Apparently dusk in Australia is quite abrupt in comparison to that of the Northern Hemisphere, where that precious part of the day's end is called the gloaming. I feel there's something very Tolkien, very middle earth about the notion. On a perfect summer's evening mountainside, these are some of the things a hobbit might see in Magic Garden, before dawdling back to their burrow and pouring themselves a large G & T.
I do so love the passionfruit flower. I like how obvious the structure is and how neatly each component overlaps and layers the next. I found this one in tangle with a Daphne halfway down the garden path and neither plant could be said to be flourishing. The passionfruit is super straggly and is suckering everywhere and the Daphne is yellowing and lacklustre. Whilst Daphne usually thrives in this cool climate, sadly, it isn't really appropriate for passionfruit, a truth I learnt the hard way in my first garden at the Gospel Hall.
However this provides a fabulous segue to one of my reading highlights from last year was a book called Indelible Ink by Fiona McGregor. The main character reinvents herself, empowers herself through a late in life tattoo addiction and the designs she chooses are very botanically correct impressions of her favourite plants. In effect, she becomes her garden, the vine and flower of the passionfruit feature prominently as her confidence grows. I'm too much of a scaredy cat to ever contemplate a tattoo (and I'm not so secretly thrilled I never acquired one during my misspent youth) but McGregor's prose had me seeing so clearly how beautifully the passionfruit vine could adorn a body.
Leeks apparently enjoy the company of carrots, celery and apple trees and whenever I can, I do like to companion plant. However, leeks also like similar situations to the Allium family so in theory, lettuce and salad leaves should work as well. As these greens are pretty low impact, I hope I'll be supplementing my salad bowl in time.
If you were a tiny creature beneath this cathedral like canopy, perhaps you'd feel inspired to religious conversion...or maybe you'd wonder who'd put the acid in your drink?
All hail my Zucchini triumph! This is my first attempt with these magical members or the Curcurbita family and I am thrilled with the results. Both the male and female flowers can be eaten but only the female flower will bear fruit. According to Wikipedia, strictly speaking, the zucchini is an immature fruit as it is technically the swollen ovary of the female flower. Which is a somewhat disturbing thought...if your zucchini plants are producing too many swollen ovaries, this provides a perfect excuse to pick and stuff the flowers and then flash fry in a light batter.
And as I say goodbye, I invite you to say hullo to a lovely ladybird friend, I think my favourite of all the insect visitors. This little lady was obviously very happy with a zucchini leaf dinner as she hung around for over 2 days!