Monday, 28 November 2011

bean flowers!

My beans are flowering!  It's still quite a small plant but these are the first blossoms.  I wonder how long it takes the beans to form?  I'll find out soon enough!

happy toms

My tomatoes are going gangbusters, probably from all this rain and a fairly warm spring.  They're about as tall right now as they were in January last year!  That's not really a good thing if you're just getting leaves and little fruit.  But I don't think that will be a worry.
The black cherry did have a bit of a setback when its main leader broke but it's now got heaps of flower clusters.  And what clusters!  I counted 16 flowers in this photo but there may be some hidden ones.
The honey of Mexico are a bit more advanced and already have several ripening clusters.  This one has 9 fruit on it, it would have 11 but two blossoms rubbed off against that leaf.
I think I made a good choice this year to grow two cherry types instead of a mid-sized.  They ripen faster and seem to be hardier.  Or maybe they just seem hardier because they spend less time ripening on the plant, open to bugs and diseases.  In any case, I'm hoping to taste my first toms soon!

happy orchid, sad orchid

Well my space race topaz gold orchid is happy as a clam.  Since this photo it's opened up two and a half sprays of blooms with a fourth one not far behind.  It should be flowering for about two months, plus it's already putting out new pseudobulbs.  I love this little trooper!
However my wildcat isn't doing so well.  I put it on the front porch but completely forgot to harden it off, that is, get it used to the sun and weather.  I'm 90% sure it was shocked by the direct sunlight and badly sunburned.  One of its leaves already fell off and a second one is on its way out.  However its new pseudobulb is still coming in strong and green, so I'm hoping it will pull through this setback and bloom again next year.  I haven't done well by this one, i only got one flower to open on one spike and now I've almost killed it!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

a few flowers at last

Really starting to get some late spring flowers coming in.  The lavender is looking great and the bees are already enjoying it.
I've decided on this summer's annual for the west bed - lobelia this year, a mix of mostly dark blues with a bit of light blue and pink.  They don't look like much now but they should become little thick cushions of colour eventually.
And most excitingly, my Chilean jasmine (mandevilla laxa) is starting to bloom!  I love the crisp, white flowers.  They've got a very delicate scent.

chilies n' beans

Just a small update.  My chili plant is going super-strong but it seems a bit confused about what shape to grow.  In this photo you can see the little mini-chilies that came in over the winter.  My guess is because it didn't get as much sun over the winter.  The thing green chili is the "normal" shape from last season.  And above it are some of the thick stumpies; really fat but short ones.  There are even a few coming in fat but long.  Not sure what it'll settle down into this year!
The beans are still pretty small, I reckon I could have gotten them started a month earlier.  Oh well, they're healthy and I'm sure they'll pick up soon enough.

brunnera update

Two months ago this week I made cuttings of my brunnera Jack Frost.  Of the four cuttings, two of them now have long healthy roots and the other two rotted and died.  Look at those roots!  So I can officially report that brunnera will take from cuttings.
So today I moved them into their own punnets.  The leaves sure don't look like much but if I don't manage to kill them now they should start settling in and put out now growth.  Hopefully by the autumn they'll be big enough to plant out.  I just have to figure out where to plant them...

quiet sunday project

I had a very quiet Sunday and finally got around to a little project that was niggling at me.  As I just recently mentioned, that gaura this year is getting very lanky and covering the guem.
I've tried tying it back with string on a stake but it never lasts - the string moves and the stake leans.  So I got out the drill and put a few screws into the brick, which let me secure the string firmly into the wall.  As you can see, it pulled the gaura back into a more compact shape.  The geum actually gets a bit of sunlight now.  The lavender is leggy as it is every year but the daffodils have started to die back under them so it shouldn't matter.  It is satisfying to get little projects done.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

november in the western bed

Things were looking pretty dull back here for a few weeks, but the lavender is picking up as the geum is finishing.  The gaura is also starting to come in too but it's a lot taller this year.  I've had to trim back the farther bush and keep tying it back.
The oakleaf hydrangea is also starting to come into bloom.  Those flower caps are looking great and they'll be developing long into the summer.
And under the second hydrangea, Thatcher was having a snooze.  That dichondra must be a nice soft bed.

november on the patio

The patio plants are slowly but surely filling out.  The cannas are starting to put out a few leaves and the annuals are really showing off.
The gingers are putting out lots of sprouts of new growth.  I hope the grow a lot taller than the older foliage.
And I did succumb to temptation and got a calla lily.  It's a lucky dip so I don't actually know what colour it will be.  But I love the speckled leaves.  It'll die down over the winter but I've tucked it into a corner so it won't be a bit gap in the winter.
And one afternoon I had a surprise.  I though there was an ugly bird poo on the new couch, then had a close look and realised it was a moth just trying to blend in.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

late spring in the garden

Just a few snaps of what's blooming in some of the beds I haven't visited in a while whilst I've been focused on the front yard.  Here's the corner eastern bed near the bird bath.  The salvia is just starting to bloom and it will continue to do so until next winter.  It's also a lot taller and more vigorous this year, even after a decent cut-back.  I've had to tie it against the fence.  It's practically swamping the magnolia tree now.
And here's the back western bed.  It's actually a fairly bland corner at this time of year.  The brunnera's still blooming (just to the right of this photo) but that's about it.  But the hydrangeas are covered in long cones of buds and the vitex has grown so much in two years.  Remember when it arrived in June 2010 it was this big!
I thought I'd also show you a picture of my sad little maple - not so sad these days!  The newest growth is still lovely and bright.  It really seems to love its new home so hopefully it will continue to slowly grow and thrive this summer.

what's up on the porch?

Here's an update of what's progressing along this spring.  My trays of seedlings have been very productive; my Mona lavender cuttings all too although to be honest I haven't actually decided where to put them yet!  My melon seeds both germinated (though I'll only plant one) and my second lot of basil has sprouted.  I planted two beans directly in the pot but neither came up, I think I planted them too deeply, so I'm glad I started one in a punnet.  I've started a second one too and this one went into its pot after I took this photo.
I started more basil because I had a spot I could put a second plant, but I may need to replace the first one.  Either slugs or earwigs have turned my little seedling into this!
Looks like I may need to buy a punnet if I want basil anytime soon. 

Speaking of the Mona lavender, this is what it looks like this year.  It's still fairly compact but I may need to tip prune it this summer, it's gone quite bushy.  No flower buds yet, I think it flowers in the height of summer.
This little surprise greeted me on the porch recently.  My other succulents have all flowered before but this is the first time the jelly beans have flowered.  Not a terribly exciting flower but still pretty sweet.
And just off the porch, my chilies are powering away.  Unfortunately they're really tiny at the moment, I'm not sure if that's the cold or that it's not getting enough sun just yet.  But the latest batch are a bit bigger and they're certainly potent!  I've already been using them.
And this isn't really on the porch,  but my Chilean jasmine has its first flower buds!  They're still tiny but I can't wait until they open.