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Ranunculus Groveflora



Groveflora Gardening Blog India:

Gardening Blog India titled - PRINCESS RANUNCULUS HAS ARRIVED!


Groveflora

Of all flower bulbs that bloom in the winter and spring, Ranunculus is one of the prettiest. Well, our editor would vouch for the fragrant Oriental Lilium. However, our team votes for Ranunculus. Like a rose, the flower blooms as if twirling a delicate many layered gown. Not for nothing do these “paper” rose get vied for and are the neighbors’ envy. Each layer is vibrant and beautiful. Some call it the Persian Buttercup. Other’s call it the Coyote’s gift. Some stories tell of a Prince who fell in love with a nymph and when he did not receive love, he perished to become this flower so that he could be close to her.

But we call this flower - Pure Magic! How else can one explain that this bulb-tuber can sprout into this pretty flower? The bulb-tuber looks like a shriveled up bunch (hand) of bananas. No fancy round corm like the handsome Gladioli; no delicate bulbous creation from which a shoot is emerging and cocooned in its bed of coco-peat like the Lily (editor’s note: Lilium – Oriental & Asiatic are coming soon!); and certainly no heavy bulb structure like the Amazing Amaryllis. This bulb-tuber is ordinary.

Yet, from it emerges the most extra-ordinary and prettiest flower called Ranunculus. No wonder then that every single flower show we’ve been to has seen this beauty walk away with top prizes! What a miracle if you see the origin!

But then, the poet-author James Allen said – “The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”

Indeed, in the seed lies the tree and in these humble stick bulb lies the dream Princess, Ranunculus. It means “Rana” which in Latin translates to “little frog”. The Princess kissed the frog as the story goes and was born again! The green foliage, amid which she sits, is just as pretty and is perhaps her Prince?

To see Ranunculus pictures and colors available log into webpage: http://www.groveflora.com/Flower-Bulb-Catalogue.html. Please write to info@groveflora.com for a wide variety of seeds of vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Then there is the Romanesco Broccoli to consider. It looks sort of like star shell shaped but there’s more to it than meets the eye. For you mathematicians out there, do note that this broccoli (picture above) is a beautiful pattern of Fractals and is a natural representation of the Fibonacci lograthmic spiral (God, we spent hours in school trying to get the Fibonacci series right, remember?). Dieticians please note that this is one of the healthiest nutritive variant (Vitamin K, Vitamin C, fibre, carotenoids – you name it, and this one has it)!

We aim to be the first to get you that inside scoop on new innovations in Gardening! Always! So get your friends and family to sign up free for the Groveflora Gardening Newsletter!

To share your own gardening experiences in balcony gardening or in larger gardens in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com



Gardening Blog India titled - REINVENTING THE VEGETABLES!!!



Groveflora Groveflora

Scientists worldwide are taking the “usual” crop and adding color and patterns to vegetables and fruits like Cauliflower, Broccoli, Tomato, Onion, and Eggplant among others. Efforts in cross-breeding, selective breeding, and hand pollination are resulting in interesting varieties. And yes, it is not genetically engineered or modified! Just two strains of something being cross-bred!!

Taking inspiration from the rainbow, scientists have borrowed colors like purple and orange to produce cauliflower. Touted for their higher beta-carotene and Vitamin A, the orange cauliflower is supposed to taste a bit like cheddar cheese and enhance the quality of skin. Its purple variant has anthocyanin and helps in protecting the heart by slowing blood clotting rates. Vow! These retain their color even after being cooked. We tasted these and they do taste delicious! Please write to info@groveflora.com for a wide variety of seeds of vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Then there is the Romanesco Broccoli to consider. It looks sort of like star shell shaped but there’s more to it than meets the eye. For you mathematicians out there, do note that this broccoli (picture above) is a beautiful pattern of Fractals and is a natural representation of the Fibonacci lograthmic spiral (God, we spent hours in school trying to get the Fibonacci series right, remember?). Dieticians please note that this is one of the healthiest nutritive variant (Vitamin K, Vitamin C, fibre, carotenoids – you name it, and this one has it)!

