This thread documents two things:
1. A few pictures and notes of botanical interest to this Colorado Gardener.
2. Thoughts and shots of the acquaintance of very distant, yet close, DGers.
Some of you may know me, some of us may have met in passing in Denver at TrishaG's house; and some of us have yet to meet.
I haunt the forum occasionally, but especially leading up to our biannual meetings.
I wanted to share with you the beautiful power of gardens, like 'Dave's Garden,' and moreover the internal common value of nurturing green things, to faciliate connexions. I recently returned from a trip through Southern India. An extraordinarily diverse place, it was a month of just about everything and anything that could happen. It may be easier to find worlds NOT to describe Soutern India, like "boring."
The gem of the trip was meeting a fellow Dave's Garden Member, Dinu. He and I had had a very brief correspondence regarding an orchid ID a year or so ago by e-mail. Upon realising I would be in Mysore, I was elated to have the chance to meet a fellow DGer, which I have done many times, but not on the exact other side of the Northen Hemisphere.
I remembered the lighthearted mood of the posts by Dinu I had read on DG over the years, and just had to meet this fellow.
Dinakar is a native Mysorean, so he was able to share with me all sorts of fine details to enrich my understanding of the place tenfold. It was also incredibly nice to chat plants (you know, that plant nut thing we gardeners do) with a like soul.
The above picture is his workplace. thoughtfully designed and surrounded by some lovely formal gardens.
Dinu and Kenton (myself). Photos courtesy of him. (We stand side-by-side with the aid of computer effects...)
Beware a thread full of photos. I've invited Dinu to comment and share as well.
Just an aside: India is good at food. It may be the finest thing the country has to offer. It's that good, and all the time. Who wouldn't be at home where teastalls are all over every street, busstand, and train platform? Anyhow...
Mysore Palace clad in its ephemeral light display.
A quick water shot of the Harbour in Bombay. Note the big hotel peeking into the left periphery. This is the Taj Majal Hotel that was bombed by terrorists last year. (rather, November 2008). I ate in a cafe where, as a token of resilience, they proudly left the bullet holes in the concrete walls. Indians are a peacful lot, and I fancy that hate is an imported commodity.
Oh yes, and the gate of India dominating the view.
As a result of overgrazing in many places, dominant plants are often thorny or poisonous. Fun thing, I don't know what it is. The amusing Sensitive Plant, Mimosa pudica, is a very common weed in some places I visited.
After that bike somehow managed to find itself in a canal and didn't work as well as it did before (which at best was near-fatal), I rented another and biked out into the country to stumble into the Parsekar Organic Farm, supplier of Organic Spices and Fruit. Coconuts, Bananas, Betelnuts, Chickoo, Papaya, Nutmeg, Clove, Love Apple, Pineapple, Ginger, Turmeric, Tomatoes, tulsi, and black pepper in quantity.
Here stands Mr. Parsekar next to a mound of fine termites working as on-site compost experts.
For fun, notice the non-native Scotch Broom (which we Xeriscape folk like) at the bottom of a proper dweller of the area: the largest species of Rhodie in the world: R. arboreum, which also grows in Nepal (where it is rightfully the state flower)
This is specifically Rhododendron arboreum Sm. subsp. nilagiricum (Zenker) Tagg
This is where I hope he'll post some pictures of his own later. Realise it is the dry season in the savannah of Karnataka, and spring is thier best flower season, too. I get a kick out of resting and dormant gardens more than most. But for contrast, perhaps Dinu will post a few shots of his garden in its peak season.
How fun it is to experience a bit of India through your narrative and pictures! And as said above, lovely to 'see' both you and Dinu. That rhododendron is amazing. I love seeing the flora and fauna of other locations. Thank you so much for sharing!
I have a question that is a bit OT. Kenton, I thought you worked at DBG, but your username says you live in Grand Junction? I just wondered if I have mixed things up somehow.
Thanks for looking, all. I neglected to mail Dinu the internet address of this thread; fool me!
Roybird, Dinu is well worth being a favourite person among those in the world at large, he is mine at present.
I very much look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting. Good to read you, Donna.
A couple Tamil gentlemen, who proved to be pleasant and very educated, at temple on the day they were to travel south for pilgrimage.
In the evening after we returned from the Palace, Kenton and I were discussing various things aided by pictures from my PC.
It was fantastic to have him the other day. I was elated when I got an e-mail and then when he landed here he called me over phone and then I went to pick him up from the hotel - quite near to home, then showed the palatial building of my workplace, showed some heritage buildings along the route to my home. I was amazed that his keen eye was noticing plants and flowers as he pillioned on my scooter. At times I would stop and let him have a closer look! A real gardener.
I took him to Kukkarahalli Lake which is also close by - most places are close by in Mysore and I'm lucky my home is in the heart of this fast developing city and just a mile from Mysore Palace and a little more to my work place. That we come home for lunch every day is no wonder!
Here Kenton collected some grass seeds from near the lake. "Waaw"! he used to exclaim when he saw something interesting and then he would go near and examine/explore followed by another "waaw" or a short "wow".
At the lake - the famous walkway where famous personalities have walked over in the distant past admiring the beauty.
After admiring this hibiscus, he helped himself with its photo. I had asked all my flowers (only a few this dry season) to be ready for posing as a special guest from DG would arrive. It was garden first and then we entered indoors.
My DG blog is here. Some pictures as the garden developed in the 'new half' of our plot. Have not updated it as I had wished to. May be it is time I did that. This serves me as a reminder.
This is the spiritual/divine hill I mentioned to you about Ooty. This was taken by a member from our group (I had not toured). They had organized a spiritual program in its vicinity. The Masters say those hills that have pointed edges belong to divinity and have great spiritual energies around them. This is the Hill of Sage Agastya (in Hindu scriptures).
Thanks for letting me know about this thread, Dinu. Kenton, I truly envy you getting to meet Dinakar! He's one of my first friends here at DG and someone I admire. I know how happy he was to finally get to meet a DG member, an occurance we take for granted in the US.
Hi Dinu and Kenton, great that you got to meet eachother. And for the rest of us to share your pictures. I have been out of town for a few days and so taking a little time to catch up. Again thanks for the pictures, your new garden walkway looks fabulous.
Just returned from my trip to Chandigarh. Our team could not fare well and win enough to be in the semi-final, but on a personal front my performance was okay. Others need to perform too to take us to victory. But it was not.
It will not be a tour that our team likes to 'nostalgiate'.
Have taken many photos in that city as well as on railway platforms. Will post them slowly, so be in touch!