Monsoons are made for Dendrobium orchids. I'm convinced of this. This season, like no other, sees my collection of orchids plump themselves up, fluff their petals, green their leaves and get all dressed for the greatest event in their calendar (and mine) ... the grand 'Bloom-your-heads-off Spectacle'!
Which means that in Mumbai, late-July onwards sees a lot of activity and barely-suppressed excitement in the orchid gardens. The flowers are coming!
They come in all shapes and colours but these twisty petalled ones always remind me of the antlers of a Black Buck antelope. Can you see the resemblance too?
This Gardenia has been giving me some sweet dreams lately. I had cut a few flowers to keep in my room some time back and by the time it was ready to be changed, it had already rooted in the vase! I couldn't find an empty pot for it so I then stuck it in a small plastic bag of soil outside my bedroom window, thinking I would find a permanent spot for it later. Before I knew it, it had grown through the bag and had locked itself in place . It obviously liked that spot so who am I to argue? Now its blooms scent the evening air sweeter than the most expensive perfume.
My Brunfelsia bush is in full bloom now. I love the way the colours change from day to day and its very quaint alias , Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow.
My Anthuriums have woken up from their summer stupor. They love these moist days
Look at them go! They're putting out new roots left, right and centre. This is the perfect time to start multiplying them. I'll be cutting them just below the new roots and replanting them.
So from this one plant I can get about three ... the portion with the crown of leaves and the new roots, plus the part remaining with the roots sunk into the soil, which I can again cut across horizontally into two round chunks.
Chunks about 1" tall and with roots are good enough for a new plant. New shoots soon sprout from the nodes and as long as they have viable roots too, I'll have some more gorgeous anthurium plants.
The rainy days had me indoors with nothing much to do except cleaning out a lot of stuff I had stored away in various cupboards. I found this wall-plaque I had made years ago when I went for a terracotta workshop. Isn't it odd how our surroundings pop up in all our creative attempts? That's my cashew tree and all the crows who seem to have taken larger-than-life proportions!
Meanwhile, under the cashew trees, some of my favourite monsoon plants are popping up ... Curcumas! The whole area is a play in green and purple right now. I didn't plant these; they've been there for centuries I think.
So has that wild ixora you can spot between the Curcumas. It is not in bloom yet . Maybe it fears being totally overshadowed by its absolutely flamboyant neighbours!
Imagine pitting yourself against this!