Showing posts from July, 2012

Arbour day

I am so grateful for the few trees that I have in my small garden. The lychee tree, now that it has been pruned way back is not providing the shade and shelter that it used to for the many brids that visit our garden. On Saturday morning as I sat enjoying my breakfast  out in the garden I noticed about 25 birds fly into the weeping tea tree. I just sat and enjoyed their chatter - clearly they found something to nibble on - or else they were vandals as there were lots of snipped off branches being flung to the ground. I ran to get the camera, and they flew away - never to return... This is where they were though :) Behind the fence are lots of big trees in my neighbours garden, so I am not tree less at all!  I like the way my garden seems bigger because of this.   Even though the big shady tree has been vastly reduced down there are  plenty  of other trees around.  No room to plant another one for arbour day though, so I just enjoyed the trees I had. This little area is cer

Bromeliads, how best to plant them

I have acquired two new bromeliads, three if you count the one I got from the clearance rack about a month ago.   That was flowering, and I figured would put a new pup soon - but that is when they are often put on the clearance rack, discarded.   I have done that before, and then suddenly one day begin to wonder what happened to that plant, only to discover that it must have gone to bromeliad heaven or dissolved into a pile of slime or something, but really is no-where to be found. I know I had one of these matchstick bromeliad - I have a photo of it blooming on my blog, but where did it go?  This one with the zigzag sides is different I am sure I have not seen one like it in my garden before - have no idea what the flower would look like, but  think  it might be a viresia?   The other tall ones like this have flowered occasionally with a beautiful flower.  Once again I have proof, looking back on my blog.  How often do they flower though?  Should I pull off the new pup or leav

Sunshine and rain brings out the colors

Look at the big branches of the lychee tree! - there are new little branches shooting up all over the place :)  Aren't they cute?  I moved the ponytail palm out from under the gazebo to give us more room for entertaining, and it too seems to like the sunshine.   We have had some rain, and the skies are mostly cloudy, but  that just means the plants have had some time to adapt to more light, and gosh they all seem to be loving it.  There are still plenty of ratty looking leaves, and bare spots, but all in all I think recovery is good. The caladiums are also popping out all over the place - they were trampled right down during the tree lopping, but seem none the worse for wear.   This one I got from my neighbor - what a huge leaf!  I love this native ginger - it doesn't seem to have any flowers but with the underside of the leaf being red it actually is always adding color.  Another caladium popping out and enjoying the sunshine is this speckled one.  I don't rem

Slow recovery

The area under the tree is still looking a bit sad, but here are there are signs of new life - a new shoot, or bud, a downtrodden plant perking up.  The anthirium leaves got very sun burnt, but there are new buds, so I think all is well. I thought the African mask was quite a hardy plant, and that too suffered for  a while but now I see new growth.  I got a couple of cordeline branches from the markets - just to fill in a few bare spots.  I like this one with the white pink and green. Cordelines are so easy to propagate - stick a branch into the soil and watch them grow! I also filled a few blank spots with some bromeliads, and they have turned a lovely red in the center.. The branches that already has leaves are sending out new shoots, even the lopped off branches are showing  signs of new life.  I don't know how long it will be until we have shade, but the garden is adapting. I still have a shade cloth over my most tender plants, and I guess that will stay until

Pigeon peas and cucumbers

There is lots of color out in the veggie patch.  The pigeon pea are flowering - they start off red and then open up to yellow. Aren't they pretty close up? These have taken a while to form beans, but in the meantime they have acted as a support for the winged beans, and of course they are nitrogen fixing plants, so are continually harnessing and trapping nitrogen for the other plants to use.  You can see a fuzzy bean just beginning to form.  I have not been so keen on the taste so use them mainly for amending the soil. The cucumbers are also twirling up into this bush - it seems to be a great year for cucumbers.  The flesh of the cucumbers is green and they are soooo crunchy.  My little two year old grand daughter loves them - it made my heart soar to pick a cucumber and then watch her eat the whole thing - not wanting to share! I planted a few more seeds a couple of weeks ago as the lower part of the vines is already dying off.   I am also picking snow peas,  and the che

Slow living June 2012

Linking to  SLOW LIVING - Month by Month June 2012 NOURISH:  I have been harvesting leafy greens for stir fries, and lettuce leaves and cucumbers for salads.  Also lots of herbs, whenever I need them.  Snow peas and tomatoes should be on the menu soon.  Eggplant are in continual supply. I also have rosella ready for harvest and don't want to make jam - I understand you can also dry them for tea - has anyone does this?  I just put a few on the counter to dry - do they need to be dried in an oven?    PREPARE :   I saw a recipe a while back for homemade vegetable bouillon  and when I opened the vegetable drawer and saw half a wilting fennel bulb and more than half a bunch of celery languishing in the depths I thought I better give it a try.  We try to limit our salt intake so I did not put much salt into it (1TBS instead of 1 cup) and I certainly did not put as much variety in, (onion, garlic, celery, fennel, parsley and sundried tomato) but have found it v