The Gardens of Chiconia 4

The Husband was off to work extra early this morning, and having got up at 5am to do his lunch and see him off, I was wide awake.  The garden reaped the benefit.

Musa acuminata x balbisiana var. awak (Ducasse, or Pisang Awak banana)

Musa acuminata x balbisiana var. awak (Ducasse,
or Pisang Awak banana)

Today I planted my dwarf Ducasse banana tree (which grows to about 2m and will fruit when it’s old enough). It’s also known as the sugar banana, as the fruit’s very sweet, it’s very disease resistant, and the ripe fruit keeps well, so a winner all round!

The bronze leaf cannas. The flowers will be scarlet

The bronze leaf cannas. The flowers will be scarlet

Zebra calathea

Zebra calathea

Also into the ground this morning were a Strelitzia nicolai (like the Bird of Paradise flower, Strelitzia reginae, but the flower is less showy and the foliage grows taller),  a beautiful zebra-striped Calathea (Calathea zebrina), two bronze-leafed, scarlet flowered Cannas, a Bugle (Ajuga reptans) for shaded grown cover, a Heliconia with hot pink flowers, and yet another Portulaca,also hot

pink.  I’ve dug over another square metre of compacted soil, and mulched everthing with sugar cane mulch.  Everyone’s had a drink, including the baby fruit trees, and I’ve soaked the newly turned over ground with the sprinkler.

The dwarf lemon, which now not only has fruit but flowers too.  It's obviously happy here.

The dwarf lemon, which now not only has fruit but flowers too. It’s obviously happy here.

The baby mango is pushing out yet more new leaves and is looking extremely healthy

The baby mango is pushing out yet more new leaves and is looking extremely healthy

And it isn’t even 10am yet.  In between, I managed a Skype conversation with a friend in London, did a little sewing and loaded and ran the dishwasher.  Who said Sunday mornings are for lying in…? Oh, and it’s 31C(88F) today…

I was reminded last night at the Dowager’s place that Christmas is only a few weeks away. Christmas lunch is at Chiconia this year, for the first time.  We’re the only ones with a table large enough for the whole tribe, so to us falls the honour of doing the catering.  That said, the Dowager and sisters in law will bring dishes with them, and the blokes will bring drinks, so it’s not too toxic.  Plus I can control what’s on the menu and therefore ensure that what I eat is safe for me. Now that we have the covered patio, it also means we have space to seat everyone round the table and under cover, in the shade.  Just to remind you, this is Australia, and Christmas is at a very hot time of year, so we’ll need to have some fans going, plenty of ice, and the aircon running inside for the post-lunch lying around and groaning session.

But the main reason for mentioning this is that it applied a smart kick up the backside to self and the Husband regarding getting the outside area tidied up, finished and entertaining-ready.  So he needs to finish the paving.  I need to get the garden finished.  We both need to clear out the rubbish and put up some screening  to hide what can’t be moved.  Looks like I can wave goodbye to long, leisurely sessions at the sewing machine in my air-conditioned room….

Later… It’s been a cooking and sewing day.  I’ve started the laborious job of stitching down the binding on the back of the Morning Tea quilt.  Another reason not to scallop: it makes the edge a lot longer.  This is isn’t even a single bed size, but there are eight metres of binding.  I fondly imagined it would be done today.  Not. Not even close.  The soup today is one I first tasted in Barbados back in the 80s: pumpkin soup make with ham stock and served with tiny light and fluffy dumplings. Nothing particularly exotic about the ingredients, but it’s a real nostalgia trip for me to replicate the taste – I was visiting for my oldest friend’s wedding!  So anyway, it’s still in production, and I’m giving it my own twist.  Photo and recipe tomorrow, probably.

6 thoughts on “The Gardens of Chiconia 4

  1. What type of lemon am I looking at? I was just noticing that I will have a bumper crop of Meyer lemons in about a month. Happy growing!

  2. Flying Dragon (aka Poncirus trifoliate). That’s a nice cold-hardy rootstock. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Yup, but cold’s not really a problem here, where the temperature rarely goes below 18C/65F. I’m hoping it’s flood hardy too, since we’re heading into the wet season and the rains are going to be torrential. It’s all new to me, this tropical gardening… Give me a nice northern European temperate climate and I can garden with my eyes closed. I can even do sub-tropical, but how’m I supposed to live in a place that’s too hot to grow peas and peaches?

  3. […] The Gardens of Chiconia 4 […]

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you for featuring my blog on yours. My Bugle is still very small, and won’t flower for a month or two, but when it does, I shall post a photo. Please feel free to use it if you would find it helpful. Kate

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