Monday, August 5, 2013

Changing a little bit here, a little bit there, and some caterpillar prayer

I managed some time in the garden over the weekend tidying things up - the herb spiral is looking much neater, and I will pick up some labels this week.
 Some parts of the veggie garden just always seem untidy - this bed of mixed greens has bokchoy that is starting to go to seed.  I had about a third of a bag of Mr Rooster pelleted manure hanging around so that got strewn around, along with a bit of sulphate of potash and trace elements.  A few of the nasturtiums dotted around are starting to flower so that will pretty things up a bit in this area.  I love nasturtiums, but sometimes our winters are not quite cold enough for them to bloom.
In the back path behind the lychee tree, I have been battling to try and get the plastic edging neat and tidy. Then I thought of those lovely flat rocks that I had lining the veggie beds.  They were not doing much good there, other than giving the weeds a great place to hide and establish themselves. The veggie beds do not really need a defined edge. Don't the rocks look lovely in their new home?  I never thought the plastic really fitted in that well, and this looks so natural.  Love it!
 One of my rex begonias has started to flower - gosh I love their little delicate flowers, and the hairy stems, and the gorgeous foliage.  There was a segment on Gardening Australia over the weekend where a begonia fanatic was interviewed, and I fully understood the passion she has for these marvelous plants.
Another plant I am totally in love with is coleus, perfect for adding splashes of colour.
 We have had a few caterpillars on our lime tree, and somehow they disappear before I see a chrysalis appear - maybe birds swoop down and pick them off? That is one reason I have put off giving the tree a good pruning,but at last this one seems to be getting into position.  He seems to be putting his hands together in prayer "Lord I pray you are with me through this transition and that at the end I  emerge as a beautiful butterfly"    How many of us have prayed this prayer at one stage in our lives?  I think this caterpillar has a very good chance of his prayers coming true, and I will be keenly monitoring his progress.


  1. I think that caterpillar is from a "Papilio aegeus"
    Commonly called "Large Citrus Butterfly"
    "The larvae of this species are sometimes considered a pest, due to the feeding of citrus leaves in suburban gardens"
    The reason I identified it is because I found a caterpillar on my Mandarin tree.
    Nice looking butterfly and interesting looking caterpillar.

  2. Hi George,
    This is called the orchard swallowtail butterfly - here you can see some photos of past butterflies that have hatched in my garden. (copy and paste link) . I am always willing to sacrifice a few leaves so that I have butterflies!

    1. Oh sorry I didn't realise you had identified it and taken such beautiful photos.
      The wikipedia article does say "Papilio aegeus, commonly known as the Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly or Large Citrus Butterfly",
      so I guess we are both talking about the same species ?

  3. Replies
    1. dewberry,
      It has already turned into a chrysalis - I hope I can catch the butterfly emerging.

  4. What a lovely photo of the caterpillar.
    Will you be saving some of the bok choy seeds for next year's planting?
    Love the flat stones along the garden bed edge....they made a big difference.
    Continue your garden chores, it will all pay off in the end.

    1. Virginia,
      Yes I plan to save the seeds. I have developed a new appreciated for bok choy this year, and think it will remain a staple in my garden. Thanks, at least it is a chore that I enjoy.

  5. Not sure about that prayer but I was certainly as fat as that caterpillar and in need of a butterfly bloom! ;). Those rocks look really lovely along that pathway and you are right about the weeds, they LOVE rocks to hide in where your hoe cant reach. I love reading about your garden, it is truly exotic and gorgeous to we Tassie gardeners. I gave away all of my Rex begonias as part of my clear up around Serendipity Farm. They are very hardy and managed to survive our frosts (they were out on our deck) and possum attacks (eaten back to the roots) in style. I gave them to a friend who will treasure them and am concentration on edibles here for our food forest. Cheers for another lovely post full of gorgeous images for we non-exotics here in Tassie :)

    1. Serendipity,
      So glad that you enjoy seeing my garden. I envy the variety of foods you can grow in Tassie. Oh I couldn't give away my flowers! I find food gardening quite challenging, so the flowers are a reward!

  6. I do love the stones you've "planted". And would you believe I have the very same coleus in my garden? Though mine will die at the end of the summer and the ground will soon after be covered in snow.

    1. Carolyn,
      Wow, isn't that amazing? coleus must be the most versatile plant around! I must have adapted to the tropical climate - I am SO chilly today and it is 60*F. (I can hear you laughing from here!)

  7. That caterpillar does have a great guardian angel :)
    You're right, those rocks do look good (and I hate anything plasticky in the garden too).

    1. Sunita,
      I thought I liked the plastic edging, but I suppose that was just a learning curve.

  8. I hope your spiny caterpillar makes it through the transition. With your close monitoring, I'm sure its prayers would be answered.


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