We aim to be the first to get you that inside scoop on new innovations in Gardening! Always! So get your friends and family to sign up free for the Groveflora Gardening Newsletter!

To share your own gardening experiences in balcony gardening or in larger gardens in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com



Gardening Blog India titled - THE LILY OF THE NILE - Awesome BLUE AGAPANTHUS - THE LOVE FLOWER!



Groveflora

The Lily of the Nile – Agapanthus Blue – is a vivid blue dash of colour that livens up spaces. A favourite of educational institutions, resorts, hotels, hospitals and many corporates, the blue bell shaped flower cluster is loved for its showy appeal.

The word Agapanthus comes from the Greek word agap which means love and anthos meaning flower. This flower of love can bring a peaceful blue purple hue to your garden.

Agapanthus is a summer flowering perennial that thrives in well drained soils with good sunlight. It is often grown in pots at institutions which allow movement to special event areas to enhance ambience. The plant is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance. It can be grown by division or even propagation by seed.

If you would like to inject a dash of vivid colour in your garden, porch, lawn or other areas, then the eye-catcher Agapanthus is for you. A sure heart stealer, its spectacular blooms will vow all who visit your establishment. What’s more, if you plant it along the periphery of your building, it can even serve as a fire-break!

Now available at special Institutional Rates! Please write to info@groveflora.com for your supply now.

To share your own gardening experiences in balcony gardening or in larger gardens in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com



Groveflora Gardening Blog India:

Gardening Blog India titled - THE STORY OF THE THREE SISTERS ….AND SOME BROTHERS!



Groveflora Groveflora Groveflora Groveflora

Well long time ago, in a lovely terracotta pot in a balcony of our very own Silicon Valley, aka Bengaluru, there lived a smart young tomato plant. He had his supply of water, a lot of sunshine, and a fist-full of plant enricher. Yet, to the dismay of all those flocking the balcony each morning and at sundown, he simply would not grow. They continued to smother him with attention, but oh, all in vain.

Then one fine day the youngest kid of the family said, ‘The poor thing is lonely. We go off to school, and the elders to their offices. Then he’s all lonely. Let’s get him a companion, shall we?’ The companion arrived one day in a little packet with neat little type-face – “Green Garden Basil seeds”. A few weeks later lo and behold, the smart young tomato bloomed. Red-faced big blobs of fleshy fruit adorned him. The school kid clapped his hands and said, ‘There. Didn’t I tell you he was a bit lonely?’

What had happened in Bengaluru can happen in Mumbai, Kolkata, Vizag, Goa…you name it…just about everywhere. The tomato did not stop growing just because he was lonely. What he needed was really companion planting. The technique of poly-culture or companion planting is aeons old. Used in English Gardens too, it addresses the symbiotic relationship of some plants. At times growth of a plant is held hostage by adverse soil conditions or by weeds or pests. What is then needed is to plant something that will be beneficial to your main plant while in turn deriving some benefit itself too. In the case of tomato-cilantro combo or tomato-basil combo, when in the same pot, the green helps the tomato by keeping pests away plus it improves the taste of the tomato.

In North America there are 3 crops that are mostly grown together. That’s why they are called the Three Sisters and a Native American 2009 US Dollar coin released had their picture engraved in the metal. These crops are winter squash, maize (corn) and tepary beans (climbing beans). The three sisters grow in total companionship supporting and helping each other. The maize helps the bean in providing structure such that it can climb easily without needed poles or strings. The beans in turn do their nitrogen fixing bit making the soil really fertile. The squash leaves grow and quickly cover the ground so that weeds do not grow and the soil retain the moisture needed by the beans and maize. Vow! Any companions you may have spotted in your gardening journey? How about lettuce and corn? The former loves to be shaded from the sun which the corn is just about happy to do. Onions and carrots repel each other’s worst pests keeping each other really healthy. However before you just get started in your kitchen garden remember not all plants are friends. Some really are foes. So grow celery with a tomato or spinach but never ever with a potato plant. Similarly broccoli will grow with rosemary but never with oregano. Meanwhile a member had a lovely dwarf pomegranate tree. One day, short of growing space, they planted some bitter gourd seeds in the pot. No guesses then that the pomegranate tree soon died. What about the bitter gourd, you ask? That thrived and they were distributing all the “extra” bitter gourds to all their family and friends that season!

