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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pigeons care and feedings

Baby Pigeons
 Pigeons have been a very common bird after the humble crow in our garden . We have a bird bath where pigeons come to bathe and drink water and it is a very beautiful sight when they flap open their wings and jump into the bird bath and enjoy the cool dip. A friend had these baby pigeons and the mother had laid eggs on just a curtain. the window it is understood was kept closed for many months and as a result the mommy pigeon had laid eggs and the beautiful delicate babies were enjoying their early years of life.Pigeons I have noticed have now adapted to our urban life style and can eat many cooked food along with grains and seeds.
They eat cooked rice and love pulao and fried rice. Dried rice and bread crumbs are also their favourite along with poha, upma, idli. I do not know what effect it will have on their nutritional diet requirements but my husband surely says these birds will become obese and as they are staying in towers in terrace flat they do not even need to move to get food! Many people from society put up remaining food on their window sill and these pigeons are sued to having this.
Pigeons love grains and I also put soaked cereals like moong, chana and chavli some times.But usually I try for safe food like bread and cooked rice.Maize, jowar and bajra seeds are also good for them. Keeping them clean water is a very important work as they have a very bad habit of pooing int he bath. I have to clean the bird bath regularly as they eat and drop food particles in the bath. food along with dried flowers and leaves does give a stink to the water and it need regular cleaning to provide fresh cool water to t he birds.
Babies of Pigeons
How do pigeons sleep? well the most fascinating pat is that an pigeon can live in the smallest of paces and I have seen them sleep on one foot and then change the other for the whole night! As the sun is beginning to set the pigeons come and have food and a drink and then take their place. One of the most important point I have noticed about the pigeons life style of living is they are very very possessive about their place. they will fight and drive away all the pigeons to protect their small private place. And this is seen daily when they come home to sleep in the evening, I can hear the fluttering of wings and when the noise levels increase now I know someone is trying to find a place to sleep!

Sick pigeon
 This beautiful pigeon lives above our terrace on a pole made for shade.It is a beautiful combination of pigeon and dove as this pigeon has white wings and head and it sure looks like an angel in the evenings. The poor guy was sick and I noticed it coming near the terrace door and finding place for shelter. As this year the winters were very strong I think the pigeon was sick and It came along our budgies and I had to keep a watch lest he infects the other birds. he took to a quiet protected place under the big container plants and would not budge even when I touched it. For two days the pigeon was here, it would fly when I would coax it and then return after taking a round. There were no visible signs of physical disease and my husband diagnosed it as common cold and fever. Some Cooked rice and bread was offered along with fresh water to drink as the pigeon could not make it till the bird bath for drinking water. In the afternoon the pigeon would try to fly and then again come back in evening in the same place under the container.
Sick Pigeon in  our Terrace Garden
 Now the pigeon has recovered and is quite healthy, thank God. I do talk to him daily before retiring for the day as he sleeps in his original place now. I think he hears and recognizes me and as I speak he turns his head in my direction. It feels great to see a bird saved. He looks so cute with his delicate white head and shy when I talk to him.
Few years back a pigeon had laid egg on our garden container and I have noticed this strange behavior of laying eggs in the open. Pigeons do not build nests and they may least have few sticks and lay their eggs in the open. An pigeon egg is smaller in size than the egg of hen that we eat. Unfortunately I couldn't save the egg as the crows were ready to pounce on it and the poor pigeon couple could not protect the egg. As I tried to keep the egg protected by wooden furniture the crow was much quick and at last after few hours when we wee not paying attention they feasted on it.Nature has its own laws and there are many lessons for life from nature. Survival of the fittest. Another pigeon had laid an egg on the metal lid of a plant container, no doubt it disappeared in a single day! Still it is a fact that pigeons are seen everywhere around the world and their adaptability and adjustabilty has given them upper hand at survival.
Bird diseases are also an important part which we have to deal with and as there are many pigeons we are also exposed to bird diseases and have to keep the plants and terrace clean. We have placed the bird bath away from our door and and have kept less space for them to loiter around in the garden near us and they can finish their business of eating and drinking and take off. Summers are the worst when we see pigeons with boils on their beaks and body parts. Bird disease is transferred by infected birds eating and sharing the same water bath.
They live among humans and eat left overs and survive in every nooks and corners and no wonder pigeons are seen in every place around the world.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rare Flowering of Sanseviera Cylindrica Plant

