My garden is really a macro world in the sky. I am up high on the fifth floor and right now I am fighting back an invasion of mealybugs. And doing that organically is no easy task. At first, they were only attracted to the hibiscus plants and a couple of weak plants. But after applying rich compost to all the pots, the bugs migrated to the lush, new growth on the plants. As a final resort, I have had to whip out the ‘tabaccy’.
Soak together in hot water, tobacco from a cigarette, a head of crushed garlic, some bird’s eye chilly, mashed up turmeric root, a splash of milk, insecticidal soap and a bit of yellow laundry soap _ a type of soap we get here in India. Let all this sit around in the heat of two afternoons _ sounds like a witch’s brew, doesn’t it? It’s only missing the eye of newt. All this yields a foul-smelling brown gungy liquid, which is filtered then diluted and poured into a spray bottle with a bit of insectidal soap. I make sure to spray after the bees have gone to bed, as I don’t want to poison them by mistake. What I’ve noticed is that this spray keeps the cottony mealybugs at bay for a while, and the plants seem to like this gungy emulsion, they seem to look fatter and healthier to my eye the next day.
In the heat of april, there is some profusion of colour in this sky garden. Stinky Ageraturm blue-ball plants have flowers that in macro seem to be sprouting glassy violet tentacles waving about in the viscous heat. I found out recently that the similarly stinky goat weed that regularly appears in my garden is also an Ageratum _ Ageratum Conyzoides. But the goat weed’s flowers are small, white and insignificant, probably what ancestral Ageratum flowers once looked like before gardening and human involvement. The deep magenta of gomphrena, despite my best efforts, is getting washed rather white by my lens. Probably more the fault of the still-learning photographer than the lens.
- Sunday seven to show Spring is soon (ronniejt28.wordpress.com)