How about getting your plants some companions? Lemon Basil, Winter Squash, Wild Rocket, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Thyme, or Rosemary – which will it be?

To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com



Gardening Blog India titled - Summer Flower Bulb Starter Kit and the Joys of Gardening!



Groveflora Groveflora

……Our Recent Member and Ardent Cricket Fan, Rahul Kumar is the quintessential City Bred guy. In his own words, I love large cities, big cars, and the hustle-bustle and din of life in a concrete jungle.

However, recently when he injured his hand the inactivity and boredom of life caught in the city whirlwind hit him. Noone called on him to check his well-being and he felt isolated.
Thus looking for a true companion, he stumbled into the pages of Groveflora India. From thereon he says he was "hooked". So he ordered the Phool Khilein Hain Gulshan Gulshan (PKHG) Summer Flower Starter Kit.


He loved receiving the flower bulbs, clicked some pics (as above) and sent them to us with a thank you note. And he writes, for now the bulbs he's planted in his balcony are his companions (till he gets married!). Excited with his new hobby, he tells us he spends his morning hours before office each day just watching out for new growth in his many pots!

To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com



Gardening Blog India titled - Using Every Garden Space for Flower bulb planting!

Rocky Mountain Groveflora_Flower.jpg

……Now his life is full of wonder, but his heart still knows some fear,
of a simple thing he cannot comprehend.
Why they try to tear the mountains down to bring in a couple more,
more people, more scars upon the land….…Rocky Mountain High, Colorado…..


When John Denver sang the Rocky Mountain High number (and what a beautiful song it is), he echoed the thoughts of our dear friend in Himachal. In his cottage, amidst the ragged and jagged surface of the mountain, he’s made sure to plant flowers in every nook and cranny.


To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com



Gardening Blog India titled -The Good Earth!

Many of our members frequently write in to us with queries on the best soil for their plants. Of course, the fundamental building block of getting a great garden started is the soil, unless you are venturing into the territory of hydroponics.

Normal gardens have adequate soil but oftentimes the quality of the soil leaves much to be desired. Complaints about nutrient deficiencies, pests, soil acidity etc are more common than one thinks. Our experts at Groveflora have helped many save their gardens and their plants from the ravages of poor garden soil.

To “break” (pun intended) the soil into its components based on particle size we can classify three major parts. The first is the sand component which helps to keep the soil free flowing and enables drainage. This is the largest particle. Next up is the silt component which is usually medium sized. Finally, we have the third and the finest component of soil which is the clay particles. Due to its fine nature its compacts easily and holds the overall soil mixture together. Too much of it makes the soil heavy and hinders aeration necessary for plant roots to thrive. Too much sand in your soil has the opposite effect.

When all the three components are balanced well we have a loamy soil which is ideal for most plants. But what about nutrients you ask? This is where composting and adding manure becomes important. One can easily add chemical fertilizers but then organic alternatives are always better for plant health and more economical.


Check out our website for the organic nutrient enhancers and neem fertilizers which while being totally organic are odorless, economical and yet nutrient rich while deterring pests and insects. All-in-one surely!

For a picuture of some great organic veggies see below


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To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com



Gardening Blog India titled - Tulip Mania Begins!

Captivated by their beauty poets have penned many lines and film makers have used them as a backdrop for telling us stories.

“Dekha Ek Khwab to yeh Silsile hue, Door tak Nigah Mein hain Gul Khile hue..”

If the above Hindi film lines do not sound familiar think Big B and Rekha on the sets of film “Silsila” amongst a vibrant field of …you guessed it…Tulips.

And if you are a stranger to this gorgeous Holland flower, then cast your eyes no further than Page 3 of your newspaper supplement showing a bevy of our Bollywood actresses wearing the “dress of the season” – a Tulip skirt. The skirt aptly named mimics the Tulip flower closely.