rare flowering of Sanseviera cylindrica plant
The excitement is without bounds as I experience the fragrant flowers opening on this cactus plant.I did not know whether this cactus will ever bloom as I had seen this plant at many places growing for years in the same way. The white stem came up which is at least 12 to 15 inches tall and as the plant grows in fan shape this stem was easily noticed as tall and light brown colour as compared to the dark green of the sansevieri cylindrica plant.
Flowers blooming on cactus plant

Open flowers of sansevieria cylindrica cactus

white fragrant flowers of Sansevieria cylindrica plant

majestic stem with flowers of sansevieria cylindrica plant
The cactus plant took many days in fact more than a month to form this stem and with tiny buds and lots of expectations one evening I could feel the fragrance of the tiny white flowers and immediately I knew the flowers had bloomed and each layer of flowers opening in circular fashion look very heavenly and attractive.
close up of white flower of sansevieria cylindrica

Tips for flowering of  sansevieria cylindrica- The plant grows into tall shoots which are shaded dark green in colour. This cactus needs only partial sunlight and in our terrace garden it received evening sunlight only. Fertilizer was given only rarely as I did not expect this plant to give any blooms! Watering was also not a problem as the plant has tubular stem which stores water.  The most important tip here was that the plant got great support of a wall and grew healthily as previously the plant could not take root as the heavy tubular stems could not hold the plant.. each time I would plant it the sansevieria cylindrica plant would fall off from the pot. Then I tried tying the plant stems with a rope but the plant would look crammed up and sick. Once it got the right place and took root then it did not require any form of support. And I guess the plant has given flowers after a year of planting, so hope to see another stem next year or maybe once the cactus has matured maybe we get to see the fragrant blooms more frequently.  
white flower

stem of flowers on cactus plant

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Flowering of the Champa Plant in Container/ Flowering of Frangipani Plant in Container

First buds on the Champa plant
 Finally the champa plant, one of my favourites and since childhood, has given beautiful fragrant flowers. The majestic stem has a bunch of buds which open side by side and some flowers have opened soon where as some are still in bud form. Growing the champa plant in container was challenge and many people were against trying this and still soem believed that the plant will not flower.
But this has shwn that love,care and patience gives us great results. I have been blessed with this heavy laden champa stem which has so many flowers.

First flower of Champa on the plant

Majestic Champa Stem

Fragrant Champa Flowers blooming

Champa flowers in container

Close up of Champa flower

Attractive Champa flowers

White and Yellow Champa flowers

Champa flower

Yellow Champa flower

Fragrant Champa flowers
The fragrance is just out of this world and no wonder this flower is world famous for its heavenly fragrance. the frangipani flowers have been used since ages in perfumes and air fresheners. And the dropped flowers were used in our living room. I did put the yellow champa flowers in water and the whole room would become fragrant when windows were closed during night. The flowers turn brown in water and though they last for many days the fragrance does linger in the corners still, even after removing the flowers from the room.
Champa Plant Care and Flowering tips- The champa plant needs a bigger container and it would be better if you choose the right container in the beginning as this will avoid later transplanting soon as the plant needs to grow big and also requires side space to bloom.
The soil selection was most important. I selected soil was hardy and along with very few rocks and pebbles the majority portion was good quality soil. The frangipani plant will root fast and will need strength to hold the big champa frangipani plant in the pot. Container gardening is a challenge and the pot also must be of cement or hard metal to hold the big frangipani plant. The champa plant can tolerate direct sunlight and grows well when watered daily.
Fertilizing was another tricky part as I do not want the plant to give weak blooms. The small plant has now given healthy and big flowers and that too in original size and of course the original heavenly fragrance!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Enjoy the Fragrant garden- Tips for Best Roses

Pink Roses Growing in Bunch
The fragrant garden is at its best now and I am enjoying the colour as well as heavenly fragrance here, especially in the early mornings and late evenings.

