Monday, May 19

An Australian Garden

Here in Maine, Spring is in full force and we're looking forward to our summer gardens. But, in Australia, Autumn is coming to a close and Winter is just around the corner.
In my cousin's garden in Australia, the harvest is winding down. She's been cooking up some pumpkin soup and damper, an Aussie bush bread.
Even though it's the end of the season, she and her husband still have some impressive looking produce growing- broccoli, rhubarb, citrus trees, passion-fruit and also some pretty flowers. Take a look at these photos she's been so kind to share with us.

                                   Gorgeous barrel of blue flowers. What a pretty scene!
                                                      Some lovely rhubarb

  In addition, her garden attracts a variety of wildlife which I absolutely love hearing about. She has a family of possums, as well as beautiful birds and lizards. And just look what she sees hopping around her property!

Sunday, May 18

Flowering "Victoria" Rhubarb Plant

This is something I've never seen before in my garden- my rhubarb is flowering. This variety of rhubarb is an old fashioned type, Victoria. I read this type is more prone to bolting. It's quite pretty and could make a nice ornamental but after a little research I discovered this is not a positive thing for the plant. So, I really should cut it back.

Here's why:

  • flowering takes up the plants energy 
  • bolting weakens the plant when it could be storing up carbohydrates to help survive the next winter
  • conserving the plant's energy produces more edible produce
  • any seeds produced are less than ideal

Course of action:

  • cut back the flowering stalks
  • fertilize well
  • divide large, mature plants up 

Photo from my Dad: Belle Isle, Detroit

Belle Isle is a 982 acre island in the Detroit River. It was originally settled by the French in the 18th century and was named "Hog Island".

Photos by Orma L. Robbins
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