My coffee table vase of flowers, picked this morning.
I would give them to you Soooziii and Sally. Thank you for your comments (- sometimes I need to hear from friends it gives me a boost when I am so busy.) The wee flowers smell so good;tiny pink roses and philadelphus ( from my climbing vine not my shrub one )
Mother Nature heard my plea for fine weather and has given us a whole week of warm lovely days. I am very Thankful but a bit exhausted.Things now need watering so that takes time - but rewards. I haven't been getting my full range of Vitamins. I have had an overload of Vit V ( vegetables and F ( fruit )) but no P or Q vitamins( patchwork / quilting ).
Most of this lovely fresh produce from my plantings had to be picked yesterday or it would have been past it's best. The broccoli went into the fridge as we had a huge salad with BBQ meat last night.
Some things that show promise are 9 wee apples on the Royal gala tree planted in July 2010. I hope they make it throught to eating this year.
Lots of Blueberries on our bushes but unless we keep them covered the birds take more than their share - they are prepared to eat them un ripe.
When my Kalmia shrub flowers I am immediately drawn to thinking of the gardens of my childhood. Both my Mum and my maternal Nana had paler versions of this shrub that looks as if a cake decorator has been at work making these incredible buds.
Something else that pleased me this week was seeing this small low growing mauve/ purple Rhododendron daphnoides flowering. It had a ride in the wheelbarrow 3 or 4 years ago and had sulked ever since but with extra rain is happy again out near the front gate. It is a very attractive bush even when not flowering ; it's compact and very green..... not sprawly like some rhodos.( it is more purple than the photo suggests )
Out in the orchard this is happening.
The air takes on the distinctive smell of Kiwifruit flowers. Here there are both sexes in the photo, where a male vine is right beside a female. Male on the left a slightly apricot or pale orange colour. Where the flowers are so close together it makes is more likely a bee will visit both sexes and the female will get pollinated.
We have 63,0000 bees here working for us at the moment. They live in 21 hives grouped in sunny spots around the orchard. ( I am carrying my deodorant with me when working under the vines - it is still the best thing I have tried for stings of any kind. ( I also found it takes the heat out of burns really well-I kid you not! Keep reapplying frequently .) ( there is already 30,000 working in the avocados ) Luckily none of our new neighbours are allergic to bee stings we checked.
The dry warm weather has slowed the spread of psa in the vines.This is what you see at our front gate or the front gate of many other orchards.( the notice not the marigolds. )
We are continually bombarded with information about the spread of the bacteria causing psa. Growing Kiwifruit in NZ ( or most other places ) will never be the same as it was in the past. It will now always be there lurking waiting for the right cool wet conditions to multiply and destroy. It has at this stage for us personally made the job a bit more challenging and probably less profitable as the costs of dealing with it have been added. At this stage for us we have a lovely flowering and fruit set already so let's hope we manage to get this crop through to picking next May.
Isabelle - Alstromerias grow very well here. I have red and pink very tall ones and a miniature pale pink and a wine colour one in a pot. They would probably grow for you in a pot if protected during the Winter.. They are renown for long lasting as cut flowers. The red ones are always very useful at Christmas time for that red/ green colour contrast that says Christmas colours.