I call my friend Shalini’s garden the Magic Garden. That’s because anything she grows in her garden be it in the front yard or back yard, grows like a weed. Not only that, she just sticks her plants in the ground, fertilizes and waters, and that’s it, these plants just take off. Any plant she grows gets big and lush in Shalini’s magic hands.
Shalini’s roses are unbelievable. Her rose bushes are huge and always covered in hundreds of blooms.
I remember giving Shalini a dying rose bush with just 2-3 tiny canes of a David Austin rose called Pat Austin. A gorgeous coppery peach color rose with hundreds of petals and the most amazing fragrance. Even after trying for years to grow this rose, it just didn’t perform for me at all. So I dug it up and gave it to Shalini in very poor condition. In fact, I was embarrassed to give a bush that was in such bad shape. But Shalini took it anyway and planted it in her garden and guess what? This tiny bush that did nothing for me, grew into this amazing giant of a rose bush that is now over six feet tall and five feet wide with over 40 canes covered in hundreds of flower buds with glossy green leaves. What magic does Shalini have?
Dahlias grow amazing; mums spread and produce new flowers all year for her, unlike mums in other gardens where they wait till the fall to bloom. Even astromeria, geraniums, lantana, and carnations grow like mad in Shalini’s garden.
Shalini’s hydrangeas are giant bushes with humungous clusters of blue flowers. In this front patch of hers it’s not just hydrangeas that thrive, but also gorgeous white Meidland roses, clematis, pink abutilon, salvia, and peonies. How can plants that all have different growing conditions thrive together here is beyond me – that is the magic of Shalini’s garden 🙂
Her lemon tree is so huge that the branches break from the weight of the hundreds of lemons that are dripping from this tree.
Even violas spread like weeds in Shalini’s garden. I’ve tried to get my violas to spread but they never do. However in Shalini’s garden they not only spread and form a lush carpet of cute little purple and yellow flowers, they even jump onto other parts of her garden and spread their magical beauty. I guess that’s why they are called “jumping jacks.” In Shalini’s garden they do just that – jump all over her garden. She sometimes digs them up and gives them to friends as potted plants, and also saves some for herself too, just to enjoy in little pots all over her patio.
Shalini’s clematis vines are like nothing I have ever seen, not even in gardening books or magazines. She bought tiny seedlings from Costco the same way I did and my friend Georgina too. We all planted these tiny clematis seedlings in our gardens at the same time, but Georgina’s and my vines performed average. However, in Shalini’s magic hands, these tiny seedlings became giant clematis vines with tons and tons of flowers.
So big did one vine grow that Shalini’s trellis couldn’t hold it, and she had to trail it over her fence to provide sturdier support. Interestingly, not just this clematis but two other clematis vines do just as great, and they aren’t even in the same location-one is in the back yard and the other is on the other side of her front entrance.
Niobe, a dark aubergine colored clematis which is so coveted will bloom happily in Shalini’s garden.
Folks, when I went to see her in late April she even had amaryllis that was blooming. These were amaryllis bulbs from last year and somehow in her garden they re-bloomed with not just one stalk but two flower stalks.
And no kidding here, in Shalini’s magic hands even orchids rebloom. Seriously! I gave her 3 old orchid plants that were doing nothing after they finished blooming for me. Rather than throw them away, I gave them to Shalini to see if she could get them to rebloom or just trash them, whatever she chose to do. But instead, she got two orchid plants to rebloom. And that too within 2 months. Not only did she get these orchids to rebloom, they have not one or two but 8 flower buds. Unbelievable.
Columbines, bearded iris, you name it; they all look awesome in Shalini’s garden.
In Shalini’s magic hands, not just her garden, but any plant she touches thrives in her care.
I think I finally figured out why Shalini’s garden looks so gorgeous. I think it’s because she just plants her bushes and lets them lose, she doesn’t fuss over them like I do 😉 Or maybe, just maybe, Shalini really does have that magic touch – magic gardening hands that is 🙂