Monday, February 20, 2012

Living mulch and self seeding

Finally, I found some time to do a bit of spring cleaning of my upper garden. I was happy to note underneath all the debris, my deliberate action to let to let some herb go to seed and self seed has played off. A blanket of seedlings covered the planting beds. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blog Namesake - Kumquat

I thought I would share some pictures of my fruit laden Kumquat plant ( Fortunella Japonica). The two kumquat plants are in two planter boxes next to the path that leads to my upper garden. I bought the two Fukushu Kumquat plants about 4 years ago and it has really taken off. Each year it has tons and tons of large delicious kumquat. But even before, those delightful fruits appear, the garden is filled with the most amazing fragrance of the kumquat flowers!! Heavenly.

The tree is laden with green kumquats that are just starting to turn a bit yellow

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mother of Millions

This time of year the cactus and succulent plants are flowering. Particularly beautiful are the flowers of Bryophyllum delagoense or commonly called Mother of Millions. Sometimes, it is also called the alligator plant. Its purplish pink leaves are speckled. Plantlets form at the end of the tubular leaves. This plant is deemed highly invasive as each of these plantlets drops and form a new plant.

I recently found out that in addition to being highly invasive ( which it has not been so far in my garden) it is also highly toxic. The whole plant especially beautiful flowers are extremely toxic. It is a problem in Australia where grazing cattle die from eating the the plants. I have not found any articles to suggest that it is toxic to other animal but it worries me. My dog Frasier has been known to `taste' plants especially after a rain, licking raindrops off plants. I will have to consider removing this plant from my garden. So, this might be the last year you see these beautiful flowers. Frasier triumphs over flowers!!

Notice the plantlets at the end of the tubular leaves. Each one falls and becomes a new plant. One mother plant will make hundreds of new plants. ( the Jade Plant in the background is full of white flowers).