Thursday, December 31, 2009

Eggplant Supreme

My eggplant supreme has put on more flowers. The previous few purple flowers withered and died without producing any eggplants. I suspected it was due to pollination problems. Closer examination of the plant today revealed caterpillar presence. And I even found a cocoon under one of the leaves. After a few days in a jar, it turned out to be the same moth which I caught some time back :
From the look of the flowers, it seem that when the petals are bent backwards, they are ready for pollination. I read somewhere that this happens for tomato flowers. Eggplants and tomatoes belong to the same family. I have noticed that the eggplant produces two types of flowers. One with a centre thingy which I believe is the female part (stigma). The yellow parts are the male parts or anthers where the pollen are stored. I remove one anther at a time and peel it gently (it is very delicate) to reveal the white pollen which flies off fast in the breeze. I would dap this onto the female part. Hope that this works to produce eggplant since I read that bees are not attracted to eggplant flowers :
Flower with yellow anthers and a centre (which I think is the female stigma)
The other flower is similar except that the centre part is either non-existent or very deep inside and tiny. This flower cant seem to be pollinated and I am not sure what it is for :
Flower with yellow anthers but no centre or stigma.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

35 Degree Celsius.

The temperature will be 35 degree celsius these two days. Early in the morning within water restriction time, I watered the whole garden and covered up the vegetables in my backyard. Here is a picture of the backyard from my kitchen. The white cloths helped to reflect the glaring sun and keep my plants cool : The second sun king sunflower has opened...much prettier one :
My life group mate Li gave me two of this squash...taste yummy and looks like varigated zuchini :Another life group mate Chloe gave me a bunch of homegrown peaches...they are really nice even though they are not fully ripe yet. Homegrown always beats supermarket stuff. That green silvery fir tomato was picked off the plant by Marco...a bit sad cos we cannot eat it at all and it is quite big :

Monday, December 28, 2009

Coriander, Yellow Capsicum, Cucumber (burpless)

I have forgotten about the coriander seeds which I had sown around my turkey fig tree...When they emerged, I realised it was them : My yellow capsicum plants is bearing more fruits. Never bored of snapping a picture of them...always so pretty :
How fast are the cucumbers growing! Here's #1 :
Here's #2 :
Here's #3 :
Here's #4 hanging upside down :

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! First Gladioli Opens!

Yippee! My Christma present from the garden...the first gladioli has opened! Very pretty flower! Here's a picture of the patch taken from the road. This patch next to the garage was tough work but amazingly the plants are doing fantastic after a hard time establishing themselves.
The gladioli close-up with the matching orangy-yellow calendulas behind.
Here's the Annabel dwarf marguerite daisy shrub and two blue marguerites, oregano and rosemary.
I hope gladioli flowers will last long for admiring.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tender Loving Care is Important.

A gardener must pay close attention to her plants. And I love spending time just doing that - lots of attention...lots of tender loving care. When this is done, I can make sure I prevent lots of bad things from happening. Close observation of a cluster of strawberry delight flowers (even though the pot is netted) shows that some caterpillar activity. The flowers and buds were kind of white-webbed together and upon peeling them open, two caterpillars were found. After squashing them, I had to remove some buds and flowers as they were already damaged by them :
I have since propagated five pots of strawberry delight plants :
My second try at planting Thai basil from nursery purchase is not looking so good. Leaf edges turning brown. I wonder why :
Worrying about the cucumber pollination was unduly indeed. Actually bumble bees do visit the flowers. How wonderful! I have at least five developing cucumbers and they are growing fast :
My yellow capsicum (officially calling it yellow after the green ones ripened to yellow recently) plant is making more flowers and fruits after some of their lower older leaves fell off :
I had to remove some little fruits and lower suckers as I did not want so many fruits. I want larger fewer fruits :
Chilli Padi plants are growing taller and flowering more but still having blotchy spots on their leaves :
Harvested some mint for omelette from the recently propagated mint :
Harvested three calamondin comquat limes and purple king beans :
Passionfruit Panama Gold is putting on new young shoots well here. Good thing I dug it up and potted it :
This is the spot I am going to plant it. Now working on it :

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweet Potato Creepers & Others

Since we migrated, I have not found sweet potato leaves for sambal stir-fry. I am really pleased that the space around the golden sheen trees can be used to plant this useful & edible groundcover, rather than being space for weeds or some decorative inedible creepers. One of the first sweet potato creepers planted. It has produced many shoots and creeping in all directions, just as I intended.
Here's the one my dog trampled and chewed on. Fortunately the wire cage works to protect it while it regrew and it is doing well too.
Here's the 3rd one.
This is a new one which I had just planted.
And another new one.
The last one here also doing great except being eaten by some pests.
The ivy which I transplanted to the conifer area is beginning to extend itself upwards. I would like it to twine around the black fencing for privacy.
Wow aloe vera...mother plant is growing more succulent and baby plants growing larger by the day. They are extremely precious to me and I look forward to planting some babies in the ground...That would be an experiment.
My beautiful sanorita has put on new growth...those reddish ones...I did not even notice the new growth until recently.
Protea (Special Pink Ice) has also put on two new branches (lighter in colour). Both the Sanorita and Protea seem to be easy to grow as they do not need any fertilising and are drought resistant. I look forward to flowering. :)

Work at the Flower Patch & Garden Update

This morning, I set out to work on this patch, which will have simply a selection of flowers. Existing are a rose shrub (with not very pretty roses) and a few dying down calla lilies : Budget constrain at this moment. Would like to have hydrangeas or kangeroo paws. I had my pot of white daisy and diosma. So they went onto the patch first. Not giving them lots of room to grow so that meant pruning quite often. I am thinking of actually removing all the calla lilies since I did not really like the white ones :
Meanwhile at the back garden, purple buk choys :
Normal buk choys :
Another lot on Patch B :
Silver beet appearing on Patch B :
Four peaches left after Marco picked the rest off the tree :
Calamondin comquat ripening :
Big truss of silvery fir tomato :
Sigh of passionfruit panama gold is no longer a chewed on victim at night and can finally put on more leaves :
Purple King beans growing :
Cucumber vine growing well, here looking scorched by the sun :
Leaves of Fig (brown turkey) finally emerged! :
The other Fig (brown turkey) has three growing figs :

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"All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature...the challenge of Science is to find it." - Paracelcus, the father of Pharmcology, 1493 - 1541