Archive for June, 2014


summer blooms and harvests

Rains are here and so is summer. I have had very good luck with cucumbers this year. Tomatoes and eggplants have flourished too. Here are some flowers in bloom presently.


Oak leaf hydrangea – in bloom for more than 10 days now

I love this flowering plant. It has given me a lot of cheer for more than 10 days now – the flowers don’t seem to wilt at all as long as I keep the plant happy with water twice a day!

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Gladiolus  – the first blooms this year.


Another variety of hydrangea – these have just started blooming




Close-up of the same flower

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Daily harvests

The day-to-day harvests from my small garden varies as above. Tomatoes especially are delicious when consumed immediately after plucking them.


Mini tomatoes – just waiting for them to turn red!

I think I should be able to distribute them to neighbors too in about two weeks from now.


Reproduced mini tomato plants

These are the plants that I reproduced (see last post “how to multiply your tomato plants”) and have presented them to a couple of my friends. I think I have got at least one friend interested in starting up a home garden!



              Offerings from my home garden this week

Until the next post, have a great day!


how to multiply your tomato plants

I decided to write about some degree of success I had with multiplying my mini-tomato plants in this post. First, a comparison of the tomato plants planted in end April and beginning June.

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Mini tomato plants April end (left) and June beginning (right)

The plants are about a meter tall and I guess this is about the right time when you can start taking cuttings for reproduction. Look at the corners of branches and you’ll see new ones sprouting out.


Check for new branches on main stem

Pick those that have about 6 to 7 leaves and at least two branches, and are about 5-10 cm in height.

Make a clean snip with clean scissors, and plunk them into plastic pots with fresh soil.

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Plastic pots with stone covering center hole (L) and clean diagonal cut before planting (R).

I used small flexible plastic pots that I had stored, placed  a stone and filled them up to the top (leaving about 1.5 cm from the top edge) with fresh soil. The important point before planting is to ensure that the cut you make gives a good amount of area for the plant to suck up water and nutrition from the soil – this essentially means you make a diagonal cut. Take a stick and make a hole at the center of the soil-filled pot before you insert the cutting and firm up the soil around it.

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Planted in fresh soil (L) and watered (R)

After inserting the cuttings, water the pots nicely until it drains out from underneath. Then place the tray in a cool place – remember that the cuttings have no root yet. So if you expose them to bright sunlight immediately, they will probably die out. After a couple of days  of regular watering, the plants will stand erect and start developing roots.


Mini tomato plant transferred to ground

After about 10 days in the pots, I transferred the plants with roots to the ground. Here is one that has grown to give flowers. Try this reproduction method – it is fun.


Today’s harvest – Cucumber, egg plant, mini tomato, bell pepper 

The Japanese variety of cucumber above, is eaten with the skin. There’s nothing like eating the veggies immediately after plucking them. The mini tomato tasted fabulous!

Meanwhile, geraniums in my house garden entice friends to my garden.




More geraniums with a pink variety too

I love these geraniums. They don’t need looking after at all and bloom like crazy in the season. Very easy to reproduce too – just cut the extra branches and shove them into a pot. Within the next 10 days they develop roots.

I was also happy to see a rose bloom in my pot. I moved the rose plants to pots because they became too large and difficult to manage on ground.


Rose in planter – you make my day!

Meanwhile, I had urn orchids blooming at the entrance to my house. The leaves are good to look at too, and strike a good contrast to the pink flowers.


Urn orchid

The tri-colored Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in planter bloomed giving off a delicate, pleasant scent. The same plant in my neighbor’s garden which has grown to about 2 m presented a stunning sight.

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Yesterday, today and tomorrow – color changes successively on three days

Incidentally, can you guess what the photo below shows?


Citrus Hassaku

These are the fruits of the Citrus Hassaku, that have just emerged from the flower. If they make it through another 4 months without falling off or being pecked off by birds, I should have luscious oranges! I’m wondering whether to cover these with transparent plastic to protect them from birds!

The flowers were many initially (see photo below, taken about 15 days ago), but I guess it is the survival of the fittest in the natural world. The weak ones fell off leaving only the ones in the photo above.


Citrus Hassaku flowers

A landscape designer would tear his/her hair out looking at my garden – there are too many varieties of flowers, shrubs, fruits and trees planted at every inch of space that I could find!

I put together some of the varieties to make a nice arrangement for the dining table!


Pickings from my garden

Finally, here’s the wonderful red maple tree that I saw during a trip to Hakone in Japan.


Maple tree among the lush green trees in Hakone

Until the next post, have a great day!


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June 2014