Monday, 5 November 2012

Catch up

I hadn't realised how long since I had posted...  it is two weeks, a record!   I have been very very busy, with personal issues as well as the garden which is in the spring mode at the moment.  So much to tell... where to begin....  so much to tell...
We have still had so little rain that this year promises to be one of the driest for some time.   Our wettest months are from June to August (winter) but this year we had very little rain.  Since January,   we have had about 350mm (just over 14 inches.)  Our annual rainfall is usually about 480mm (about 18-19 inches)  so we are well "behind schedule" this year.  As the season becomes hotter and drier,  the evaporation rate becomes higher also... it will be interesting to see how the garden grows.

Last Sunday, I watched a David Attenborough programme about plants and their amazing abilities.  I recognised this plant that he showed.
 It grows in my garden and these buds will open during the night tonight and the air wil be amazingly perfumed.  I will come out early in the morning to see them at their best.

The guava is flowering...
 ... and this is amazing.  This small shrub is about 8 years old and has never flowered previously.  There was a huge buddleia growing about 10 metres from it.   I removed the buddleia because I couldn't keep up with the pruning that was necessary to use the clothes line (I don't have a drier.)   The roots were extensive  and the plant was quite demanding, apparently.  Since it has gone, the bay tree has "taken off" (5 metres away) and the guava is thriving.  (I do have another buddleia, so the butterflies are safe.)

Later today,  I went to see whether the baby ladybirds had begun to do their work (on the aphids) and besides,  their favourite plant has been flowering for a while... parsley...
 If you look really carefully,   you'll see the baby ladybirds above.

There are some adults aswell.....


and then I found one of those "white" spiders again,    only it was yellow!  Last year, I found quite a few and the yellow one looks strange...  same shape,  just yellow.
 Nearby, I found a spot with quite a supply of food for the yellow spider....
 .... three ladybirds, and a hoverfly that had landed.

As I focussed towards the closer field, I found another baby lady bird.
 No wonder the crab spiders are around at this time of the year.

I went looking for a white one.   I found one.  It is on another plant altogether.  i suppose the colour is due to diet or environment,  but there are both colours around here....
 ... and a baby ladybird close by!

And then there are the seeds from the winter vegetables.  These are seeds of black kale (Cavolo nero.)
Black kale was my "green vegetable of choice" for stewing, soup, steaming, kichadee, stir fries, and more.  I haven't tried chips yet.  Kale chips are supposed to be trendy in recent times,  so I'll try them next season.  I will soon have the seeds to start the new crop.
Michael Palin says we should all  "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." 


While writing this,  a thunder storm has blown through.  Despite a lot of thunder and lightning, there was not a lot of rain.  The cactus flower buds (above, the first photograph) have opened in the past hour or so....
 ... and the raindrops may well have hastened their opening.  They usually open in the early morning when the dew is at it's best,  but the rain may well have hurried them along this evening.
Beautiful flower.

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