Showing posts with label pakistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pakistan. Show all posts

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rose rose encyclopedia from Gardening Pakistan

Roses are considered the king of flowers. The gardening pakistan team is doing a great effort in compiling a list of most beautiful and famous roses both in northern and southern hemisphere. Of course it is expanding regularly and you will see many rose plants not available at other rose databases.

Here is the link to this rose encyclopedia http://www.gardeningpakistan.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=1784

Thursday, September 5, 2013

3 Months free floriculture course - Lahore

The Government of Punjab, floriculture department is offering a free 3-months course at Lawrence gardens, Lahore. Minimum education is matriculation and last date of application is September 27, 2013. Course will include landscaping, commercial cultivation of flowers, ornamental flowers and kitchen gardening.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Flower exhibition in Karachi 2013

The 62nd Pakistan Flower Show 2013 will be taking place at DHA Seaview Public Park on Thursday the 28th of Feb. The Flower Show will end on Sunday 3rd March 2013. The timings are from 9 AM to 10 PM.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Seed germination tips

Growing from seed is an addiction. Only those who are into it know the joy of successful seed germination. Here are some tips for successful seed germination. I hope other members will also contribute. Note that these are general tips, some seeds need special treatment.

1- Large seeds germinate easily and quickly as compared to small seeds. Large seeds can be soaked in water to let the moisture penetrate into the seed for germination.
2- Examples of large seeds are morning glory, sweet peas, bauhinia etc. Examples of small seeds include poppy, petunia, buddleja etc.
3- After seed is germinated, seedling will lean towards sun so keep changing the direction of container so that it remains even.

Sowing depth
Larger the seed, deeper it will be sown. Smaller the seed, closer it will be to the soil. Very small seeds which can not be handled through fingers are mostly surface sown. Surface sown means just place the seeds on the soil surface and do not cover. Very light sprinkling of coco-peat or peat moss is beneficial in most cases.

Sowing time
For spring blooming annuals, seed is sown in september-November
For summer blooming annuals, seed is sown in February-April
For perennials, seed can be sown either in September-october or in Spring (March). The optimum temperature for germination of most seeds is around 20C. Extreme heat and extreme cold both are not good for sowing seeds.

Sowing Medium
Whether it is soil based medium or soil-less medium, it must be well drained. If water stands, seeds will rot. This is the reason most seed germination mixes include sand as sand improves drainage. For precious seeds, vermiculite can be used. Following mixes are successful in my experience:
- 30% sand, 30% garden soil, 30% peat moss
- 50% peat moss, 30% leaf mold, 20% sand

Fertilizer
Somewhere i read 50% sand and 50% leaf mold but not tried yet. IF using vermiculite you can use top few inches of vermiculite while bottom can be filled with good soil mix having some light fertilizer. It is not only cost effective but also logical. Vermiculite will help in germination of seeds and when roots will develop and reach bottom they will get fertilizer.

Note that seeds do not need any fertilizer for germination, strong fertilizer will burn the seedling or seeds might not germinate. Best bet is add very little leaf mold. Another option is whenever you water your seedlings, add 1/6 strength liquid fertilizer in every watering.

Watering
Before sowing the seed, water the container or soil bed thoroughly. After hour an hour, sow the seeds. After that keep the soil moist but not damp. Always use spray gun to water, the one which hair dressers use. To keep it moist and not damp, there are few options. First, use moisture meter to check the moisture, most PH meters come with moisture meter. Second, check soil color, it will tell you whether you need to water or not. third, you can check the container weight but it is more successful in clay pots as plastic pots are already light.

Try bottom watering the seeds and seedlings. There are few ways to achieve it. First, sow in peat pots and place them in 1 inch of water, the water will automatically flow up. Second option is, sow in plastic seeds trays with bottom holes. Place the seed tray in water so that the water is half an inch over the tray from bottom. Soil medium must be light to achieve that. Check bottom watering on internet as well. There are self watering trays as well and they are best for this purpose

Prevent Damping off
In hot and humid weather mostly in monsoon and some times in march april, seedlings suffer from damping off. In this disease, seedlings fall flat. Try sprinkling cinnamon powder on the surface before sowing seeds and improve air circulation. There are some commercial anti-fungicide as well.

