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Monday, May 06, 2013

At Long Last, A Pomegranate Blossom!

Pomegranate blossom framed by pomegranate leaves
I like to water plants and tend to them when I can, with whatever little knowledge I've accumulated by trial-and-error as well as through praise and/or “feedback” about something that I could have done better...or not at all. It's an interest that I can't remember when I first started addressing. I've had my fair share of successes and failures to help give me a balanced perspective. I don't know too much about the chemical fertilizers and pesticides that one can use in a home garden, well, not much more than I've learned from my landlord who is Retired District Forest Officer. But I do try my little bit, throwing a few peels and eggshells near the base of the plants, and watering them as regularly as I can when I am around. I've even attempted to do a little composting and to spread the freshly prepared compost to the plants around the house, as well as picking up an organic pest repellent and fertilizer called Samruthi from Hyderabad Goes Green to use to try and help them out. So, how delighted was I to see a bright red blossom on the end of one of the branches of the pomegranate trees out front! I'm not interested in the eventual development of the fruit so much, not as much as I am thrilled to bits about the fact that a little sapling that I used to water intermittently a couple of years ago, has now grown up to start bearing fruit. Almost feel like a proud parent, I do. :)

A little closer on the Pomegranate Blossom Focus, attempting to use the white wall as half the background
I can't remember the last time I saw a pomegranate flower up close, but I do remember being around them more frequently at a couple of my relatives' households when I was a child of about three or four. Still, apart from these staccato reminisces, the fact that this time around I had something to do with all of it was indeed like a small miracle. I remember how a couple of years ago there were several bouts of aphid infestation, and try as I might I only met with partial success. Then, my landlord informed me about the wonders of Rogor. This is by no means an organic anything, but I tell you it works. As suggested by my landlord who had far more experience than I when it came to things like this, I mixed 5ml of Rogor in 1lt of water, and sprayed the plants with it once in two weeks. The aphids pretty much disappeared, but then I had to take a break from tending to the plants because I was out of town, and they came back with a vengeance. Still, although somewhere deep inside it pains me to think that I had to use “chemicals” to assist in the growth of the plants in the garden, I just couldn't think of any alternatives which would have proved as effective in ridding the plants of the pests as fast as Rogor did. And now that I've switched to the Samruthi Pest Repellent and Fertilizer, essentially a mix of cow urine and neem extract, the pests have not come back, and the plants seem to be enjoying the switch by showing lively growth during this peak summer where temperatures already climbed to a high of 43 degrees Centigrade at the end of April already!

Close-up of pomegranate blossom from the left
I don't think of myself as a “gardener” at all, mostly because I know that I only have like one percent of the tip of the iceberg's amount worth of knowledge when it comes to this noble art, but it is one that I hope to pick up soon enough. I think it's about time I gave something like a home-based vegetable and herb garden a try soon, and while there's a lot to do before then, there is certainly a lot to read up on and try and sort out theoretically in my head before attempting a project like this. I've even downloaded a couple of android apps because the information seemed remotely interesting at first glance. Wow! To think that all of this thinking is the outcome of seeing that first encouraging sign that something that you were doing was right after all. :) It's strangely comforting, this emotion, but it pales in comparison to the satisfaction of seeing the “fruits of one's labor” if you will permit me the use of this phrase. At first glance, I don't know if the branch is sturdy enough to support this weighty blossom. Also, with the constant barrage of “pluckers” who assault the next-door jasmine plant every morning, I wouldn't be surprised if one of them lustily plucked this helpless almost-fruit off its perch to wear as a “hoor ornament” on their obscene little “hoods”. But, here's hoping and praying that my noticing it hasn't brought about it's ultimate demise in some way or the other. I'd hate to be the one to jinx this first flower of the now mature pomegranate “tree” out front. What would a “rite of passage” ceremony for trees look like anyway?

Another close-up of the pomegranate blossom, this time from the other side.
I just love the delicate petals, and the strong, protective outer coating that will engulf it soon enough and balloon into that sweet-n-tangy fruit we know and love as "the pomegranate. Grow strong little pomegranate tree!
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