Monday, September 28, 2015

The great unfolding

The pinnate leaves on my "dead-man's fingers" are opening-up like little fans now. I'm watching for frost and will wrap them up if there's any chance of a freeze. Likewise the small lemon seedlings in the pots on the veranda - I'd hate to lose them after all this time of carefully nurturing them with the little "glass-house" and pre-warmed seaweed-water. The brugmansia too, I'm watching closely. The frost didn't kill them but did reduce them to ground level. The new growth looks vigorous and supported by the large root system of the now-exited parent, is making quick progress toward the sky. I've a tray-full of Andean lupins already showing their adult leaves and ready to go out into the world. I'll not put them too far from the front-door as I like to see them often. The new clusters of leaves on the Peruvian wineberry are surging forth, replacing the older, battered summer-of-2014 versions and while the Chinese dogwood leaves haven't shown, the flowers have and are finished their display, hopefully having set fruit at each blossom. That of the plums is attracting bees and birds every day, tui and belbird, sparrow and silver-eye, all pollinating incidentally, whilst enjoying a taste of nectar. Elecampane leaves are spearing up from the ground, along with comfrey. I consigned my Japanese knotweed to the bonfire but noticed that the Giant Hogweed has returned looking fit to grow into a monster again. The European nettle too, looks rudely healthy and ready to make itself felt. The rhubarb is well up, but v]can't keep pace with the Chilean rhubarb which is unfolding like an automated tent-city. My chunky Violet willow stems haven't put out leaves yet, but they will judging from the more slender versions I set in water earlier. They have rooted very satisfactorily, as have, to my amazement, the "water-shoots" from the Fuchsia from down the road. I hope to plant out a dozen of those once they have established in the compost I've planted those, roots and all, in. Same for the native kotukutuku water-shoots I put into a vase today. If those take, I'll be looking at doing dozens next season. The par-cell is up and away. The alexanders and wild chervil well advanced on all of the other apiaceae. My lemon looks well, alive at least and mulched heavily with chicken manure and pea-straw. I have great expectations for it, despite having half a dozen replacements growing well. Pricking-out peach seedlings has become a very enjoyable daily task, with apricots not far behind. Nectarines too, and plums, though I still have a brace from last year to plant out. I grafted Yellow Ingestre scions onto a two-metre high "root-stock" two days ago, in order to create a weeping apple. I hope my work will produce a result. Certainly, the graft won't get bumped by a cat or dog.
All this and much more is happening in my garden at present and I feel the season is just getting up a small head of steam before the Great Rush that we'll call summer, when it arrives. I love it.

6 comments:

Philip Todd said...

Been an interesting spring after a pretty wet late winter. The air is cold and we are getting frosts every day the sky is clear. The winner seems to be the blossom trees which are putting on a great show around Invercargill. Our rhodos have suffered from frost but the trees seem to have thrived. Lawns are slow as well so the ride on has been getting it easy to date. Our ground has just dried enough for our xmas spuds to go in so hope the frosts soon become a thing of the past.One thing about living in the south is we never are lost for conversations about the weather

robertguyton said...

Frost, in a manner similar to rust, rarely sleeps, preferring to idle in preparation for a sudden strike. I take precautions, The Southland Times being a best friend in times of need.

Philip Todd said...

Thank goodness plants cant read as the Times could well bore then into growing downwards.

robertguyton said...

Ya gotta go elsewhere for the real oil, Philip. The right-wing blogs'll tell you what you're supposed to think, the left ones, the variation you're allowed to consider but hidden amongst the comments section, accidentally or otherwise, are the occasional gems - Puddleglum on The Standard's a bright guy. The Southland Times does continue to be a vehicle for some Southlanders to point out the inadequacies of our two rookie MPs, both of whom are getting a regular flaying in the "letters" column. That's at least entertaining :-)

Philip Todd said...

Have to take some of that back. Great article in todays times about arresting the rural decline and community engagement. Communities need a heart and a purpose and Riverton is a leading example of how to do that. Great work and a great read.

robertguyton said...

Thanks, Philip. That article has already created some very promising developments/potentials for the region and we are "in discussion" now.