Which container to use
Remember clay pots need frequent watering as they dry out quickly. plastic pots retain moisture so less watering is required. I prefer plastic pots as i lost lots of seeds due to dry out problems. In spring sowing plastic containers help less watering. In fall sowing, clay ones are also OK as weather is not harsh. I never had the problem of air circulation in case of plastic pots.

Top 2 techniques for germinating difficult seeds
There are 2 techniques which i use:
1- Soon after sowing the seeds, pack the container in a polyethene bag which must be transparent so that light goes in. When you see the seed germinated, gradually acclimatize the seedling with outside temperature. Open it daily for few hours then increase it and then after few days remove it. This one i use mostly for very small seeds.

2- This method is applicable only for those seeds which are large and can be handled individually. Does not apply to very small seeds. place the seeds between moist sheets of cotton (which is used in wounds) and place them somewhere bright. just when you notice the cotton is starting to dry, water it through sprayer. This is a variation of famous Zip-Lock baggie technique for germinating seeds.

In my opinion, October is the best time to sow all perennial seeds, as the plants get established before the intense summer heat. If you sow in spring then seedling will have to go through strong summer heat. However some seeds including bignonia family seeds, passifloras, hardenbergia etc. needs temperatures into 30's to germinate.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

2nd Tulip flower show lahore 2012

Second tulip flower festival was held 16-19 February, 2012 at Royal palm golf club, Lahore, Pakistan. No tickets were required as it was an open event. There were not a lot of people there may be due to lack of publicity of the show but the flowers filled that gap. There were some new varieties of tulips which were not present in the first tulip show last year.Here are those.

This one is Monte. I think most of these are darwin hybirds. My guess is none of the tulips there was species.
tulipa monte

The close up. My favorite picture of the tulip show.
tulipa monte macro

This is monsella is a an early tulip which is also called peony tulip due to its resemblance with peony.
tulipa monsella

tulipa monsella closeup

This is Gerrit Van Der Valk.
tulipa Gerrit Van Der Valk

tulipa yellow hybird

hybird tulip yellow king

tulip darwin hybird

These tulips at the lahore flower show were meant for exhibition and not for naturalizing. Probably early blooming tulips are more suited to naturalizing because late flowering tulips in hot climates like ours never get the time to gather energy for next year survival, this extra time is what makes early blooming tulips more suitable for naturalizing in hot climates. You can check out the coverage of other tulips flower festival on my blog.

I guess the bulbs were pre-chilled as lahore climate requires pre-chilling for tulip flowers. My experiment with species tulips this year is still in progress, will let you know if i am successful in that.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kitchen gardening - Hybird, heirloom and OP varieties

A hybrid vegetable is result of cross-pollination between two genetically different parent plants. Plant breeders develop hybrids to increase disease resistance, to improve yield, or to select for special fruit traits such as color, aroma, taste, or shipping quality. Whenever you see F1 or F2 with a seed, this is hybrid.

If you grow a vegetable/fruit grown from a hybrid seed then the seed obtained from the crop can not be re-used, you must buy the seeds again. This is the reason most commercial sellers sell hybrid vegetable seeds so that gardeners come to buy again and again. If you sow the seed from a hybrid crop, the resultant plant will never be as good as the parent.

Heirloom vegetables are cultivated forms of crops that have been perpetuated by gardeners who save seed (or propagate by some other means such as taking cuttings) from year to year. Some heirloom vegetable varieties have been around for more than a century! Gardeners have kept these varieties growing for generations because the crops performed well in a particular area or because they have outstanding flavor, unusual color, or other appealing characteristics.

