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Some gardening tips
Squirrels pose a major hindrance to our efforts to save the fruits and vegetables.  I tried this net to protect the flowers from them .
  Most of the times the squirrel wins and rarely , I win too
 Obviously this non-metallic net is no big deal for the animals but if we are able to protect for one day , the flowers till they bloom , before the squirrels realise it is not much of a protection , it is worth it.



Coconut peat is available in the market in blocks or cubes.  We can take a block and add it to a plastic container ( making it into pieces ) and add water.  We will find that the volume increases several times.  We can use coconut peat instead of sand  if we find it difficult to get sand , along with sand particularly if it is clayey.  It increases the moisture retention property. The main advantage is that it is weightless so it is easy for us to move the plants with the container when required. 
Other advantages are that it improves aeration, makes it easy to work with the soil and is organic.
Gardening gives us an opportunity to move closer to nature.  It gives one a lot of happiness when he / she sees the flowers bloom.  I have rose, oleander, tube rose and what we call nandyavattai flower plants and of course Tulsi plants in flower pots.

 I use them for performing puja and also for decorations inside the house in a bowl along with some flowers purchased from the flower vendor.

White the tube rose decorations have been shared already in Rangolisansdots.  Here are two flowers - the nandya vattai  used in Puja for Goddess Laxmi.



Two more flowering plants from my 'garden.  The orange flower I understand is from the lily family.  A rare photo that shows a family of flower one fully bloomed, one that is blooming and at the bottom a bud.


The  flower below is the popular sampangi  in Tamil ( rajini gandha in Hindi ).  A cluster of sampangi buds that will bloom soon .

I have a marudhani ( mehndi or henna ) plant in my garden.  I use for applying marudhani as we say in Tamil, the traditional method of decorating palms with simple circular patterns.  This gives a cooling effect and is preferred during summer as also for weddings and festivals like Varalakshmi Vratham and Navratri which are celebrated by women. It is easy to make traditional marudhani paste.  Remove the leaves and grind them in a mixer, squeeze a lemon slice .  Some leaves do not get ground.   Remove them.  What is left is a fine paste that we apply on the fingers and palms of our hands.


Of all the types of roses , paneer rose that is  beautiful pink in colour is the most beautiful because of its fragrance.  The insects and bees will vouch for it because you have any number of roses of different varieties and have one or two paneer rose the bees will buzz around this variety only !
They know the difference between natural and hybrid varieties.


A hybrid , dark red rose plant , beautiful but not for bees !


Tulsi or the holy basil is a must for any garden particularly for those who perform Puja to the plant.  This is one of my plants in may little  garden.  I have a separate plant  for Puja in a "Tulsi madaam"


Some of the flowers from the garden for Puja, on the right is the marudhani flower that I use in "kadambam " or garland made of different types of flowers.

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