Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October in the garden

The Urban Gardener | Dendrobium Orchid
Come October and a gardener's mind turns to things colourful and bountiful. My garden is flourishing in a giddy cocktail of orchids in full bloom now.
Long pendulant spikes of the dendrobiums look best when the plant is mounted on trees, just as they grow in their natural habitat. The one in the pic above is slowly getting there; it's a first-time bloomer. A debutante!

I am constantly asked whether the mounted orchids are bad for the 'host plant' on which they grow. What they are actually asking is whether the orchids will steal the nutrition from the host.
Er .... no! Orchids are not parasites!
They (the epiphytic orchids, that is. There are plenty of terrestrial orchids which do not grown on trees) only use the host tree as a perch; some place to hang out and live their own life without getting in the way of their host.
The long network of roots that you see is just trying to stabilise the orchid plant, not working their way into the host to steal food!

The Urban Gardener | Cattleya orchid

Then there are the Cattleya orchids that are so flamboyant! Every bloom on these is a cause for celebration.

I have my Catts in pots mostly because I love moving them indoors when they bloom. Unlike the long spikes on the Dendrobiums and Phalaenopsis, the Cattleya blooms are bigger but are way more compact minus the long spikes.
Which is a blessing in our urban homes which are short on space.
Especially when those tight spaces are also inhabited by large, absent-minded humans and waggy-tailed pets!

The Urban Gardener | Cordia sebestena

October is also infamous for its hot, humid, steaming weather, especially in Mumbai. This is the time when I prefer to stay indoors or walk in shaded gardens, sticking to the cooler early morning times to do anything that demands the slightest effort. Which is why I find it so amazing that the birds are as active as ever!

This Scarlet Cordia is a huge draw for the Sunbirds which love its nectar. Seeing them zip around it so energetically makes me consider (and immediately reject) the idea that maybe I should be working out too.
Naaah! In cooler times, maybe.

The Urban Gardener | Dragonfly

If my garden is filled with hyperactive creatures now, the one they just can't beat for sheer energy is the dragonfly. And it's Dragonfly Season now, y'all! Have you seen swarms of them flying in billowing clouds? Don't you just love it?
I love seeing their glistening wings like papery, iridescent rainbows and their almost comical faces which seem to be grinning all the time.
What I love the most? The fact that they're busy hunting down mosquitoes!
Love you dragonflies!!!

And saving the best news for last, here's something else that I love. The Urban Gardener is honoured to be a recipient of the wonderful Golden Trowel Award, 2018 awarded to the top gardening blogs around the world!

A huge thank you to the editorial team at LawnStarter . Love being featured with all those amazing blogs in your list!

Motivation to blog more in 2019? Definitely!