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Friday, November 20, 2009

Trellises-Summer of 2009

This was our first shot at building trellises. After a lot of research online, "Gu" designed these and put them together.

The tomato cages that you see below did well, and i have absolutely no complaints. Next year, they would go into the ground instead of the blue buckets

The bean trellises were a complete disaster.I was not because of the design....i had planted Bush beans instead of Pole Beans. The trellis proved to be a big hassle in reaching down and harvesting the beans

This trellis was designed for our bitter gourds that grew fabulously well but never produced anything

We are planning on adding 6 more planter beds for next years garden with some well designed trellises that would work with our plants

Friday, August 21, 2009

What I inherited-Part 1

I don't mean to complain...but there are very few niceties that were a part of our house when we bought it....well that was a conscious decision though.

For a piece of land that is fairly large by most bay area standards, there was nothing nice in our garden. In fact there was hardly any space to plant.

The backyard was a concrete jungle. A really huge liner pool occupied center stage which was surrounded by a plethora or shed like structures that i presume were once changing rooms and outdoor shower areas for a bunch of rambunctious kids. None of these were in decent shape...not to mention the termite infestation. Looks like it was an over zealous do it yourselfer of an earlier generation. What was left in the backyard had an asphalt driveway that connected the 2 driveways in the front. See how i couldn't plant a thing in this backyard !

The backyard- April 2008 when we bought the house.

Above- Another perspective of the pool and the Asphalt Driveway

We have come a long way in the past year, the pool is long gone. I should write about it in another post. The asphalt driveway has been dug out and leveled with clean fill dirt. I've started a small vegetable garden that occupies a portion of the backyard.

Here is the complete view of the backyard after all the clean up

We also had challenges along the way getting this clean up completed.

One of the biggest pain points was the "Sweet Gum" or "Liquidambar"tree. Looks like there were a couple of them in the backyard that were taken down, but the stumps (almost 1 ft tall) remained. There was also a fairly small Sweet gum tree that was close to the sun room foundation that we took down.

Interestingly one of the gardeners who stopped by to give us a proposal on landscaping suggested that we take the tree down as it would affect the concrete foundation. (We eventually never hired any landscaper because they were just way off our affordability range).

We have taken it down and dug up all the roots (which were going crazy all over a small strip of lawn that existed nearby). The bobcat guy who did the pool demo was nice enough to dig out the stumps that were there. Even now the plant is sending up suckers in all the small root remnants that remain....this tree is HARDY. You see them all along the freeways....i guess they are nice there. But i see them often on sidewalks.....the roots have pushed out the concrete walkways surrounding them as they grow. I don't see a lot of bad press online about these trees and am wondering why.
Here's a picture of one of the roots that was dug out

In any case, i don't have even one bit of regret in getting these out. My garden will feature plants and trees that add beauty and function to the landscape. More to come ...

Photo Contest-August

This is my submission for the Picture this photo contest on gardeninggonewild (

I still haven't figured out how to post pictures on my blog. It is still early days and this is my second post. I hope this picture contest is motivation enough to make me write about my gardening adventures.

This picture is from a recent trip to Yosemite national Park. The picture was taken by my husband, my contribution was just to challenge him to capture a clear shot....i was so darned sure he couldn't get a good shot. He was "Down on his knees" (and back) for a long time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My dream and about Brindavan

The Brindavan Gardens, is famous for its symmetric design. It is one of the most beautifully laid out terrace gardens in the world.

Located in the Krishnaraja Sagar dam site, the Brindavan Gardens is at a distance of 24 Km. from the famous cultural heritage centre of Karnataka – the city of Mysore, and 143 Km. from Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. The Krishnaraja Sagar dam is built across the river Cauvery, one of the principal rivers in South India.

Having been raised on the banks of river Cauvery, the gardens and the river occupy a special place in my heart. Lush paddy and banana plantations thrive in the rich Cauvery delta.

Interestingly my paternal grandparents house was called "The Brindavan", apt because my grandmother was a big patron of the Jasmine...but is there any south indian woman who isn't. I still have memories of a 80 year old grandmother drawing water from a 150 ft well and carrying it all the way to the front yard to water her Jasmine plants. Different varieties of Jasmine adorned the huge front yard, and they were painstakingly plucked everyday and woven into a string garland that was then adorned in her braids.

Fast forward a few decades and here i am trying to do something impossible....i still have lot of hope left in me. As i finally overcome my laziness to start writing and sharing as i go along this path.

It is my wish to transform the concrete ridden space we bought recently (i hate to even call it a garden) into a pretty and sustainable garden that is not just pleasing to the eye but also one that is environmentally conscious.