Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Highlights of our backyard

With the official onset of spring, though, the days are yet to become warmer here in the Bay Area, the gardening and planting season has arrived. Since moving from an apartment to a house last year, one of the major attractions and benefits have been in having a nice front lawn and a spacious back yard. While we enthusiastically went and brought several flowers and plants at the beginning of spring last year and enjoyed the blooms, some of them didn't survive the winter months, though the roses and some others did.
This year, K and I made our visit to the local nursery and other garden stores and made some additions to our backyard. The first one being the "plantain/vaazhai tree." Known to survive best under tropical climatic conditions and having had bananas, vaazha poo, etc. from trees in our house in India, this was an automatic entry into our backyard.
The "pink jasmine" aka "jaathi malli" is another favorite that we planted last year, but has started blosomming this spring, the fragrance of this lures us into the backyard more often.
Everybody who has been in the Bay Area is familiar with the citrus trees such as lemon, oranges, madarins etc. which are a common feature in most houses on their front and back yards. Last year, K planted an orange tree, which is yet to show signs of fruit, but, we have a neighbor's tree full of ripe lemons (the size rivels in comparison to the oranges), that have branches sagging with lemons on our backyard. Our neighbors are a bunch of bachelor white guys who are better known as the "scooter boys", since they have a mini auto shop in their house, have no qualms in us sharing the fruits of their lemon tree. Its indeed convenient to go into the backyard and pluck a lemon out of the tree to use it for rasam and other types of cooking. We also share the fruits with friends when they visit our place, they leave with a carry bag full of lemons.

Tomatoes, both Roma and early girl varities thrive well during the spring and we've just planted some this year. Tulip bulbs are also a new addition this year. though, we've only planted a couple of them.

Spring is truly a great time to invest in gardening and enjoy the fruits of labor......

Evening Hours by Ella C. Forbes
The dusk has little gateways
That lead to pleasant homes
Enveloped in the soft light
Before the darkness comes.
Each home is in a garden
Alight with vivid blooms,
And there are fragrant posies
In all the restful rooms.
They are so cool and quiet,
After the hectic day,
After the crowded hours
That rush us on our way.
They are the little havens
Where we may turn to sit
And rest us in a leisure
The day could not permit.


Uma said...

love those lemons hanging from the tree. you have a wonderful backyard.

Me too said...

Nice pictures! How lucky to have such generous neighbour(s)! I would love to have a vegetable garden too. Do share more gardening tips.

priya said...

Those lemons are so lovely. Jadhimalli.. beautiful fragrance.

mitr_bayarea said...

Uma, Aparna and Priya-

Thanks for the comments.

Laksh said...

neat pics! makes me nostalgic for vazha ilai saapadu :)

Me said...

oh my god...vazhai elai ..vazhai poo....i am sucker for vazhai poo parupu usli...eating in vazhai elai...& malli..i have gundu malli but not jaathi....

Jayashree said...

Lovely looking lemons....and u have real generous neighbours....One of my friends had a lemon tree and an orange tree growing side-by-side...they cross pollinated and the oranges looked like lemons but tasted like orange.....she used to bring lots of those to work...

Directhit said...

nice snaps :)

Shankari said...

We have jaadhimalli in our backyard and we are hooked to the fragrance. Question for you, did you see any curry leaf plant in the nurseries?

mitr_bayarea said...

vaazha ellai sapadu is always unbeatable.

vaazha poo usili is usually a favorite in my homes with mor kozhambu combo.

orange-lemon cross pollination-a? sounds interesting.

Nope, don't see any curry leaf plants, though they have cilantro, which we've just planted.

Cham said...

Ha ha, seeing Vazhai Maram, now i want a big backyard too :) I just bought pink jasmine love the fragrance, Try to had some annuals between the perennials , u can really enjoy bloooming till Dec.
One of the quest i am answering : u can get curry leaves plant in sunnyvale Cash and carry . It was 25 bucks (last year - but no stock that day) but now sure no wonder if he says 100. I love plants, u have a beautiful Backyard!

Roop Rai said...

good for you to put effort into your backyard. I wish i can ever get even half that enthu. :)

Spillay said...

I love how the grass looks so green in your lawn!

You have a very nice blog-space here :) . Looking forward to dropping by again.....


A-kay said...

Can I get some of those lemons? :-P Banana is just lovely - I wish I had a good-size backyard :(