Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winter annuals season Again in Delhi











May a thousand blooms adorn your house!
- Tips for winter annuals in your home.

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844



This is the time to plan and plant the winter annuals in beds if you happen to live in a ground floor house with a compound, or pots in your terraces or roof tops in case you have a home in the upper reaches. Fortunately Delhi offers a very rich variety of winter annuals to choose from. There are two ways to grow them - from seedlings grown in seed pans or by directly planting seedlings in beds and pots - that need to be prepared by adding leaf mould or cow dung manure to sandy and loamy soil. The vermi compost bag available in nurseries makes a convenient manure. The seeds and seedlings are available in gardening stores and nurseries all over the city. My favourite haunts are, Argosy at Yashwant Place , Chanakyapuri and Rajdhani Nursery in Karbala Jor Bagh . You have a wide choice of imported and indigenous seeds to choose from.Goldsmith, PAN ( US), S&G (UK) and Sakata( Japanese) as also Indo- Amercan Hybrid, Namdhari( Bangalore), PlantMan ( Patiala) seeds are some of the popular and tested brands to go for. The Govt. owned ( CPWD) Sunder Nursery near Humayun Tomb in Nizamuddin is the most economical source to meet your requirement of winter annuals, both seeds and seedlings. The Club Nursery also sells seedlings to members. This is also the time to hard prune the rose plants, expose its roots to the sun for about one week, fill it up with manure and then flood them with water to get glorious blooms in December.
Most winter annuals need plenty of sun but there are a few like Cineraria and Salvia which also do well in the shade. The Chrysanthemums, called Mums in the US, also the national flower of Japan come both in the dwarf ( Korean) and giant varieties. Unfortunately, because of the prolonged monsoon over the Capital this year, the Chrysanthemum season is extremely bleak. I wonder how the organizers of the Annual Chrysanthemum Show in YWCA (where our Club got the prize for the best display last year) will put it together this year. The saplings that are normally planted early in August in the gardens and nurseries all withered away due to excessive rains. But potted Chrysanthemums brought from Calcutta and other places outside Delhi should be available in November.

My favourite winter annuals which do very well in Delhi are Pansies, Petunias Dahlias, Asters and Gerberas. You can procure their seedlings from any nursery and plant them in the pots and beds at home soon. They are heavy feeders and need frequent doses of bio manure. Other hardy varieties not requiring much pampering are Nasturtiums, Marigold, Phlox, Dianthus, Cosmos. Petunias, Nosturniums and Portulcas also look very pretty in window boxes and hanging baskets.
So don’t just admire the winter annuals in the parks and gardens but grow them at home. There is no greater joy than to gaze upon the seedling sown by you, break first into a bud and then blossom into a riot of colours, an unsurpassed beauty that only Mother Nature can bestow on mankind. Sheer aesthetics apart, if you are able to get your children to develop an interest in growing plants, you will be contributing your mite to conserve our environment and try to save the fast depleting green cover on earth. So go out and plant now. Happy gardening!
Herewith a few examples of winter annuals I had successfully grown in our home last year for your viewing pleasure.

14 comments:

Pooja said...

Hi

I have recently acquired a small garden space - Right now it is bare and waiting for me to experiment. I wish to grow flowers of various colors year-round. I understand that is a couple of years long project, if not more.

But I have absolutely no idea about which flowers are year-round, or are good for Delhi whether, or can grow together. And I cannot fund organized information for India. Can you provide specific information on it?
1. I wish to start working on my garden in January. But will it mean I will miss some important time-window? Can I get something else done meanwhile?
2. Are there year-round flowers? Or do I need to plant flowers that bloom in different seasons together in order to get the year-round effect? If possible, can you list the common flowers with their preferred season of planting and blooming?
3. Which are the flowers which need a little less of maintenance?
4. I heard of flowers which detract mosquitoes - is that correct?

It will be great if you can write something covering above information. Thank you.

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