The tulip belongs to the family Lilyaceae and the genus Tulipa. Grown as potted plants or in fields, its cut flower is often displayed with pride in many a luxury setting. The height of a tulip can be as small as 4 inches and as tall as 28 inches depending on its variety. Since they need a cool dormancy period they are often imported from cooler countries like Netherland to warm countries where the bulbs are planted for a successful bloom. While red, orange, yellow tulips are the more commonly seen ones, dark purple and other colors are exotic and catching everyone’s fancy (psstttt…letting a secret out…Groveflora has some of these available in limited supply).


Tulips are almost always grown from bulbs. The bulbs when grown produce offsets which in turn can produce another set of bulbs following a year or two of growing. One can try growing tulips from seeds but this takes about 6 to 8 years so Groveflora recommends you follow the bulbous route to these beautiful blooms. The striking colors of the flowering tulip bulbs are a typical sight in Holland during spring. The bright red, pink and yellow colors are overwhelmingly beautiful and to see them one can visit the country in April. Perhaps you can record your own special moment in the tulip fields of Holland. And if you can see the aerial view of the Tulip fields, which are gently moving stripes of brilliant colors, you will be mesmerized for life with this beautiful flower!

For a picuture of some beautiful Tulip Blooms see below:


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To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com





Groveflora Gardening Blog India:

Gardening Blog India titled - Nature's Nitrogen Fixers!

Soil fixers are common in gardening. They ensure a lush green outcome at the end of the gardening match. These humble plants are better than inorganic chemicals or synthetic additives used to fix soil.
Nitrogen, an important element, helps the plant to produce chlorophyll and get its green coat of color. Additives may bring nitrogen but their fast releasing action often all but kills the plant turning it to brownish yellow as the leaves experience burn.

You can spot deficiency of nitrogen in your garden soil by the color of the plants. The leaves will not be a healthy green. Instead they will be a sickly yellow. While adding organic manures is a possible solution, a better option is to use soil fixers. Most of the nitrogen fixers belong to the legume family (Family name Fabaceae). These are plants such as soybeans, peanuts, alfalafa etc. The root systems of these legumes have symbiotic bacteria – Rhizobia – which produce nitrogen compounds like Nitrates.

While nitrogen exists in the atmosphere, plants cannot convert this directly. However, the bacteria can! When the legume plant has finished its lifecycle and withers, you should leave the root system in and the fixed nitrogen is released back to the soil thus enriching it.

Can you name one common and popular nitrogen fixer that is often on your lunch plate?

The answer is simple – Fenugreek or Methi as we call it! And now you know this garden match nitrogen fixer please don’t report it to the media or police! It does a great health giving job you know!!

For a picuture of some gardening at Groveflora in Nitrogen Amended Soil see below:


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To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com



Groveflora Gardening Blog India:

Gardening Blog India titled - Hyacinths as Nature's perfume - a la Naturally!

The blossoms of the flower bulb to plant this season is so pretty that many people have stolen its name. Hyacinth is a common name for girls and a popular comedy series on British TV serial “Keeping Up Appearances” had “Hyacinth” as a main protagonist. In this serial, Hyacinth is a portly lady worrying about her “Royal Doulton”, snooping on neighbors, singing behind the bush in her nasal high pitch, and indulging in backseat driving while constantly nagging her poor husband “Richard Dear”. Hilarious as much as she is, the serial always shows Hyacinth as elegantly dressed quite like the flower whose name she bears.
Belonging to the family Asparagaceae, Hyacinths are native to the Mediterranean, Iran and Turkmenistan, and Netherlands is the main commercial grower. The dense clutch of the fragrant Hyacinth is mesmerizing to say the least. For most gardeners they spell joy bundled in the spikes because they are low maintenance and need indirect sunlight and little water. Beauty with no fuss is just what they are with a fragrance so heady that you’ll never be able to resist them! So go ahead and plant these now.
For a picuture of some beautiful and fragrant Hyacinth Blooms see below:


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To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com


Gardening Blog India titled - Recession Proof your Happiness Portfolio!

