Monday, January 15, 2018


Some things I just keeping trying even though they have never worked in the past.  Are you like that?
One thing is grafting -  I tried both a lime and a lemon tree grafted onto a citrus that grew up from the rootstock of a lime mandarin.  I cut a pointed edge on the scion and then inserted it into a slit.   I rested a moist bit of coconut husk into the branch above the graft to allow some moisture and then placed a plastic bag over the entire thing.   Tied up nice and tight with grafting tape.

The other thing I have not always had success with is pollinating pumpkins.  I see lots of bees and flying insects, but supposedly pumpkins have to be hand pollinated.  I have let a volunteer pumpkin have its way in the back veggie patch because at least it shades the ground.  I have heard young pumpkin leaves are very tasty, but I have never tried them.  This little thing was right beside the path so I got a female flower and broke away the petals then sort of dabbed it all over the stamen.  I hope I wasn't too rough, but I was too lazy to go and get a paintbrush.  It looks like a cute little stripey butternut.
 I thought my cranberry hibiscus had totally disappeared, but it has sprung to life again!  This has lovely zingy tasting leaves - great in a salad mix. It is supposed to be perennial, but in my climate sometimes things just dont survive. I dont blame them, summers here can be cruel.  We have had record high temperatures and record low rainfall.
.... which brings me to my flowers.  I have noticed that the flowers on the anthiriums

 and peace lillies (spathiphyllum)  all green or very pale.  I gave them all a foliar spray of seaweed with a bit of epsom salts and sulphate of potash mixed in.  That is my goto mix for any struggling plant. THEN I check Mr google!  They could either be older flowers that are turning green or heatstress. I think I know which one gets my vote! I dont know if these are the older flowers, but I dont think so.  Anyway, I will cut them all off, that will give the plant a bit of a rest anyway.

 I found a little orchid on clearance at the supermarket so it had to come home with me, and it seems quite happy for now. 

I hope everyone's new year has started off well.


  1. The heat hasn't been kind to our garden at all and there has been no rain for a while even though a wetter than average summer was forecast. Perhaps there will be a couple of cyclones in the next couple of months. The grasshoppers were getting stuck into the leaves of the purple lily so I have moved it to see what happens. Good luck with your pumpkins.

    1. . I also wondered if there will be cyclones this year - there seems to have been such a build up. we are starting to get a little more rain, although last night areas to the west and south of us got 100 ml and we got 1.5! My purple lily is looking so sad...

  2. Good luck with the pumpkin Gill. The orchid is looking good.
    The Perth heat is also relentless, and of course lack of rain doesn't help. At least today we are having a good downpour to compensate and the garden is getting a good watering.

    1. thanks Sami, sometimes I wonder why I keep trying, especially with grafting. oh it is so nice to get a good downpour.

  3. I wonder with your pumpkin pollination if temperature has anything to do with it. Our summers can have coolish spells and that negatively affects pollination of a number of plants. I'm wondering if excessive heat which might be a problem where you are could also affect the pollen. I don't bother with a paintbrush either when I hand pollinate squash family plants and dabbing seems to work just fine.

    1. Jenny,
      Some people just have huge pumpkin beds and theirs seem to get pollinated, so i am just not sure. I am glad someone else has done that the same way as me, holding thumbs....

  4. Happy New Year, Jillian. I have neglected my blog but am missing it and want to get back to it asap as I love writing and connecting with all the gardeners out there in the world :-)

    1. Hello Kate,
      Happy new year to you as well. I am the same!


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