Showing posts from October, 2011

Picture this.....Torch ginger

I am so excited to have a torch ginger flower, and hope this is a sign of many more to come.  As you can see the flower comes out at the base of the long arching leaves.  They go right up into the lychee tree - about 15ft!   Look how little it looks right at the base of the huge leaves!  they normally do have a longer stem.  Just look at this gorgeous flower...  the petals are waxy and according to k ebunmalaykadazangirls can be used to added to laksa.  I wont be eating mine though - too busy admiring it. from every angle - so much so that I thought I might enter her in the Picture This contest at  Gardening gone wild .  the theme is to fill the frame, and that is what this little beauty does I think. the caladiums are popping up all over the garden too - they don't all disappear during the dry, but they are very happy once it get hot and humid and muggy. I thought this one had gone - I am pleased to see it back once again. I cant say that I enjoy the heat and humidity of t

Passionfruit vine gets a short back and sides

After two years passionfruit in this area normally get a virus called woody passionfruit virus and dies back.  I let another vine start in the vegetable garden (they come up like weeds here). this same area around the herb spiral has started up again - not sure if it is the same vine or a different one, but it is very healthy.  This is quite  a convenient place to have a passionfruit growing as it can grow vertically up the neighbouring happy plant, and leave more garden for other stuff.  The passionfruit drop onto the ground when ripe, so they are the perfect plant to grow up.  The vine has been clambering over the herb spiral  arch too much though and I wanted it to head upwards, so out I got with the ladder and some string.....  and tied sections up towards the high trunks of the happy plant.   If I trimmed it back that would just cause more branches lower down and that is not what I wanted.  It looks a bit untidy now, but it will soon fill in.  You can see the old dead branches un

Lots of rain

Our long drought  has at last been broken!  It is very strange here to have months with absolutely no rain, but this last week it has rained very day!   I also have been without telephone and Internet all week, so no way to post any of my fabulous photos as the garden comes to life with all the rain!  When it rains here it really rains, but the tropical flowers love it - look at this sodden hibiscus.  The cannas that I moved into an area that get lots of standing water during the wet season are very happy.  It is not a big enough area to really be defined as a swale, but it works the same way.  Look at the gorgeous red and yellow together - nature can be so flamboyant some times cant it?  Little lipstick cases are forming on my lipstick plant, but so far they are empty.  I took a few cuttings in another pot and they are doing well, so now I have two pots of this magnificent plant.  My bougainvillea cutting has also done well and this is a very soft peach colour - it looks lovely ne

Amaryllis are the stars in my garden these days

After all the fretting and researching the amaryllis have finally come right.  Maybe it was just exactly the weather that they like - a fairly cold winter, and then a very dry spring.  About half of them have had two flower spikes, so I couldn't be happier....  The torch ginger flower is opening up - it is quite small, but it is my first flower, so hopefully things improve once the rains come too as it is a wet season plant.  Probably looking around and saying "I thought this was the wet season in the tropics - anyone got a drink for me?"  My chia have started to flower, and I found this very useful information for anyone interested in growing it.  I see you can make a tea from the leaves, so am going to try that.  I doubt I am ever going to grow enough to give me enough seeds to eat, but I will make tea from  the leaves, and maybe put a few flowers into my salads.  I think next dry season I will scatter the seeds around my garden - doesn't the blue look stunning wi

Desert rose and other flowers

The desert rose is once again in full flower.  This is an amazing plant, it flowers almost continuously.  Look at the detail of the little white cup inside the pink flower  If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have been frustrated by my hippeastrums not blooming.  Well I think they need the leaves to die down.  I chopped the leaves off of these and look what happened - they are sending out buds :)  The passionfruit vine is loaded with flowers and soon the ground will once again be littered every afternoon with the delicious sweet fruit.  When you walk by the vine you are surrounded by their sweet scent.  the orchid is enjoying its little sheltered spot.  they say they need sunshine, but this one is in a very sheltered spot, so who knows - I think they have a mind of their own. The rex begonia is flowering - what a lovely plant this is.  The foliage is stunning, and from one little slip I now have two brimming pots. I love this time of year here - th

Food forest.

One of my favorite fruits is figs - I can remember having a huge fig tree outside my bedroom window growing up in South Africa.  Now -  that dry temperate climate is very, very different to where I live now, about as far away as possible in fact.   When I saw fig trees for sale I knew I just had to have one - that little child in me kept saying - how delicious those figs were - don't you remember?  I bought the tiny thing and put it into a little blue pot that I also just had to have.... Isn't it just as cute as a button?  A real little fig tree.  I hope it survives the heat and humidity and grows up to be a nice big fruit bearing fig tree.  In a pot of course - I think I would probably have to find someplace for it to live during our wet season where it is not quite so wet.  It is little - just look at it next to my little lime tree. :)  But I now have a fig tree. A veritable food forest...of course it would be nice to harvest some fruit, but I am practicing patience.  I did