The Gardens of Chiconia 46: time for a little passion…

… fruit!

first-passionfruitThe Panama Black passionfruit vine I planted a year and a half ago has come up trumps – finally! These fruit are the size of huge tomatoes, a gorgeous glossy purplish brown. The first year, I watered and fed the vine carefully, trimmed and trained it. Nothing. It gave me lots of shiny green leaves. This year, I decided tough love was in order. It got watered some-times, mulched occasionally, and I allowed it to ramp through the adjacent shrubs. Mostly, I ignored it.

While I wasn’t looking, the sneaky thing has flowered, fruited, flowered some more, and there are at least 20 green fruit dangling there, being totally ignored by the grasshoppers (touch wood), with more flowers open and budding. I get the feeling passionfruit perform much better if you ignore and perhaps even stress them a little.

I don’t really expect much from the other fruit trees. Perhaps a mango or two, by the time the grasshoppers and rosellas have passed that way. Another basket of mandarins to juice and freeze (too many pips to make them fun to eat). The little custard apple tree is flowering, but I don’t believe I have any neighbouring trees to allow it to be pollinated, so I don’t think I’ll have any fruit there either. The avocado made a mighty effort with the flowering, and at one point I thought I’d get a solitary fruit. Nuh uh. Grasshoppers again. And the birds got all the mulberries.  One of these fine days, I’ll feel up to digging a hole big enough to plant the Ducasse banana tree I’ve grown on from a sucker off my original one. And then I’ll stand well back and watch it head skywards! Meanwhile, it’s looking happy and healthy in its tub, so all is well for now.

I must head outside to extend my irrigation system to take in the new water feature and surrounding plants. Being away over a week with the temperatures rising and not that much rain forecast will leave it dry and tragic unless I act.

Hmmm. Now, what shall I do with those passionfruit?


28 thoughts on “The Gardens of Chiconia 46: time for a little passion…

  1. tialys says:

    It really annoys me when you give a plant lots of loving care and it refuses to give anything back – then you see the same plant, looking glorious, growing out of a crack in the pavement somewhere with nobody looking after it. Wisteria comes to mind.
    I’ve learnt something today though – I didn’t realise grasshoppers ate fruit – not that I’ve ever researched their habits or anything 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      The grasshoppers here will eat anything, including very poisonous leaves. They’re not the sweet little green jobs you see in Europe, they’re more the large brown mutant zombie grasshoppers of Armageddon style of thing. I have had an entire 3 metre bed of lettuce seedlings decimated overnight, every flower bud on the avocado chomped, and baby fruit and veg of all descriptions with large toothmarks in them.

      • Perhaps it’s time to eat the grasshoppers!
        (Or raise creatures who might….)

      • katechiconi says:

        Since I’m no longer up to major construction or fence building, we’ve decided to go for a chicken tractor, and are formulating our plans. I’m not sure how many of the grasshoppers they’ll take care of, but if they reduce the biting green ant population, I’ll be thrilled! As for eating the dratted things, I’d rather grind them to a paste as a Terrible Warning to the rest…

  2. craftycreeky says:

    I think tough love quite often works on plants, I remember reading somewhere that if plants are pampered they don’t feel the need to reproduce, so won’t flower as much, my other method is to threaten them with the chop 🙂

  3. EllaDee says:

    They look delicious. We give ours very little care, they do what they do. We came home and there were none in evidence as we’d told the neighbours to help themselves but the G.O. harvested about 30 from the top of the tank. I made a batch of passionfruit butter-curd and froze the equivalent for a future batch.

    • katechiconi says:

      I don’t have quite enough for that, and the rest won’t be ripe in time before we go, so we’re going to buy cream and make a pav with them and our leftover strawberries. Indulgent, but as of tomorrow, we’re on holiday!
      PS, washed your quilt today, it’s come up lovely and soft and crinkly.

  4. For sure a pav, curd or mayhaps gf passionfruit melting moments?

  5. kathyreeves says:

    Yummy! Enjoy your trip!

  6. Jule says:

    It’s fun to see one of these Danish Christmas plates/shallow bowls made its way down under. Especially one that’s as old as me – Jule(aften) 1961. 😀 Enjoy your passionfruit treat and have a nice trip.

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever had it!
    One of my horrible memories is my grandfather mushing a giant grasshopper to goo. I thought it was so beautiful with its pink wings and multi-coloured carapace. But, he also had fruit trees…I guess it is like me and slugs, here. They ALL MUST DIE.

    • katechiconi says:

      Ours are not beautiful, just brown and gnarly and unfeasibly large. Mushing them is my preferred strategy, in the hope that there’ll be a pheremonal deterrent in the air as a result..

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    Stir fried grasshopper and passion fruit seems to be the order of the day.

  9. Lynda says:

    This all sounds wonderful! But, fried grasshoppers? BLECH! Although my Grandmother said she tried them once and found them tasty. Gotta wonder about my mother’s side of the family…

    • katechiconi says:

      Eating insects is a well established way of sourcing more protein, but I think I’d find the dratted things too much trouble, and I’m sure I wouldn’t find crunchy wing casings very appealing. Much better to work off rage and frustration by squishing them extremely thoroughly!

  10. What a wonderful variety you have, even if they don’t all produce the goods. Unfortunately I don’t have green fingers of any description. I can even kill cacti without trying.

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