Showing posts from January, 2017

Garden Share Collective January

This months garden share collective is all about herbs.  This is the middle of the wet season, when everything struggles with the heat, humidity and occasional floods..  Everything except the weeds that is.  A neighbor kindly offered me a couple of barrow loads of mulch, and the weed spiral was the first to benefit.  I pulled out weeds, and drastically cut back the plants that were there.  Something was really enjoying the lemon balm , and it wasn't me!  Then I spread out a fairly thick layer of mulch.  In the herb spiral I have cuban oregano - a tropical perennial that is similar to oregano in taste, but the leaves are quite fleshy.  Very versatile - I use it in any sort of tomato based dishes.  It doesn't get any bugs, and there is a green and a variegated one. It sort of wanders around, but never gets overwhelming.  The perfectly behaved plant!  Then on the other hand I have sawtooth coriander - oh my gosh, if you don't keep cutting off those little spiky flowers i

Reduce, re-use, recyle and garden tool maintenance

I had been using an old wooden cupboard outside under the eaves for my gardening "stuff".  As so often happens these days a lot of the cupboard was made of chipboard.  Once that starts to get a bit damp it disintegrates.  My dear hubby thought there would be enough of the solid wooden parts to make up a few shelves in our hot water cupboard to create some shelving space.  He set to, measuring demolishing and stacking all my gardening stuff into a precarious pile. I very cleverly stayed inside sewing because there it was nicely cool in the air-conditioning. Once the shelves were completed I gathered my tools together and started to clean them.   I have wanted to do this for a long time.  I had two buckets, one with hot soapy water, and one for rinsing water.  All the tools went into the hot soapy water first.  After scrubbing off residual dirt I began to take them apart.  The better quality tools came apart right down to the bare bones.  I scrubbed off the rust with stee

No shop week and meal planning

Last weekend we didn't go grocery shopping.  I implemented a no shop week on the spur of the moment - no pre-planning, no notification so we could stock up!  My dear hubby is quite used to my impulsive nature by now.  He calls it my "shoot from the hip attitude."  This was mainly brought about because I got stuck in to cleaning the sliding glass doors on Saturday which turned into a major living room clean, and I didn't want to get cleaned up to go into town and shop for groceries. I did a quick inventory of the veggies and fruit and fresh stuff and knew that the freezer was well stocked.  I always have a loose menu plan for the week in mind and thought I would be able to wing it. On Saturday we had a nice little barbeque in the back yard.  Home made boerewors (South African sausage) baked potatoes and a salad. Sunday, hubby was busy doing a bit of reduce, re-cyle and re-use which I will tell you about in another post. Luckily I was inside with the aircon on, sewin

Orchids in the tropics

I know that I only just posted yesterday and that I haven't posted for months.  Oh well, maybe I will be inspired to post more often.  I had to share my lovely orchids though.  I never know when an orchid is going to flower - they just suddenly appear, and really love this muggy hot weather we are currently experiencing.  Be prepared - there will probably be more photos to follow! This one is in a hanging basket right up in the lychee tree.  I wondered if it would have enough light.  In actual fact I simply hung the basket up there because it was so unwieldy and untidy with its long branches.....  Over the weekend I looked up and saw the buds forming.  awesome. This shows them way up in the tree. I live in an area where orchids grow in the wild - they like this climate.  Every now and then I acquire an orchid in flower, and then I re pot them and hang them on my orchid wall.  Sometimes they flower again, and then I am ecstatic, but really it has nothing to do w

So hot

At this time of the year in the tropics, I don't do much gardening, unless it is really necessary.  During the Christmas break I spent a couple of days tidying up and cutting back, and mulching.  I also drank lots and lots of water to stay hydrated.  The area around the pool has not had much attention for a while, and luckily we acquired this lovely bromeliad.  The golden cane was removed, and then I could get stuck in and plant out a few easier to manage plants.  It all got a good mulching as luckily one of the neighbours has some extra mulch.  Everything is settling in well, and we even have a flower spike! I cut back severely along the fence because my neighbour has a passionfruit vine growing there.  I couldn't reach to pick the passionfruit, and if left to fall on the ground they attract rats.  I have to continue to cut back the vine so that it doesn't climb all over the plants.  The passionfruit is nice, but the maintenance is pretty time consuming. I cut