Welcome! ...........I hope you enjoy wandering through my tropical garden in North Queensland Australia, and that it brings you peace, love and joy. Even though my garden is tiny I try to employ permaculture priciples and grow as much of our own food as we can.
Remember - you can always doubleclick on any photo to expand it and see more detail!
I am so excited to have a torch ginger flower, and hope this is a sign of many more to come. As you can see the flower comes out at the base of the long arching leaves. They go right up into the lychee tree - about 15ft! Look how little it looks right at the base of the huge leaves! they normally do have a longer stem.
Just look at this gorgeous flower...
the petals are waxy and according to kebunmalaykadazangirls can be used to added to laksa. I wont be eating mine though - too busy admiring it.
from every angle - so much so that I thought I might enter her in the Picture This contest at Gardening gone wild. the theme is to fill the frame, and that is what this little beauty does I think.
the caladiums are popping up all over the garden too - they don't all disappear during the dry, but they are very happy once it get hot and humid and muggy.
I thought this one had gone - I am pleased to see it back once again.
I cant say that I enjoy the heat and humidity of the wet season, but I sure do enjoy the beauty it brings to my garden!
After two years passionfruit in this area normally get a virus called woody passionfruit virus and dies back. I let another vine start in the vegetable garden (they come up like weeds here). this same area around the herb spiral has started up again - not sure if it is the same vine or a different one, but it is very healthy. This is quite a convenient place to have a passionfruit growing as it can grow vertically up the neighbouring happy plant, and leave more garden for other stuff. The passionfruit drop onto the ground when ripe, so they are the perfect plant to grow up. The vine has been clambering over the herb spiral arch too much though and I wanted it to head upwards, so out I got with the ladder and some string.....
and tied sections up towards the high trunks of the happy plant. If I trimmed it back that would just cause more branches lower down and that is not what I wanted. It looks a bit untidy now, but it will soon fill in. You can see the old dead branches underneath. The vine is already chock a block full of fruit, so I think this is going to be a good season.
This is looking down the length of the side garden from the passionfruit. I really like how the paver and stone pathway is now - with a nice meandering flow to it.
Out in one of the shrubs in the front we have a little birds nest :) I am not sure what type of bird it is, but we have so many birds around, I just love it!
We even have wild lorikeets high up in the trees, and also stuffing themselves on the fallen mango. the lychee's are plumping up and the paw paw are turning yellow, so there is not going to be a shortage of fruit around here this year.round
Our long drought has at last been broken! It is very strange here to have months with absolutely no rain, but this last week it has rained very day! I also have been without telephone and Internet all week, so no way to post any of my fabulous photos as the garden comes to life with all the rain! When it rains here it really rains, but the tropical flowers love it - look at this sodden hibiscus.
The cannas that I moved into an area that get lots of standing water during the wet season are very happy. It is not a big enough area to really be defined as a swale, but it works the same way.
Look at the gorgeous red and yellow together - nature can be so flamboyant some times cant it?
Little lipstick cases are forming on my lipstick plant, but so far they are empty. I took a few cuttings in another pot and they are doing well, so now I have two pots of this magnificent plant.
My bougainvillea cutting has also done well and this is a very soft peach colour - it looks lovely next to the hot pink.
The amaryllis just keep on flowering - we think we must have already had at least 20 blooms and there are more showing their heads every day!
I never tire of the detailed colours on their flowers.
After all the fretting and researching the amaryllis have finally come right. Maybe it was just exactly the weather that they like - a fairly cold winter, and then a very dry spring. About half of them have had two flower spikes, so I couldn't be happier....
The torch ginger flower is opening up - it is quite small, but it is my first flower, so hopefully things improve once the rains come too as it is a wet season plant. Probably looking around and saying "I thought this was the wet season in the tropics - anyone got a drink for me?"
My chia have started to flower, and I found this very useful information for anyone interested in growing it. I see you can make a tea from the leaves, so am going to try that. I doubt I am ever going to grow enough to give me enough seeds to eat, but I will make tea from the leaves, and maybe put a few flowers into my salads. I think next dry season I will scatter the seeds around my garden - doesn't the blue look stunning with the yellow cosmos? http://permaculture.org.au/2009/04/06/chia-crop-potential-and-uses/#comment-202436
I find these begonia flowers quite delightful - I will definitely be looking around for more rex begonias. They have beautiful leaves, seem to like my garden and now these cute flowers as well. My kind of plant for sure.
I still haven't got around to finishing off the path, so that is on the job schedule for this weekend although they say it might rain...
