Sunday, May 04, 2008

in the garden

The rambutan, a lychee, is flowering. Or at least one tree is. We have two, supposedly one male and one female, I wonder when the other will react? I’ve heard that we get fruit, supposedly in September, but others say it has another season now. Who knows, I’ll have to wait and see.
The carambola is also flowering. This is quite exciting as the tree has never flowered before. I’m not so keen on the fruit, but it makes a great jam, so I hope we get fruit this time. The orchard across from the school has several very productive carambolas and they had a huge harvest in December, January. I wonder what this tree is doing?
A soursop fell yesterday. It got badly bruised, but I think I can save some of it, it’s not big enough for jam. This is also good news, it’s not such a productive tree but seems to be getting better.
The gandul I transplanted on the full moon – when the sap is at its highest and there’s least energy in the roots – and protected as best I could from the sun with a crazy arrangement of sticks, umbrellas, sarongs and ladders, and which looked like it was dying, is showing small signs of life: little new nubs on lower branches. I hope it makes it. In hindsight it was really too big to move and it was growing in gravel which meant I planted it more or less bare rooted. I’m impatient with these trees, not sure why, still haven’t tasted the beans. My two I’ve grown from seed are about 2 foot high and I think can be moved from their pots. Everyone says these plants are slow to start and then suddenly take off. My little ones are over 2 months old – when will this taking off begin??
The chayote seems to be taking off, twice a day I find myself wrapping growing tips around trellis. The four I planted two weeks ago have recovered from the garden ‘hazing’ (insect attack) and are sending out nice thick shoots. I wonder daily if the trellis of bamboo and string will be strong and big enough to handle them, perhaps they’ll grow as far as they can and then having nowhere else to reach will save their energy for fruit.
The pumpkins are stepping up production too. For the longest time I had three fruits, now there are 7 in various stages and some more possibilities on the way. One seems to be a different kind, though all the seeds I planted came from the same pumpkin – it’s long and a pale pale green. I’ll have to keep the seeds.
The wild spinach is flowering, I’m curious to see what it does. I’ve propagated it from stem cuttings and didn’t even realize it flowered. There’s a big female basilisk on the coconut 8 feet from my desk. She’s pretty. It’s funny, Michael was just here and we were talking about basilisks, I was saying I rarely see them here because of the dogs, and now here’s one, at eye level 8 feet away. Once again I wish I had a camera with a zoom. She’s exactly the colour of a hibiscus leaf with a series of turquoise spots on either side of her spine. There’s a pale orange stripe along her spine and she has several black stripes crossing her back. Her tail is green with many thick brown bands. She has a small crest, more like a triangle which rises from the back of her skull, it’s the same green colour. Her eyes are yellow. Right now she’s clinging to the brown sisal stuff on the sheath of the coconut leaf, she can’t get purchase on the smooth leaf stalk. Oh she just caught something, she has such a pale pink tongue.