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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The first ever fruit harvest

For the first time in 4 years, the Plums managed to survive the Squirrel attack


Our first ever harvest of fruits from the garden


Flouting rules


This was how bad our Curry Leaf plant looked in early March when the winter protection structure (supposedly) came off. I was shocked to see that the top 3ft of the plant was completely dead. And this was supposedly a mild winter.

My worst fear came true...almost. The biggest fear in considering whether to put the curry leaf plant in the ground was its inability to weather the cold. In spite of the structure and all the protection, the plant took a beating. I looked at my friends plant that is pot bound and looked much healthier than mine (with fresh leaves)


Thankfully, over the last couple of months I see a world of difference. My curry leaf plant is much more lush and healthy than the potted counterparts.



The drumstick plant has been sort of a disaster too. This one lost more than 5 ft of height and 2 of the plants in the ground completely died.


There is still some hope.....the plants have started sporting fresh leaves. Even if we dont get to harvesting Drumsticks ever, we might be able to harvest and use up some of the leaves.


Moral of the story- There is a reason why there are gardening zones and plants that are compatible to those zones. When flouting rules, what else can one expect....sigh

Monday, June 25, 2012

Some Instagram Pictures

Aeonium


Artichoke Flower



Dinner plate Dahlia



Shasta Daisy


Echinacea


Dahlia again

Lace Hydrangea


Asiatic Lily


Red Echinacea

Dahlia







Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer 2012 blooms

The bird feeder adventures


When we decided to put up a bird feeder we designed it to be far away from any branch and high enough off the ground. We hoped that this would be enough to keep the Squirrels at bay. We also designed it as a pulley-cable-hook system with a very thin cable hoping it wouldn't give them enough of a foot hold. But they are smart creatures and up for the challenge.

As soon as the bird feeder went up, the Squirrels were all over it. Within a few hours, they had mastered the subtle trick of getting on to the feeder. They seemed to have taken some cliff hanging lessons from Sly Stallone.

video


Our first step was to mix in some cayenne powder with the seeds. This didn't seem to bother them one bit. In fact they seem to enjoy the added spice and kick and were coming back for more. We then installed a squirrel baffle that we rigged using a cheap metal salad tray that was picked up from Smart-n-Final.


video video


That has seemed to do the trick for the last few days enough to "baffle" them. But the Squirrels are content eating the scraps the birds drop as they feed.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Construction of the Thulasi Maadam-Part 1


An idea that has been in our head and hearts for all these years took shape (using insulation) over the last few weeks.

The Thulasi plant aka Holy Basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum) is commonplace in most south Indian households, and typically housed in a concrete structure.(This is how ones in India typically look like-click here)


The next and the trickiest step is to encase this in cement.

The 2012 veggie garden-new beginnings


Indecisiveness in doing a vegetable garden in early 2012 together with all the turmoil over the past couple of months, the vegetable garden did not take off in time.

Over the past few weeks, we picked up some plants from the local big box store and threw in some bean seeds directly into the ground.





The plants we had saved from the 2011 garden are thriving well, we even have a nice bell pepper ready to be harvested.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Back on our feet

When I was blogging (bitching) about a bumpy March, I wasn't counting my blessings. April and May have made me see the bright side.

1. Living in a country that gives me access to some of the best doctors in the field and the best of the technological developments

2. Having a job that provides a good insurance coverage to pay for those expensive doctors.

3. Having the rainy day (year) fund to pay for the co-payments

4. Having the support of my parents who flew in half way across the world to help us, and all the family and friends that have helped us along this path in so many ways.

5. Being young enough to be able to weather this storm and come out in the end.

6. Having discovered such an enormous health problem just by accident without any symptoms. Had we not spotted it, things might have just blown up in our face later.



Well, things are beginning to look up, even though we have more than a couple of visits each week to see the docs. We still need to figure out how the long term strategy will play out, but hopefully all the bad karma is done.