Sunday, 18 December 2011

a few more december flowers

A few more flowers in the garden at this time of year.  I bought a lovely cultivar of verbena today.  It was so strikingly brought and reminded me of candy canes - perfect over Christmas!
I also planted a few small blue salvia annuals next to the lobelia.  The lobelia are looking great and I thought the salvia would be a nice backdrop.  They're just seedlings as of yet though.
And then there are my little drimiopsis.  They started flowering about a month ago.  The flowers aren't very striking but still sweet.

mmmmm beans

My beans have started ripening.  They're so tasty!  The ones on the right are from the garden and the ones on the left are from the shops.  It probably helped that this batch of store-bought beans were a it over-sized and stringy, but my garden's beans are crisp and tender.
I'm only getting a small handful at a time as of yet, but when the second bean plant starts to get going (it's covered in flowers) I should start to see bigger harvests.  Yum!


There's a plant from New Zealand called arthropodium cirratum, or renga renga lily.  I've seen it around in people's gardens a lot in the last few years - it loves shade, it's drought-tolerant and it has gorgeous little white flowers in the spring.  I've been thinking about getting a few for a while and finally decided to put a few of the miniature version (te puna) under my vitex.  The vitex has gotten big enough that it should provide a decent amount of shade.  I can't believe how quickly it's grown, actually - look how tall and full it is!  The arthropodium are the grass-like clumps in the dichondra.  I also ripped out the wild violet that was in the back of the bed.  Yes it's a nice hardy clump, but it quickly became a messy mass with almost no flowers.  Some "weeds" have their uses but this one looked likely to get out of hand.
I think it might be too late to see these ones blossom this year, but if they do I'll post an update!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

december flowers

My laxa vine is in full bloom!  It's a bit hard to tell from this photo but they're along the top of the fence.  I wish the vine covered the fence a bit more fully, but the flowers look and smell lovely.
My new calla lily has flowered.  It was from a random colour mix and I was hoping it would be a tropical orange, but instead it's the standard yellow.  Actually I think it's a slightly softer shade of yellow than the standard colour, and I like it nonetheless.
Finally, my space race orchid has opened all four flower spikes!  They look so festive at this time of year with my Christmas decorations.
The spikes are a lot shorter than last year, when they were well higher than the foliage.  I wonder if it gets more light in my house than where they were grown.  Next year I'll keep them in a darker part of the house when the spikes are forming and see if that encourages longer spikes.

tangelos struggling along

Once again this year my designer twig has put out lots of flowers and set lots of fruit but most of them have dropped.  This year a few of them became a bit warped before falling off.  No idea what that's about!
Last year's tangelos are still hanging in there but they've been struck for the first time by gall wasps.  You can just see the stems start to swell.  Just my luck, BOTH branches with fruit have galls now and I think it's forcing the fruit to ripen early, as you can see by the yellow flush.  I just hope they ripen fully unlike the first fruit that dropped whilst still bitter.
My mature lemon tree just gives and gives, but my little twig has been picky from the start.  Young citrus trees are notoriously fussy, and growing it in a pot doesn't help!

first beans and slow melons

The first beans have formed!  Once they get started they sure form quickly.  Since I took this photo yesterday, the long bean is now thick enough to pick.  Not much point eating a single bean but it's in the fridge for when a few of its buddies ripen.
It sure is exciting when you grow a vegetable for the first time and things work out.  On the other hand, my melons aren't doing so well this year.  You can just see that little dash of green in the bed.  I think it's being shaded a bit by the massive triffid taro in the corner.  Of course, last year the melons were also pretty small at this time of year.  But not quite this small!
I do have one more melon seedling on the porch that I kept back in case the cats or possums dug up the first one.  It's actually a wee bit bigger and has a few flowers already, so I might transplant it in and see which one grows faster!