Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Garden in February;

The world is so full of a number of things,  I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Zebra Grass,

 Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus. Miscanthus, the genus name,   Greek, mischos  "stalk" and  anthos “flower". Sinensis indicates the plant's origin: China. Zebrinus to the stripes on the plant's leaves.

This large ornamental grass grass with its creamy stripes cut across the blades  is arching and develops flower heads of tiny white blooms in late summer.

The flower heads become attractive plumes, tall they lend visual interest to the garden in autumn  and winter. This is a large ornamental grass,  

Nature is very powerful it is able to make a fool of the best human invention..©Ts

Pomegranate soon ready to eat,  Punica granatum; cultivated since ancient times, originated in Iran. Small organza bags protect the fruit from fruit fly, bats and possums.  

Miltonia Orchids flower at this time of year. Many different colours and patterns are available. I quite like this faded lavender with its odd caramel blotches on its upper petals.

Scientists try very hard to tame to bend nature to their liking, in the end all their efforts are worth nothing, their interference a drop in the ocean, because nothing is as strong, unbendable  and  unpredictable as nature. Ts

Summer is Petunia time in the garden. I fill urns and pots with these colourful flowers.

Caterpillar of the five-spotted hawk moth,  Manduca quinquemaculata is a brown and gray hawk moth of the Sphingidae family. The caterpillar, often referred to as the tomato hornworm. 
I have never seen it on the tomatoes. Here 5 of them have a feast on the leaves of a Tecoma plant. I have seen it on the leaves of the olive tree. It is said to be a pest, but I don’t want to kill it. 
What does it mean to be a pest; In its view I am a pest because I am bigger and stronger and could squash it. I do not see them very often. Their body feels soft and silky to the touch of my fingers.  It’s green colour with this striking pattern is beautiful.

Small Asters, so simple so beautiful, they flower on and off all summer into autumn.

The flowers of the Pitaya fruit.  Early in the morning when I go up into the vegetable garden, where these plants are growing, I am always amazed at the beauty of these huge flowers. They have been  open  all night to be pollinated by moths.

Their beauty is  ethereal, but oh so short, comes morning they are ready to fold up their petals and go to sleep.

Nature’s  conflict;  the most  marvellous, most beautiful,  the most cruel. ©Ts

Delicious Pitaya fruit.

Cucumbers are plentiful through summer; this one has a knobbly outside that makes a nice wavy border. the salad maid is a great machine to slice it quickly and evenly.
All surplus goes to the chooks.  With chooks nothing is wasted, they eat and love a  great variety of food besides grain.  I have always kept hens, I like their eagerness when they see me coming with a bowl full of greens.

The golden spider lily, Lycoris loves summer too.This bulb does not like to be disturbed. It takes a few years to get well established and  to flower, but when it does it is a treat.

Abelia  with its  abundance of wonderfully scented  bells is a must have in any garden.
A perfume maker would describe its scent 
"a lilting fragrance composed of  soft rose, appealing vanilla with hints of jasmine and tuberose."

Believe it or not:
You take my life when you take the means whereby I live.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, The Merchant of Venice

© Photos my garden/text  Lavender & Vanilla; Ts