The Gardens of Chiconia 11

Although I’m out there daily, watering, weeding, pruning and bugslaying, I haven’t shared progress with you for ages.

And there’s plenty to report!  Despite a plague of grasshoppers of all sizes from the length of my little fingernail to the length of my middle finger, almost everything is holding its own. This is supposed to be the Wet, and normally we wouldn’t see grasshoppers in such profusion, but they’re making a beeline for anything lush and tempting because it’s been a very dry summer.

Here we go, then.

All the usual suspects, but twice the size!

All the usual suspects, but twice the size!

A general view of the tropical garden. Things have shot up in the past month or so, most notably the banana tree and the Brugmansia. The former is now taller than I am by quite a margin, having been planted at knee height. The latter is now as tall as I am, having been planted at mid shin height. Unfortunately the grasshoppers love the Brugmansia despite its toxicity, so we’re fighting a rearguard action with a soapy water/pyrethrum spray which seems to slow them down and doesn’t hurt the plant. We’re very careful about where and what we spray, and so far the ladybird population is undeterred.

Dwarf Ducasse banana. Not so very dwarf, if you ask me...

Dwarf Ducasse banana. Not so very dwarf, if you ask me…

First, the banana tree. Just, wow…

The Brugmansia is also suddenly all grown up. It’s like getting used to small children, and then suddenly they’re teenagers, all legs, flamboyant clothes and attitude.

Out the back the lychee is flourishing but not showing any signs of reproducing yet. The little lemon tree is groaning under the weight of 5 large lemons, which are just beginning to turn colour. The mango is getting quite huge for a dwarf tree, but it’s grown well all along so it’s not so interesting to show.

Anyway, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. More soon.

Dwarf Meyer lemon, heavily in fruit

Dwarf Meyer lemon, heavily in fruit

The dwarf lychee, looking happy and bushy, but unfortunately, not fruity!

The dwarf lychee, looking happy and bushy, but unfortunately, not fruity!

Look, in the middle: Flowers coming out on the passionfruit

Look, in the middle: Flowers coming out on the passionfruit

Close up of more flower buds, like cute little spiky purses.  Lots of buds means lots of passionfruit.  I'll cope somehow....

Close up of more flower buds, like cute little spiky purses. Lots of buds means lots of passionfruit. I’ll cope somehow….

The basil and gotu kola, the former holding its own in the Bug Wars, and the latter staging a comeback after looking very sorry for itself.

The basil and gotu kola, the former holding its own in the Bug Wars, and the latter staging a comeback after looking very sorry for itself.

Brugmansia (the tall one!), which will one day have sweetly scented flowers if it survives the grasshoppers.

Brugmansia (the tall one!), which will one day have sweetly scented flowers if it survives the grasshoppers.

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8 thoughts on “The Gardens of Chiconia 11

  1. tialys says:

    I am envious that you don’t need to keep Basil in a pot in the kitchen where, each time you use it, it is almost depleted.

    Everything looks lush – don’t you just love that word? – I am always grateful for an opportunity to use it.

    • katechiconi says:

      The Dowager has an enormous bush of basil, at leas 1.2m tall and 1m wide. Every so often she chops it back, only to have it return with enthusiasm. I’m aiming for a similar situation. Considering what you see started out as a stunted little thing about 20cm tall, it’s going well! And yes, I like lush. And lavish, and verdant and riotous. Good job I live in the tropics, eh?

  2. nsturgill says:

    Beautiful! Living in the desert, this is like paradise

  3. Jen Gardener says:

    Aw your lemon tree is so perfect! I’m a little jealous there. Love your giant basil! Hope you’re winning on the bug slaying part 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a daily battle. As for the basil, I’ll be happy when it’s a giant the size of the Dowager’s, a metre square. We’ve got a bit of a blow forecast for this weekend, so I hope the lemons hang on to ripen on the tree!

  4. Lynda says:

    Kate, I’ve been away too long, and missed so much! You, on the other hand, have been VERY busy! I love all your work and your near finishes. The two that I really admire at the moment are the car quilt, and the scrap quilt. The car quilt for your skill at hexies, and the scrap quilt for your genius in design.

    Now, I am praying that the cyclone doesn’t change its mind once again and come to ruin your garden!
    xo!

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh, you’re so kind! I had noticed you didn’t seem to be around, but everyone has such busy lives these days that I assumed you were following other pursuits. The two quilts have both been very satisfying to work on, but the car quilt is taking priority just now, as I want to take it with me at the beginning of April when we go on holiday, to give to my father, who’s moving back to the UK at the age of 91 to live with my brother. He’ll feel the cold there after the warmth of Spain, so a lap quilt should help!

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