Friday, October 29, 2010

Orchids and almost-winter

My garden is awash with orchid blooms right now. The summer-to-monsoon climate swing triggers this deliriously happy bloom-time for my orchids and I'm thoroughly enjoying it!

They're all over the place. In pots, on trees... everywhere. And I have to admit, these dendrobium orchids look their glorious best tied or 'mounted' (as the technical term goes) on to trees. But obviously, that's their natural comfort zone!

My dendrobiums have been mounted on just about every tree that has a reasonably rough bark (forget guava trees!) for them to glue their roots to. They absolutely love the teak trees and mango and ... they're not fussy. So long as the bark is rough and the canopy gives them enough shade at noon while not cutting off all that lovely sunlight at other times, they're happy.
True, you can't move them indoors when you want to but just the sight of all those beautiful arching spikes filled with blooms makes it all so very worthwhile, doesn't it?

We're racing towards, Diwali, the festival of lights and laughter. The Calliandra has been giving me goosebumps of anticipation everytime I see its scores of red sparkler-like filaments lighting up the garden.

The end of blistering-hot October is in sight and I'm already getting a peek into almost-winter. That's what we have here in Mumbai ... almost-winter. Not as cold as you would associate with the word 'winter' but definitely not sweaty-hot, either. A beautiful, exhilirating chill that makes you feel so glad to be alive and gardening!


  1. What a colourful treat, Sunita. The first is my favourite.

    What migrant birds have you got in your garden? I have got the Indian Pitta among other things.

  2. Lovely blooms, particularly the red spikes.

  3. I love all of your orchids and how wonderful they look in your gardens.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind comment.


  4. Wowie!!
    Yes..its almost winter.. Love the orchids..more so those mounted on trees.. as you call it :)
    Lovely pics Sunita!

  5. Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Diwali.

  6. Sunita we are sweltering here too and can't wait for December for cooler nights. Love you orchids to death! Some of mine are blooming too. I have been transferring mine to my old gnarled tamarind tree. The Calliandra is stunning, come to think of it I have to go check mine out in the shade house. Have a great weekend my friend.

  7. Hey, thanks Aila :)
    Indian Pitta ... that is definitely colourful! And I've got a Golden Oriole. I think. I keep spotting a flash of gold flitting between the trees.

    Thank you, FlowerLady. That is so nice of you to say so :)

  8. Oops! That was meant for you, Amila. My fingers tend to skip some keys on the keyboard sometimes.

  9. Absolutely, Aaron! These must be such a common sight for you, though.

    Thanks Priya :)

    Thank you, Lubna. And here's wishing you and yours a many-splendoured Diwali too.

  10. Helen, I bet your orchids are singing your praises for being smart enough to move them to the tamarind tree!
    From one tropical gardener to the other, here's to December and winter!

  11. Very beautiful Orchids!
    It must be great to see them growing in their natural enviroment

  12. Thank you, fer. They definitely look amazing growing the way Nature intended them to. I think the flower spikes are longer and infinitely more beautiful with its arching flower-laden form.

  13. Hi Sunita, Glorious, there is no other expression for your divine (oh there is another one) Orchids. When ever possible I plant or hang my Orchids into the trees. The Dendrobiums in my garden have finished flowering a while ago. Love the sparkle of the Calliandra.
    Sunita about the Broms; I generally grow them in the ground. Vriesias do not like wet roots. If you keep the broms in pots make sure the mix is porous like an orchid mix in terracotta pots and only fill the leaf vase with water.

  14. I agree, Trudi, orchids can be so gloriously divine when blooming. Especially the phal-type dendrobiums. Do your dendrobiums wait for a temperature swing to start blooming too?
    Thanks for all that information about the broms, Trudi. I can't find much information about them here. Love the internet! :)

  15. Your orchids are gorgeous! We can only grow those here in greenhouses or as house plants! The red flower looked like a firecracker! Awesome!! :0)

  16. Hi Sunita, I love your orchids rambling up a tree. Such gorgeous colours. My Dens have finished. I mostly grow them up or under trees in pots, which have so overgrown with roots that I am not able to take the orchids out. They seem to be OK!
    The Calliandra sparkler is very pretty. Yesterday was the first "really" hot day, summer is upon us.

