Thursday, May 15, 2014

Summer in the garden

Sizzle and burn! Summer is crackling like a seething fire-cracker now, isn't it? Not my favourite time of the year. But then, I could make excuses for the spectacular blooms on almost every tree and in my garden.

It all started with the Red Silk Cotton bursting into bloom one day . Gangly, thorny, leafless branches sprouting massive red blooms almost as if by spontaneous combustion! And out sprang Spring! 

The nectar-loving birds were ecstatic! So was I. I could now feast my eyes on the blooms as well as the birds. Sometimes good things come in 2-for-1 packages!

From there to Summer was just a matter of days and my Pink Cassias decided to follow almost immediately. Spike upon spike of tender pink globes unfurling into zillions of blooms that turned my tree into a rosy cloud!

And the Yellow Copper Pod trees ...! All over Mumbai, every street is smothered with these golden blooms . Masses and clouds of them, billowing and spilling over from one tree to the next.

See their buds and you will immediately know how they earned the 'Rusty' part of their alias, Rusty Shield Bearer. The flower spikes do stick out straight like lances, don't they?

But they are not the only blooms billowing and spilling over. The bougainvillea is in its element now, thriving in the hot, sunny weather. This one here has been rambling all over my fence, linking together with a scarlet bougainvillea and a garlic vine too to make a dense forest of a fence which is almost impenetrable. Somewhere inside that tangle there is a jasmine vine too but I don't think I will ever find where one plant starts and the other stops!

In bloom now is also my Aromatic Turmeric (Curcuma aromatica) which is famed for its cosmetic use.  For centuries, Indian women have been applying a paste of its rhizomes to get glowing skin. I would rather enjoy its gorgeous blooms!

One of the few 'cool' looking flowers now, the Walking Iris stands out for its white-blue flowers. Such an oddity in the midst of all my other summer blooms which look almost volatile in comparison.
Almost as odd is its 'walking' habit. Plantlets grow near the tip of the flower stalk which then bends to the ground and take root there.With each successive generation the Walking Iris soon seems to travel all around the garden, one bending flower-stalk at a time.

This is also the time when my Phalaenopsis orchids are in full bloom. These may be called 'Moth Orchids' but when I look at my Phals, I see purple doves fanning the air with their wings and taking flight!

Fiery red, brilliant yellow, a touch of green; have you ever seen another bloom that conjures up Summer like the Heliconia? Brilliantly hued, showy and attention-grabbers from the word 'go'.... Summer incarnate!

You  want more of Summer and its bounty? Take a look at some of the posts from summers gone by : 
Summer sherbet: Mumbai's flowering trees 
Red-hot summer days
A reluctant ode to Summer
An Indian summer
A summer-ful of fun
Springing into summer
Once upon a bird-bath 
Mumbai: a time for blooming