Saturday, January 26, 2013

Plant Markers

I came to know about Plant Markers from Dave's Garden in my early years in that website.  Gardeners have used myriad items to label their plants in their beds.  They have used discarded spoons, ice cream sticks, Venetian blinds, whatnot.  Some companies even manufacture and sell their plant markers, but some gardeners prefer to make their own as it is so much fun.  Also it is a way to recycle or reuse materials suitable for this.  

Some years ago [2006] I had tried to put paper in a plastic cover and hang it to the plants or put it at its base.  But the writing in it got completely faded in the weather.  I tried marker pens and that too did not help.  

Then came the wax crayons, which was a flop.  

There was another method.  Thin foil was to be embossed by writing.  Insufficient foil availability, so dropped it.  In the end, I thought paint would be the best bet and it is. Worth the extra work.
I had plenty of electric casings, of plastic. This suited for plant marker labels.  It had failed to retain all of them before - marker ink and crayons.  Recently, I made up my mind, skipping the afternoon nap and sat to make a list of plants to which labels would be nice. It would also serve me to brush the memory as I look at them when I water.  I also plan to make a chart of Butterflies that I've found in the Yarden, so that I would look at it when I have nothing else and that way, the memory of names would stick better.  
I had quite a few of these plastic labels I had prepared 2-3 years ago.  They had to be hung on a stiff wife and pierced into the soil.  So I painted some 15-20 and this long-pending project finally materialized. 

It was tough to start with, as I had not used that size 'zero' thin brush. Taking the right amount of paint on it to write properly is a must.  No less, no more.  

I chose the bench beside the pond to do this, because I like that skylight and the sun was behind me. 

This time, I put the maker's name on them, just for fun! 
As soon as the paint was dry, I placed them where they were meant to go.  I hope they last as long as the plant.

Look at the one I wrote with a marker pen.  All gone. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Latest views of Yarden

In the last two days, I happened to capture some views of the Yarden.  Second week of January, 2013. 

Pot section.  Look how many Epidendrums are in bloom! 

My first attempt at tomato growing.  They grow tall!!  These 4-5 plants planted close together are giving some nice fruits.  Next time, I'll increase spacing.  Only after I learnt that it requires support, I planted beside the trellis.


Gerbera on the left, Gladioli on the right, tomato in the centre [of this picture]

This is how we enter the Yarden.  The Bird Bath greets there.  That old gate is now in good use!

4 days ago, I painted the gate, using wood primer to which I mixed some green paint.  Just for run! 

Tomato again. 

Another view from the passageway. 

The front yard occupied by trees and pond.  

Bed beside the west wall and junk shed in the corner.  I also keep firewood / twigs under the junk-sheet shelter.

Front driveway, stone trough, hibiscus, Basil.


I plan to trim down the side-growing branch of the Almond tree that overhangs the pond. 

House.  Right side - Yarden passage, pots section and a few plants visible.

Front. What do you call this?  Patio? Basil plant for worship can be seen in a cement pot on brick pedestal.  I keep some more pots with plants that like some shade.  

My Yarden, a little one here, viewed from the bay balcony. The right half is to be the ornamental garden and the left would be the kitchen garden.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Playful Spotted Doves

Spotted Doves are among the common birds in our locality.  I have not observed where their nests are.  But I reckon their nests to be in my neighbour's large trees.  The first thing I hear in the morning as soon as skylight appears on the horizon, is its unique 'bubbly calls' from above the bedroom roof tiles.  It's here!

They are enjoying my yarden where they find something to search on the ground or to peck in the grass.  My grass is the naturally growing Cynodon dactylon - Bermuda grass as it is called.  

[ Old picture ]

I have also provided some water sources for the birds which they need very much. Though there is an exclusive bird bath where other birds visit for a dip or a drink, these doves prefer to use the larger stone trough for their drink.  The vintage trough contains water lilies.

[Old picture of the trough without the dove on it]

Yesterday morning I saw a couple of them in a very playful mood, first on the plastic roof, then on to the electric cable before they hopped on to the Almond tree where they can find a flat area like a 'helipad' [the chopped portion of the huge tree that had grown very tall.  When they fly, their lovely black and white tail feathers show up in a fan like shape.  Enjoy some pictures.

Hop and land

All wings

That's not a trampoline, but electric line.

Now you hop.


Look at the tail feathers.

Shouldering responsibility.


Since they were in a different mood, I could stand and capture some images.  At other times, when they visit, they fly away on sighting me from a distance. They are quick to fly away but the cat is faster.  Cats capture them if they go where they are hiding in wait, either from behind the water trough or a little bush.  They seem to know when their 'food arrives'.  Many have succumbed, but that is Nature's food chain.  Yet, I was uneasy the whole day it happened in front of my eyes.  We do not feel for it when a toad catches an insect, but this was a bit hard.