close up of Ixora Flower Buds.
Tips and Care for Growing Ixora Plant- Ixora plant requires sunlight for flowering but all in measured doses, that is it will grow healthy in partial shade and few hours of direct sunlight. If exposed to direct sunlight for full day the plant leaves burn and dry and the flowers also will have burnt edges. So if you want to enjoy the colourful bunches of Ixora flowers for long then plant this bush in a partially shaded area where it can get few hours of direct sunlight, either morning or evening.
Cutting and trimming is another aspect which needs attention. Do not cut the plant so much that it looks barren. Always trim edges of stems from side shoots and let the plant develop new shoots. Also avoid trimming the plant during winters as the plant is already facing a dry season and may not be able to grow new shoots faster. Best time for trimming the Ixora plant is before the rains sot that the climate is comparatively cooler and the sunlight is also not so harsh. The pant will begin new shoots immediately within few days int he rainy season and develop into a healthy fresh plant.
The new shoots and leaves on the Ixora plant look very cute as they are fresh green in colour as compared to the older leaves that are dark green. The flowers are showy and beautiful and this Ixora plant is a must for every garden for the show of flowers. All colour flowers look attractive as they are very small flowers growing in bunches.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Care of Sick Rajni Gandha Plant and Tips for Healthy Growth of Rajni Gandha

One of the easiest and one of my favorites is the Rajni Gandha plant. With fragrant white funnel shaped flowers these are used in garlands and bouquets very often. Rajni gandha plants are propagated by tubers or rhoizomes that is they are lump shaped balls that when planted can be grown as new plants. Hence the plant is also called tube rose plant. These plants are available according to the number of blooms they give, that is the number of stems, Single stem plant, double stem and also there are rajni gandha plants that give heavy six stem blooms that are expensive and rare breed of tube rose plants.
Heavenly Fragrance  Tube Rose flower
The plants grows in clusters of green leaves and can grow healthy in full direct sunlight. Care of rajni gandha plant is very easy and it requires only watering and less feeds.
Close up of Rajni Gandha Roots

The main reason the rajni gandha plant will not grow healthy is when they are attacked   by some pests. My plant is frequently attacked by black ants usually after the rains and this leads the plants becoming limp and the plant looking weak. When you see the leaves of the tube rose plant you can immediately understand if the plant is healthy or sick. A sick rajni gandha plant will have limp and dropping leaves.

Rajni Gandha Plant with Dropping leaves
 Watering a sick rajni gandha plant needs care and precautions otherwise continuing watering sick rajni gandha plant will nearly kill it. Try to first clear all dried and dropping leaves. Clean the surrounding area and remove possible ants. Try to tie the dropping leaves in a bunch and give it some support for few days till the roots get some strength to allow the plant to stand on its own.
Healthy Rajni Gandha Plant/ Healthy Tube Rose Plant
Once the plant is firm you can see new bright green leaves coming up from the centre of the plant. Rajni gandha is a beautiful flowering plant that gives white fragrant blooms. The flowers come up in form of erect stems that have flowers growing in circular arrangements.
Grow the rajni gandha for its heavenly fragrance, a stem of rajni gandha, even a single flower is enough to make the whole room fragrant! especially  in the evenings the flower is at its fragrant best.
Tip to keep blooms for longer is to cut the long stems after many blooms have come up and put the stem indoor in water. This will allow you to enjoy the blooms for a very long time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rose Flowers Original Photos and The Fragrant Rose Planting Tips

This is a dream come true. The terrace garden looks very attractive with fragrant colourful rose bushes of so many colours. Roses as we all know are not just for the name as king of flowers, but they are unique and special flowers. Available in so many colours and shades rose flowers are also fragrant and have a heavenly fragrance. Searching for yellow roses since a very long time and finally the search ended and I got a yellow coloured rose bush. I do not know how many plants will survive from these but I wish them all luck!
New Rose Bushes in Garden
With experience I have seen that rose plants are so simple to grow but they have to adapt themselves to your climate and soil mixture and your watering habits. Once the new rose plant is rooted well and you see fresh green leaves on tips of the stems then you have won.
Yellow Rose Bush

 After planting them today the peach coloured rose plant did show signs of dropping buds... and the orange shaded variety had a stress syndrome.  Few leaves turned yellow and dropped. Now, will begin, the real care for rose bushes and rose plants as this phase after planting new rose plants is very important, for their successful and healthy growth. The whole success of growing a healthy rose plant is to water regularly everyday till the new plant develops new growths. Once you see hat the plant has rooted well then you can add fertilizers for flowering , but do not immediately add any fertilizer for new rose plant as this will give them over load and stress. They first need time to establish their root system and then concentrate on blooms.
Attractive Friendly Yellow Rose Flower Bush

Orange and Red Shading Rose Flowering Bush

Single Friend Yellow Rose

Fragrant Colourful Rose Flowers

Single Red Rose Flower
Our rose bush was also happy to have new friends in our terrace garden and with its big majestic bloom alongside the new plants that looked tiny with smaller blooms. They will soon pick up I hope so with plenty of blooms to come.
Red Shaded Rose with Wrinkled Petals

Yellow and Orange Shading Rose Flowers


Happy Rose Flowers in the Sun
Rose Flowers and rose plants when planted in large numbers make an impressive style statement. This is a treat to your eyes and all your senses!

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