OP stands for open-pollinated, meaning that wind, bees, or other insects, rather than plant breeders, transferred the pollen to fertilize the flowers. While all heirloom vegetables are open-pollinated, not all OP vegetables are heirlooms, since most seed companies offer modern-day varieties of vegetables that have been pollinated by wind or other means.

Seeds from the crop of Heirloom/OP vegetables are true to their parent. So you do not need to buy the seeds again and again.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Flowers of Cassia glauca and Crinum amabile

The winter here in lahore is in full swing. Not much perennials you will see in bloom but here are some of the flowers which i am seeing almost daily. The first one is Scrambled Egg Bush with botanic name Cassia glauca. This shrub is almost everywhere in lahore right now. The shrub is everywhere in lahore and also abundant in other subtropical climates. There are many other beautiful cassia shrubs including cassia javanica having pink flowers. Here goes cassia glauca.
cassia glauca

The macro is very beautiful. The pollen color contrast with the yellow petal is eye catching.
cassia glauca closeup

There are not many crinum blooming right into December but this giant spider lily (Crinum amabile) is still blooming in start of December. A true giant with beautiful flowers. The scent is spicy and fills the air with aroma. Needs a large space to develop.
crinum amabile flower

This post is included in Macro monday by Lisa's Chaos. Do visit her blog for more macro posts.

I have posted this post in the mellow yellow monday as well so do visit Mellow Yellow Monday for more yellow flowers.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Flowers of PC Bhurban - Lobelia, hosta, fuchsia, gazania and daylily

This is the second post in the series of garden flowers of PC Bhurban, Murree hills Pakistan. You can see the previous post covering delphiniums and roses here. As always, feel free to click on the image for full view.

The first one in this post is gazania. Now this is almost a perennial in lahore which is lot hotter than bhurban. It is a very drought tolerant plant and very suitable for hottest of the places in your garden.


Then comes the fuchsia. These are not suitable for hot climates of karachi and lahore. They prefer a cooler weather or at least a temperate one. They can be grown as spring blooming annuals in our southern plains but they do not tolerate the summer heat.


Here is another view from the balcony of PC Burban.


Lobelia, another spring blooming annual in lahore but not a common sight due to the small flowers. It blooms in summer in hilly areas of bhurban and murree hills. Planted in masses, all blue color looks just exquisite. Here is the macro view

Another view of lobelia flowers.


Hosta or plantain lily, grown rarely in plains at least in lahore. It is a bulbous plant famous for growing in shade. Its foliage is perhaps more pretty than its flowers and the is the main attraction.


There are some species which can be grown in lahore and other subtropical climates. But it is a plant not well explored here in plains. Does not come true from seed and does not flower early from seed, best propagated through division and not easily available as well.


Last in this post is the daylily. There are many cultivars of this beautiful and east to grow plant. If there is one bulbous plant which can well endure the heat of lahore then it is no other than daylily. In Pearl continental hotel Bhurban there are many varieties of daylily are planted. This was my personal favorite.


The last post on the flowers of PC bhurban will take some time because there are lot of un-identified flowers in the post and i am trying hard to get their names. Meanwhile there will be a series of butterflies of Pakistan and that includes a few species i captured in murree hills and one special butterfly i saw in the garden of PC Bhurban. So the butterfly lovers, stay tuned for next few posts!!!

This post is included in Today's flowers  so do visit there to see flowers from around the world.
For macro monday, visit Lisa's Chaos
For Mosaic monday, visit Mosaic monday

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Flowers of PC Bhurban - Delphinium and Roses

This is the third post in the series of hilly area flowers. The first two you can find here and here. If you ever go to murree hills and other gailyat and do not visit the garden of PC Bhurban, you did nothing. One of the most beautiful gardens i ever saw. Very well maintained and well planned. The landscaping is excellent so is the choice of plants. You will find flowering bulbs, shrubs, roses, perennials, annuals etc.

