Isn’t this blog a great idea? Anyone who knows me knows I can rave on about plants and gardening virtually non-stop and here we have an unlimited audience. I hope you enjoy all we have to say – feedback would be great and all queries attended to.
Well – great celebration in the camp – the granadilla vine, Passiflora quadrangularis, is flowering. At last. We have had trouble growing this beautiful passionfruit – termites seem to adore it. But at last we have it thriving and, more to the point, flowering. The magnificent flowers hopefully will become delicious fruit which is about the size of a fat cucumber. The rind is thick and edible – tasting like a passionfruit-flavoured watermelon and there is pulp in the centre too. They need to be hand pollinated since we don’t seem to have enough bees around to do it for us. I will keep you all informed as to progress.
We grow a lot of fruit; I guess largely because we can’t buy fresh tropical fruit since it mostly has to be ripened on the tree, and therefore doesn’t travel well. When you live in Darwin any of the southern or overseas imported fruit is so old by the time it gets here, it really doesn’t taste right nor does it have much nutrition. So we grow durian, mangosteen, pawpaw, 2 different guavas; tangelos, limes, kaffir limes, pomelos; jackfruit carambola, chempedak, soursop, rollinia, custard apple, pineapples, two different passionfruit; three different bananas and plantains. We also grow rambutans, mangoes (about six different types) and two different jambu, as well as sapodilla and cainito. We are fortunate that we have 8 hectares of land, and we use about half for our flower farm, and the rest is either bush for the wildlife, or our garden, which is a jungle. Some of the fruit we sell, some we give away, but most of it we eat, knowing it is fresh, ripe and unsprayed or dipped in chemicals.
Gardening in the tropics is very rewarding, since everything grows at enormous speed. Here is a picture of one of our most beautiful flowering trees, Cassia javanica, or pink cassia, lots of common names, like pink shower, pink glory, etc. This tree was planted as a seedling, about half a metre tall, three years ago. It is now about 7 metres, and flowers every year at this time – the tree is deciduous and the flowers and first leaves come at the same time – isn’t it a beauty; the tropical version of apple blossom.