Monday, September 12, 2011

Precious...This One's for You

As i looked out from the window it was the hedge tree that got me interested to go and have a closer look at the attractive foliage first. i have seen these along roadsides in Delhi too but here in this city of Indore i found quite a many used mainly as a hedge tree close to the boundary wall. Some have even been pruned in the horticultural art of topiary to look like bright green umbrellas peeping out of the boundary walls. They are quite a sight even from the outside and a delight for everyone passing by.

i wonder what these trees are called. These brilliant greens that look partly like yew and partly like cypress from a distance. Then enquired within myself if i would have that patience enough to search out the nameless from the internet or out of that voluminous big book that i own. The one that lists the A-Z of about 10,000 species if not all.
Took a few more closer shots from the mobile camera to show it to my Forest Officer and maybe suggest him to replace that vacant area in his lawn by these. And who knows i might not have to go through all the pages of my big fat but priceless book. The one that i call fondly as my PRECIOUS.

It's sad when the Forest Officer had to remove both his laden with fruit, PRECIOUS coconut trees. The wonderful fronds of which formed an attractive entrance to his garden and lawn.
 PRECIOUS not only refreshed him from all his tiredness but  provided us all with some cool freshness even on those hot summer months when everything else turned limp, brown and dry. It was sheer delight to see the lush, glistening frondy branches sway in the breeze with all it's energy and vibrancy that challenged even the dreadful LOO (Hot and extremely dry winds of North India during summers).  During the last summer storm the branches hindered with the electric transmission lines and reeked havoc. Not only did a dangerous fire break out with a bang that sounded like a blast which psyched everyone in the colony but was also responsible for a major breakdown with no electricity for two days.
The aftermath of all this coupled with the hue and cry of neighbors saw Precious being cut down.While my sister narrated the incident i was remembering that poem On Killing A Tree  by Gieve Patel. But of course this is an imagery poem where the image of a tree is used by the poet which is highly suggestive and applies to killing human relations too, mainly.

These trees could be a good substitute if not the perfect one, so i thought and walked back.

But the road on both sides was flanked by more and i could not control myself. Maybe i could send in some more pictures and tempt him with more ideas that perhaps would add some color and drama to his vacant spots.Who knows in getting engaged in planting and growing these he might not miss his PRECIOUS that much. But then i can't vouch for that. However there's no harm in trying.


Ahhh the pretty , very pretty Alamanda. i'm sure his Jharkhand is full of the yellow one. That which is also known as the Golden Trumpet vine. Maybe he can plant a couple of these...

Or how about this variety of wild Plumeria which does not have the regular dark obovate leaves rather adorns leaves that look as if they are just back from a visit to the salon where they have been given such a fine cut that they stand out. The shape of the leaf resembles a fiddle perhaps for it to be called fiddle leaf Plumeria. Another standing out characteristic is that it has only one or two slender trunks unlike the regular sweet smelling Plumeria with thick succulent branches.  i loved the way it stood, dignified without any support despite it's slender body. No slouch...nor any droop... just smartly erect. 
Fiddle leaf Plumeria 
Plumeria pudica
Now this one is surely going to sweep him off his feet. Has he seen red Mussaenda cultured and trained to be a creeper like this? The stunning blood red sepals of which makes it look like a cheerleader, hailing glory on the porch of the beautiful house it adorns. All you can do is just stand there and say, WOW!!
i'm sure the first picture would give him that enormous kick to his ego when he would want to correct me on my folly by pointing out in his typical connoisseurs' style and as a matter of fact tone that i might have not identified the vine correctly.
 So how about giving him a closer peek.
Mussaenda erythrophylla

Ashanti Blood/ Red flagbush/ Tropical Dogwood

Maybe i could get a kick this time when i show him how beautifully three have been combined. The purple of the Bush Morning Glory, the red of the Mussaenda, and the orange of the Flaming Trumpet. For my perusal only revealed the surprise in purple and orange among the reds and i am dying to share the surprise with him. He should be able to make out the small purple buds and the dark green smaller leaves of the purple trumpet flower creeper. It's rather disappointing that i could not capture any of the orange clusters clearly either but i know i saw some tiny clusters. 
 i could be wrong about the name of the purple trumpet flowers because there exist many which look the same and are vines too. The Railway creeper being one too but this was definitely not the Railway Creeper because the dark green leaves were not cracked and seven lobed but heart shaped.
Are you a sight for sore eyes?
Or a traffic stopper?

