A day around the Garden

The new rockery

To begin with here is a quick gardening tip  - attempt to include the five plant types and five basic garden components, howsoever small or large the garden. Large gardens may include additional stuff like garden ornaments, drift wood streams and groves of trees, but whatever the components, let them be nature like rather than geometric style e.g. an  irregular flower bed rather than a rectangular patch, a mixed flower bed rather than one filled with just a single variety etc for maximum effect.. The five plant types are ground hugging plants and flowers that may be perennial or seasonal but less than six inches tall; other plants some flowering and seasonal that are taller; bushes; climbing creepers against walls and finally trees Patches of the sixth- moss are also great if one can manage to grow some in a blank patch.. Even in nature, forests that include plants from all the five plant families mentioned here besides moss are the most beautiful of forests whereas some forests that lack an undergrowth of the other four plant types aside from trees look somewhat bleak. The trees may be small or large depending on the size of the garden. Even tiny gardens can have near bonsai trees if necessary. The five components of the garden are a lawn or grassy area, flower beds, a water body, rockery and paths to walk that are best as gravel paths rather then concrete that permit rain to soak in. Adding hanging bird baths and bird feed trays from trees shall fill the garden with day long music from the birds. If you have squirrels in the area, then they shall share the feed with the birds but if there is a cat around then there shall be no squirrels.

A water body in a garden could be a fountain, waterfall or a pond. In small home gardens, the tiniest of water bodies may be constructed by digging in a clay or plastic vessel with just the mouth showing on top. In fact, there was a spare clay pitcher lying in the garden and we buried that in the rockery we were making similarly. The birds will discover it soon for sure and drop in for a drink every now and then.

A window with a flowering creeper
There was a small rockery set against the front porch built by Shyamu several years ago below the window shown above but when a wood and concrete seating structure in the garden was demolished a few days ago because the wooden log from which it was built disintegrated with time we ended up with a large piece of concrete on our hands and decided to push that against the rockery and make it bigger. I and Hari that I shall tell more about presently then spent the last two mornings rebuilding the rockery using waste, stones and plants from around the home. The result is in the photo. In time, it will fill up with more green and flowers as the newly planted stuff takes firm roots. I am looking forward to my grandson Golu visiting in his summer vacations to stick in more flowers.


All the persons, Hari, Shyamu and Golu mentioned in the last paragraph have been mentioned in some earlier posts too. Hari, quite proud of his help in the garden is shown in the photo. Hari is from a village nearby. He is a farmer by profession but farmers from nearby villages drop into the city often for seasonal work to augment their earnings. Wages and opportunities to earn are low in most Indian villages and farm holdings small but in recent years daily work wages have sky rocketed in cities so that it is an attractive proposition for any village lad to do stints in the city especially if they can arrange accommodation for stay that is otherwise expensive to rent.. I have a spare independent room at home that I let some of them use in return for help around the home and garden. Hari has been coming for the last fifteen years so that he is almost a member of the household now.

Hari Ram Mali, 2015
A stay at my home entails more than free accommodation, dinner and some help around the home. Being a quintessential teacher, it involves me in education and some similar to that in school at a level suitable for the person concerned. I would love to supervise someone for a doctorate but most often I end up teaching the alphabet at home instead.. Hari can read Hindi quite well but not English that he is being taught nowadays. It is a bit late in the day for him to read the newspaper in English but the idea is that he can then read labels and signs etc. in English and sign his name. The wisdom about life too is not as esoteric as it has been in some of this blog but the sort of stuff one would find in Proverbs of the Old Testament, thanks to King Solomon the wise, things like warning about the strange woman whose gates lead to hell. A portrait style photo of Hari snapped indoors is included last so that he can show it to his friends on the net back home in his village. Mobile phones and internet have spread into much of India including villages so all one needs is a URL for that.. Praise the Lord.!.

UPDATE March 30, 2015

Just now, a few days after building the rockery some flowers have begun to bloom in it,

Flowers in a Rockery


A really great effort to beautify the surroundings with natural settings.Kudos to Hari ! Ashok you are really a good samaritan taking good care of these nice souls and providing them with lodge & board & educating them.
Ashok said…
Thanks Ramu, yes Hari is a great help indeed and it is a great blessing for me or anyone really if one can extend a bit of good to someone, anyone one happens to run into in the journey through life because in the final analysis it only adds joy to ones own life, although that should not be the intention.

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