Pink Rose Flower
 When you plant a rose garden it is but obvious that you must spend some time regularly in your fragrant garden.
Beautiful Yellow Single Rose

Pink and White Shaded Rose Flower

Beautiful Roses in Garden

Single Red Rose Flower

Buds of Rose Flowers on plant

Fresh Red Rose Flower

Big Yellow Rose Flower

Yellow Roses on Plant

Attractive Orange Rose Flower

Baby Pink Rose Flowers on Bush

Close up of Rose Flower

Glowing Pink Roses

Good Luck Rose Flower
This year we are enjoying the best rose blooms and that too in plenty. All our rose plants and bushes have flowered in plenty and the dream of owing a rose garden has given these gifts from nature.
Tips for growing best roses- The blooms have to be big and in plenty. This had led me to study the growth patterns of rose bushes and plants. With thorns on them I had not expected the dark red rose to give such a big bloom. The bushes are laden with n number of flowers.
Tip one is take care during winters. Roses need indirect sunlight and even though they grow in full sunlight the blooms will wither soon in full sunlight. So select a good spot for your rose bushes and plants.
Do not trim the rose bush or plant in winter and as I have done this my poor bush had gone in shock with no change for few months. Understand that the plant has to bear the chilly winds and winter and again if you give another trauma of trimming the stems and leaves it may not survive. Trim before winter or best before rains so that they get the growth spurt.
For very big rose blooms try to nip off small buds that grow in plenty as these will make the size of the rose flowers small. If you need bigger blooms then your will have to focus in getting less number of flowers but really the size does matter and the big rose flower has taken a prideful place in our living room.
In winter my roses bushes and plants are giving flowers and I have given them feeds of fertiliser before the beginning of winter. it will take at least minimum two weeks before you see the miraculous results from the feedings.
After the flowers are dried it is advisable to trim the dried parts to encourage new growths but I only trim my rose bushes when they go in different directions and I need them to grow in circular pattern in my container.
See the right place for your rose bush and this can be done by trying to grow the plant in different parts of your garden or window sill for getting the best location to get great blooms.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Petunias an Inspiration for Abstract Painting

Purple Petunia Flower
Being a gardener has many other blessing and one of them is to get new inspiration every day for painting. Nature has been an inspiration for many artists and people travel far and long to be near nature. we are the chosen few who are blessed with a terrace garden, the area may be small but the possibilities are unlimited!
 I have always loved colourful petunia flowers and as they bring instant colour in your garden and your life, trust me, they have also been as an inspiration for new paintings. We see so many colours and textures in nature and gardening has brought a new angle to my paintings. With some floral paintings coming up along side my healing symbolic paintings I think I will have to try hard not to fall into the genre of nature drawing and painting.

Glowing Magenta Petunia  Flower

Rani Pink Petunia Flower

Abstract Painting Inspiration from Petunia flower

Close up of Purple Petunia Flower

The Magenta Flower Abstract

Abstraction in Nature Purple Petunia flower

Magenta Petunia flower close up

The Curls in petunia Flower

Majestic petunia Flower

The Glow in Petunia Flower
The sheer size of the petunia flowers is very appealing and it can bring colour and enhance the aesthetics of your garden. With putting my hands in soil and paints I think I am more near nature and less among humans.
The inspiration is great and am sure it will come up in a new abstract painting and will also act as an inspiration to many artists. Learning to photograph flowers and plants is another skill which I am trying hard to master. With loads of improvement in taking snaps with my mobile phone I wonder whether I not try my hand at professional nature photography (just joking, am happy as an healing artist!).
but some of the photographs are just too good!, I love flowers and especially colourful petunia flowers and at present this season they rule our garden.

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