This year being our first attempt at gardening, TH and I tentatively began with only a few flowering shrubs. One of the first ones that we purchased was a hibiscus plant (actually two). Hibiscus shrubs are very common in India and almost every backyard is home to at least one plant, if not more. The hibiscus flowers come in various colours, each more brilliant and enthralling than the previous one !
Although short lived ( they stay fresh on the plant for only a day), they provide a burst of blooming freshness and colour throughout their flowering season.
The hibiscus is not planted for only aesthetic purposes, however. The entire plant can be used in a variety of ways.
- The seeds are used for their oil .
- The leaves and fruits have diuretic properties.
- Leaves are also used in some parts of the world as a soothing cough remedy.
- Hibiscus flower extract is also used for liver disorders and high blood pressure.
- Tender leaves and stalks are eaten in salads.
- The flowers are also used in jams, jellies and the like.
- A good friend has also posted a very delicious sounding idli recipe made with the leaves of the white hibiscus plant.
People familiar with Indian deities should also note that hibiscus flowers, especially red ones, are considered to be the favourite flower of Lord Ganesh.
That done, here are a few pictures of my thriving hibiscus plants. The only problem being, these are not tropical hardy hibiscus, which means that in all probability, these beauties will not survive the winter here. That would really be a shame.
Had I known in advance, I would have either opted to plant these in big containers or would have gone for the hardy variety.I guess all I can do now is take some cuttings from these plants, mulch them heavily, and pray for a tiny gardening miracle !
How can any self respecting aspiring gardener not have roses ? With hundreds of varieties to choose from, getting a few is that much easier (or that much harder, depending on how you look at it :-) )
These are the fragrant flora that bloomed in my front yard !
I couldnt resist taking a picture of this okra bud in my vegetable garden !
I will leave you for the moment with these few peeks into my humble garden. Hopefully I will have more pictures to share!
Until then, may the grass be always greener on your side of the fence !