Of Jasmine buds and Water Lily flowers
I don’t have a garden to do gardening. This is one of the pleasures one has to give up to stay in high rise apartments. But then, the urge to see something green growing around me and something to tend to with my own hands was always there. And obviously the balconies became my miniature gardens. I have not done any major vegetable gardening but there are few flowering plants. And my efforts are on to turn this balcony garden into a gorgeous garden.
Two of my balconies face the southeast so it receives the maximum of morning sun light. (This is one of the important factors you have to keep in mind if you intend starting a balcony garden.) I have placed few potted plants in these balconies. My small collection of plants keep me happy and reasonably engaged.
My Jasmine plant is of the small and yellow variety, I have this single variety only. It is also called the Japanese jasmine (Jasminum Mesnyi). It is not a climber and still small, but soon I will have to provide it with some kind of support as it gains height.
There are few other varieties of Jasmine and the flowers have different types and arrangement of petals. I have collected a few shots of different jasmine flowers during my tips to nurseries and I am sharing them with you here. The single round of petals in the common white Jasmine is the common variety and grows easily too.
Below is the Jasmine of the five round petals variety. Jasmine symbolizes amiability, feminine sweetness and beauty. When Vasco da Gama returned from his circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century, he brought home a small, fragrant, white flower from the Far East. Italian brides often wear a sprig of jasmine flower on their wedding day, hoping for good luck. Jasmine is the national flower of Pakistan.
And below is the star jasmine variety. Just in case you are motivated enough to grow a jasmine plant, you can check out the tips here. These varieties need sun or light shade and wet, moist soil. They are easy to grow in Indian climatic conditions and you are assured of fresh flowers regularly for Puja.
There are so many colors of water lily available to the extent that you can choose the color variety to go with your balcony garden settings. The Lily plant I have is of the purple color variety. It is called the Nil Mahanel flower in Sri Lanka and the botanical name is Nymphaea Stellata. It was declared as the national flower of Sri Lanka on 26th Feb 1986. Here are a few snaps of the purple water lily from my balcony garden.
The Lily flower symbolizes purity and innocence, and as the flower of the Resurrection and of the Virgin, it is widely used at Easter. The white water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh.
Mine is the tropical variety, the water lily is on the stem that rises above the water. (The hardy variety has the flower sitting in the top of the water.) It bloomed quite regularly last season in my little terracotta pool. The flower survives for four to five days, opening in the mornings and closing the petals by evening. I have few fish in the pool to take care of the mosquito larvae. This variety flowers from November to March and when they bloom it does add a touch of romance to the garden.