Kumuli, Kerala













































The credit for this series goes to Vinod.

A place so green

I love gardening. It passed on from mum to the three of us. I suppose, I love it so because of its incredible power to clam and rejuvenate. More than anything else, I love it because I can enjoy the very fruits of my labor. When I was younger, I would help mum formulate her ideas into actions by digging, moving, sowing and the like. Then when I got married and began setting home up, I began my own experimentation. The newbie gardener only toyed around with ornamental plants. Then our move to Texas happened. Out of 12 months in a year, Texas has 3 great months – one in spring and two in fall. I would diligently try every spring and fall to grow something only to lose them to the harsh winters and summers. I never gave up. The container gardens always remained robust during the good seasons.  I couldn’t see my plants wilt away to the ice and frost. So I stopped gardening and gave my tools and supplies away to a friend.

Here I am at another interesting point in my life with a sea of changes around me. Bangalore is blessed in every sense of the word with good weather. You can throw anything into the ground and see it spring forth into life. So the three of us have started investing again in growing more plants. Only this time, it is not ornamental. We are attempting to grow a small patch of veggies, herbs and fruits.Very ambitious for the small patch we have, but hey, never say never.

When we stepped into our garden for the very first time, the first thing that met our eyes were under-nourished plants. The lawn was robust and green on one side and almost non-existent on the other. The shrubs that were supposed to be mature by now still look like saplings. We figured we have the problem of shade and light. One patch received direct sunlight and the other received none. The gardener told us that it is futile to try growing anything on the shade side of the garden. We are giving it a go either ways. So here’s what we have started off with in week one:

We’ve loosened out the mud to aerate it. The mud over a period of three years has been untouched, and therefore, was tight and locked. Once the digging was done, we added more mud to top-up the layer we’ve lost. This was followed by organic manuring. Understanding the goodness of vermicomposting over regular composting has been a journey of discovery. We’ve layered the entire patch, including the grass with a thin layer of vermicompost. The results are already visible.

The photograph above was taken in early October of 2011. The ones you see below were taken yesterday.