My son and his family live in Tennessee. So I visit every year, sometimes twice a year. When he lived in Nebraska I was not so gungho to go there as the winters are extreme and the summer no less. But here in Tennessee the weather is more conducive to gardening which is what keeps me occupied while I visit.
The first to show are the day lillies in the back yard. They grow vigourously and are very low maintenance. What is difficult is the weeding between the clumps. when we water and fertilize, we encourage the weeds to grow up, especially the grass which intrudes from the lawn.
So this time my son who had bought planting fabric and pine straw from Home Depot asked for help to keep the beds weed free. It took a long time to free the beds of weeds and then between us we laid the fabric. Then he cut out holes in the fabric to let the lillies peep out. Have a look in the picture above at the effort and time spent, but, it helps to keep the place weed free for the season!
In the west there are no maalis like we have who weed and clean all day long. One has to do it oneself OR hire a gardening service which is very expensive. As my son says anyway Mum it gives me a good workout and I will do it as long as I am young.
It was a fun trip with us three classmates getting together in one of our homes in Dubai. I had never been to the Middle East and so it was an eagerly awaited trip. Starting off with a wonderful 3 hour comfortable flight to Dubai and being picked up by our friends, the city was a revelation to me. Skyscrapers almost touching the sky, magical lights glittering as we drove home, a maze of fly overs intersecting one another. What a wonderful and shining example of mans drive and ambition to achieve in just 50 years.
The malls were massive, but more suited to the western mind. I loved the souks which breathed the life of Dubai. The incense curling upwards, the brightly lit lamps in the shops, the multicoloured Turkish plates and the sacks of spices to entice and invite. That was the real Dubai I enjoyed the most. And ofcourse crossing the Dubai creek on one of those old fashioned motorised dhows.
Enjoy Dubai from its skyscrapers and snowski slopes in the mall, to the date palms and the rambling old souks. And dont miss going into a local restaurant to savour Arabian food. It's a holiday of a lifetime and one you should make to enjoy.
Living in Bangalore with it's salubrious climes definitely has it's advantages. I love Crotons and today they have a hybrid which is in sale which is small and dwarf enough to grow on one's balcony. However one definitely needs the sun to enjoy the changing colours in the leaves. Have a look at the first picture and then see how the colours change with the sun playing artist with colours.
Crotons when we were kids were pretty large shrubs grown in the sprawling gardens of Bangalore. Now we can still enjoy their colourful foliage with this dwarf variety. I have a great collection as we give them out to our guest authors in my iBrowse book club and so I collect one every month! So here's to all my balconies being filled up with these really easy to grow yet colourful plants.
Usually the Tabebia Argentia is all ablaze across Bangalore, India between January and February. Also known as the ‘Golden Trumpet Tree’ or ‘Yellow Trumpet Tree’, and this refers to the tree's magnificent blaze of golden flowers at this time of year. Silver Trumpet Tree is a small and very beautiful semi-deciduous tree from the tropical rainforests of South America. It grows around 3 to 6 metres tall, forming a nice and airy canopy.
When the flowers bloom, they put on a brilliant display, being covered profusely in 8cm bright yellow, trumpet shaped flowers. The leaves often drop just before the flowers appear. Some trees drop 100% of their leaves, making the flowers even more prominent and spectacular. When many trees are planted in a group, the effect is stunning.Landscapers use them to great effect in public and institution gardens that they plan.
The tree is a fast growing species. They are not good near pools or anywhere where you don’t want
leaves and flowers to drop as they are pretty messy. But the most important point is that they don’t have invasive roots and best of all are pest resistant, so no maintenance.
This time we had to rush down to Pilerne in the rain. Normally we avoid Goa in the rain as it can be hard handling the sheets that pour down from the heavens, all the day, everyday. However this time there was no choice. The water bills were crazy and we had to com and handle them as the caretaker just could not. Government offices do not take kindly to caretakers. And, if they find someone to harass, they wont release him in a hurry.
As we drove into the village and through our bowl of the rice fields the green as far as the eye could see was intoxicating. What a wonderful and pleasing view and we had missed this year after year. Paddy growing in the fields, in varying shades of green and in the distance a white cross to remind us that what was there was a gift from the almighty.
As we droe over the little bridge we could see the water of the creek was in high tide. That meant this was when the little boys and men who fish for cat fish would get their act together. Along the sides of the creek grew mangroves and have been there ever since I was a little girl.
I hopped out of the car to get a picture with the fields in the back ground. What a wonderful, wonderful welcome for us.
After a while the amount of info that a brain can handle becomes saturated and one needs to get out of conference rooms to breathe. That is what happened to a colleague and me in Zaragoza. We were invited there to cover the 2015 UN Water, Annual International Zaragoza Conference. So we hitched up our back packs and took off to the nearest bus stop. In minutes some friendly faces advised us taking bus 35 to down town Zaragoza where we could go and see the main Plaza. Costing us hardly 1.2 Euros we bought our tickets with the conductor and off we went jumping off at a spot the driver advised us to get off at.
As we walked we noticed this market in a beautiful arched building. All sorts of fresh produce were on sale as you can see in the pictures below especially my absolutely favourite garlic.
There were beautiful green chillies and also very prettily veined cabbages -- see pictures below:
And best of all a shop with what looked like home made sausages! Obviously the Spanish love their pork and sausages!
Then once we had filled our minds with the colour and our sense of smell with the food on display off we went to see Julius Ceasars Baths and wall and marvel at the ingenuity to the Romans to come so far afield to capture parts of Zaragoza to add to their conquests.