Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I harvested some herbs for a dish today. Spring onions, coriander and thai basil. I think spring onions are one herb a gardener must grow if she/her likes this herb. It is extremely rewarding. A small crop in a 30cm diameter pot can feed you for months, if not a year or two. Mine just keep coming. Forget about planting them in the ground where they become monsters and too big to manage during cooking. Any gardener can plant this in a pot even if he/she has no garden. Here's the yummy mince pork dish I cooked.
I kept harvesting tomatoes this year. Loads of them. Some are so big. I put an egg to compare the size. Since we have purchased a freezer, I have been freezing cut tomatoes instead of giving them away.
My Carolina Black Rose grapevine is doing well except suddenly having this yellow mottling on its leaves recently. I wrote to the nursery where I purchased it and they diagnosed it as Downy Mildew. Good that my keen eye noticed it. I have since treated the leaves with fungicide before it gets too late.
Three Sun King sunflowers greet my passing neighbours every day. They are more than 2 metres high and tower over the vege patch and golden sheen hedge. Their flower heads are so heavy with thousands of seeds.
Cant stop snapping pictures of my Silvery fir tomatoes. I snapped almost every one.
And these Floriana eggplants are such a pretty sight.
The powdery mildew on my spagetti squash vines did not improve after lime sulphur. I had to treat them with Mancozeb fungicide, cut off badly affected leaves and kill the fungus in a pail with boiling water.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Spagetti Squash, Sweet Corn & Yellow Peaches.

I have about 4 or 5 good size spagetti squashes growing at the strip of vege patch. Due to the crazy weather of rain and hot days, the vines developed bad powdery mildew and I sprayed the leaves with lime sulphur. It was a stinking yellow liquid.
We have so far eaten 3 super sweet corns and wow they are yummy!
The yellow cling-stone peaches have been steadily harvested, a few looted by birds, but mostly fine. They are marvellously sweet and I cant wait for next summer as we have almost finished them. Oh we have also enjoying some sweet meaty plums (on the right).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rain Rain Rain....What a Cool Summer!

For the last three years, we have had really hot summers, making me very very busy in the summer garden. For a change, this year's summer has been mild and we had lots of rain. I love this and wish every summer is that nice. But I know that I still need lots of warm sunshine to help the garden grow, as some veges are growing like snail due to the lack of sunshine such as my bitter melon plants and pak choy. So far this year, I have had only 3 white cloths up to shield delicate plants from the harsh sun on several occasions. Last year I had so much up.
Here's pictures of rain late late last week.
My 3YO capsicum plant is bearing fruits.
I did not realise that burdock leaves can go that huge. My palm takes up just about a corner on that leaf.
Been eating strawberries as I walk along the back garden.
Oh my gorgeous pure white fragrant lilies have opened. Very pretty and very fragrant!
I used the chance to educate my boy about the male and female parts of the flower.
Here's where the clump of lilies I have planted.
A few smaller chilli fire chillies have ripened. This is the first time the chillies have ripened. Last year all of them did not because I planted this plant late. I turned all green chillies into pickled chillies.
I cannot stop snapping pictures of my tomatoes. Here's a large single one.
And another one.
I collected about 1 kg or more of tomatoes and turn them into chopped tomatoes to be frozen.
And peaches too!
I also snapped a picture from my son's bedroom window one morning. How lush and green is the lawn!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lady's Fingers, Eggplant Florianda, Yardlong Beans

I captured a picture of my ocra (lady's fingers) flowers. This plant belongs to the hibiscus family.
Wow...I thought I was having a small eggplant but when I checked today, it was a truckload! At least 10 and I am not kidding. The thing is this plant is really quite dwarf and I wonder where the fruits going to go being so low to the ground already. Perhaps harvest when still young. I am going to do my best to preserve this beautiful eggplant before winter comes. If I can keep my capsicum for 3 years and over-winter my chillies successfully, I am sure I can do so for my eggplant. ;)
My yardlong bean or long bean...I did not expect it to be so so dwarf! It is flowering. Only this plant is so far doing better than the rest. Kind of giving up hope of eating long beans.
Pretty lilac bean flowers.
My poor lilies. They are so fragrant and so pretty but their petals are all smeared with pollens due to the rain.
I captured a few pictures of bees visiting my pumpkin flowers. So cute seeing them covered with pollen when they fly out of the flower.
Tomatoes silvery fir are ripening unevenly. A bunch can have both ripe and unripe tomatoes. How on earth can I have vine ripened tomatoes? It seems impossible as I have to harvest any ripe ones before they become rotten in the rain or burnt by the sun.
Yippee! Another basket of kang kong (water spinach). I am truly excited! This is the second batch from the same plants!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our First Pixzee Peach for 2011 Plus Other Garden Updates.

Today's temperature is predicted to reach 35 deg celsius. Not a big deal as I believe this year's summer will be cooler and I doubt we are going to experience 46 again. Also, the garden is all mostly mulched up so the water retention will be good. Having said that, I spent one hour giving the whole garden water this morning. I have also put up some white cloths on three areas : over the burdock, over the hydrangeas and the ocra (ladies' fingers). I was trying to show my son my dwarf peach (pixzee) tree with its five large fruits. We could smell the fragrance without putting our noses near. One of them felt soft and when my boy reached out to touch it, it fell. We realised that this one was ready and shared it. Yummy, sweet and juicy!!!
This little pot of strawberry delight is producing quite a few strawberries. And the other plants are also having lots flowers.
I germinated some lemon balm recently. It is growing steadily but slowly.
Clockwise from top : bitter melon (bittergourd), evening primrose, watercress and eggplant. I know I am extremely late planting the bitter melon and eggplant. I sowed them with experimentation in mind but all of them germinated.
These are four pyrethrum daisies which I bought from Diggers. They grow so slowly and wilt so easily. I have repotted them into this pretty terracotta pot.
A Vietnamese kinder mum gave me these two Thai Basil plants which I repotted in this large pot. It's been difficult growing this basil probably due to the climate. It flowers too easily which is not good for herbs.
My two burdock plants in this vege patch are easily burnt by the hot sun due to their large leaves. I covered them with white cloth today.
More kang kong (water spinach) growing after the last harvest. This will be one vege I will keep planting every year. The seeds are of very superior quality.
My beloved yellow capsicum plant is in its 3rd year and fruiting!!! What an amazing plant!!!
"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