gardens around me
A WALK AROUND MY AMMAMMA’S GARDEN
My ammamma is my serious inspiration for gardening. She is my grandmother, that is mother’s mother, what I call her as ammamma. Her name is Govindammal Jayavelu. She is being into gardening since many years. Ammamma’s garden has different varieties of fruits and vegetables, from pineapple to lemons. Various colours of flowers. She changes her garden according to seasons, sometimes what she is interested or what is available.
Ammamma manages to get daily harvest from her garden. It may be flowers, greens or lemons whatever. So with that note, I am excited to take you to her garden in the month of May.
A small-medium sized (not too small) space in the backyard is where her main garden lies.
Apart from that, she has terrace gardens, a small front yard or portico garden and some plants in balcony. Yes! Many plants in my granny’s home.
Apart from home consumption, she also provides fruits, flowers, greens, vegetables to neighbours with love. Sometimes she runs a small business with her garden.
GARDEN TOUR IN THE MONTH OF MAY
Summer in this year 2017, is very much hotter than the last. The highest temperature we experienced in May is 111 Fahrenheit. Most of my plants in my garden back home died. I thought, she was also experiencing the same situation. But to my surprise, her garden is still green.
Ammamma has limited her garden to the main backyard one for the easy maintenance in summer. Still one or two plants thrives in front yard and balcony. She says
Plants are not tolerating this summer heat. So I removed all dead plants. I will start replanting them in July to August, when the climate moderates. Later in January, I will start harvesting them and then comes summer as a break for me. This cycle continues!
PLANTS IN HER GARDEN
VIBRANT, COLOURFUL FLOWERS
Alari / Oleander
The following flowering plants are those I saw this vacation. I feel excited to take you all into her garden.
The first plant we see is “alari” which is called as Oleander plant in english.
It is a beautiful plant, with attractive reddish pink flowers.
The next plant is green “sampanki” flowers, which is called as kodi sampanki. These are the beautiful green flowers, which I like to keep in my hair.
These are the climbers, can also be considered as a type of wall decor.
Sembaruthi / Hibiscus
Hibiscus in tamil called as “sembaruthi” is the one flower that every gardener love to have in their garden.
Sembaruthi is an attractive flower. Even one flower in a plant will be pretty enough because of the bright, vibrant colour.
She is having two varieties. One is traditional variety and the other is “aduku sembaruthi”.
Kanagambaram / Fire-cracker flower
If you are from city side, then I bet u never know this flower. Because the next flower is “kanagambaram” also called as sun firecracker flower. Its botanical name is Crossandra infundibuliformis.
Pretty light orange, reddish yellow and some other colours are there. Currently she is having this beautiful orange coloured flowers. I like this flower myself. It is one of the rare flowers we get today.
Pattu rose / Moss rose
Pattu rose also called moss rose or rubyphilominal is again a decorative plants with pretty small roses. It is available in different colours. She is having the white and pink combination.
Jasmine is the other plant that everyone loves. Moreover this is the plant that loves summer.
Here is the look of a pot with jasmine bloomed in a fine morning.
After jasmine, Gardenia is the flower that has nice pleasant scent. It is the white flowering plant, also loves summer.
Ammamma has more than 10 types of greens or called as “keerai”, in her garden. Due to this extreme heat, she has limited greens in her garden.
Karisalankanni / Eclipta prostrata
“Yellow karisalankanni” or also called as bhringraj. The scientific name is Eclipta prostrata which is rich in iron, calcium and micro nutrients.
Some of the medicinal uses of this karisalankanni keerai are
- It is the one cure for Jaundice.
- Prevents night blindness.
- This specific green is good for teeth, hair and skin.
- Karisalankanni keerai is the best treatment for ulcers.
- Cures coughs and asthma.
- Strengthens liver and helps secretion of bile.
Murungai / Moringa
The next best green, every doctor prefers is “murungai keerai” also called as moringa in English. The botanical name for this plant is Moringa olifera. The other name is drumstick tree.
Moringa is a familiar green that is beneficial from root to leaves. A complete drumstick tree is edible and highly nutritious.
Moringa is rich in iron, calcium, phosphorous, protein and fibre. It has specific benefits for leaves, flower, drumstick, seeds, and roots. Some of the overall benefits are
- It increases appetite.
- Helps in reducing sugar level in blood.
- Juice of moringa leaves helps to reduce body heat and hair loss.
- Rich in iron and prevents anaemia.
- Reduces headache, body pain.
- Acts as antispasmodic.
- Provides strength to heart and helps in its proper functioning.
- Improves breast milk secretion for pregnant moms.
- Kills any worms in the stomach and expels them.
Ponnangani / Sessile joyweed
My favorite green, both growing and eating is “Sessile joyweed” or “Dwarf copperleaf” which is widely called as Red ponnangani keerai. It is very easy to grow in our gardens with little care.
It has more benefits and tasty too. Some of the benefits are:
- Helps in improving eyesight.
- Tones liver.
- Removes body heat
- Helps in reducing the sugar level in blood
- Improves breast milk secretion for pregnant moms.
- Helps in strengthening the body.
These curry leaves are widely used as seasoning in south Asian countries. This tree is a tropical or sub-tropical tree which is native in India and Sri Lanka.
These curry leaves are rich in iron, carbohydrates, phosphorous, vitamins A, B, C & E. Also rich in calcium and fibres. Some of its benefits are:
- As rich in iron, fights anaemia.
- Helps in reducing cholesterol.
- Increases the digestion.
- Controls hair fall and greying of hair.
- Helps in reducing blood sugar level.
Next is the mint. She has mint in her garden. Mint is very easy to grow. For more details about how to grow mint, click here : MINT.
Chillies loves heat. Growing green chillies in summer month is a right choice. Ammamma has a small plant of green chilli in her garden.
Lawsonia inermis is the botanical name of henna. It is widely used in hair dyes and to put mehandi in hands and feet on special occasions.
Everyone likes crotons. A variety of crotons are available in market now a days. Ammamma too have some crotons in her garden.
Betel leaves are also called as “vetrilai” in tamil. Ammamma has betel plant just for decorative purpose, also used for some poojas in home.
Ammamma has making compost of her own from the kitchen wastes in the corner space of her garden. She provides a good amount of compost and manures for the plants in the regular intervals.
Ammamma gets at least a flower or bunch of different greens. Sometimes more sometimes less, but daily. On that particular day, we got moringa leaves, red ponanganni and drumsticks.
Comment below if you loved her garden. The story of how she raised this garden will be posted soon. So stay tuned for the series #GardensAroundMe, for more walks and talk about different gardeners and their gardens.