“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
I truly appreciate the sentiment of the quote above. During my travel abroad, I have seen the glory of autumn when every leaf turn yellow, red or orange. It is just a riot of colours and such a lovely transition from summer to winter. In US , the celebration of Halloween also comes during the month and Pumpkins of all sizes are decorated.
Octobers in India are not like that. They are, however, lovely in their own ways. In India also this is usually the month of festivities of Navrati , Dussehra and then Deepawali. For me October is a month of sweet-winter sunshine, lovely mornings and planting of winter annuals. As long as I remember, we have been planting our seedlings in October for winter flowers.
But then, there is climate change. It is so real and obvious now that one third of the October is already gone and the monsoon is still around. The millipedes are still digging up my lawns and the clouds dutifully turn up every now and then. The impatient me , is desperate for the change of weather but the day temperature refuses to drop. In the sunny days, it is quite hot and the cloudy days are even worse. The mornings, though cooler than before, have not reached the level of typical October mornings. The rains have overstayed their welcome and continue to flood my flowerbeds.
Yet, unable to stop myself, I have planted some asters, petunias and salvias so far and I am waiting for rains to go completely before I venture further with marigolds and calendulas, Pansies, Nasturtiums and daisies. I have also put seeds for some cosmos and cineraria and hope that the weather Gods will oblige a dip in temperature to make germination possible.
Luckily, despite the continued heat and rains, Mums are doing fine and finally Balsam is flowering. Last weekend I also attempted planting some Geraniums in pots and I hope they survive the weather. Same day, I also planted my Petunia stars. It was a nice sunny day and then by the noon, the clouds started gathering. It rained cats and dogs for about an hour. Petunias (much like me) do not like their feet wet. But thanks to the rains, the bed was flooded. Luckily since then, it has not rained and plants have managed to survive the onslaught.
On one such humid Sunday, I found a golden oriole on a tree nearby. I had never seen this pretty yellow bird and was mesmerised by its appearance and its song. The Green Bee eaters are always roaming around and the kingfisher is often seen in the afternoons on his usual tree. On one Sunday, in an hour, I found Coppersmith barbets, Plum faced parakeets, Grey Hornbill and even a Blue Roller. But to make my heart glad, about a few days back my favorite family of spotted owlet flew back. The three of them are now often seen enjoying the sun on the neem tree. The other delightful news is about the peahen, who has chosen the roof of our guard room to lay her eggs. She is usually sitting there whole day and only steps down early morning to get some food.
For the waterlilies, our little experiment of burying 8 water tanks in the ground around fountain seems to have worked. So far, it is only an occasional waterlity or two , but I do hope that in winter months, there will be much more beauty in my little ponds.
In absence of seasonal flowers, plants like Anthurium (Flamingo flower), Mussaenda and some kalanchoes are my saviours. They break the monotony of green and make the garden look happy.
October also turn out to be a busy month for sowing vegetables and filling up patches of hedge . Now that I will be travelling half of next month, I want to complete the work in garden a lot more impatiently.