The Gardens of Chiconia 29

Everyday miracles…

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.39.47 pmAt the far left hand side of the backyard, there is a small unidentified tree, which looks mostly dead and pretty unhappy. It put out a few new leaves at the beginning of the summer, to add the small quantity it already bore on one or two branches. We were regretfully thinking about removing it, until today. I was hacking back the jungle and the Husband was mowing and something caught his eye as he took the mower around the back of the tree. We now know what we have, and we’ll be making strong efforts to save it!

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.40.21 pm Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.40.03 pmIt’s Averrhoa carambola, or Starfruit, and we have one large, perfect fruit! There are numerous blossoms on the living branches, pretty tiny pink ones, so we’ll be watching with interest to see if anything comes of those too.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.40.44 pmThe fruit is sweet, juicy and full of Vitamin C. However, if you have kidney disease you have to avoid it, as it contains a substance which can cause an impressive list of nasty side effects if your kidneys aren’t working properly. Since both of us are fine in that respect, we’ll be noshing this beauty enthusiastically!

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.41.09 pmI’ve done another half day on clearing the jungle and filled another trailerful. I’m pretty pleased with the results, both from the point of view of clearing the mess, but also revealing some nice things, particularly the vine-clad trunk of the big old ficus. I’ve dug up a lot of mature agaves and their pups which the chooks would scratch to bits. They’ll go out the front into the right hand flower bed, which is going to contain low maintenance items which don’t root too deeply, since that is where the water meter is, and where the water main runs towards the house. I may have to go and visit some people with succulents so I can take cuttings….

I think one more day will see the clearing of the worst jungle. Elsewhere, I have a bit of heavy pruning to do in the area around the old mulberry to see if I can get it a bit more light and air. It fruits still, in fact, there are some little ones forming already, but it’s being strangled by the overgrown shrubs around it.

I wonder if the garden still has any surprises to spring on us!

29 thoughts on “The Gardens of Chiconia 29

  1. claire93 says:

    you are making excellent progress with all your clearing. And wow – delicious star fruits – you’re so Lucky!

    • katechiconi says:

      Just wait till I start planting banana trees and pineapple bushes! I think once upon a time this must have been a loved and well cared for garden, but certainly no one has given it any attention for at least 5 years…

  2. mmmmmmm love mulberries. good luck with that – but watch out for snakies and other bitey things 😦

  3. Well done. And even if you don’t eat the star fruit, it ,makes a pretty garnish.

  4. Magpie Sue says:

    I’ve never had a star fruit. What a wonderful surprise to find in the jungle! Who knows what else may turn up? What an adventure! My inner gardener is *so* jealous!

  5. Sandra kirk says:

    The fruit looks good but I love the Royal Copenhagen plate its displayed on! I have some and love the colours. What year is it? Xx

  6. knettycraft says:

    A sweet, heavenly looking fruit… what a wonderful reward for all your hard work 🙂

  7. EllaDee says:

    Wonderful… after waiting and moving and waiting still until kinder weather, the excitement of the new-old garden is here… after some dedicated work. I wonder how old your garden is, the Starfruit tree looks like it’s been there for a while.

    • katechiconi says:

      It must be at least 20 years, judging by the size of the mango trees. The ficus has been there longest of all, it’s a couple of armspans around the trunk.

  8. anne54 says:

    Clearing out the jungle must give you such a sense of satisfaction, especially when you find treasures like the star fruit. And you have all the fun of planting out to come.

  9. Work, work, work! Sounds like you are having a lot of fun, though. You will be rewarded later on.

    • katechiconi says:

      I am enjoying it, I get a lot of satisfaction from clearing out all the dead wood, rank growth and inappropriately positioned volunteers. I also like the visual order better, and I’m looking forward to doing a load of planting later this year.

  10. Kirsten says:

    Yet another plant to add to my “I wish I could grow that” list! Star fruit is so pretty, especially in fruit salads, although I have to say that I never knew about its potential side effects if you have dodgy kidneys . . .

    • katechiconi says:

      I only found out by mistake! Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

      Benefits[edit]
      Carambola is rich in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C; and low in sugar, sodium, and acid. It is also a potent source of both primary and secondary polyphenolic antioxidants.[8] Averrhoa carambola has both antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Scavenging of nitric oxide (NO) by the fruit extract is dependent on concentration and stage of ripening. Extracts showed antimicrobial activity against E. coli, Klebsiella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.[9][10]

      Risks[edit]
      Carambolas contains caramboxin[11] and oxalic acid, both substances are harmful to individuals suffering from kidney failure, kidney stones, or those under kidney dialysis treatment. Consumption by those with kidney failure can produce hiccups, vomiting, nausea, and mental confusion. Fatal outcomes have been documented in some patients.[12][13][14][15][16][17] Recent research has identified caramboxin as a neurotoxin which is structurally similar to phenylalanine, and is a glutamatergic agonist [18]

      Fatal outcomes doesn’t sound too cheery, does it…?

  11. Jen Gardener says:

    Oh wow! Save that one for sure! Looks like she’ll be right now 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s obviously keen to do its work; the living branches are covered in little pink flowers. The fruit was really delicious, too, much nicer than shop bought ones.

  12. pattisj says:

    What a lovely surprise with your starfruit! I’ve gotten WAY behind, but don’t want to miss anything here. Progress on the “jungle”–YAY!

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