Some Flaming Trumpet 

A stunning combination of vines that had shades of green, purple ,orange and dominating all, the blood red

Then i have to definitely ask him if he knew this which many here are using near their entrances. Very refreshing color of the double- pinnate leaves. Attractive and pleasantly eye catching! more for it's interesting foliage and it's color. Appearing as if the edges glowed with their own light of green mixed with yellow. 
Wonder if they flower too...

Although my heart pulsates with excitement i am not too sure this excitement can kindle the same into the heart of someone who had to go through that painful and hard task of killing his PRECIOUS. That which lived and responded to his care and nurturing by giving him a bountiful which was shared among one and all in that colony.  i can understand what he must be going through right now apart from the other tensions of a busy life. i can only hope that my attempt to cheer him up and motivate him to make yet another fresh start should be able to do just that. Nothing more...nothing less.
Knowing him just too well for his intensity and passion that angers him every time anything is addressed as an invasive weed , chances are that he already has...
But if wishes could be fulfilled i'd rather that, " ...And from close to the ground
               Will rise curled green twigs
   Miniature boughs,
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.
And for times when wishes are not fulfilled then this should not only remind but also suffice...
"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and 
you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which 
has been your delight."
--- Kahlil Gibran 


  1. Hey Shivani..

    very informative post for me as I am normally unaware of all these names for these plants!

    Your post kept me to read on because of the mention of INDORE. It is my home town :)

    The flowers of 'Mussaenda erythrophylla' are one of my favourites because of their dark red against the perfect green leaves. Do you know, in Holland (the Netherlands) this plant is given as a gift during christmas and almost every kitchen window/living room is adorned with this beautiful small plant. I have lived in Holland for 5 years and it has been a beautiful sight to look at this wonderful gift. For me, these flowers would always symoblize the scent of Christmas in air :)

    Thanks for this post!

  2. Shaifali thank you for your time and giving me joy like always with your inputs.
    That's information for me too. i knew of the Holly, Mistletoe... to be associated with Christmas but Mussaenda...this is news for me. i'll remember Holland and Mussaneda.Thanks for sharing something i've yearned for always...some more...something different...something new but special associated with what i talk about and that's what i call not only rewarding but an enlightning exchange.
    Thanks girl for making my day and do watch out there's more... surprises from Indore that i'll be sharing in consecutive posts. :)

  3. Looking forward to read INDORE in your posts :)
    By the way, if I may ask how are you associated with Indore?

  4. @Shaifali hey,
    Just chk out my older posts for the month of August viz a)Return of the native
    b)Bhagwaan and His Corn
    You shall get all the answers.
    i just went there on an invitation for pilgrimage to Sri Omkaareshwar amd Sri Mahakaal.
    The invitation was from my husband's colleague and dear friend who is posted there currently.
    Actually he is now a family friend too. Do read Return of The Native and let me know if i have overstated or understated anything. Although i tried my best to be honest in my feelings.
    As from me i was born and brought up in Patna (BIHAR)if that was also what you wanted to know.
    Thank you once again.
    i feel wanted :)

  5. thank u for your invigorating efforts.trying 2 comply yr valuable advice.hope 2 get more in future.

  6. @Jeet welcome! to my page My one and only Forest Officer!
    Was dying to share this with you and shall be sharing lots more.
    Thank you for taking time out from your hectic schedule and this post was specially for you.
    i am soooo happy to see u and yr eagerness for more.
    More will come but shortly...:)