When you enter into PC bhruban, the first row of flower bed, that is all delphinium. And what a sight it is. almost every color of delphinium with full glory. And it is not 6 inches delphinium from a hot climate, this is grandiflora which gets tall to its full extent as this cool climate is ideal for its growth. We, the natives of subtropical climate, are content with its warm weather cousin larkspur though. Here comes the delphiniums, you can click on the image for full view:







If you visit Pearl Continental hotel bhurban chances are you will be seeing one of the best roses display over there. And these are not floribundas or other miniature ones. The giant roses. Bright colors, very large blooms and that too on a single stem.


The white roses are my personal favorite. Roses love temperate climate. Neither too hot not too cold. This is mid May and weather is very pleasant in bhurban. Roses are enjoying it too. What a delight it is, having a cup of coffee among these beautiful roses, looking at the snowy Himalayas. What a treat.  






There will be at least two more posts on flowers of PC Bhruban Murree ahead. So keep visiting for more alpine flowers. There will also be one post exclusively on butterflies of Murree and galiyat. So stay tuned and enjoy these blooms.

This post is included in Today's flowers  so do visit there to see flowers from around the world.
For macro monday, visit Lisa's Chaos
For Mosaic monday, visit Mosaic monday

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Flowers of murree hills - Nathia gali

During my recent trip to murree hills and galiyat, i captured lots of flowers, some wild, some naturalized. Here is my first post from this series. These flowers i shot in Nathia gali.

First one is hydrangea which likes to be in cool position. Does not grow well in our subtropical climate of lahore.


These plants were grown by a plant enthusiast and you will not find any wild plants of hydrangea over there. There are two variants available there. The tall one which is common one. The dwarf one is perhaps imported one.


Clematis, queen of flowering vine. This is true wild clematis species in murree and nathia gali and other galiyat region. Native to hilly areas. This one seems to be clematis armandi i guess. Fragrant large flowers in clusters.








Chrysanthemum leucanthemum daisy. Another wild flower.


Murree and nathia gali is full of these honeysuckle shrubs. I thought they might be lonicera japonica but it is a climber not a small tree. So it is some lonicera shrub or small tree with mildly fragrant flowers.


The yellow iris flowers. They are not wild but grown in many home gardeners in murree and nathia gali.




Lupin, another plant which likes cool climate. We do grow them in lahore in our fall for spring flowering but flowers are small and stalks are never as tall. This one was grown by a home gardener in nathia gali.


To see other flowers from around the world, visit Today's Flowers

For macro monday, visit Lisa's Chaos

Also visit Dear little red house for mosaic monday

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring flowers of aquilegia, beaumontia, gardenia and thunbergia

I am pleased to be part of Garden Bloggers bloom day once again, a monthly event hosted by none other than Carol from May Dreams Garden . Gardeners from around the world showcase their gardens and show the lovely blooms. Here goes mine. And don't forget to visit my previous post of free tomato seeds away. It will only last till last day of April.

I caught this butterfly at these paper flowers on the flower exhibition in the Canntt lahore. There were two more butterflies which i captures there but these will be posted separate.


My favorite aquilegia. Blooming happily in my soil bed. Not a perennial in my hot climate but blooms long enough.

This is gardenia coronaria. Not much fragrant but the flowers are very pretty. A relative of gardenia florida but it blooms in spring instead of late summer. This one shot at the lawrence gardens lahore.

And this one is the favorite creeper of gardeners of Islamabad. This is beaumontia grandiflora also called nepal trumpet vine. Not as fragrant flowers as famed for but still very pretty blooms.

Gram blue butterfly captured on flower of erythrina suberosa. Will post pictures of Erythrina suberosa and cristagali in next post hopefully.

This is an uncommon gardenia. Gardenia lucida. Very fragrant flowers, a small tree. Blooming happily in lawrence gardens lahore. A plant must have.

You all will be familiar with thunbergia alta and perhaps thunbergia grandiflora (bengal clock vine) but not this one. This is thunbergia erecta. Dark blue flowers. Blooms almost whole summer once established.

