Monday, May 27, 2013


I don't know what happened - I just took a break from blogging.  As each of my eggplant turned up their noses and succumbed to bacterial wilt I began to wonder if gardening was really all it is cracked up to be....

 This was how I was feeling about trying to grow a few measly vegetables in the tropics.  What with the cost of organic fertilizers, mulches, compost bins, seaweed tonics, etc I was probably paying about 50.00 for each cucumber I got out of my veggie garden!  Then I saw a flower spike on my aloe vera :)
 Gosh, I wondered, have any of my loyal readers ever seen an aloe vera in flower (I never have) It is such a pretty flower too - look at those little bell shaped flowers, and it sure is attracting lots of pollinators.

 So that one little flower spike has managed to give me back my mojo!   We have been enjoying the cucumber, and even have enough to share with the neighbors.
There is also lots of bok choy which I have been picking small before the bugs get to it and having it in salads, with amaranth, parsley and basil.  Even my little wild cherry tomato plants are wilting, so not sure what  to do.  The wicking beds are a total disaster - nothing is growing in them, but I have corn starting - that is a first for me, and I cant wait until we pop some lovely juicy corn cobs on the barbeque.
 Gardening for food in the tropics is hard, but then I suppose that is the cost I pay for being able to grow any colorful tropical flowers I want with comparative ease.
We are still having quite long periods of extended rain which means mildew, wilt and fungus in the garden is at an all time high.  No matter how many forecasts you read, or how much you try to prepare for different weather conditions, sometimes I guess you just have to put a lot of effort time and money into getting that 50.00 cucumber.


  1. Hey, don't get upset about gardening. I'm trying to grow tomatoes north of 60 with no luck so far.

  2. I have never seen an aloe blooming so thanks for sharing:) Gardening is full of challenges. One year I had to replant my tomatoes 4 times as I had planted them in a low area and they kept getting too cold.Setbacks are discouraging, but hang in there. I'm sure your 50.00 cukes are delicious. Maybe gardening is building our character - making us tenacious and resilient. Haha!

  3. Oh, don't lose heart, sweet friend, but it makes me hurt for you. Cast those cares on the Lord! Thankfully, we are only here on this earth for a short time...there are days I look so much forward to heaven and being on a new, restored earth with Him! Your aloe flower spike is a gift to encourage you and the neighbor's gift with the brilliant, segmented pink flower is too! How lovely they there anything that can be done about bacterial wilt? Are there plants that have some tolerance to it?

  4. Africanaussie, I just read that there are a few things resistant to bacterial wilt. Watermelons are says wikipedia... Also there is a forum page I found that gave the names of some cukes that are BWR. One person even offered to send others some seeds if you gave your address.
    I appreciate that you keep trying!! Blessings,

  5. I know this feeling well,after receiving my water bill...I am almost too scared to turn the tap on. I barely spend time in my beloved garden anymore as I know that I really cant afford the water it needs to grow :)

    That Aloe flower is pretty. I have one planted and I think it has only flowered once, it was a similar orange colour to yours if I remember correctly...


  6. Please don't still have yummy corn to look forward to....and those $50.00 cucumbers....YUMMY!

  7. Sorry to hear about your wilt problems! I guess that wherever in the world you try to garden there will be problems from weather, insects, fungus, etc. I wonder where the perfect place is to grow veg?

  8. You are a true gardener Gillian and I'll bet you don't let little things like bugs, mildew and bad weather keep you down for long. There's always seems to be a new crop to sow and wonderful miracles happening in the garden to renew our enthusiasm. I hope the weather is kinder to you soon.

  9. That nasty wilt that got your eggplant isn't just a tropical problem, several of my eggplants in Sydney did exactly the same thing. Healthy one day, all wilty and sad the next.

    You have some pretty amazing compensations - and luckily there are good grocery stores even in the tropics :-)

  10. I haven't found much success in growing vegetables either. Recently I am trying various natural fertilisers. They say crushed egg shells is good for brinjal. Anyway, leafy vegetable is easier for me. The prolong rain, cloudy sky and the sudden scorching sun make it really hard for growing pretty healthy vege. Don't you think so? Btw, you have a pretty stalk of aloe flower there. Love the colour :-D It is different from my yellow one. Happy gardening!

  11. I've planted aloe vera for decades but have never seen it flower. In the first place I've never thought that they can produce flowers. Your cordyline is looking spiky and fresh and those plants in the backgroun too.

    I've tried planting vegetables but they always seem to be infested with mealy bugs that I've given up trying long ago.

    1. I have an aloe that I have raised in the house it is quite large now and has flowered at least four times I never knew that got flowers before this one did it.

    2. I have an aloe that I raised from a little 99 cent plant it is about 3 ft tall now and has flowered 4 or 5 times till this one flowered I never knew that they did.

  12. Oh dear, I feel for you - I've had my share of vegetable disasters. Are there tropical vegies (maybe indigenous) that you can grow that just love your conditions?

  13. EvalinaMaria,
    I know there is always someone worse off than me....
    Oh I am sure it does build character - and it is cheaper than therapy (I think)
    thank you for your kind words. I suppose the real answer is not to try and grow things that are hard to grow in this climate. The little cherry tomatoes seem to be doing well in the wicking beds now, so that is a positive.
    I couldn't believe your water bill either. Gosh how frustrating, as you looked as though things were doing really well. Have you researched wicking beds? They seem to be very water efficient.
    Virginia -
    Oh you are so funny :)
    You are right, there are always some problems, and I guess even the perfect gardeners only show us the productive areas.
    after writing this post the garden already seems to have turned around a bit. :)
    Oh I am sorry you have it too. so frustrating.
    Stephanie, I have also heard that crushed eggshells are good. I just put mine into the compost.
    I guess I cant resist the challenge of trying to grow veggies.
    Yes i must say that my winged beans are amazing, and I do have pawpaws,and the bok choy is doing well...

  14. I know how it feels to lose a plant to wilt, here in the sub-tropics too. Very frustrating. We've grown a few outrageously expensive tomatoes. Told my husband to really appreciate the expensive, "gourmet" quality! Yep, we've had aloe bloom and aren't they deceptively delicate looking!


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