The Orchid Retreat

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The Garden Tour

Achimines Begonia leaf

The total landscaped garden area at The Orchid Retreat. Garden covers a little over one acre and is situated at 4000ft above mean sea level. The property is ancestral land and has seen the cultivation of sustainable crops and grazing farm animals. For many years, the portion of the property now being developed into the garden was left fallow. This was a boon in disguise. Trees grew, grasses took root, birds and animals brought over seeds from far and near in their droppings. Vegetation from these natural regenerations along with remnants of the original woodland forest forms the backdrop to our garden.

Our garden passes through basically three major climatic seasons in a? year. Dry and cool in the autumn, winter and early spring? from November through March. Dry and warm from April through June. Warm, wet and humid from end June through September/October, the monsoon period. The seasons gently blend into each other and each season brings in their own crop of flowers. On the western side of our property, the boundary is a stream rushing down the hillside. In the dry season we pipe in water from this stream to augment our water supply which comes from a natural perennial spring higher up the hillside. By end May the stream is down to a trickle. By around the end of May the plants in the garden and the birds and the beetles and grasshoppers seem to sense that pre-monsoon thunderstorms are just around the corner.

Change of seasons are heralded by arrival and departure of migrant birds, the sudden appearance of brightly coloured butterflies, the falling of leaves. Each season brings forth its own colours. There are always different flora in bloom in our garden. Autumn and spring are particularly colourful with bedding plants, bulbs of different species, patches of pointsetia and bougainvellia. Summer and monsoons are the growing months and the Hedychiums, Costus, Zingibers, Crinum, Lycoris, Heliconias and varied other shrubs and vines and trees add colour. Of course, during the summer monsoon months, verdant green is the predominant colour.

Bromeiliad Red CenterAechmea fasciataBegonia picta Gloriosa rothschildiana