Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An Indian Garden

Well, here in my garden the snow has finally melted away and the sun has come out.  Even though we got a brief flurry yesterday, the overall temps are slowly rising, and the sight of bulb tips rising out of the ground is enough to give this winter-weary gardener a cause for celebration!

While I wait for temperatures to rise enough for gardening to begin in earnest, I thought I'd share pictures of a garden in southern India.  Last fall we visited Mr. Red House's grandparents in Bangalore, and his grandmother has a beautiful, lush garden filled with tropical plants.


There were many plants I couldn't identify, not being as familiar with tropical plants.  The impressive specimen that anchors the corner of the yard has now been identified as a Sago Palm (thanks to Linda from Southern Rural Route!)

an overhead view
The nearby flower stalks of Heleconia (thanks, Usha, for identifying these!) were very pretty and exotic.


In the shady front yard a vine with small white flowers climbs along the wall.  A bench under the mature tree in the corner is a nice place to sit and enjoy the cooler shade.  The focal point, though, is the striking decorative planter which holds a Holy Basil plant (thanks again, Usha, for correctly identifying that one!)


If you look closely, you can see patterns drawn in chalk on the cement around the planter, a practice common in India.


To the side of the house is a small courtyard is lined with crotons and flowering shrubs.


My favorite plant held sprays of small white, freckled flowers, that the butterflies enjoyed.


A larger shrub (possibly Ixora?) held bunches of interesting red and orange flowers.



They have several fruit trees, including a coconut palm tree.  On another occasion when we were in India, they had a guy climb it and throw down some coconuts for us to eat.  It was impressive to see the guy climb the tree - he climbed it so quickly and with no safety ropes of any kind!  The coconut milk and meat were delicious.


There were a variety of hibiscus shrubs in the garden.  (Those I recognized!)


My favorite was a graceful pale pink variety, whose flowers never open, but instead stay whirled around the center stalk.  (Thank you to Usha, who I should hire as my tropical plant expert, for identifying these as a Turk's cap variety!)


Mr. Red House's grandmother also had a similar one in red.


Right next to one of the doors grew a large Hibiscus mutabilis shrub, whose flowers only last for one day, but slowly change their color from white in the morning...


...to dark pink by the afternoon.


Many of the flowers they would cut in the mornings to float in bowls of water or to place in their prayer room.  However, even if they cut all of the flowers, the garden would still never be without color with the profusion of colorful foliage in it.

colorful Croton leaves
It was so much fun to visit a garden with such different plants than mine.  Bangalore is known as the 'Garden City' of India.  Many of the streets are lined with flowering trees, and it is so lush and green there, that it is easy to see why!

auto rickshaw turning into the driveway
Happy spring gardening!

24 comments:

  1. Oh this is beautiful! I have book-marked this page so that I can enjoy this gorgeous garden again and again. Brilliant photos too. I really need to get back to India... I could sit and watch Hibsicus mutabilis all day long!

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    1. Those color changing flowers were so fascinating! So fun to watch! It was a great visit.

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  2. First photo you want identified is Sago Palm. The white to pink is probably what we call October Rose. Wish I knew what those very tropical looking pink blooms are -- love that. Love the idea of streets lined with flowering trees. This view of India was a real treat. Thanks so much for changing my stereotype.

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    1. Thanks for the id! Looking online, it says that the color-changing Hibiscus is also known as 'Confederate rose' - possibly it's known as October rose there?

      When I first visited India, we went on a tour of several different parts of India and I was amazed at how different the areas were. Much like the US, it is so big that it has mountains, tropical paradises, desserts, and forests. I used to think that parts of Bangalore had almost a suburban feel to it with all the tree lined streets. Now with the technology boom there, it has built up quite a bit, but it still has some very pretty parts.

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  3. The decorative planter probably holds a Holy Basil(Tulsi) plant , not a curry leaf. the second one is Heliconia. The closed hibiscus looking is probably big turk's cap.

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    1. Thank you so much for all the id's! I'm going to blame Mr. Red House for the decorative planter mistake, since he's the one who told me it was a curry leaf plant... :) After reading about the Holy Basil plant, that makes more sense for it to be in such a beautiful place of prominence!

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  4. Beautiful! So fresh and lush. Does it rain a lot in Bangalore?

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    1. They have a monsoon season, so they get quite a lot of rain during that time.

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  5. I would have never thought to see such a lush garden in India. It is very beautiful and so tropical in feel. I am not sure what I imagined would grow there, but have to say probably I viewed it differently, maybe drier than it looks. Thanks for this look into a place I will never get a chance to see.

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    1. India is so big that there are a lot of different climates from the desert to the tropics. When I first went to India I was amazed at the tropical paradise that you can find in the Southern part of India.

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  6. I love those Heliconias! I remember seeing them in Hawaii and being impressed with their form and beauty. Your garden shots of India make me want to go there even more than I did before. Thanks for sharing these beautiful scenes!

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    1. There are some beautiful areas there, for sure! I hope you get the chance to go some time!

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  7. Those gardens are stunning. And it's amazing how those "houseplants" do so well outside! :)

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    1. I even recognized a Pothos in her garden, which is such a popular houseplant here! It was so interesting to see them outside!

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  8. It's always amazing to see what we consider "indoor plants" growing in gardens and the wilds of tropical countries. Thx for the tour, Indie!

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    1. It was neat to see a garden so different than my own and so funny to see all our 'houseplants' outside!

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  9. Indie, I enjoyed this post very much! The garden is so lush and delightful throughout. The Hibiscus mutabilis is amazing!

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    1. The Hibiscus was so awesome! The gardener kept cutting the flowers in the morning to float in bowls of water, and we kept trying to convince him we really did want to watch them turn pink on the bush!

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  10. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love all the color, and everything looks so green! I can imagine all the scents, too. What a gorgeous garden. Even the paved driveway is pretty.

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    1. I love how the driveway is lined with plants. So lush looking!

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  11. What an amazing garden, and so many beautiful flowers! I love hibiscus but I have never seen those that doesn’t open. I have heard of Turk's cap lilies but not of Turk's cap hibiscus so had to look them up, so interesting. And the one that changes colour is just priceless!

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    1. I had never seen those either. They look so delicate and pretty!

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  12. How wonderful that your in laws are also gardeners and you get to visit. Love that tropical vegetation especially the heleconium. I have the sago palm but it is brown as can be, burnt by a very cold Texas winter. I do see a crown so imagine that it will come back. They have been around since the dinosaurs roamed so they are pretty tough.

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  13. Indie so different lush and exotic especially the hibiscus.

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