We are assailed on an everyday basis by news of gloom and doom. The falling rupee, the economic headwinds, the approaching election year – the noise around us continues unabated. Lets face it the barrage of news is similar to 2008 with its US Sub-prime crisis and the fall of heavy weight companies. In 2000, we had the Y2K crises and everyone thought that despite computer patches, the turn of the century would bring challenges and software would collapse due to date mismatch issues. Yet, thankfully we survived all of that. However while the banter continues, your Happiness Portfolio is taking a beating. A study by an eminent team of psychologists in UK highlighted a finding that our brain processes the top 5 issues on our mind faster than those in the bottom 5 list. Hence the brain unable to distinguish between the importance of each issue, signals to your mind, heart, and body basis what it hears of the most. The continual exposure to “bad” global and country related news is therefore sure to erode your feel good factor. This in the long run will adversely impact your health, your efficiency and your happiness.

In order to recession proof your happiness, you need to therefore surround yourself with Mother Nature. Plants and in particular flowers have a unique healing effect that translates into that “heady, light” feeling bringing you happiness. Even tending to plants by way of giving them water and manure makes you acquire an edge over others. Nature teaches you the important life skills such as patience, tolerance, adaptability, taking each day as it comes trusting the Universe and just being.

This makes you way more mature, capable and dependable – the ideal qualities your boss or spouse is going to look for. This then naturally ups your success potential and brings a lot to smile about in your lives.

Groveflora your partner is committed to helping you gain the happiness quotient for a healthy, successful life. Whether it is help in the form of seeds or bulbs unavailable easily in your area, or growing instructions for something you have already procured, or weekly plant tips in your email inbox to help you in your gardening pursuits, we are here.

So bring the cheer of a winsome sunny yellow sunflower, or the bright red of a rich luscious tomato, or the pink blush of a spiked gladiolus, or the deep green of aromatic basil into your lives. The magic will begin to unfold.

Cheers and Keep Growing ‘n Smiling!

To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com


Gardening Blog India titled - The Nitrogen “Soil Fixers’!

With so much recent media attention to spot & match fixers, we decided to turn the limelight on the better fixers in our environment!

Soil fixers are common in gardening. They ensure a lush green outcome at the end of the gardening match. These humble plants are better than inorganic chemicals or synthetic additives used to fix soil.

Nitrogen, an important element, helps the plant to produce chlorophyll and get its green coat of color. Additives may bring nitrogen but their fast releasing action often all but kills the plant turning it to brownish yellow as the leaves experience burn.

You can spot deficiency of nitrogen in your garden soil by the color of the plants. The leaves will not be a healthy green. Instead they will be a sickly yellow. While adding organic manures is a possible solution, a better option is to use soil fixers. Most of the nitrogen fixers belong to the legume family (Family name Fabaceae). These are plants such as soybeans, peanuts, alfalafa etc. The root systems of these legumes have symbiotic bacteria – Rhizobia – which produce nitrogen compounds like Nitrates.

While nitrogen exists in the atmosphere, plants cannot convert this directly. However, the bacteria can! When the legume plant has finished its lifecycle and withers, you should leave the root system in and the fixed nitrogen is released back to the soil thus enriching it.

Can you name one common and popular nitrogen fixer that is often on your lunch plate?

The answer is simple – Fenugreek or Methi as we call it! And now you know this garden match nitrogen fixer please don’t report it to the media or police! It does a great health giving job you know!!

To share your own gardening experiences and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com


Gardening Blog India titled - Plants teach us about Survival!

Well, one of our staffers was on a week’s leave and forgot to leave their plant under neighborly care. When they returned, the plant was almost dying, its flowers long gone and a shriveled long stem staring out of the pot. Never say die is this staffers’ mantra. Plenty of water went into the pot. More than that went tender care. We were told that they sung for the plant, told it to keep going, to have courage, to keep flowering. The plant heard and smiled. It returned the care showered on it with green shoots of recovery and was flowering again soon.

