Jaipur Flowers: Signs of Early Autumn at Savista
It is nearing the end of September, the time of year when across Europe and north America the palette of foliage colours is dominated by blazing shades of yellow, gold and red. In otherwise tropical India, too, in those parts of the country that turn temperate around this time more of nature’s colours are coming into their own. The difference is that our colours are those of flowers.
September 20th dawned at Savista with the first ever-so-tiny nip of autumn. The sky above the haveli courtyard at 5 a.m. was crystal clear, and in it the waning crescent moon, stars and constellations all shone like neon lights. As the pre-dawn darkness gave way to fingers of early morning light, one could glimpse that the lawns had an added carpet of dew, inviting early morning walkers to leave their footwear behind and feel the velvety coolness with the promise of added benefit of effortless acupressure. An exploration revealed that three flowering shrubs – Bouganvillea, Ixora, and Orange Jasmine – that had stood through all of the rainy season and short summer thickly coated with just leaves were, as if on cue, already pushing out flowers.
In the last three days the pace of this flowering has quickened. Bouganvillea in shades of red, pink, orange, peach, magenta and white are suddenly in bloom everywhere. And the Ixora’s bunches of orange flowers that mature into a bright red are growing steadily denser.
But the most intriguing is the Orange Jasmine. An unprepossessing densely green bush that had nothing about its appearance to attract attention was, on the 20th morning, dramatically covered with clusters of white buds that almost crowded out the leaves. By the following morning, all the buds had fully opened and the bush was a mixture of green and white, making for a quite pleasing display for such an otherwise boring looking bush. The individual blooms themselves were undistinguished-looking (just like orange blossoms, from where they probably get their name). But the fragrance of the flowers was another thing altogether, so powerful and so beautiful that they single-handedly dominated the morning air all around them. For the next two days the blooming and scenting of the air continued, and we began to imagine how delightful the rest of the autumn might be. Today, just three days following their stunning debut, we find that there are no more Orange Jasmine blossoms to be seen anymore. They seem to have been a fleeting herald of seasonal change, much like the rainbow that appears like an elusive gift at the end of monsoons.
Every day at Savista reveals new autumn blooms budding on their respective plants in readiness for their own unique contribution to our garden. One of them is the Parijat, which we wrote about around this time last year (http://savista.dreamhosters.com/in-jaipur-autumn-sets-in-and-at-savista-the-parijat-begins-to-bloom/). We will report on others as and when they make their appearance. In the meanwhile, our ‘short summer’ flowers – that we reported on in our last post – continue to do their best to keep our simple rustic landscape imbued with colour.