Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Lonely Poppy Popped Up!

 There have been a lot of flowery inspiration all around me since the beginning of this year. To begin with, I moved to a cantonment, and cantonments have the most well kept personal gardens. Then, it was the peak season of winter-spring flowers. I attended a flower show too which inspired me to wake up and smell the 'flower'! Long ago, I loved planting flowers and had a lot of interest in plants being a student of botany.  

 A couple of days before Holi, a lovely neighbor invited a group of ladies for tea and some gossip. The party was good, but what I  really liked was her flower beds. 

The lovely flowers in each direction of her courtyard were beckoning me to take a break from my chitchat and go clickety-click with my mobile camera. Oh, the sight of flowers makes me so happy!

Oh, the reds and blues, the yellows and purples.. Do you know what was even more awesome? This....

An invitation to the monthly ladies meet with floral theme! Though I could not attend the meet, all the flower-pollen surely affected my thinking process and I made elaborate plans of growing some flowers in my courtyard too. So what if Coco takes all my time and so what if it is already almost April. I figured out that since the weather was fairly cool, I could fool some plants into thinking it was still winter and coax out some flowers from them.

Next thing I saw was little bunches of flower plants finding their way into  flower beds hastily cleared off of the weeds and dead leaves which were accumulating since the previous residents left.

And then... I dropped it all and we left for a 10 day trip leaving the little plants to elements. When we came back,I inspected all the plants, and to my surprise, there was something.  

This malnutritioned, straggly poppy plant with a single frail flower. For the fun of it, I quickly clicked some pictures before it vanished too. 

Though I had expected nothing, and was already planning to plant summer flowers, the single poppy definitely made me happy. Some other plants are giving out a flower here, a bud there too. Not bad till I find the drive to do some actual gardening.

Blossoms In My Courtyard

When we first moved into this house in February, this tree in our courtyard was leafless and full of little berry shaped yellowed fruits, looking exactly like neem fruits or nimbolis which dropped and covered the ground enhancing the pallor of the whole scene. We thought we will get this almost dead and useless berries tree chopped down and will plant some good trees so that people who inhabit this house later will have better views and benefits of occupying this place.
After this, we went out for exactly ten days, and when we came back, we were greeted by this sight....

Had the tree been listening??

 Not only the green foliage, it also has lovely blossoms now with a heady scent, typical of Indian summer flowers. Whenever I rush out of the back door, I am always distracted by its lovely perfume.
 Like berries, its leaves also look like neem leaves and flowers are in the above picture. I do not know the name of the tree, but it sure is a sibling of neem.

The courtyard also has a lemon tree and is blossoming currently. Ah, that lovely fragrance which is good enough to freshen a lazy woman. 
One of our typical evening walks, with the guys marching ahead and me getting distracted all the time with stuff like this.
The onset of summer is beautiful here, where I currently live, in a cantonment of a foothill town of Uttarakhand. My evening walks are fragrant and lovely and filled with cuckoo songs, I can spot the snow on nearby mountains and I have to make myself cosy in a sweatshirt in April. I guess it remains as beautiful throughout the year, like in the song 'barah mahine yahan mausam jaadon ka' ( twelve months of winter.) Ah, life in a hill station.......

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

What I Did Last Winter!

red sweater

Ours is a large family and the numbers of relatives runs into at least high 3 digits. So there is an abundance of occassions especially weddings and arrival of new babies. Every time a little one is born in a relative's home, my in-laws visit them with gifts for the newborn and the new mother. These gifts include clothes. And if it is winter, there have to be warm clothes for the baby.

red sweater
She is an avid gift-giver, my Ma-in-Law. Her gifts have to be unique and useful. She knows that I am a knitter and thus I am commissioned to accomplish the task of knitting cute baby sweater sets. Please note that red is her preferred colour for baby sweaters.

red sweater

This past winter, though Coco was quite a handful, I was required to work my needles again. It was a welcome change in my somewhat still routine and warmed me in drab Delhi winter. So, here is the main sweater, semi-ready after much brainstorming over yarn and colour and pattern and such. The wide yellow stripe is not really flattering, or is it? We will see. 

                                         crochet cars                                        Here we go with some little red things to do this...

                               boys' handknit sweater, sweater with little cars                            Of course that yellow stripe was a road, on which these red cars were to whizz by! What did you think, the roads could not be yellow with black footpaths in Babyland? The car pattern was thankfully taken from this blog.        
                                               knitting pattern, red sweater, cars on a sweater  
The little sweater now looks happily cuddling itself. It is time to move on and prepare matching accessories... 

So much tangled confusion of yarn isn't it? And we are calling it an accessory?

red and black striped bootie
Well, of course, its a teeny-tiny bootie for cosying up those little feet. The Zebra Crossing of yellow Babyland roads ;)

red hat, baby hat
Of course, a sweater set is not complete without a hat. And a sweater with cars has to have a hat with a car.      

After the set was ready, it was time to pack and give away, but not before my customary photo shoot of the above items to my heart's content. I laid them out onto my quilt, and clicked away.

baby sweater, boys' sweater
Clicking and taking an eyeful in, touching and smiling, making mental notes here and there about what I should change or improve the next time I take up such a project.

baby booties
Loving the way the laces are jumping up looking cheerful.

red little car, sweater, hat, booties
The last picture, taken hastily and blurred slightly, but generally able to look like what I had in mind at the outset. Oh, knitting for babies is the best. They have so much scope for bright colors and cute patterns, and they are ready in no time, the small sizes. I do not know whether babies wear them or not, however I would love to see them wearing it, but I sure do know, handmade gifts of this nature are a rarity nowadays and make good keepsakes.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

For Screaming '' Rafflesia"

Better late than never... I remembered this phrase while I was deciding between sharing this event and leaving it forgotten ( because it happened nearly a month ago) like many others in my blog's folder. The lazy woman is hit by bouts of laziness and internet snag and what not in whatever brief time she is free to blog.

Anyways, now overcoming all the hurdles, here we are talking about the lovely flower show we had last month when the blooms were at peak. Among bright crisp sunny days, this was a lovely afternoon when I was pulled out of my siesta to get ready and go see the above mentioned flower show.

 Always interested in beautiful sights, I reached the venue and started hopping from table to table, clicking away to glory...needless to say, flowers are always beautiful. I could not decide whether I should leave some of them un-photographed!

Later, I also had a hard time selecting best looking ones for the blog. Although the actual site was all pretty and colourful, the pictures looked washed out, mostly because the day was incredibly bright.

Moving on from category to category, when I reached the spot where Bonsai plants were displayed, I could not take my eyes off this beauty. As it turned out, it was the first prize winner, rightly so.

More colours, more pleasure and finally everyone moved to the seating area where prize distribution was to take place. They also had a little quiz. Oh, look at that table laden with prizes....

How could it happen that there was a shower of coloured packages and I could stay quiet? I screamed out Rafflesia as an answer to a question when I thought everyone knows it and no one will probably hear how loud I can scream. As luck would have it, I was the only one knowing the answer this time. A little embarrassed , a little happy too, I grabbed my prize and made a dash to my chair, shaking internally. 

Not bad for screaming 'Rafflesia' though, hm?