I wanted to talk about the outside of our house today. It's a big thing for me and C as for all of my 10 (and C's 8) years of town living, I never had a garden which for someone raised in the country is not so nice. I had a few potted plants but that is not the same.
Our house was the last to be finished in the community so the ground outside of the house is not in great shape. Very hard with varying amounts of cement, bits of wire, plastic etc embedded within it. It's going to take a lot of work but it's so satisfying to see the results of said hard work. We also have a total of 8 troughs on our 2 balconies so have a lot of space to fill!
One of the first things to be done was to have some steps built to our front door. Before we just had earth which once monsoon kicks in will quickly become mud. We had two workers come and dig up the ground in front of the door, then they laid bricks where the steps would be and filled it with concrete before returning the next day to cover the concrete with various shards of slate in a mosaic style pattern. Here are the before, during and after photos:
We're really happy with it and the work only came to the equivalent of £20.
The next part has been to create a kind of boundary as our house in on an end of a block. This means that people often walk over our garden to get to their houses and it's useful to know what kind of area we have to work with. When we arrived there were blocks of stone marking a boundary which needed moving and replacing with bamboo, it was under one of the stones that I met my first scorpion! C had to kill it as we have to be very careful that K doesn't touch one of these.
Here's the bamboo boundary:
Two of the plants we have been given is the desert rose which you might be able to just see in the above photo, it has started to flower and has the most beautiful blooms:
On the balconies, we are now growing basil plants which do well here as well as tomatoes, tulsi, lemongrass and a baby papaya tree. K has been 'given' the papaya tree so hopefully he'll see it grow, be transferred to the ground and eventually eat fruit from it.
Here are the basil plants on the left, including some wild basil on the right side of the left trough. In the other trough we have some tulsi and then lots of baby tomato plants. They're doing well so far and it has been so satisfying to eat home grown basil in our pasta sauce.
This is a leaf of a type of succulent which grows baby plants all around it
Here it is getting bigger with another new plant (not sure of the name)
A friend of ours, who we stayed with last year has lived here for 30 years and has a very well established garden, she's kindly given us a number of plants and has invited us to take cutting of whatever we like. it's a great help as it could get very expensive to buy all the plants we'd like. Looking forward to growing more and filling up the other troughs soon.
That's all for now as have to pop out before lunch.
We're off up the coast to Mahabalipuram (Mahabalipuram Wikipedia link) for a night tomorrow. I first went there with C 6 years ago and it has so many wonderful carvings and temples to see. There is also a crocodile sanctury/zoo nearby which we plan to take K to, will report back on our return. I also want to show you photos from our visit to the Auroville Botanical Gardens at some point.
Thanks for reading.