Thursday, May 14, 2015

Garden Share collective May - better late than never!

Here we are already halfway through the month and still no veggie garden catchup.  Hubby sent me a photo of the veggie garden to show that he was watering as requested, so I thought since I have one photo I will be able to give you a run down of how things are going in my veggie patch.

It is most unusual for us not to have any rain, and I must admit that the garden has been struggling. I just never seem to find the time to water. Luckily the fact that I now have quite a bit of shade from the Barbados cherry the soil is not sitting in the hot sun and those shady areas seem to be doing just fine.   The long green beans are going crazy and have gone right over the top of the Barbados cherry.  There are lots of beans that I miss and then only notice once they are dry and wrinkly.  Oh well I now have plenty of seeds to share around!  They are pollinated by green ants which can cause a nasty bite, and so it is not always pleasant picking them and avoiding the ants.  I guess I can always pop a couple into a jug and make lemonade - that is a bush tucker trick in this area!
The okra has also taken off and I have three bushes producing although the very large one is winding down.  I will save the seeds of those as well as they were a great vegetable to have in the garden once they got themselves established.  I have English spinach in the shade and it is doing well - I love the little leaves in salads, and this looks like a great variety - it has not bolted.  Also rocket - still baby at the moment, but I am thinning the bed out so that some of the plants can get more established - I just scattered a whole bunch of seeds.  I did the same with the tatsoi but they all died :(.   Two different type of eggplant are still doing well in the wicking beds.  I have a couple of cucumber coming along and of course my volunteer tomato cropping up everywhere.  The rosella are starting to flower and the plants are now so big and overgrown I cant wait to harvest them so that I have a bit more room in the garden.  I will dry them all for tea, although I was thinking I might try preserving a few in syrup as they look so pretty in drinks.  You can buy tiny bottles of them for 10.00 so think I can make them much cheaper than that!
Once the rosella are harvested I will plant snow peas against that fence, so that should be perfect timing as they don't like the heat.  I also need to plant out some lettuces and might go with seedlings as the seeds are struggling without any rain.  Sorry I don't have more photos, but better late than never!  Thanks Lizzie for hosting the Garden Share Collective again and do check here for the rest of the lovely gardens that are featured this month.  I am too late to add my link this month.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Flowers and birds enjoy the garden in April

For multiple reasons, I have not spent much time out in the garden lately.  Life sometimes takes over, but I am so lucky to live in a climate where the garden merrily keeps on growing, all by itself....The old gazebo trellis is where I tied up a bunch of Tilladsia (airplants)
 and placed a bunch of orchids in pots on the shelf below it - they are all badly in need of re-potting.
 I have been noticing a bit of colour in the area lately, and the Tillandsia are really putting on a  show.
 the tibouchina also love this time of year, and are continually covered in these lovely purple blooms.
 These angel wing begonia struggle through the heat and humidity of the summer, and then show all their glory as the weather cools down a bit.  Even the cordeline leaves seems more brilliant.
 I keep threatening to pull out all these tissue paper costus, until they flower that is......
 There are always lots of birds in my garden, but a  lot of them are small and flighty and very hard to photograph.  for some reason this sunbird stayed on the fence, sunning his brilliantly coloured blue throat, until I had managed to get a good shot.
 This is one of their favourite playgrounds - they love to hang onto the thinnest wire, and dart in and out, snapping up little insects.
Gosh what a glorious time it is in the garden lately.   I hope you too are finding lots to love in your garden.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Garden share collective April 7th

It is garden share collective time again!  I hope everyone had a very happy Easter, I had lots of fun with friends and family and even managed to fit some gardening into my four day weekend!  Link up here for this months gardens.

April is a busy time in our gardens up here in the tropics.  Of course we never know if we will get a late cyclone, or if the hot weather is going to hang on and fry everything before it gets established.  I had taken down the shaecloths, but then a dear friend gave me a vanilla plant, and I realized that my little perrenial bed really does need shade full time.  The pepper plant was also showing signs of distress from the hot sun.  The perfect spot for the little vanilla plant was chosen, with a nice trellis to climb.
 The small shade cloth was put back up again, and lots of lovely leaf mold and compost spread around.


The long green beans are suddenly taking off, but climbing right over the canopy of the barbados cherry.




I tied a few strings of rope out towards the back trellis so that maybe they would like to trail over there instead.  I might have to make that a bit more substantial.  They will shade that back area of the garden, but hopefully let in enough sunlight. I will plant bok choy, lettuces and other greens int hat area.  The grandkids wanted corn and  I planted a few more corn seeds, but think they might be old as nothing comes up.   Put in a few cucumbers, and tatsoi as well.  I had a rather meagre sweet potato harvest from that bed.


 I have okra!  The one plant has been doing amazingly well, and it is the plant right next to my in-ground worm bucket.  Is that the reason?  I have no idea, but I spread a bit of worm castings around the other okra just in case.
 the other okra plants are quite small and spindly.
 I cut back the mandevilla vine to get some light and sunshine into the herb spiral, and popped in a few beet and dill seeds.  Parsely has been started in little seedling pots as I find they take so long they often dry out in the garden before they get established.   I much prefer to plant in situ if I can.
 The barbadoes cherry is providing lovely filtered light and I planted rocket on one side and lettuce on the other.  The rocket has shot up, but I am still waiting for the lettuce.
 I tied the rosella back against the fence to make a clear path.  Once I have harvested the rosella I will move cherry tomatoes against that fence - I have lots of tomato volunteers all around the garden, and they dont mind being re-planted.   I just adore walking down this little shady path.  My food forest is looking good.  Further back the avocado is supposed to shade the back area, but it is still looking very sad and miserable.

Isnt the okra flower pretty? - hopefully by next month the other okra plants will have picked up as well.  I guess I planted them in the wrong season as they were dormant for a while.  I thought they would be a wet season vegetable.    They are supposed to be burgundy okra, so dont know what happened there.

I do so enjoy looking at everyones elses gardens at the beginning of every month - thanks so much Lizzie for organizing this collective!  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ulysses butterfly visit for my birthday!

Once again the ulysses butterfly visits my garden - I hope she lays some eggs and we will have some baby ulysses on the way.
Once again my hubby is the one who took these awesome photos.  He has infinite patience - I suppose he has to - he puts up with me.



The same silly cyclone that bothered us last week has turned around and is heading back our way again!  I had a lovely dinner planned with friends, I am just hoping it is all a scam and the dinner will go ahead. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blog hug quilt fabrics received.

I have received three sets of fabrics for my blog hug quilt:

Tracy from sunny-corner-farm - wow what wonderful fabrics that really showcase her lifestyle.
the farm animals and the flowers.  This selection really made me smile.


Next was Annette from Knettycraft - she lives in Essen, Germany - I love the tape she included with the name of her city.



Next was Nanette from Stitch and sow.  She lives in   Murwillumbah, NSW, now that is a mouthful.


I will post this on my craft tab, and add to it as I receive more, since here they will get lost amongst all my gardening updates!  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Desert rose

The extreme heat forced all my desert roses to send out lots of seed pods.  I have never seen so many seed pods!

Look at these little babies!  Arent they cute with their fat bellies?

 I kept the white ones separate as they are prime and very hard to get, we will see what happens when they flower.  Here is an empty pod - they explode with seeds and feathery wings which scatter with the wind.


This is the pink one, I also have red and white.  They flower for most of the year, and dont need much care at all.  


One of my favourites.


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