Pleasant in the mornings, hot in the afternoons, showers in the evenings and cool in the nights. That’s Bangalore weather for you. During late afternoons, it gets totally dark setting the scene for a heavy downpour. And, this is when I get busy giving into a latest obsession – hand painting terracotta planters. I’ve tried on different colors on a few planters we picked on our return from the Mahabalipuram trip. It’s an understatement to say I’m having fun painting them. It’s fun mixing the colors, wiping it away when I feel the colors are either too strong or too subdued, and start redoing it from scratch. The colors look stunning in the hot summer weather. And, I’m constantly searching the web for inspiration. Some of my latest rustic creations: The circles are stenciled on a terracotta planter white white as base. I haven’t primed the surface and the surface…

The weather is changing; it was hovering over 39 degrees burning us alive with the heat just two days back and today it is all cloudy and chill. The drastic change in weather is a welcoming change to our moods but not so much for the plants. Have you noticed how the growth of plants suddenly slows down when seasons change? Just as we adapt ourselves in clothing and eating habits based on the weather condition, it’s important to modify feeding patterns for plants through the year. In her book on homemaking tips, Household Wisdom, author Stephanie Donaldson writes, “There is a world of difference between a healthy, ?flourishing houseplant and the sad specimens that die a slow, lingering death on the windowsills and mantelpieces of far too many homes. The mortality rate among houseplants is staggeringly high. Half the fatalities are killed by kindness such as overwatering and and…

An orange hibiscus. Few white nandyavattais. Enough to give a great start to one’s morning. The flowers have bloomed in my balcony garden after a dry spell of nearly 5 months. The balcony has been receiving very less sunshine the past few months, thanks to the incessant rain and gloomy weather of Bangalore. At one point in time, I was afraid I would just have to move all my pots to the common garden area downstairs. Which I did, infact, last week by moving about 8 small pots containing Tulsi (Basil), other herbs, ferns, and assorted flowering ones. It was not a easy decision considering how much effort went into procuring and tending to them. So, seeing these plants bloom and flower has put a smile on my face. Here are few tips to take care of your balcony garden during the monsoon: 1. Do not water them everyday as…

All’s not been well here.  Over the past 10 days, the stubborn cold virus has been doing the rounds with each of us taking ill in turns; the family is slowly limping back to normalcy. However, I did find sometime on those long afternoons (when not under the influence of cough syrup) to add some cheer and color to the home. Blame it on the festive season :) A while ago, I wrote about two terracotta pots I picked on the roadside, one of which I painted with zebra stripes. The other one has got a fresh lease of life too. The tree is inspired by a similar design on a Worli bedsheet. Orange Pomander : During my recent trip to Trichy, I frequented a old books exhibition that had a HUGE collection of design and interior design books. One UK magazine that I grew fond of (can’t recollect the…

One of the first few things I did this time, after getting back from vacation, was to check on my ivy collection in the utility area and the potted plants in the balcony. The balcony garden had thrived well, but the ivies had accumulated a lot of algae almost endangering them. There’s nothing more heart-rending than to see your plants barren and it’s leaves turning yellow, when you return from a holiday. It’s happened to me more than once, and on every one of these occasions, I’ve sat down to reminisce how long it took for that Tulsi to grow from a three-leaf plant to one with numerous branches. And it’s all gone in no time. I’ve gone wise since these last few experiences; and here are a few things on my to-do list now before I leave on vacation every time which might be of help: 1. Move the…

If you are a mother and a blogger, then the chances you’ve not heard of the talented Mad Momma are bleak; her home is a visual retreat. Pictures of her home and garden , replete with casual references to recycling and gardening tips, have been a great inspiration for me. Thanks to her, the number of potted plants in my balcony grew from one to ten within a month bringing a lot of cheer, happy memories (watering with my son daily), and greenery into our lives.

I wanted to showcase how everyday objects can be used as planters and I knew MM had creatively used a zillion such things in her backyard. She was kind enough to share pictures of six planters from her indoor garden. Most of the containers have been reused as planters as they were originally intended for something else. I present to you her best picks..

Do you live in an apartment and would love to have a garden but don’t have the time and space? Most of us who fall under that category would at least grow a ivy plant in a bottle. Do you and if yes, how many? A ivy plant (commonly known as money plant) is one of the first things I get when I move from one city to another. It is at the same priority level as getting a gas connection and a broadband connection (if not in the same order :) ). Every time I’ve moved, I’ve lost all my plants. On more than one occasion I’ve seen my ivy grow from a plant-with-one- leaf to one spanning more than two floors.  But that hasn’t deterred me from planting a new one again. Now I have over 5 of them, each of a distinct type,  in different planters: two…

Terra Cotta planters are common along the road side in most cities across India. They come in various shapes, sizes, and forms including animals and gods.

I bought a pair of planters for Rs. 80 a few months ago, filled them with potting soil, and planted ivy (money) plants. A few weeks ago, itching to do something, I turned one of the planters into a decorative vase.

What you’ll need:

1. Brush

2. Acrylic Paint – black and white

3. Palette or a cup.

4.  Fevicol

5. Water

6. Varnish