Monday, 15 August 2011

August - much to do in the garden

Winter is coming to an end and while the garden is probably at its least interesting and least attractive, it is one of the busiest times in Missy’s Garden. Mornings are still quite cool (around 1-4 C) but during the day warms up to over 20 degrees Celcius.

In protected areas the cordylines and crotons produce a bright (some may say gaudy) display of colour, but flowers are in short supply.

August is a time for working in the garden and preparing for Spring, rather than enjoying its beauty. Over Winter, many of the tropical plants such as the cannas, gingers and heliconias die back, are cut down to ground level and covered with a blanket of mulch. Any that weren’t cut back were killed by frost and need to be removed. The hibiscus, alamandas and acalyphas need pruning to keep them compact.

Now the threat of frost has virtually passed, mass pruning begins. The mulcher works over-time and the compost bins overflow but the garden looks quite bedraggled with it’s bare spots, frost burnt foliage and short-back-and-sides haircut.

The palm trees lose a lot of fronds at this time of year and they don’t go through our mulcher very well so trips to the green-waste area of the local rubbish tip become necessary. In total, we have about 60 - 70 palms so you can imagine how many dead fronds need to be disposed of.

Rainfall is always low here during Winter and Spring, so as the daytime temperatures increase, watering becomes a priority. We are lucky to have 3 large water tanks and in some areas we can connect the hose to a sprinkler, but hose holding is still necessary for a few hours a week.

We spent a day in the fern house last weekend removing some of the ferns that grow too vigorously and choke their more fragile neighbours and soaking the hanging baskets in a mix of seaweed solution and Charlie Carp (fish emulsion). It really gives them a boost.

At this time of the year it is a case of too much to do and too little time. Every year I say I should take holidays at this time of year to work in the garden and every year I use up my holidays and don’t have enough to spare.
I haven't taken many photos lately but don't I want to miss Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - and I did find a couple of blooms. 

The ixoras have new buds. Do they count?

Found the white calliandra when I was searching for something in bloom  in the front yard.
Then I looked up ...
The strelizia are still blooming and the Sheenas Gold hedge is coming along well, but the grass is dry.
Don't think it will stay dry with those clouds...

 I think we will definitely get some rain out of these.

..........and that's as far as I got with searching for what's in bloom.....down it came.

What was I saying about not having much rain this time of year?

If you want to see lots of beautiful blooms visit May Dreams Garden where garden bloggers bloom day is held on the 15th of each month.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Passionfruit Butter

What do you do when the passionfruit vine is taking over the garden? It began life a seed in the compost but has grown up over the golden cane palm tree. I'm going to have to remove it - but not yet. It's covered in fruit.
My Mum used to make passionfruit butter and I have her recipe.

In case you can't read Mum's writing the ingredients are:
6 passionfruit
2 eggs
1 teas butter
1 cup sugar

Mum mixed the ingredients in a Pyrex jug sitting in a saucepan of boiling water for twenty minutes.

I wasn't too keen on that method so I went to and there was a recipe there with almost the same ingredients, but cooked in a microwave.
You simply mix the ingredients together and zap it on medium for around ten minutes, removing to stir the mixture each minute, until it thickens.
Then you pour it into a sterilised bottle and keep it in the fridge.

My method worked beautifully. We now have passionfruit butter on our toast.

Thanks Mum.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...