Elsewhere we heard that a group of researchers placed Indian basil (Tulsi) in a pot in artificial vacuum. Then they scattered chili seeds around the pot. In a controlled experiment, another vacuum cell was created and chili seeds were scattered. However now the tulsi pot was not kept. The germination rate of chili seeds in the first cell was a lot higher than the second cell. The inference drawn was that plants chat and talk. The positive vibration of tulsi plants had helped the seeds germinate and grow!

So friends’, gardening with a heart is essential to create a place blooming with flowers and joy. This reciprocal care and love between man and his/her plants helps things multiply manifold. That’s exactly why our Groveflora tagline says – Grow a Plant, Grow your Soul.

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To share your own gardening pics and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com


Gardening Blog India titled - Trees and their Life Force

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” - William Blake, Poet “

Look at it closely. Is it the same tree that is often cut mercilessly or the tree that brings you shade from the harsh summer sun? Its green coat of leaves hides in its folds many a squirrel and small insects, and also the fruits of summer like mangoes, mulberry (shahtoot), amla, jamun and the like. Some trees flower in the spring and bring joy – cherry blossoms are one such case when sheer pink gossamer clouds of cherry flowers envelop some cities of the world in February/March. Man has yet to learn to respect this tree and not cut it to pieces for selfish need. Without the tree we are shorn of the very essence of life, bereft and lifeless in an existence of only global warming and adversity. Perhaps Martin Luther King recognized the advantages of a tree long back and this prompted the following quote by him –

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree” – Martin Luther King

Here is a picture of a clutch of trees Groveflora encountered near Naukuchiatal Lake in Uttarakhand.

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What can a tree to for your mind?

Plenty, actually! A recent research by The British Journal of Sports Medicine cited the case of your brain being influenced by the trees and the green cover they provide. The research explained that individuals that walked for around 25 minutes in the park full of large green trees were calmer, peaceful and happier than others that did not. Those that walked through densely populated commercial areas with traffic horns and signals had a greater stress quotient. Such is the power of a tree that it can not only bring you shade in rain and sun, it can even protect your mind by making it stress free and calm and restoring your inner being to a healthy balance.

So go ahead, plant a ray of hope on our planet today. Also, if you see a tree going dry, get some water and feed its parched thirsty roots. It will thank you for it and perhaps continue to shade our future generations as well. If you see someone cutting a tree, explain gently why it is important to protect our green cover.

Then, when all is done – pick up a good book, a thermos flask filled with some ice cold water and curl up on a hammock strung from the tree. With the tree as your companion, you my friend will be in tune with nature and become your true natural happy self. Happy summer to you all!

To share your own gardening pics and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com


Gardening Blog India titled - Jugni – the new Fad in Vegetable Farming

Visit any North Indian farmers market or “subzi” market as often called. Look for the dark green bottle gourd and ask the vegetable seller the rate. Ninety nine percent chances you’ll be told the price of “Jugni” by the seller. If you are wondering what we are talking about, please see the picture below this article/blog. “Jugni” no alien to our dinner plates is actually what you and I call “Zucchini”.

The humble farmer just calls it by a simpler name. In Haryana you have fields and fields growing zucchini to cater to the rising demand for this vegetable from urbanites. Teamed up with carrots and garnished with Parmesan Cheese this vegetable, when stir fried, makes for a delicious and nutritious accompaniment to some hot tomato soup. Round off the meal with some “Gajar Ka Halwa” and you have the best winter meal money can buy. Slurp, Slurp and Chomp, Chomp. Wow!

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In the USA, zucchini is often called “Zukes” and since cucumbers are called “Cukes”, this nomenclature comes as no big surprise. The farmers of Haryana and in particular Mewat grow Jugni every November given its high per kilo selling rate. They protect it against the chilly winds by using shielding grass called “poolah” and often to germinate the seeds in the cold weather tie the soaked seeds around their neck to transfer body’s heat.

So here’s to “jugni”. And no for those of you with a smaller attention span – we are NOT talking about Jugni referenced in many Bollywood Songs.

