Sunday 13 May 2012

URBAN GARDEN, NZ 7-8 DEC 2011, Early Summer.

I've been wanting to post my progress for weeks now  :-/   so i'm sorry, you didn't really get the beginnings of my spring garden...  but here we are in early summer  : )   

Welcome to my garden ~  step through the entrance to my little piece of paradise on earth  : )


The passionfruit vine is growing really well in this sunny location.  It was a baby vine around 60cm tall when I put it in the ground in around April 2010 (mid Autumn/ Fall).  The little vine weathered the winter and grew a bit the following summer season (Dec-Apr 2011).  I'm pretty sure I planted it at the wrong time of year...  It's probably best to plant them early Spring so they can settle in during the temperate weather...  It was an impulse buy at the time  :P  But at least, this year, it rocketed away and as you can see, is now climbing happily over the rose archway  : )
The ground has 3-4 applications of compost in these front beds, so the soil isn't too bad. The soil was pretty-much hard-packed clay soil when I first dug this ground over in October 2009.  I'm still working on the soil  : )   But the great crop of passionfruit that's coming along is testament that the right sorts of things are happening for the ground  : )
  It's like 'Where's Wally?'  : )   Hmmm...  spot the passionfruit  : )    
  It was an incredible blue-sky day...  picture perfect  : )
I kinda like the 'industrial' view with the power pole in the frame  : )     ... kind of like the two worlds, nature and invention, being able to sit together. They seem to mimic each other... lines-vines both sending information for a useful purpose for the benefit of humanity; both being conduits for Energy ~ cosmic as well as turbine generated  :D

This passionfruit was so much smaller yesterday. It (and the others) plumped up heaps overnight : )

The flowers are quite beautiful too  : )
I managed to get a close-up  : )   It's such an unusual flower.  This is larger than life...
They are around 5cm in diameter so this photo is around 1.3 the actual size 

I had 1 monarch butterfly hatch on Tuesday, 5 of them yesterday (Wednesday), and another one today  : )   I'm not sure what the 'mating rituals' are of butterflies, but a band of the juveniles flew off yesterday I think only to return today...  to start laying  : )   Of course, I have no idea if it's the same butterflies exactly...  but the 3 or so that returned today seemed to know exactly where they were going...  they were READY TO LAY !!!  Hmmm...  quite urgent.  They darted into the garden and straight to the swan plant.  Usually monarchs just kind of glide in and mill about a bit.  The butterflies today didn't do that...  they seemed to be on a real mission  :D  
It's actually the first butterfly visit i've had since the Momma of these ones visited around 4 weeks ago...  so maybe they are the same ones returning ??  Perhaps they couldn't find any other swan plants...  so after finding a mate, they directly swooped back on some kind of cosmic 'homing' instinct.  Does this happen ??  I actually don't know much about it  :-/
A very pretty sight  : )
Best pic of the day I think  : )   
Very "cottagey"  : )   I like this look  ... not too formal  : )
It actually tells you heaps about me !!!   (yikes !!)
               It was a very urgent matter  :-/
        ... even in inappropriate places  : )   ... lost her bearings maybe ??  
        Are monarchs hermaphrodites ??

  ... with much beating of wings, off we go again   : )


It's a bit late in the season (early winter) but I put in 40 more bulbs of garlic (around 90 bulbs in total now), transplanted a dozen baby cape gooseberry plants to the sunny sheltered side of the house so they don't get bitten if we get heavy frosts, and did 'tiny weeding' all through the 'self-sown' lettuces mesclun, brassicas, parsley, parsnip that popped out of my last layering of compost  :D  

I love gardening like this...  even the hybrid silverbeet seems to have come back into its natural flow after sitting for 8 months in my vibrant living compost :D  A few of my store-bought silverbeet plants actually seeded late last year... strange time, I know  :-/  I let the seed mature and dry on the plant then gently dug the ground all around the plants hoping that the seed would germinate.  Nothing. Not a skerick.  I nevertheless dutifully shook the seed out into a container and disgusted, broke the whole experiment up and threw it in the compost.  In early May it was time to lay out some more compost on my freshly dug patch down the side of the house.  A month later...  all kinds of seedlings are bursting from the ground  :D   ... including the supposedly non-viable silverbeet seedlings i'd given up on.  What on earth happened in that compost.  Is this possible or am I just being wishful here?  There have been no other silverbeet seeds/ plants thrown in the compost except for those store-bought ones.  Maybe they weren't hybrid afterall...  so why didn't they throw seedlings back in December?  A small mystery.  Someone might have an answer.

The other very peculiar thing i'm noticing in my garden this year is that the roses are not going into hibernation for the winter...  quite the opposite.  End of June, right?  Middle of Winter in NZ.  So why are my my rose bushes are still in leaf with the odd late flower still on them??  And the climbers have new shoots on them around 2 cm in length.  What !!!! ????   That's not right  :-/   The crocuses are popping through...  that's kind of normal, and the tulips are around 2-5cm tall.  That's early too, I think  ???  So it's all a bit odd.

I noticed last year too that my tomatoes came on really early.  Basically, by the first week in January, that was it !!  That happened in commercial growing operations as well.  Did anyone else notice the glut in the market of tomatoes during December 2010?  That's so wrong.  Anyway, i'm thinking that something is definitely up.  I'd love to hear what you're observing in your patch  : )

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