Monday, February 27, 2017

The golden beauty in Bangalore, India

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.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Goa in the rain

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.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The rain has rejuvenated the garden

With copious amounts of rain blessing the skies of Bangalore, the garden is thrilled and showing off in it's best and most brilliant avataar.
Foliage plants which Bangalore is famous for have been planted With the rain they preen every morning and make great photo opportunities for me.
As for the Bimbli tree, it is outdoing itself with fruit. It is a quirky tree as the fruit grows directly on the branches and makes a lip smacking sweet sour pickle which is very easy to make.
And the pink geranium too is flowering happily, making a colourful splash in one corner of the garden.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Walk about in the Zaragoza Market

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. e
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.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The beauty of Zaragoza

The amazing beauty of Spain cannot be denied lies not in its large cities but in the smaller cities like Zaragoza. So when I was selected to attend the 2015 UN Water, Annual International Zaragoza Conference a shiver of excitement ran up and down my spine. Having stayed in Europe for two years while doing a Masters course in Journalism I fell in love with the beauty and history of Europe. Ofcourse we were going for a Water Conference so the whole day we were busy working in halls just swotting over water issues, but come the evening we got the time to wander around and Zaragoza is safe for women alone even at night.
Landing in Madrid we were charmed by its wonderful T4 S terminal with its very unusual roof, quite unlike any other in the world. It set the tone for our expectations of Madrid and Zaragoza. Collecting our luggage off the carousel in Madrid we headed for the railway station called Atocha. What a stunning building and all the way there we stared at the beauty of the huge fountains in Madrid.
Standing and waiting in a que for my Renfe ticket was a new experience with having to take a chit with a number and waiting for the number to get called. However rather than pay 75 Euros for my ticket if bought online like my colleagues did, I paid 55 Euros as it was one of the last tickets left to be bought.It took an hour for the speedy Renfe to get m into Zaragoza and into my rather modern Tryp Hotel. All the way the scene outside my train window showed quaint villages in very arid looking countryside.
Reaching Zaragoza finally I asked around for my hotel in the cold evening air and few knew the name. Then finally it was the cab driver who almost walked me to my hotel, people are that friendly and helpful in Spain.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Growing hanging baskets in London

Am on a visit to the UK to my older son David's home. He has a brand new home which is in dire need of the garden being done up. The first thing I was keen on was to grow hanging baskets. So off we went to a garden centre and bought a couple of baskets from there. We also bought a bag of compost, little realising that at the end of the garden there was a lot of old composted grass! Each basket needed a fair bit of soil, so I dug out some compost from the back and filled the base of the baskets. Then I poured in both baskets and equal amount of compost from the bag. It looked pretty much like ours except that it was sieved! We had bought trays of Petunias which we put down into the baskets. Both trays were identical so that we got both baskets looking pretty much the same. Take a look at the initial picture.
In no time the little plants that I put down grew double their size and began to peep out of the baskets. Have a look, its fun to make baskets but I agree you need the British summer weather to maintain them!

Friday, May 2, 2014

A visit to the Smokies!

The green had splotches of white streaked across like some giant painter had decided to show off his skills. The Dogwood were in bloom across the Smoky Mountains in Knoxville Tennessee and we were driving through to enjoy them.
Every now and then we stopped the car to admire the streams gushing down the mountains making pictures that could be framed on any formal wall. The Dogwood are pure white and looked amazing against the green of the new spring foliage of the trees. All that came out of us were gasps at the beauty of the scene. Take a look at the picture and you can see what I mean.
There were Cayote and a couple of deer and to our amazement three Black bear that everyone who visited that day were able to view.