Grow more, Eat healthy – Zucchini or Jugni! It has health giving properties…low in calories it protects against cancer, lowers blood pressure, reduces risk of heart disease/stroke and its manganese content ensures your healthy skin. It has high quantity of Vitamin A & C work as powerful antioxidants that lower cholesterol.

To share your own gardening pics and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com


Gardening Blog India titled - Happiest Cities of India –Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

A recent survey released brought up interesting results. The happiest cities were not the metros with their infrastructure, facilities, abundance of jobs and entertainment. In fact the happier cities were the small non-metros of India. Also no guesses for which city made it to the top of the list – Jaipur.

Jaipur – thought to be only a tourist city of Rajasthan with its forts and palaces – is indeed also the happiest. Not only are the Pink City inhabitants in the pink of health, they are also happier. The reason is not difficult to fathom. There are many factors behind this. One is the open, green spaces in Jaipur. The residents of Jaipur enjoy a better quality of life and even air. Thanks to the open spaces and lesser polluting vehicles on the road, the skies are the bluest of blue with kite flying a favorite festival. Now compare a child flying kites under the blue sky to a child cooped in a room of a tall monolith concrete structure driving cars with manic aggression on a video game screen. Which of them will grow to be happier?

The other important reason one finds driving around Jaipur residential areas is the love of flowers and trees. Every home had planted flowers which were blooming, some even in a small window sill. When you see flowers everyday, how can their happy faces not bring a smile on your face?

In the bigger metros, when we ask many residents why they don’t grow flowers the usual mundane response we receive is mind-boggling. No space. Well where there is a will there is a way!! Here are some window boxes and trays that some innovative metro residents have and the flowers growing in them…

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C’mon Friends! Surely this will be a motivator. So roll up your sleeves, pick up any container you can find…even the empty ice-cream 1 litre tub from your fridge…fill it with soil…walk up to your kitchen for Methi seeds…or write to us at info@groveflora.com for flower or vegetable seeds and grow something. You will be doing something, albeit small, for the City, for the Planet and more importantly for YOURSELF! So here’s to a more HAPPIER YOU!!!


To share your own gardening pics and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com

Gardening Blog India titled - Horizontal Growth – Karela Neem Chada (Karela – bitter gourd – climbs the Neem – a Hindi idiom)

Some time back we’d brought you the blog on Uncle Shyam. Well, if you missed it, no matter. Just scroll below. Anyway, Uncle Shyam once he got started on gardening, he just can’t seem to stop. Now what is up Uncle…
Sheepishly he smiled. “Your Aunty (Uncle’s wife) is not talking to me anymore”, he said. What? Why? C’mon spill the beans…now what have you done…we were all agog and fired up all our questions.
“Well, I have taken up all her clothes-line. My plants are now into horizontal growth. To save space, you see”, he exclaimed.
No we cannot see. What’d you mean horizontal growth? Show us. He obliged by offering us high tea on the high balcony. Perched precariously, saucer-cup-samosa-ketchup-cake-and all, we smiled as we saw his new karela plant….it was all over the adjacent neem and had now claimed the clothes-line…want to see it…pictures below.

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To share your own gardening pics and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com

Gardening Blog India titled - The Stori of “Flirty Ms. Tori”

In a Noida balcony, there is a riotous affair in progress. Ms Tori is a really happening Stori. She started as a small seed of an interest. But now the interest has grown into a raging climb of passion. She clings to the walls, the back of Air conditioners and lo behold anything that can help her grow. From absolutely nothing but a small seed she has sprung up. A long winding creeper – all green and daintily dressed – with small yellow flowers tucked here and there. Now folks await the fruit of this plant – hopefully hundreds of “Tori” or “Ridge Gourd”.

