All through the last weeks of May and the first days of June, most Indians have been looking to the skies. For answers and signs of the monsoon rains. With India being a predominantly agrarian country, the rains decide whether the country grows enough to feed its 1.25 billion people or relies on imports to satiate hunger and demand. And last evening, we saw the first signs of a healthy monsoon, amid fears of the rains being a poor show this year.
And so the flora-files march on (see past posts, starting from the most recent here). Continuing these posts has become a way for me to reflect on the wonderful opportunities I had at Xandari and around Costa Rica to come into contact with a lot of fascinating and beautiful flora and fauna. As I peruse my photo catalogs and look for pictures to post, I feel like I’m back there, even briefly. Continue reading
Although, as I detailed in my last post, my internship at Xandari is over, I still have a great backlog of images that I never had a chance to upload while there. (My computer broke.) I’d like to share the better of those photos with everyone here. I’ve named this post “flora-files” because I think the title sort of punny: “files” in the sense of records on Xandari’s flora; and “file” in the sense of the Greek φίλoς (philos), “love,” the same one that shows up in “Philadelphia” or “audiophile.” Look out for more from the flora-files… I’ll detail where I find these flowers around Xandari in the caption, so that if you’re lucky enough to be here while they’re in bloom, you can go seek them out.
Xandari’s guests often remark on how difficult it is not to take dozens, even hundreds, of photos around the resort–one reason for that is the abundant flora. Even though I know I probably shouldn’t do another post on flowers (see my others here and here), I will use a similar excuse and say that I have a very hard time walking by the amazing blooms and not pulling out my camera to snap a quick picture. Flowers only bloom for a short time before dropping their petals and waiting in repose for the next season–this small window of loveliness is one of the reasons why they are so compelling. Continue reading
Recent posts on flowers at Xandari (here and here) have gotten me thinking about all of the work that goes into making such beauty possible. Mostly I had in mind Xandari’s head gardener, José Luis, and his excellent team. Snapping the above photo, however, I was reminded of nature’s great contribution in the process. Continue reading
The flower shows at Bangalore’s famous Lalbagh Botanical Gardens are annual events that add another reason to attract visitors to the beautiful gardens. More than 175 varieties of flowers and vegetables are on display. The showcase also features huge floral structures in the shape of mangoes, mushrooms, coconuts and more. Continue reading
Flowers are an integral part of Indian festivals; people use them on a daily basis for offerings to their gods and goddesses at home. In India, people come door-to-door, similar to the way milk men make deliveries, and provide fresh flowers to every household — the large demand for floral offerings is catered to by the flower markets prominent in almost every major city in India. Continue reading
The first day of the Onam celebrations starts on Atham day during the Malayalam month of Chingam, which this year falls today, 7th September 2013. The date is ten days before Thiruvonam. The creation of Athapookalam is an important part of every Onam festival. This special, circular arrangement of flowers is one of the most iconic Onam traditions. Continue reading
Lotus, the national flower of India, symbolizes beauty, majesty, spirituality, purity, wealth, serenity and knowledge. It is an aquatic plant that belongs to the Nelumbonaceae species with broad floating leaves and bright aromatic flowers that grows in shallow waters. Its seeds, leaves, flowers and roots are all edible and used in a variety of medicines. Lotus is also a sacred flower for Hindus and Buddhists. Continue reading
Honeysuckle is a popular garden plant widely growing throughout the world. The rambling varieties are extremely popular, because they are very adaptable, twining happily around climbing supports, bushes or growing over the ground. Because of their intense fragrance, these flowers are popular in the vicinity of seating areas.
Rock Balsam is native to Peninsular India. It grows widely in the Western Ghats, occurring in small or large clusters in the hills up to 800 – 2400 meters on wet rock faces. The lavender flowers are showy and stand out daintily from the rounded heart-shaped leaves.
The dahlia is a tropical plant widely cultivated in the Western Ghats of India. In Kerala, as in locations around the world, the plant is popular for its beautiful flowers. This decorative flower is found in gardens and farms of the high ranges, creating a kaleidoscope of colours, sizes and shapes.
Chemparathy (shoe flower) is one of the fabulous plant to have in our garden, which is an evergreen perennial shrub and native of china. So, it is also called as china rose, Chinese Hibiscus. It is the national flower of Malaysia.
One of my favourite flowers is the cute Shankupushpam, known worldwide as Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea). The luminescent blue flower with the yellow core is the most striking feature. Continue reading
Blue Dawn Glory is an annual twiner seen commonly throughout India in areas up to 1800 meters altitude. This twiner is commonly known as Morning Glory due the fact the flower opens around sunrise and fades before sunset.