The Tulasi Garden is the first garden I ever visited in Amritapuri. I probably saw it for the first time a decade or more ago. It has changed so much over the years. They have added land and there are so many different kinds of plants there now. Most of the plants are edible.
I really enjoyed my visit to the Tulasi garden last week. These first photos are of the nursery and some newly planted seedlings. (Click on any of the galleries to enlarge the photos.)
The garden had a banana palm that was at least thirty feet tall. It was twice the size of any I have seen in the past. I also saw several sprouts, the beginning of new banana palms. These photos show various views of banana palms.
I thought this scene of a coconut palm tree was beautiful.
These are old and new papaya trees. The short ones surround the tall one.
There was a wild orchid in the garden.
This is a photo of some of the rudraksha trees…
The seeds that are inside the fruit of a rudraksha tree are sacred. They are often used in making malas. I took these photos of the fruit of rudraksha trees, and the seeds that are inside of them, a few years ago. The second photo was taken at a work station where ashram residents were separating the seeds from the fruit.
Below are photos of other plants I saw in the garden.
And last but not least, I saw this unusual but beautiful tree as I walked back to the main part of the ashram.
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On Friday, this banana leaf shoot caught my eye.
I found it interesting to look at the leaf-in-the-making up close.
When I went to the garden on Saturday, this was what I saw.
On Sunday, I had a big surprise awaiting me!
The new leaf felt like soft vinyl. I wish I had been present at it’s moment of birth.
To see all of the posts in this Amritapuri series, click here.
a) Banana palms are not trees. There is no wood in a banana palm.
b) The stem is made up of gigantic leaves so the banana palm is classified as an herb.
c) Three years ago, I read that the banana palm are classified as a grass, but I am unable to validate that information.
d) Banana palms only produce fruit once. The palms die away and new shoots spring up. Those shoots can be replanted in other places.
e) Banana palms grow quickly in the tropics. The first photo below was taken on the day the shoot was replanted. The second photo was of a shoot that had been replanted three days prior, and the third photo was of a shoot five days after replanting.
f) Banana circles are a permaculture technique that is most often used in tropical and subtropical regions. They help create humus and water retention where soils are either sandy or heavy clay. This photo shows a banana palm circle with a compost pile in the middle.
g) Banana palms produce very unusual flower buds. One day, I saw a squirrel like this trying to get into one of the buds but I couldn’t take a photo quick enough to catch it in action. I haven’t seen an open flower yet this year but here is a photo I found on Wikimedia.
h) The banana palm leaf has an intricate series of veins running through it.
i) The path to Amritapuri’s Saraswati Garden is lined with banana palms. I can imagine what that path will look like next year!
j) I think banana palms are so beautiful.
For more information or to see beautiful photos go to: A Banana Plant Is an Herb (Or, Little Known Banana Facts)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Path
I’ve seen banana palms in India for years but this is the first time I have noticed the design in the leaves. It looks like art work.