And last but not least, this flower also shot at Flower exhibition held at polo ground lahore canntt.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Free tomato seeds give away

I am glad to announce this tomato seeds give away on my blog. Sherilou is a generous gardener from New south mexico, USA. And i received freshly harvested heirloom tomato seeds from the mountains of Zuni courtesy to Sherilou. I also got some other cultivars of tomato which are extra. So Any one who is interested in these seeds, just reply in this thread and send me your address at muhammad dot khabbab at gmail dot com and i will send the seeds. I will send seeds wrapped in bubble wrap to those who are overseas. For overseas gardeners, i will send through airmail but may not be able to send first class.

Remember, maximum 2 packets per person. And one packet of seeds will contain around 10 seeds. This offer is only for amateur gardeners !!!!. I will add more tomato seeds in coming few days.

Porter dark cherry tomato - from sherilou
These are some tough heirloom tomatoes. Very heat tolerant. Indeterminate type.
Packet 1 - M. Subzwari, Karachi  - SENT
Packet 2 - Jahanzaib, Islamabad - SENT
Packet 3-  F, Irum. Rawalpindi - SENT
Packet 4 - S, Shahid Karachi - SENT
Packet 5 - Waqas, Lahore - SENT
Packet 6 -  
Packet 7 -  
Packet 8 - 
Packet 9 -     
Packet 10 -         
Packet 11 - 
Packet 12 -  
Packet 13-  
Packet 14 -  
Packet 15 - 

Tomato pole beefsteak
Packet 1 - M. Subzwari, Karachi  - SENT
Packet 2 - S, Anis, Karachi - SENT
Packet 3-

Tomato hillbilly
Packet 1 -
Packet 2 -

Tomato golden jubilee
Packet 1 - S, Anis, Karachi - SENT
Packet 2 -  
Packet 3-  
Packet 4 -  
Packet 5 - 


Tomato rio grande
Packet 1 - 
Packet 2 -  
Packet 3-  
Packet 4 -  
Packet 5 -

Friday, March 25, 2011

Growing sparaxis in warm climates

This is 8th article in the series of growing warm climate flowering bulbs. Sparaxis is a south african native flowering bulb endemic to south africa. It is also called Harlequin Flower. It goes dormant in summer and grows actively in winter and flowers in summer. There are many species suitable to lahore and other hot climates but sparaxis tricolor is the most common one.

1- Choose fat, large bulbs. Discard soft bulbs.Try to buy sparaxis bulbs not from same vendor but from different vendors, this way you would have better chances of different color combinations in flowers.
2- Try to buy those bulbs which are either very fat or those bulbs which have their offsets (child bulblets) attached. The offsets will flower next year. Plant bulbs in fall. Try some bulbs in november and some in december so you will know which one does better. In my experience, December is better than november.
3- Good drainage is essential for all flowering bulbs and sparaxis is no exception. For extra drainage, you can out a fine layer of sand beneath the bulb although this is not necessary for loamy soils.
4- Water the soil before planting the bulbs. When water is fully absorbed in soil, plant the bulbs. Planting depth is 1-2 inches below the soil.
5- After first watering, do not water the soil until the foliage starts appearing.
6- Few hours direct sunlight preferably morning sun is essential for flowering. But they will still flower in full shade. Avoid full sun when heat arrives in late march.





7- One or two stalks per bulb and there will be 1-3 flowers per stalk. Sadly the flowers do not last very long, just two days. But planted in masses they are most beautiful flowers.
8- Sparaxis is a perennial in lahore and other warm climates. Keep it in soil, it will grow again next fall. You can also leave it in container. Keep watering in summer.

Ixia and sparaxis are from same family. Will try ixia in fall and share my experience with you.

This post is included in Roses and Stuff by katarina. Do visit her for other blooming friday posts.
Also visit Tootsie time for fertilizer friday. This post is also included there.

Note: For those who are reading this, there is a free heirloom tomato seeds away week in first week of April on my blog. So do come back if you want to grow tomatoes in your yards. First come first basis after i announce it in first week of April. Happy planting.

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