4th August, 9am - Three flowers and a bud, and a bowl brimming with water lily.

Phenomenal Growth of the Manel

Funny, before I left for Kandy, I wondered if I was becoming complacent about the flowers on the Manel on my bedroom balcony.  I remember thinking I would be shocked when there were no longer two flowers greeting me when I went out each morning.  Well, this morning there were three, with one on its last legs, and a bud ready to open tomorrow.

Not only that, in the few days I’ve been away the plant has pretty well covered the surface of the pot, and the leaves are now three, or four times the size they were when the monsoon broke, back on the 25th May.  Given that the flowers last about three days, I reckon it has produced at least 30 flowers since the first bud appeared on the 29th of May – just four days after the rains started.  It produced its largest, most perfect (sic!) flower after 42 days, and just a week later a noticeable increase in leaf size coincided with the beginning of its two flowers a day  phase.

I know I get excited and talk about standing back and watching the bamboo grow, but for a plant to put on bulk and flower so prolifically at the same time makes it a champion, I think.  Have a look at this.

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Sorry to have gone overboard on the “Growth” posts, but it’s exciting stuff, as you can see from others‘ posts on the subject.

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41 thoughts on “Phenomenal Growth of the Manel

    • Me too, you can be sure :) Lapping up every second of the luxury of living here, while I can!

      The balcony is the only sunny place in the house (which is great in the tropics, of course, but a bane for a gardener!) and this lily pot gives me enormous pleasure every morning.

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Growth | Just Snaps

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  4. your manel looks so beautiful in that pot, great photos too, the first raindrops, the bud, the flowers, you know waterlilies are my favourite, and that starry blue is just gorgeous!

    • It’s a beautiful blue, isn’t it? i love it too and am so delighted with it, up there on the balcony to greet me each morning. I’ve become a real nut about putting them in pots – you see them in pots everywhere, here – even in quite small pots you’d never think they would cope with.

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  6. I can imagine how beautiful… you are amazing. I loved this balcony flowers and you inspired me now. How can I plant them, in a pot? Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

    • It’s something I’m learning (or remembering) from our blogging mates, Ella. That and the fact that I have literally a handful of plants now, and so each one is under the microscope each day!

  7. Your Manel looks gorgeous. Always wonderful to see plants thrive. I used to have a whole pond of Manel when we were living on in the plantations.Miss them lots.

    • Wow, Madhu – from the plantations to an apartment in Chennai – that’s a huge change of environment – I’m sure you miss loads of things.

      I’m not sure how I’d cope with living in an apartment – It’s something I think about ceaselessly – well at least once or twice a day … the things I’d miss, the things ‘I can’t live without’… But this house, with its tiny garden, is teaching me that I can manage without a huge garden, if only I can have a few things growing. Well, I think i can – though I’m beginning to wonder about how much I’m obsessing over the Manel … :)

      • It was hard at first, after those sprawling bungalows. But the move to an apartment was gradual. Our stay in a two unit rented bungalow kind of eased the move a bit. The ability to walk out without having to worry about security is a major advantage in an apartment, seeing as how we are constantly shuttling between Bangalore and here. But yes I miss those huge gardens :-(

        • Ah, a little bit of a two-step manoeuvre – I can see that would help. And the security issue – here in Sri Lanka too it seems unthinkable not to have a watcher, or someone in the house when you go away.

    • … quiet, MURKY depths, Patti! I know it’s safe, in my manel bowl, but still I have trouble putting my hand in, to pick off dead flower stalks, and leaves.

      There’s a pretty wild, very murky stretch of canal not far from here, and it’s covered with islands of water lilies, and hyacinths. The birds come down to wade on the lily pats, or swim along, fishing – but nobody goes near – they say there’s a crocodile still living there!

        • Hi Harry, nice to see you again. The manel is a water lily – Sri Lanka’s national flower, in fact. I suspect it’s growth so far above the water level is emphasised by its growing in a pot. This particular plant is a bit of a phoenix, rescued from near death from under a dense clump of bamboo and transferred into this pot in the sunshine on my balcony.

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