I was contacted by My Memories Suite to trial their online memory scrapbook software. One of my fellow bloggers Frugal Down Under had hosted a giveaway and she recommended me - thank you Stephanie! It was fun to download the program and give it a try. In an afternoon I downloaded it and created this little scrapbook:
There are lots and lots of different templates to choose from, embellishments, music, etc. Plus more features that you can buy online all the time. I can see where this could become addicitive, but there is certainly enough in the initial package to keep me busy for the rest of my life. They also keep offering free kits and special offers, which you can unsubscribe to at any time.
I saved these images as jpeg suitable for the web, so they are very reduced - there are lots of different ways to save - on a DVD or in high quality jpeg. You can make scrapbooks, cards, videos - the list is endless.
My hubby recently made a printed photobook for his moms 80th birthday and so I have seen what a great idea they are for special birthdays etc. We used different software for that, but I can see where it would be nice to be able to save the project to a DVD. There are also way more options on this software than the one we used, and I think will be useful for sending overseas where they could print if they wanted to.
I have one free downloadable copy of the software to give away, so it is open to any of my readers worldwide.
In order to enter the giveaway take a look at their website
and tell me what would be the first project you have in mind, and what template you would use.
Actually everyone can win, because they sent me this:
As a special for all of your readers, we give you your very own Share the Memories code that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - $20 value!)
I will use random selector to select a winner on Monday 31th October so get your entries in and good luck!
The desert rose is once again in full flower. This is an amazing plant, it flowers almost continuously.
Look at the detail of the little white cup inside the pink flower
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have been frustrated by my hippeastrums not blooming. Well I think they need the leaves to die down. I chopped the leaves off of these and look what happened - they are sending out buds :)
The passionfruit vine is loaded with flowers and soon the ground will once again be littered every afternoon with the delicious sweet fruit. When you walk by the vine you are surrounded by their sweet scent.
the orchid is enjoying its little sheltered spot. they say they need sunshine, but this one is in a very sheltered spot, so who knows - I think they have a mind of their own.
The rex begonia is flowering - what a lovely plant this is. The foliage is stunning, and from one little slip I now have two brimming pots.
I love this time of year here - the sugar cane is all cut and you can see for miles......... the humidity has not started yet, but it is warm enough to be swimming every afternoon. Then I look around my garden and see beauty in every corner. I feel very blessed and I do think I live in paradise.
I am playing with a surprise gift and will be posting a giveaway next week so watch out for it.
One of my favorite fruits is figs - I can remember having a huge fig tree outside my bedroom window growing up in South Africa. Now - that dry temperate climate is very, very different to where I live now, about as far away as possible in fact. When I saw fig trees for sale I knew I just had to have one - that little child in me kept saying - how delicious those figs were - don't you remember? I bought the tiny thing and put it into a little blue pot that I also just had to have.... Isn't it just as cute as a button?
A real little fig tree. I hope it survives the heat and humidity and grows up to be a nice big fruit bearing fig tree. In a pot of course - I think I would probably have to find someplace for it to live during our wet season where it is not quite so wet. It is little - just look at it next to my little lime tree. :) But I now have a fig tree. A veritable food forest...of course it would be nice to harvest some fruit, but I am practicing patience.
I did harvest the black beans, shared some with the neighbours, but kept some to plant again. Not now, the wet season is about to begin and the beans would just never dry out I don't think. I find it very difficult to get information of what to grow in what season. Then again the seasons differ from year to year, so sometimes I will just give something a try. Like these black beans which in fact have been quite successful. A couple of months from planting to harvesting :)
This must be the season for capsicums - they are starting to produce lovely little peppers - small but tasty. I planted these a long time ago, but they have only now started to flourish. Along with the eggplant. I must make a note of when they need to be planted in future.
I have planted wet season produce, but not sure when the rains will start. This has been a strange year - quite cool and dry - I even put in some more lettuce seeds, but if it gets hot too quickly now they will just bolt. I have never had much luck with beetroot, but sowed some seeds as well - maybe they will do better in the rainy season. I have sweet potato, loofah, yakon, jicama, ginger and chinese long beans planted - those are my wet season staples. I am already harvesting chinese long beans, capsicums, eggplant and asparagus. The red cherry tomatoes have been fabulous this year and still going strong. Pawpaws are falling off the tree green - not sure what is going on there.
Does anyone else know exactly what and when to plant in their garden?
Do you often buy something just because you like the taste? Even though you are pretty sure they will not do well in your climate? I do like to grow things I will eat :) Are you likely to be more succesful learning to love what you can grow easily in your climate?