Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Beautiful Sight and An Ugly Sight

Last Satuday, our little family went to Mordialloc Beach for an evening walk and dinner. When we were reaching the car park, it started to rain. Samuel was disappointed that he could not play on the slides and rides at the playground. He commented, 'It's all God's fault for raining.' I did not really know what to say to him. He was being honest. I wanted to help him see God better so I was quietly pondering this over. In my heart for a split second I wondered if there would be a rainbow. True enough, my husband shouted out, 'Rainbow!' We scurried about snapping pictures of and with the rainbow. It's an awesome sight! One of the beautiful pictures I have snapped with my camera. I never got sick of looking at rainbows. It is one of those things that excites me. I was so over the moon being able to take a picture with a rainbow!!! My husband said to me, it seemed like this was better than striking lottery. Oh yes it is! As we strolled, I spoke with Samuel. I still did not have the answer to his comment but I gave him the model answer. I said that we may not understand why God rained when he knew that we are heading outdoors. However, He is bigger and He has his grand purpose and we may know why. We just have to trust Him that He knows best.
Two days later, I woke up in the morning with the most wonderful answer. I realised that without the rain, we would never have seen the rainbow! Though we had to give the playground a miss, we got something better in return - the rainbow. Often in life, we do not understand why God takes away something which we think is good in our lives, or that He withholds something which we want so much. One good example is our miscarriage in March 2010. God does have his grand purpose though we do not understand. The lesson on the rainbow taught us that principle - Just keep on trusting God and his perfect character!
Our front and back lawn look unlike all other neighbours' whose lawns are green now in spring. It is brown and dead because we have applied glyphosate. Above is a picture of one area.
This picture above shows the strip right in front of my golden sheens. My husband has dug up the edges first as the rotary hoe cannot reach them. I intend to turn this strip into a planting strip. I have been busy searching and researching on all the possible plants :
Vegetables : Kai lan (Chinese Brocoli), Tung Ho ( ), Heng Cai (Amaranth/Chinese Spinach), Snake Bean, Spinach, Burdock, Garlic Chives
Herbs : Lemon Balm, Wild Thyme
Edible flowers : Crocus Sativus (Saffron), German Chamomile, Evening Primrose, Foxgloves, Tiger Lily
My peach trees are both having peach curl despite spraying with Lime sulfur in winter. That's the normal leaves above and infected leaves below :

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Carolina Black Rose Alive!!!

How exciting! I am totally over the moon as if I have struck lottery. That was how my hubby described me. My Carolina Black Rose Grape vine is alive! I found 3-4 green buds on it. A while ago, it looked like a dried forked twig and I have sort of lost hope that it would live. I will have to fertilise it and plan the support soonest, oh as well as protection against my golden retriever Marco. The pomegranate, which I have no clue about its name, is putting on beautiful red leaves. I plan to spray it with a mixture of pyrethrum and white oil in case of white flies or scale attack as last seasons.
I have propagated two pots of Aoenium. As I am clearing up more planting areas with my lawn revamp, I may need new plants.
Planted a little pot of coriander here in Patch C after the seeds germinated.
Most of the seeds - kang kong (water spinach), chilli padi, tomato silvery fir, cucumber, bittermelon - I have planted and pots kept in this plastic container (to imitate greenhouse environment) have germinated. It has been a really cold spring start and they are growing very very slowly. I wish I have a glass or green house to speed up things.
The pot of chives has also germinated. It is doing better out in the cold.
A new pot of thyme germinating too.
I had to remove growing pups from my original aloe vera pot as they were overcrowding the pot. This two are some of the babies I have removed. I think soon I can start some plant sale?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Herbs and Vegetables Update

My 6 snow peas are towering, flowering and fruiting.
The chilli fire plant looks a bit haggard but I think it will pick up when weather warms up. I have removed the plastic around it and the fleece above it which I used in winter to protect it from cold, winds and frost.
This little rosemary bush is doing well. I propagated it from my original rosemary plant. It does not get much sun and had powdery mildew at times. Not the problem has cleared and it is taking off at its site.
I harvested some yummy greens for dinner : silver beet
Here are the mustard greens (Gai Choy) and spinach growing under net. The spinach are so slow. I think once the weather warms up, it will take off and then start produce flowers instead.
I gave this tuft of lemon grass a hair cut. It was all brown and straggly. Wondering if it will be okay. Wondering if they will grow. All five clumps of lemon grass looked really bad after the winter. Come the next winter, I will have to protect them if they survive this season.
Planted coriander in Patch C where the kaffir lime and lemon grass are.
This little clump of chives (Gu Chye) is doing well and clumping after I harvested it. I intend to buy a few more pots to plant at this spot so I can cook up a dish with squids or fried bean curd.
One strong parsley seed has found its way next to the shed where it does not get much sun but it is growing well.

Fruit Trees Update

I chopped off the top part of my brown turkey fig tree in winter as the 'trunk' was very long and filmsy. Here a green bud can be seen. I think it will make it to regenerate new life! The Flemings brown turkey fig tree has put on several new buds which should will be leaves.
The Flemings Peach (Pixzee) tree has fewer flowers this year and so expecting either fewer or no fruits.
This peach tree (which I have no name for) is doing so well after being planted here. Putting on lots of new leaves.
However, the apricot (moorpark) which suffered some miserable beginnings is dead. I scraped its trunk and it just showed brown.
When I finally pulled it up, it barely had any roots left. All have rotted away.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flowers Update

Spring has come and so did spring showers and strong winds. It still feels cold most days with a few warm days in between. Last year, I planted three lily bulbs (Lilium LA Hybrid) in the patch next to the garage. The flowers were 'so so'. I am so surprised but very pleased to see them come back this spring. At first there were two rosetting green heads appearing when I was doing work at the patch. Then there is the third one. I hope the flower quality will be better this spring/summer.
This pretty yellow daffodil under the plum tree was part of what I bought from the reject shop. Two which had opened was white and yellow which I was not a fan of. I did not realise that the pack was mixed daffodil bulbs. So far only three daffodils and lots of green leaves. Hope the daffodils under the plum tree next year will be more numerous, showy and impressive.
My 20+ tulips are growing...but slow...I am almost certain the flower quality will not be too fantastic this first season.
The numerous tiny pink flowers of the jade plants are withering, not a pretty sight now.
Annabel dwarf maguerite daisies have swarmed the whole bush.
My purple pak choy (left) and green pak choys (right) have towered more than a metre. The flowers of the purple pak choy has an amazing perfume. I am waiting for seed harvesting.
The seed pods...I did not know that pak choy seeds are packaged this way.
Look at my pretty pinkish white cyclamen flowers! What a sight out of my kitchen window. I just cant get sick of looking at them while at the kitchen sink.
Pretty butterfly-like flowers.
And the red ones too.
I took a picture of my trailing kalanchoe. This picture does not do the look favor. The bell-like red flowers with jade-green caps are very pretty. I beam with pride seeing them flower successfully through winter to spring.
How about earring designs like these? So dainty and sweet.
"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