Groveflora brings the pictures of Ms. Tori in an exclusive scoop just for you…
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More on this soon… To share your own gardening pics and experiments with balcony garening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com

Gardening Blog India titled - Balcony Gardening in India

I just don't know how to grow anything in my balcony garden in Bengaluru India. Please help me. What should I grow, what kind of pots should I choose? How do I build my balcony garden? I live in Bengaluru where the climate is temperate with excellent weather year round. Yet my balcony garden wears a rather limp look. I wish my balcony garden is green and full of blossoming flowers....As Groveflora heard this, we knew that our groveflora member had found us at the right time. Summer was still ambling in and it was not too hot.
We suggested one morning that we come down and inspect the balcony. Hurray, it was located just north of the living room and had plenty of sunshine all day long. Made our work easier. Hands in the gardening gloves,we picked up every container we could find. See, gardening is not an expensive hobby. It is very rewarding. In went some Rannanculus and Caladium flower bulbs into the old cracked soup bowls and mugs we found in the kitchen. Top up with peat and good soil, a little manure, water and then it was up to Mother Nature to do the trick.
Few weeks later, the flower bulbs began pushing their way out peeping out of the soil, green shoots sprouting. The flowers were not far away. Balcony Gardening in Bengaluru India was such fun our member wrote back. We read the email and smiled. So all of you out there, go ahead and start building your balcony garden. A place where you can sip your first cuppa of the day in the company of bright flowers.
To share your own gardening pics and experiments with balcony gardening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com

Gardening Blog India titled - Depressed Uncle without a Garden

We recently met Shyam Uncle at an event. He was depressed and sounded really sad. When we urged him to share the reason behind his melancholy countenance, he went into a litany of ‘Oh what a pity’s!’ Well the city’s concrete monolith was driving him nuts, he said. He longed for green spaces and fresh flowers. Try growing something, we suggested. This brought forth a volley of what sounded like cuss words. The city was awful, vertical growth had sacrificed parks and green spaces etc. With tiny, pigeon-holed apartment blocks with hardly any balcony to speak of – what was a man to do, he shouted. His angst was unbearable.

So we at Groveflora embarked on a mission. The raison-d-etre for our being there, for the next week, became helping Uncle Shyam reclaim his happy soul. We had his tiniest of tiny window and balcony space painted in hues of green. His balcony really is only 1 foot of cantilevered concrete jutting out of his 6th floor apartment in Delhi. It spans about 10 feet across the breadth of his bedroom. A 3 feet wide door that opens out rendered only about 6 feet long space usable.

Bottom line, there was no place to keep a pot on the balcony floor if someone had to stand in the balcony occasionally. We realized quickly what had turned this reasonable soul into the whining, screeching voice. A voice that so easily belongs to many city souls trapped in green power-defying matchboxes they call homes, sans joy and sans flower power.

In no time we converted the balcony wall into a collage of little wooden boxes of all odd shapes and sizes nailed securely on its façade. From the roof we hung hanging flower baskets. Little ceramic pots with green suddenly took root in the wooden boxes and bold orange nasturtiums trailed from the hanging baskets.

We invited Uncle Shyam to steal a preview look as we readied his 6 foot by 1 foot of garden hanging above the cars parked below. All around, the concrete monolith still stuck out like a sore thumb but for this little green oasis. Then a little sparrow bird came tweeting onto a hanging basket in search of a pool of water to nose around with. A tiny breeze brought the smell of wild rose in the wooden box with it.

Uncle Shyam had no words! The tears glistening in his eyes said it all.

Flower Power and Groveflora had won the day again! Our day of course was also made by seeing the happy soul trudge to his kitchen for a cup of water for his new plant companions in the city!

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And the pic shows how Uncle Shyam's hanging basket shaped up.. More on this soon…. To share your own gardening pics and experiments with balcony garening in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com

Gardening Blog India titled - WHEN 1 BECOMES 20 IN THE GARDEN

Our garlic bulbs bought for use in the kitchen had begun to sprout greens perhaps encouraged by the cool dark corner of the cabinet drawer they were in. Rather than waste these bulbs we planted individual cloves from them in recycled plastic yoghurt containers (we are big on recycling and going green!)

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And the pic on the right shows how these garlic cloves look like later. They are almost an inch above the soil level and it’s been only about a week.

To share your own gardening pics and experiments with bulbs in India and abroad and post on this Gardening Blog, do write to us at newsletter@groveflora.com


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