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February 22nd, 2017

Let’s talk gardening

There’s so much rubbish going on in the world at the moment, a fair amount of it right here in India I might add, that I have decided to ignore it all.  Well, for one blog post at least.

Instead of ranting about the latest idiocy from Donald Trump, or the dangers of the air we breathe here in Delhi, or some equally depressing subject, I have decided to talk about my garden.

Far nicer topic.

The weather here is hotting up on a daily basis, and it looks as though we might well be fast-forwarding, completely bypassing spring and plunging straight into summer.  Holi isn’t until March 13th and as many of you know, I’m now a convert to the theory that Holi heralds the beginning of summer.  So, yes, it’s getting hot way too early this year.  Holi isn’t until 13 March.

So here we go – my garden update.

Disclaimer – I used the word “garden” rather freely just now.

I don’t actually have a garden.

Rather we have a terrace and the use of the roof, which is what I fondly think of as my “garden”.

My “garden”, however, is looking distinctly jaded at the moment.

All the flowers that were blooming away to glory a week or so ago have wilted, and even the good old bougainvillea is looking a tad depleted these days.  Lots of leaves are turning yellow, and it’s clear that the plants, at least, have accepted that summer is on its way and so they are all wilting accordingly.

My edible plants are holding up quite well, though:

My dear little lemon tree – subject of many a custody battle between the mali (gardener) and yours truly – is flourishing, I’m proud to report, and we currently have about 30/35 little lemons.  They’re still green and unripe as yet, but they are definitely lemons in the making.

The little kumquat trees are producing fruit.

Mali & I bicker over these, too.  He says he planted cuttings.  I claim they have grown from seeds…

The “dil” is flourishing.

Ditto the (practically) indestructible lemongrass.

So, basically, come the revolution and food shortages, we can survive.  Sort of. 😛

As long as one can survive on green lemons, dil, lemongrass and kumquats, we’re A for Away 🙂

Our forest of Christmas trees is already under shade cloth,

while this year’s crop of baby trees needs a little more sun, according to the mali, before they, too, are tucked  into a shady corner for the brutal heat-to-come.

Sadly, my lovely roses are no more.

And the Easter Lilies are just starting to grow.  More on them anon.

And, of course, Easter Lilies are another of life’s mysteries.  How do they KNOW when it’s Easter?

To counterbalance all the drooping plants, however, our resident birds are all busy as bees (nice mixed metaphor, there), building nests and drinking up the water that we put out for them.

A pair of hummingbirds (we think) has started building a nest in a pretty daft place – hanging from the wire that connects the temporary light that Bahadur installs whenever he uses the tandoor.

Obviously, this temporary wire and lightbulb will now become permanent, since we are not disturbing the nest-building.  I got loudly tweeted at (literally) when I went close to take these photos just now, so we’re leaving well alone.

A pair of tailor birds is hanging round a lot, too, and we think they may be building a nest in the creeper that has grown up from the ground floor.

While I’ve been typing this, sitting on my terrace, 2 pigeons, a mynah and a laughing dove have all come to drink.

Our water bowl is nothing very fancy – just an old Xmas pud bowl that we’ve tied onto the railings, but it serves.  Squirrels and birds use it all day long.

Note to self – fix a couple more bowls now, so that the birds will be used to them by the time the heat really hits.

Now.  Wasn’t that far more relaxing than politics or the economy?

(Normal service will be resumed soon. Never fear!)

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