Showing posts with label sunflower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunflower. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2011

First Week of the New Year and Summer Work-list

We have not had proper rain for more than a week since before Christmas Day.  Weather has been sunny especially these few days. 

1 January 2012 - Max 38 deg. Sunny and still.
2 January 2012 - Max 40 deg. Scorching heat, sunny and breezy-windy.
3 January 2012 - Max 35 deg. Cool morning, sunny and still day.
4 January 2012 - Max 24 deg. Sudden downpour early morning that lasted for less than 15 mins :(.
5 January 2012 - Max 23 deg. Sunny and cool.

This is our hottest start of the year in many years.  We will be expecting a very hot summer this year.

Work done -

Raking up olive and peach leaves.
Watering garden.
Catching white cabbage butterflies.
Caterpillar check on pak choy.
Stink bugs removal from tomato silvery fir.
Pruning vietnamese mint as they wilt easily in the hot weather.
Staking flowering and seeding coriander plants.
Pruning wisteria.
Pruning tomato plants.
Staking eggplants that are growing taller.
Moving black pots of ginger and thai basil into shade.

Harvesting -strawberries, sweet corns, tomato silver fir, stringless pioneer beans, water spinach/kang kong, pak choy, plums, peaches, white currants, green chilli fire,

Collecting - pak choy seeds, rocket seeds, coriander seeds.

Progress update - Sunflowers blooming, grapes still growing, Big Fig fruiting, Figgy's figs getting bigger, watermelon flowering, cucumber burpless' leading vine is 50cm tall and flowering, water chestnuts sending up new plants, more ginger shoots emerging from pots, pomegranates about pingpong ball size, lawn's greening and seeding and needs mowing.

The two pots of ginger are growing well.  Two new shoots are emerging.
One pot of lemongrass which I propagated. Hopefully with such a large tub of good potting mix, these stems will grow larger than those in the ground.

The second pot of lemongrass.
Galangal ginger still looking bad but I know they are alive.  I also notice a new shoot emerging.

Sunflower pollenless from Diggers' Club has bloomed. I did not expect these plants to be very big but they turned out to be very tall, about  1.2 metres.

I am not sure what it means to be pollenless as I do see bees visiting the sunflowers.

Our last yellow peach of the season is OURS! After sharing with beetles and possums, we had only about 10 to eat.

Everyday strawberries! 

Heaps of tomato silver fir and some sweet corns.

Took a picture of a crimson rosella (wildlife) in Emerald during our Friday outing to the Dandenongs.
I came upon this awesome tree (a type of conifer I think) and my son climbed it. I grew up climbing trees (not this big) and I think it is a wonderful experience. This amazing tree gives my boy much pleasure, he started at one end and went around the whole tree walking on its branches. In fact, soon after, two other older boys came and joined him. I love this picture but wish I had a better camera, which hubby wanted to buy me but I refused the offer.
I harvested lots of thai basil for a spicy chicken dish...My husband and son's favourite.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 2011 - Summer Update

17 December -

-Removed more plum tree branches to stop possum invasion.
-Netted grapevine.
-Repotted comquat calamondin.
-Harvested more pioneer green beans, strawberries, tomatoes, thai basil.
-Cucumber, kang kang (water spinach) & eggplant sped up in growth.
-Chilli fire fruits growing fast and chilli padi plants growing young chillies.
-Figgy has 20 figs growing!
-Corn almost ready for harvest.

21 December -

- Harvesting plums, tomatoes, thai basil, kaffir lime, lemongrass, pioneer beans

22 December -

- Sprayed grape vine with sodium bicarbonate+soap+oil+water.
- Installed thorny devil possum spikes.
Three watermelon Candy Red looking strong and healthy so far.
Diggers' Sunflower pollenless plants are larger than I have expected.
Diggers' Tomato silvery fir are ripening.

Figgy out of my dining window with lots of figs (brown turkey).
Another shot of Figgy from my dining area.

Finally I see pomegranates. Out of at least 30 flowers, I see 3 fruits.
Kang Kong (water spinach)

Hubby found an Aussie website selling possum deterents called thorny devils. They are rubbery spiky products which we can screw onto the top of our fence. I went down to the stockist (Pinewood Nursery) and bought some home. On the left side of my back garden fence, we screwed in some L-shaped thorny devils.
On the right side of my back garden fence (next to the shed where the possums came from), we installed some thorny devils and nails.
This is a picture of how one type looks like. It fits nicely onto a fence with wooden capping.  So far for the last three nights, we have not had the pests (possum mum and baby) visit our garden and eat our things.  I was very relieved my plans had worked but I was at the same time feeling like a villain.  Honestly, I am one big animal lover. I love possums too.  Moreover the ones which visited are a mummy and a baby. One night they came and I saw them up on the plum tree out of my son's window. I actually went out in my bathrobe shooting a jet of water onto them with a strong nozzle.  The baby tried to jump from the plum tree onto our roof but fell to the ground and scrambled up the fence and escaped.  Sigh...I want them to survive and find food but I just cannot have them eating up my things. I do hope they can find other things in nature to eat other than my fruit and vegetable crops.  My son asked me to feed them but I cannot afford to do so. I will encourage them to be dependent on us and even attract them to live in our roof! There are just too many good reasons not to have them around our property. I already have a dog, several fishes and the pigeons to feed and they are very harmless, but possums are just a bit risky to invite.
Harvested another lot of beans and tomatoes. The tomatoes are really juicy.

A dish of beans and minced pork.
Finally I bought a cheap vase from IKEA to display my hydrangeas on the dining table.

