Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Indian Summer

"SUMMER!" trumpets a hot-pink zinnia, zinging up the garden.
Goodbye cool nights and misty mornings veiled in dew.
Goodbye visiting birds from faraway lands.
Goodbye dreamy, mellow sunlit days, spinning magic in Mumbai.

"SUMMER!" exclaims the sultry Tithonia, flaming orange burning up the flower-beds.
Breathe in the fragrance of jasmines richly lacing the air.
Sneak a peek at the koel hiding in the dense canopy, ruby eyes glinting in the shadows.
Hail the nesting birds on every branch and nook and cranny.
Usher in the season of summer-welcoming, sun-toned fruits; tempting, teasing, inviting...

"Summer! " sighs the languid butterfly as she weaves her way from one colour-burst to the other, smothering them with kisses.
Binge on clouds of blooming trees painting the landscape in swathes of colour.
Immerse the senses in an overdose of summer-time triggers; of colours and fragrances and flavours and birdsongs and sensations.

"Summer!" giggles a bevy of orchids in bloom, flaunting their jewel colours from the precious shade.
Glory in the slightest breeze wafting over the steaming land.
Treasure the patches of deepest shade, the terrain of ancient, towering trees.
A hammock to swing on, a book to dream by, a swig of icy cool tender-coconut juice to sweeten the mood ...


  1. Lovely lines to go with the bright, beautiful pics! Summer hues indeed :)
    The last line takes the cake :)It seems to be setting the mood for a restful long weekend!!

  2. Beautiful! Sultry Tithonia, clouds of blooming trees, bevy of orchids, jasmine laced air!! You are just amazing.

    And I did sneak a peek this morning in Gurgaon, at a koel sitting on Gulmohar branches :)

  3. Very well written. Actually makes you feel warm and happy!

  4. Glad to see you back writing, you famous person you!

    Lisa Q.

  5. Absolutely, Priya! Nothing says Summer quite like those bright colours, right? :)
    Don't you just envy kids who have the whole summer to relax?

    Thanks IHM :)
    And did you notice the Koel's eyes? They fascinate me. I've never seen a creature with such ruby eyes. And this is the season when they hide from the crows because the nesting crows rise up in a fury every time they see a koel. Understandable, don't you think?

  6. Hey thanks, Satwiki :)

    Yes, I really miss blogging when I'm busy doing other things, Lisa. And I'm looking forward to more writing... the typing finger just tingles! :)

  7. Oh is that because the Koel leaves her eggs in the crow's nests? That's not true, is it?

  8. You bet it's true, IHM! I've seen crows wear themselves out fetching food to feed 'their' baby who looks so different (especially the female koel chicks)from them and I'm amused at how such smart birds can be so gullible.
    So every year around this time I see the koels hiding from the crows and every so often I hear a big commotion and sure enough there'll be a whole pack of crows chasing a koel out of the garden :D

  9. Wow!! I hope I am able to catch this action in my neighbourhood!!

  10. I hope so too, IHM. I'd love to see your captures of it :)

  11. I love that first picture! Almost as if I can feel the softness within the flower...

  12. I could visualize all that you so artfully and descriptively wrote. Your images are stunning too. I could feel like I was there, which, BTW, I wish I was. So very pretty.

  13. your words are as beautiful as ur writing.It is so descriptive and informative.BTW,can u enlighten me abt Tithonias?

  14. Thanks, Skeeter :)
    That is a closer look at a hot-pink zinnia. Macros really help you see hidden layers, don't they?

    Thanks, GWGT :)
    Right now I wish I were in a much cooler place. Seriously! You can keep thesunshine, just give me some cool fresh air right now.

  15. Thanks, Antara.
    Tithonias are really easy to grow here in Mumbai. THey're also called Mexican Sunflower so you can imagine how much sunshine they like. You can buy Tithonia seeds from most seed vendors.
    A whole bed of Tithonias can look quite spectacular. Try growing some, Antara. You'll enjoy them.

