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.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Garden share collective, heading into March

 February was a very short month, and with the heat and humidity here, I have really only ventured out into the garden when absolutely necessary.  It is time to catch up with Lizzie at the Garden share collective, and see how everyone fared with huge amounts of rain - normally it is us that have huge amounts of rain!
 We normally dont have to water at all at this time of year, but I have been giving the garden a  good drink once or twice a week, if we havn't had any rain.  I want my plants to develop deep roots.  I keep spreading out compost as a mulch so that will keep the moisture in the soil as it breaks down.  The shade cloths also keep the garden soil cooler.
The main purpose during the wet season is to make sure that the soil is covered and the plants that grow now get the moisture they need.  This is also the season where there are lots of bugs, some I dont even see, but I certainly see the chewed holes in the leaves.
 My red papaya is showing signs of flowering.  It is supposed to be a bisexual plant, I have never had one before so am interested to see what happens. I think it will have both male and female flowers.  I have lots of the common yellow papaya coming up everywhere.  I wait until they flower to see if they are male or female.  You only need one male for a whole yard of female plants.
 Ginger is popping up everywhere, and I dont mind - Once the weather cools down I can harvest it and grow cherry tomatoes in that area, although I still keep a small bed of ginger growing year round.   Any extra carboard get placed over the ground.  Anything to stop the insiduous weeds taking over, and try to keep the moisture in the soil.

Eggplant and green beans are doing well right next to each other, although I still havent seen any beans, so not sure what is going on there.  I have been spraying with seaweed and a little sulphate of potash over the whole garden to see if this spurs on a bit of production. 
The back part of this bed, around the avocado tree was taken up by sweet potato, I have not grown sweet potato for a few years as it needs to be grown in a different area each time.   I am not sure when I will be able to start harvesting it - I vaguely remember the potatoes popping up out of the ground - is that how you know when to harvest?  I dont want to harvest them all at once.  We call it bandicooting when you scratch around and harvest as needed.  I asked a friend and she said sometimes it takes a year before you get sweet potatoes.   So out into the garden I went, and dug up half the bed, laid down a bit of chicken manure (also added a few bits of charcoal), then covered it with cardboard.    The grandkids want to grow corn,   Since corn needs sunshine and is wind fertilized this might be the best area for the corn.  We might make seed tape as they really enjoyed doing that, and it keeps the corn evenly spread out.  No I did not spend hundreds of dollars on a new food processor - I found one at the market - previously loved :)  
 When I was working on lowering the level on my paths I discovered the roots of the asparagus going right into the path, so I extended that bed out a bit, and widened the path on the opposite edge.  It really just neatened things up a bit.  The asparagus was cut back, a couple moved because of overcrowding, and some cardboard laid down.  This will be mulched with seaweed.
 The avocado is still not happy - it looks as though the leaves are wilting, but it has been getting water, maybe not enough?  Are they water hungry?
 The okra has gone crazy since I moved a worm bucket over there next to it!    So far I have only had one measly little okra.  I just took a quick peek at Lizzies post and her okra looks awesome!  It must be all the rain she has been having!
 A good spot for greens might be under the barbadoes cherry as that has grown a lot this last year, providing lots of shade, and I know lettuces do better in the shade.  I have enjoyed a few cherries, but they are few and far between.  Arent the blossoms pretty?  I might be getting a few more as every day I see more and more blossoms. 

I noticed a blurry spot on these photos - it was probably a drop of sweat!   


   

March is still technically the hot and humid wet season so I will plant some corn mid to the end of the month.  I will also try some bok choy and rocket under the cherry tree and see how it goes.
It is a big month for me - on the 19th I turn the big 60!  A friend said this is referred to as old age, so I guess I am moving out of middle age.  I just hope all the gardening keeps me younger than my years .

Monday, February 23, 2015

Forests of colourful tropical flowers in my tropical garden

The hot and humid wet season seems to suit the tropical flowers much better than  it suites me.


I still gaze in awe at the fact that the Anthirium is one of my most carefree plants.  


From one plant gifted by a friend years ago when I was first starting my garden, I now have a forest!  I have also passed on multiple plants to other gardeners, so it is a gift that keeps on giving.  


There is also a forest of red ginger - so reliable.


Way in the back corner are one of my favourite tropical heleconias - the sexy pink lady.  Once each stem has flowered it will die, so I need to get out there and cut back the dead stalks. That way the flowers can be the centre of the show again.


Theese beehive gingers seem to be playing peek a boo against the side fence.  They are tucked away behind the fan palms.


This has been one of the driest wet seasons I have ever known.  Last week there was a cyclone to the northwest of us and one to the southeast, leaving us high and dry and very hot!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Quack quack we have a winner!

I am pleased to announce that Julie at Frog Pond Farm  has won the duck finger puppets from my giveaway.


 I am waiting to get her address and then will post them off to her lovely farm in New Zealand.  If you haven't visited her blog yet, please do, as she has the most gorgeous photos of the most exquisite farm life that she lives.   My grandson pulled her name out of an envelope and then we went to look at the blog to see who had won.  "Oh she has sheep, and a lovely black cat!"  Her awesome vegetable patch didnt get any recognition at all.  The grands came around with some corn seeds and we put a few into the ground, using their brand new kiddie sized tools.  I had a bucket of compost that had filled with rainwater and got rather stinky so little miss 4 was horrified with the smell, and didnt stay outside for long.  Mr 7 is a true gardener at heart, and was carefully measuring how deep the seeds were planted, and asking how long it would be until they popped up, how long until we tasted our first corn etc.
The lipstick plant is loving this hot wet weather,
 In fact there is quite a bit of colour in the garden at the moment, now that the rain has slowed down a bit.
Mmm I might have to start thinking about what I am going to plant next in the veggie patch.

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