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Flowers of Sri Lanka: Outdoor bloom and indoor bloom

Outdoor plants can be grouped into two sections as outdoor flowering plants. Bougainvillea, rose, chrysanthemum, carnation, euphorbia are called hardy plants. They can be divided as bushes, creepers, border plants and Arlsoratum trees. Outdoor plants that do not produce flowers have colourful leaves.

Though flowering plants bloom in season, trees that have various shades of leaves are for keeps. Colias, croton, cordiline, palms and acalypha fall into this category. Plants show their necessity to sunlight by bending towards the rays of sunlight.

Indoor plants

These species are not large in size. They possess small leaves. They enjoy moisture and produce colourful flowers and leaves. Apart from anthurium, orchids, begonias and birdís nests, most of the flowers included in this group are exported. These indoor plants are very sensitive to their environment. Therefore they demand much of your attention.

Plants that prefer shade should be provided with their requirements with care. Shade could be supplied by either planting them under larger trees or in net houses. The most suitable method is to plant them inside a net house because this overlooks the amount of sunlight that they obtain.

The shade of sunlight differs according to the time of day though the plant may be under the shade of a larger tree. If too much or too less sunlight is given to these plants, it affects their system and this may result with less bloom or less colour in their leaves.

If you are a person who complains that the plants in your garden do not bloom then think again.

Find out whether your plants are getting the required amount of sunlight. It is never too late to take action and find a solution to your problem.

(The writer is the Agriculture Instructor of Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya)

 

 

 


The Benefits of Gardening

Gardening is a great way to connect with the earth, reduce stress, increase creativity and promote relaxation. Three good reasons you should get down and dirty in a garden:

Gardening is therapeutic. There is even an emerging medical art known as horticultural therapy.

People with all types of health conditions, schoolchildren, even prison inmates, are encouraged to learn about new plants and envision creative ways to arrange them in the ground as a way to provide a sense of accomplishment and improve self-image.

Gardening is spiritual. Aside from delighting your senses with color, texture and scents, gardening enables you to connect with nature. Digging your hands through the soil and handling delicate plants can feed the soul.

Gardening is exercise. Gardening is a low-impact activity that improves flexibility through bending and stretching, and has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, donít let it replace your walking regime or other regular aerobic exercise - do both, for maximum benefits.

AFP


Our horsy and pony friends

Horses are pretty impressive pets, but you need plenty of space and time to look after them.

Grooming

Grooming helps to tone the horseís muscles, clean its skin and keep its coat healthy. It is a good bonding exercise between the horse and its owner. Horses are very tactile creatures - they will nuzzle one another in a paddock - and so they usually like being groomed. Itís similar to getting a massage. Horses that are kept in paddocks sometimes like to groom themselves with a good roll on the ground.

Dos and doníts related to horses

* Horses have a very good sense of smell, better than humans. They are able to smell fear on humans so they will know if you are afraid.

* Horsesí sight is also different to humans, because they have a long narrow head with eyes on either side. They canít see the tip of their nose so you have to remember this when you approach them. You also need to remember that if they glimpse someone too close to their rear, they might buck or kick them.

* Horses will need to trust you. Talk to the horse as you approach it and give it a pat on the withers when you are standing by it.

* You can always tell if a horse is in a bad mood. Its ears will be laid back, or the horse will tense up beneath your hand, or it will start stamping its feet.

* Horses are very expensive and high maintenance.

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