  16. Summer very well appreciated :) Love this time of the year when everything appears bright and smiling and active...Very beautifully written with bright colourful captures bringing a smile :)

  17. Summer appreciated so well....Love this time of the year when everything is bright and smiling and active...Very well written with summer hues of orange, pink and yellow hues in the captures :) Indeed a season of flowers, fruits, butterflies and birds :) Indeed summer is welcoming and inviting :)

  18. Those are lovely photos with a lovely poem. I am a fan of Zinnias.

  19. Beautiful words, beautiful images. Loved them all.

  20. Hi Sunita,

    Coming from Geek's Web site... You have a lovely garden!


  21. What a lovely ode to the dog days of summer! Loved this post and the photos.

  22. Ahhhhh, yes, summer. It is almost here for us. Yours is beautiful!

  23. And I'm blushing like crazy! I'm so sorry that I didn't reply to all your comments. I did try but my internet connection kept going on the blink every 10 seconds and my replies never showed up. Now all is fine and I'm back again so here goes :

    Absolutely, Reshal! I love those summery hues :)

    Me too, Chandramouli! Zinnias are great stand-bys in my garden. Plus, the butterflies love them too.

  24. Thanks, Anita :)

    Hi Asha, great to see you here. And thanks.

    Kamini! Its so good to see you here again :)Thanks, I knew you'd enjoy these pics but I wishI had your snowbound winter pics to dream on now.

    Barbee, your summer is a benign, gentle one. Mine is a raging scorching incendiary one. I wish I had your summer.

    Thanks Sweta :)

  25. I grow a lot of the same flowers here in the southeast USA. I have pentas and a whole bunch of zinnias (can you even have summer without zinnias?). I love tithonia too. It does so well here in the summer, but I didn't plant any this year. I planted some short sunflowers instead and bachelor buttons for cutting.

  26. You must have a very colourful garden, Anonymous. I wish I could get sunflowers to grow well for me. Or rather, to bloom well. As soon as the buds bloom, parrots descend on them and rip them to pieces :(

  27. i really love zinnias they look lovely on my patio

  28. Absolutely, Richard! They're like a shot of instant colour-booster, aren't they? And they're so easy to grow (here in Mumbai, at least). I think they're one of the most accomodating flowering plants.

  29. hi Sunita

    I m overjoyed to see ur phal orchids blooming in glory !! what kind of media do u use for them ? how often do they bloom? I live in bangalore, the phal that I have in charcoal& coco chip ( 70:30) is a happy plant, but it dsnt bloom...:( how often do u water them ?
    thanks for ur time..:)

  30. Hi Rupa. I use a mix of charcoal and terracotta roof-tile chips. This works well for me because I grow my orchids outdoors. I've seen a lot of people using coco chips to grow them but it doesn't work for me because I can never get the watering right. Plus, it tends to attract termites in my garden and it is just too attractive a hideout for snails and slugs. But, if it works for you, go with it. I water my phals every day during summer and once in 3 days during winter (such as it is!)
    Phals like to have a temperature fluctuation to initiate blooming, Rupa. This should not be so difficult for you in B'lore.

  31. @sunita

    thanku so much for ur input. Yes, I agree, cocochips r very triky to use, nd yesterday I found a growing snail in my phal pot !!!! but I was little hesitant to remove all the cocochip because I thought they r only source of water for the root in the media, but now that u r saying ur phal r blooming in chacoal nd tile pieces then I shud try it too. I hav managed to get blooms frm dendrobium even without adding cocochip but not from phal.
    thanks again for the help...:)

  32. Rupa, the phal roots dont really need coco chips. They would be just as happy in a medium of rough stones (as I've seen them grow in a couple of orchid cut-flower producing farms).
    They're epiphytes just like dendrobiums and the main purpose of the coco chips is in keeping the plant stable in the pot as well as in keeping the medium moist during the dry months.
    By the way, are the leaves dark green or pale green or an intermediate apple green? If it is dark green then it needs more light. Aim for apple/ parrot green leaves.

  33. This is a wonderful blog. Kudos to Sunita & the team. Going green should be everyone’s mantra! There is a very useful site for all garden lover’s in India and their gardening needs – www.groveflora.com. Everyone should try to grow their own flowers and vegetables in the cities.


Hi, hope you enjoyed reading this post? Tell me what you think about this post; I love hearing from you.
But please note ... if there's a link in the comment, it will not be approved for publishing (sorry, but I'm getting way too much spam with links).