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 21, 2009

Garden, Bird Rescue & Heronswood Garden

The coriander that I bought has produced many seeds due to the hot weather. I dont mind since I do not use the herb every day so it will be good for it to self-seed and make new plants at Patch E. Same goes for the continental parsely :
I bought a malnourished-looking chilli fire from bunnings (since it was only $3) and hope that by putting it in the ground (front garden) and fertilising it, it will take off from here :
I am protecting it with a tree shield from my dog and pests :
My sun king sunflowers are growing strongly but the first flower that opened does not look too glorious :
Three pots of lemon grass planted next to the sunflowers are transplanting well. I have added rooster manure and mulched with sugarcane :
Bird rescue. Marco my dog found a baby bird in our front garden. Not really knowing what to do, I got it into a carton. Boy...his parents came and made a lot of noise looking for their baby.
I have no idea where the nest was and decided to take it to RSPCA. They said since it was not native, it would have to be put down. However, the nice guy also told me that this baby has already left its nest and its parents would be feeding it on the ground till it could fly. Cool lesson learnt. I decided to bring it back and return it where I found it, so that its parents can find it again and do their thing. This little bird got me really busy :
We went to Heronswood Garden again. Beautiful weather. Here's two pretty pictures, one overlooking the beautiful tranquil sea :
And an abundance of grapes :

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet Potato Creepers

A windy and cool day with sunny breaks.
By far this calendula flower is the largest bloom and it is produced by one of the calendulas at the patch next to the garage. Great stuff!
One Lilium LA Hybrid flower has opened. Was not as white or spectacular as I had imagined.
I found and bought four sweet potato creepers from bunnings. I thought it is a wonderful idea to grow them on the mulched areas where my golden sheen hedge is. My original intention was to either leave the areas mulched with red gum bark chips or grow some succulent crawlers to control weeds but having sweet potato creepers to do that would be even better. They can weed control when they spread out and they can be eaten too. The only concern would be winter as sweet potato cannot withstand cold. I will have to protect them when the time comes if they survive summer and autumn.
Lemon verbena which I transplanted into the lavender area outside my bedroom window is doing well. It is really a good idea to minimise root disturbance and plant the whole rootball + potting mix in. The plant did not show a single sign of transplant shock.
My sunflower Sun king...5 of not look very fantastic this season. I think the soil here is not very good and I have to improve it after this. I have added more composted rooster manure and watered them with charlie carp today and hopefully they can grow bigger. At least they survived because in the beginning, they did not even look like they were going to make it.
I worked on this mulched area behind our bedroom wall. I removed all four existing shrubs which did not look fantastic nor were useful. The area has a lot of pebbles. I am beginning to understand that the pebbles were added by the landscapist to curb potentially extensive/invasive root growth since the plants were so close to the house. Strange that the lavender area has not a single pebble. Since this area is pebbly and does not get lots sunshine, I contemplate planting aloe vera here.
Two holes around the dripline of the plum tree area were further deepened and I put in a soft drink bottle tube (cut at both ends) each for watering/fertilising purpose.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I have been doing some miscellaneous work these few days - sowing, planting, potting on, weeding, pest control, soil improvement...etc. Fig (brown turkey with its beautiful leaves).
Sown some mixed basil seeds and passionfruit seeds.
Planting two tomato (silvery fir) in the front garden.
My trailing kalanchoe is under attack! Could be due to stress of no watering. I had to manually squash caterpillars wrapped up in its leaves. Also found similar caterpillars wrapped up in young leaves of strawberry plant, common mints and pomegranate. I have to be extra alert.
Sown some cayenne pepper seeds again. Last year's batch germinated but stunted.
The bitter melon germinated!
Potted on my precious pot of capsicum. A larger pot and hopefully the fruits will develop large.
Potted on my tomato (silvery fir).
My kaffir lime plant is still dropping leaves. The new fruits also dropped off. There are a few bunches of new flowers. Suddenly the young leaves look to me like they are lacking some kind of deficiency - light green leaf background with dark green veins especially on all the young leaves. I checked it up. It was quite confusing at first but I decided that it is iron deficiency. Time to go Bunnings!
The french lavender bush is blooming. Really gorgeous.
The sunflower seeds which I have harvested last season have sprouted :
Here is one of the first sunflower Sun King seeds which I have sown, growing slowly but steadily :
My big pot of vietnamese mint has yielded lots of sprigs for friends but sadly I found that a lot of tiny caterpillars have actually attacked it. I had to remove all affected leaves. Perhaps failing to water it on time and wilting on a few occasions have caused stress and invited pests :
This is one of the fatter caterpillars which I have spotted...really luminous green. I put several of the coiled up leaves (meaning existence of caterpillars) in a jar and shall see what they become :
Some yellow capsicum seeds have finally germinated. I recognized the seedlings as soon as they emerged :
Several strawberries emerged :
This native (I believed...left by previous owner) is having cute candyfloss flowers. Interesting to look at out of my kitchen window :
Eggplant Supreme is growing slowly. I have remove the tree shield around it and mulched the area. The holes on the leaves are most likely caused by European earwigs :
I have prepared a simple trap of vege oil and water and overnight it drowned a few earwigs. They are indeed the culprits :
My Peach (Pixzee) are growing well for now and I have to remove those leaves affected by leaf curl. Give me at least two full size peaches this season please! :
The coriander I bought from Ikea is growing fine. Harvested a little for a dish :
A pot of lemongrass given by my fellow gardener friend Nancy is planted at Patch E where the parsley and coriander are :
I removed more grass from around my Eureka Lemon and applied mulch :
This is a protea (Special Pink Ice). I like the beautiful flowers so I bought it for $17 bucks! Burnt a hole in my pocket :
Yet another hole in my pocket. Senorita...I saw very similar plants in Tasmania and really hope to have both of them...saw them in Bunnings and bought them. :P :
The rose bush which I spared has put on many many buds. Almost flowering. Wonder if the roses will be an achievement :
"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