In this post I show you pictures from my garden from the month of May and explain how things having been going for me in the garden. This image above is a collage of pictures from one of my balconies. A rain forest of sorts but I honestly love it.
### My struggles
My health has largely dictated how my garden grows. Nonetheless slowly, I mean real slowly but surely it is moving in the right direction. The summer here is almost done, but not without having wreaked its usual dose of havoc.
The Indian summer has burned through the leaves to the roots of my plants. To add to my miseries the thunder storms which accompanies such weather were next. Even though for us humans these rains are a respite from the heat it didn't help the plants too much. It either rained too much or too little to be of any help really. Thunder storms here also means heavy winds, plant breakages and damages that follow. Then there were hail stones too added for good measure which only means more damages to the already struggling plants. The good news is through all this I still have some warriors standing tall and proud.
We await the onset of monsoon now, the heaviest rainfall occurs from mid June to the end of July. However, if you plan well enough you can get a few veggies to grow and establish themselves before the rains. I have a few okra plants, a couple of cucumbers , gourds and a single bitter melon. I am okay with that, I cannot handle too much bitterness be it in life or on the palate.
The Good news
My succulents are doing quite well. Almost all the cacti I have bloomed all through summer some are still blooming.
The moss rose and the portulaca grandiflora have been putting on a colorful display. I was a little to late in buying them, but I hope they will survive the rainy season and go on to bloom until winter.
A terrace garden comes with its own challenges. There is the constant need for manure to be able to get the most out of these little plants which could have been shrubs or trees in nature. Pest like caterpillars, slugs and snails are a huge problem in the rainy season, but aphids, white flies and mealy bugs are common through the year.
My one solution for all pests
I add 5ml of white vinegar, dish-soap and neem oil to one liter of water, mix it thoroughly and spray them on my plants for three consecutive days and as a follow up measure once a week until these pests are seen no more. This has worked well for me thus far.
A riot of color
The colors in my garden all through this summer has kept me smiling, happy and in the best of spirits. This is what I love about gardening the most. Success or failure there is always something to smile about, something to enjoy and feel satisfied about. The peace that comes from just watching the flowers day after day is so heavenly. I wouldn't trade that for anything else in this world. All the work does take a toll on my back but it keeps my spirits high and content.
My garden is mostly a frugal garden. I do not spend too much on buying containers, seeds or manure. I compost, collect the seeds from my garden to use them for the next season and I create my own containers from waste plastic. Take a look at some of the broken containers.
I have broccoli growing in the summer heat, mainly for the cuttings. When the temperature cools off I usually take cuttings of these plants to grow more new plants, so too with the cabbages. After I harvest the main head I let the small cabbages grow on the sides and replant them, this way I have cabbages throughout the year. Sadly, last year after I fell ill I couldn't go to the terrace to tend to all this.
My plans for June
I don't have big plans for June and July. I only hope to get a few more veggies going and try to get the best of what I grow. Right now I count my blessings and focus on nurturing my plants.
I believe gardening is not just about growing food or collecting plants like I used to in the past. It's making the best of nature and saving the planet from thoughtless waste we generate every day. A little goes a long way so don't underestimate your power to save.
While eating good, organic food is important, it is also important to grow your own food and become sufficient in more ways than one. The world today is going in a direction where it is important to depend less on the outside world as much as possible.
Having said all this I am going to prepare my best to protect my garden from the onslaught of the rains we expect from the middle of June. Hope to see you all here again with the July edition of my #gardenjournal .
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Until then - Happy gardening!