Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pink and Purple Perfection

Every time I see this hot-pink Cosmos beaming at me, I can't help feeling a huge smile building up inside me. It's as simple a flower as can be; absolutely nothing complicated about it. And, it's perfect!
Brilliant colour, easy to grow, a snap to maintain ... what more could a gardener want?
Did someone say 'fragrance'? hmmm ...

I wonder if it's the colour which makes it especially attractive for me?
But no, I'm not that crazy about pinks usually, though I'll always make an exception for Hot Pinks. Or Rani Pink, as we call it in India. Bright colours always get me going!

And then I looked around my garden (and in the hard disk of my computer where all my garden photos are stored) and realised just how many pinks and purples-bordering-on-pink I have cheering up my bit of growing space.
Well, what do you know? Maybe I do have a thing for Pink after all!
Like this very small, very pink bloom. 
I had bought the plant along with a bunch of others but hadn't got around to planting it in the ground yet; it was still in a regular-sized pot. And before I knew it, I was dealing with happy blooms. 
Wow! This is one easy-to-please plant!
And when those pretty blooms grow into fruits, and that too on a plant which is just 1'-tall now if it really stretches, then you know you have a winner on your hands.
And when those fruits are such an unusually pretty shape, appealing to the eye as well as the taste-buds, you know it is Olympic medal-worthy.
Oh, how I love thee, Carambola!

Almost as much as I love the Pride of India. May Queen, Queen's Crepe Myrtle ... call it what you will but this is one spectacular bloom to have colouring up your garden. Or rather, drifts of blooms.
 Even if it isn't exactly pink. Actually, there is a pink-coloured variety too but it never ever bloomed for me.
Yes, it happens to all of us!

But why would I quibble over colour when I have these purply clusters of blooms around golden centres and tipped with silvery gray-green buds. What a palette of colours to tease the senses! 

Incidentally, the internet is no longer content with just good ol'-fashioned lilac, mauve, violet, purple, etc. It insists that this shade of purple is 'Orchid' (not the flower, but the shade) . 
Which Orchid?
This one?
Or this one?
Or... the mind boggles ... could it be this orchid that they've named it after?

Still, for some strange reason I've always been fascinated by the different names we give to shades, such as ' cherry red' or 'peacock blue' or 'vermilion'. I can't always differentiate the minute variances in shade and hue but I love scrolling through colour charts with evocative names like 'pink cloud' or 'plum pudding' or 'purple fish' (seriously? Purple FISH?). 
I feel like I'm reading a children's fantasy book! Or Dr. Seuss at the least.
Then there is this silvery-leaved begonia which blushes very prettily with  a touch of sun.
Ignore those passionfruits, okay? That was just a hijacker trying to take over all available space. And, also ignore that large hole in the begonia leaf. (I'm told that it is usually a sure sign that chemical pesticides are not used in this space. So, yeah... that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

A few pale pinks do make a timid appearance in my garden. They're pretty in a way, I suppose, but in my opinion, pale pastels tend to blend into the background in the tropics. It's something to do with the way the sun glares at them. That super-bright light just bounces off those pale petals until it looks like the nuances are washed out and there is only an eye-scrunching blinding white to be seen. 

It's not so bad when they're indoors. Those pale, pale pinks do look much more attractive away from the sun. Or maybe it's just because it's on an orchid that does it. 

But as far as pinks go, I'm beginning to really love this Hot Pink 'n Sulfur Yellow combination. It's like a blast of steamy tropical colour that shocks you out of your soul . But, hey! I'm nothing if not Tropical with a capital T!