Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Elegant Japanese Garden

I am very fond of Japanese aesthetics and the soothing and serene ambiance of their gardens and architecture. Japanese garden designs are a representation of their life style that is deeply connected with nature and religion and the topography of the region. The Japanese style of design have evolved over many centuries based on their philosophical outlook on life. 

Last week when I was in Vegas,  I was very delighted to find out that the Japanese garden in the Bellagio's conservatory. It was indeed a visual retreat. Enjoy!



These are the arrangements from the lobby with cherry blosoms


Now we are entering the conservatory. Japanese gardens combine the basic elements of plants, water and rocks with simple clean lines to create tranquility in the garden. Notice that the simple rock is used as a centerpiece to create hormony


The tea house




Crane made with flowers 



Here is the classic Japanese bridge, water and sand



All the flowers and greenery were brought in the containers and arranged to create this landscape.


A traditional Japanese house was incorporated in the landscape







Love the tulips!


Again, the bamboo, rocks and greenery play an important role in the Japanese design.


Cranes are flying at the ceiling


Of course, no Japanese garden is complete without water and koi fish


The following pictures are from the Aria casino lobby. So many origami crane garlands were hung in the lobby.


This side had all green garlands


Another miniature Japanese garden in the lobby with a bonsai tree, a few rocks and baby tears grass. I love this design. I would like to create something similar in my garden.



Hope you enjoyed the Japanese garden tour from Las Vegas.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Las Vegas floral inspiration

Last week I was in Las Vegas for a mini family get-together. People go to Las Vegas for a different reasons, some for gambling, some for eating, and for people like me, for flowers . I love Las Vegas flower shows with out a doubt. There were so many aooooooooooohhs and ooooohs as I was walking through. I always come home with lots of floral inspirations.

This is all about the Wynn casino lobby










 Beautifully landscaped


I am where the flowers are 


Massive flower arrangements above the eye level make a big impact and catch the attention of people who are walking by


Gloriosa lillies, my favorite


Beautifully accessorized tables


I enjoyed walking through the canopy of beautiful trees with flower balls hanging from the branches




Can't you tell I was glued to that walkway? Walkway has beautiful mosaic art work on the floor. Beautiful trees, filtered light, hanging flower balls...I love that setting 



The next post will be all about a Japanese garden from the Bellagio conservatory.


For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring flowers around the house

This is my favorite time of the year, where everything starts blooming around the house. My proteas have been blooming for a while in the garden. Before the season was over, I salvaged the last crop of flowers and arranged them around the house to share with you all.








For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Designing the kitchen garden

This morning I sat out on my patio and had breakfast with my family while I sketched the design for my kitchen garden. After last year's garden tour, many people ask me how I grow everything perfectly in my kitchen garden. (My kitchen garden was very popular with the visitors at last year's garden tour). The first thing I tell people is that I can't grow everything right and I make plenty of mistakes. There was a time in my gardening experience where I didn't have a plan and would planted things randomly. After this many years of gardening I have learned from my many mistake and now I try to have a plan on a piece of paper before I begin planting. With regard to a kitchen garden, you should plant based on your family needs. I try to grow lots of Indian vegetables. I don't want to use up my valuable real estate in the kitchen garden for cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, because these vegetables are readily available in supermarkets and farmer's markets. Instead I want to grow exotic varieties.


Sketch the design:
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I have a triangular kitchen garden plot on top of a small hill. This kitchen garden has 16 raised beds. This morning I sat with all my seed catalogs, eating my favorite breakfast, avocado toast, and  sketched the design for my kitchen garden. My favorite thing to do in the spring is to sit outside with a cup of coffee and go though the seed catalogs to check for new varieties.











The view from the patio is not bad, either!



Last years kitchen garden



Final sketch is ready for this year based on crop rotation






Preparing the soil:
Now that the design is ready, it is time to prepare the soil. A good garden begins with good soil. I always prepare the soil by mixing it with homemade compost (more on that subject later).Composting is a natural way of recycling. I am a firm believer in composting kitchen and garden waste and it has served me well for the past few years.

Crop rotation:

Think about crop rotation when you are planting the kitchen garden. Crop rotation is very important for an organic vegetable garden to balance soil fertility and to reduce soil-borne diseases. For example, tomatoes deplete a lot of nitrogen and phosphorous from the soil. If you plant tomatoes at the same spot year after year, naturally soil will be lacking nitrogen and phosphorous, making the yield very low. A general rule of thumb in my kitchen garden is that I won't plant the same crop for three years in the spot.That is why keeping the garden journal is important.

Happy gardening! Spring is here, time to stop and smell the roses.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


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