  17. Hi!
    These pics are absolutely magnificent with such cool colors of nature.
    I came across your blog on internet and wondered why I haven't visited it before. I am a hobby gardener myself and love to see my plants grow and produce nice flowers.

    I am an instant follower and bookmarked the blog instantly.
    On my first visit to the blog I would like to share something too. I recently came across a magnificent resource which gives us a wonderful opportunity to Organize Seeds easily and conveniently. And the best thing is that its still FREE to join.
    I am sure that you and other blog followers will love it too!
    I hope to learn more about gardening from you and other fellows here.
    Happy Gardening

  18. I am your regular reader,for your wonderful snaps and i must say that these are one of the best..Whatz your cucumbers doing?

  19. Beautiful, as ever! You're tempting me to get more orchids but I have to hold firm or I won't be able to see my windows again.

  20. Ah, to grow such glorious orchids as yours, Sunita! And in trees, no less. My mother did that in her Australian garden. They are beautiful growing in the forks of a Ghost Gum (Eucalyptus with white bark).
    The Calliandra is absolutely spectacular and yes, it does remind me of fireworks.
    Enjoy your cooler season garden. I'd love to escape from our long, cold winter and share your milder climate :)

  21. Happy Diwali everyone! I took some time off for the festivities and am just getting back to replying.

    Thank you, TS :)
    Orchids are not as widely available here in nurseries as I would like but the ones I do manage to find, I thoroughly appreciate them and make sure they're displayed at their best in my garden. Which means, tied on to trees so they develop long arching spikes :)

    Thanks, Trudi. Those orchid roots can get really possessive, can't they?:D
    It seems so strange to hear about your hot summer days when we are finally enjoying cool winter-ish ones!

  22. Thank you, Katrina. So glad you enjoyed The Urban Gardener :)
    And thank you for sharing that link, I'm sure many of my blog readers will like to check it out.

    Hi Nimmy! Thanks, somehow orchids look so luxuriously beautiful, don't they?
    The cucumbers and gourds are over. It was a bit haywire this year as it rained so much that most of my plants got washed off. Still, the ones we rescued were really good. Now its the season for our 'winter' crops i.e., what those in temperate lands call their summer crops :D

  23. Hi Shady C! :)
    There's always room for just one more orchid, isn't there? While I have all the space in the world in my larger garden, I'm always on the lookout to see what I can get rid of in my tiny apartment so I can find space for one more orchid ;D

    Thank you, Kerri :) But you are a fine one to talk... with your amazing colour-burst of a garden you have no need to wish for orchids!
    I'm sure that what we call winter would be a hot summer day for you, but yes I am enjoying it! :)

  24. In the middle of Mumbai no less! You never cease to amaze. Loved the butterfly post as well.

  25. Gorgeous orchids and great pictures you've posted. Hope you had a great Diwali.

  26. The orchids are really gorgeous. They are like precious jewellery on the tree. All of them seem to open to celebrate Diwali with you!

  27. Hey thanks, GB :) Its so easy to sit back and let the flowers do all the hard work while I take the credit ;D
    So glad you liked the posts.

    Thank you, Keats. Yes it was a great Diwali this year with fewer noisy crackers ( I hate those!)everywhere and more lights.

  28. A time for requests?

    What about a serious
    inventory for the botanically inclined?

    Good luck in your projects!

  29. Hmmm.... that is an idea, Antigonum Cajan. I'll get started on that inventory soon.
    And thank you for the wishes :)

  30. Wow,Sunita! It's a treat to see your beautiful flower photographs. I can only dream about your warm weather. Right now I have to look at here is snow!

  31. Thank you, Anne (hmmm... I distinctly remember replying to your comment but it seems to have disappeared into cyber-space)

    Thanks, Becky!
    You have no idea how far I am ready to travel in summer to get a bit of the weather you have right now! "Nothing but snow" sounds perfect in our sultry, hot humid 36*C+ Mumbai summers :)


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