Tropical Gardening and Living........
This blog was created out of a need to share experience gained from living in the Tropics.
It's a humble, grass roots kind of an offering and a way to keep in touch with friends.
Simplicity in a complex world is my aim and drives many of my choices for living.
I offer my humble, wild garden in the tropics with a sprinkling of metaphors here and there. It can be a magic place to retreat to...
When I am not lost in there I am an emerging writer, gardener, food lover, creator.
So, just when you think pumpkins have had too much media coverage, along comes the interesting bits.
Just like in horse studs around the country, you can help pumpkins along with mating to ensure their fertility goes in the right places.
Now how interesting is that?
These photos are of the male and female Cucurbita flowers. The two photos of the female, with a plump, baby pumpkin base, show a 'before' and 'after' shot.
There is Cucurbita, showing her young, budding potential before opening up to the world and then her demise the next afternoon. The male was captured the same afternoon.
So did they get together?
Did some amorous, gossipy insect 'spread the love around?'
Pumpkins prefer sex in the morning, before 10am actually. Sunrise is their favourite time.
How to help them along? How to ensure you have enough pumpkins to feed the family?
Pick a male and fold back the petals leaving the the stamens exposed.
Brush the pollen from the male stamens onto the female stamens, which is open and waiting for assistance from you or some altruistic insect. If it's done at sunrise then the chances of becoming 'pregnant' with fruit increase.....
So. I don't know if these two will be creating fruit together or not until the pumpkin starts growing, or not.
I missed out on assisting them yesterday morning, so I have let nature take her course.
My vitamin A levels shot through the roof with the discovery of another mystery pumpkin appearing from the canopy today. Number3 t'is known as.
Honestly, I wouldn't last long surviving in the bush at this rate!
Number3 as you can see on the left is low enough to cause a headache if there had been a collision.
On further investigation, I then discovered mystery pumpkin Number4 which you will find hovering just this side of the fence. Look for the yellow specks. ........so nature has set up a game for me called The Great Pumpkin Hunt (chocolate Easter egg hunts have a short time frame here in the tropics).
Are you wondering why I hadn't noticed these fruits of the vine, sooner?
Well, not only have they been growing atop the canopy, the lingering wet season has watered and nurtured them to what you see today.
They grew themselves.
I spread the compost out and up they came. I don't know where the mother stem into the ground is because I had lots of sprouted vines originally.
This 'survivor' vine will demise quite quickly if the rain stops however, no need for anxiety as the rain is falling on my house lid as I type.
This was the weather today and the reason for humidity that heated up the middle of it (....and why I don't need to water the pumpkins.)
In the foreground is some sugarcane flowering.
Flowering is patchy as cane farmers harvest hectare lots on rotation. Sugarcane needs to be processed within 24 hours of harvesting so every farmer gets a turn and the mills can manage input for processing.
At peak harvest, mill shifts go 24/7.
I have taken a photo today which shows the 2 different maturation times of sugar.
These sugar crops surround my 'burb. At harvest time, I live with the illusion of living further out of town than reality because of all the harvest associated machinery I pass by.
The old cabin remains in the foreground serves as a good metaphor for much of the north's migration. They came to work or for a holiday and stayed.
The other noticeable image for today was the presence of caravans, towed by the white-haired 'grey nomads'. Of course! The annual, southern migration for the winter months is underway and I am not talking about birds!
I never thought I would find a mature one hanging from a tree, vine climbers that they are.. It had been hiding above the canopy to get the most of the sunlight, hanging down only when it became too heavy.
I then found another, the yellow markings giving it away..........
I sought out the progress of one which had been growing up the side of the carport, I found it dying, disconnected from it's source, nestled amongst some heavenly leaves....
The wonder-full surprises which come with a wild garden.....
the lemons are just about ready......very plump and full of the wet season's rain. They have been nearly a dollar each so I will be glad to help myself to one whenever I want....... Cascading chillies are also about to explode in colours, tempting me to dream up the delicious dishes they will sacrifice themselves in......
Living on a Postcard was created quite a few years ago.
It was born about from living and learning how to live in the tropics, it has been a long labour....
There were very few tomes about on the subject, probably due to the small population spread across the top of Oz, over an immense and often sparse area.
However there have been some rumbles under the earth and people are starting to swarm like locusts coming our way with no way to prevent it, oh, except unemployment which has temporarily stemmed the migration. Actually it's sending some back.
So all those cars up here with Victorian number plates which state it's 'the place to be' maybe they have gone home?
The aim of this blog is to share my garden foibles and general living tips.
If any of them prove to be helpful and bring you some magic moments of your own, wonder-ful.
To start I will be showing you around the garden as it is today, 3rd of May 2010.