Tag Archives: Gardening

The Chili Reaper, Part 2

28 Jun

It looks like I am wrong about the Chili Reaper that comes to our garden. Two days ago, the Yellow-vented Bulbul came a-calling, and it wasn’t the chili plant that it went to but the papaya fruit that we left out for the squirrels!

The Bulbul also likes papaya besides chili, it seems. We never knew. I guess we have to rethink its given name now. It’s wrong to call it the Chili Reaper if it eats papaya fruits besides chili, right?

The Papaya Reaper!

The Papaya Nursery

24 Jun

We used to have three papaya trees in our garden, but not anymore. Only one tree is still fruiting, as the other two have passed their prime. The older of the two was chopped down in its height but never grew again. Its base wilted with time, and we left it unattended until we figured out what to do with its precious space in the garden.

The other tree had problems as far as the fruits were concerned. Hubby chopped it down to about two feet to allow it to grow again. Hopefully, the tree will recover and give us healthy fruits again.

The lone tree so far is still fruiting well, and we have a couple of challenges with it. The first is its height – it has grown so tall that plucking the fruits from the top of the nine-foot-tall ladder is quite a task. The other challenge is keeping the garden squirrels away from eating the fruits on the tree!

Papaya fruits have become such an integral part of our diet these days. So much so, with the two trees gone, hubby decided to cultivate more papaya trees. Call it our papaya nursery, if you may.

Our papaya nursery

He recycled milk containers to house the little trees. And so far, the four trees are doing okay. When they are ready, to the garden they will go! Or he will give a few away. Any takers?

A Do-nothing Day, Part 2

7 Jun

The do-nothing day yesterday turned out to be do-everything-you-can! How wrong I was envisioning the day ahead.

As much as I wanted to lay in bed, I couldn’t because the morning was not those rainy-weather situations that beckons you to stay in bed. The sun was out, the birds were chirping, and the neighbor’s noisy dog was barking endlessly.

So we did everything we could in the morning, from doing the laundry and hanging the clothes out under the sun, washing the cars, and cleaning the garden mess – it turned out to be a busy day instead. Hubby even baked a loaf of bread!

The public holiday turned out to be an extension of the weekend, and whatever chores we couldn’t get to on Saturday and Sunday, we completed them on Monday.

When it’s a do-nothing day, you should abide by it and do nothing. If not, you’ll do things and tire yourself out by lunchtime. By then, it was a do-nothing day for real. Hahaha.

A Symbolic Growth, Part 3

15 Apr

So the mini pineapple was left on the kitchen counter to ripen, and it did. It took a few days for this process, and during this time, we could smell its fragrance in the kitchen. What a lovely smell! We were looking forward to savoring it.

The mini pineapple

When we finally cut it, it was not as sweet, unfortunately. A day or two more on the stem would have been better. But it was weakened by the excessive rain and water – we had to harvest it. Otherwise, the squirrels would get to it before us. Oh well. Let’s hope the next pineapple will survive the wet weather.

Protecting Our Fruits, Part 2

11 Apr

The wire mesh protection on the papaya tree is not good enough to deter intruders from eating the papaya fruits. Even with our tall ladder, I cannot reach the top to cover all the fruits on the tree because the tree is too tall.

Last week, hubby discovered one slightly eaten fruit. The squirrel is getting clever as it managed to get inside the mesh to bite the papaya! The mesh protects only the outer fruits, and since there are still gaps to some exposed fruits and access from the top, it’s only a matter of deft agility to get inside for a feast.

One fruit is intact but the other is bitten slightly.

Oh well, at this point, we cannot do much. If the fruits ripen, we harvest them. If we don’t get to them first before the squirrel or otherwise, we should share and shouldn’t be too upset about it.

A Symbolic Growth, Part 2

8 Apr

The weather has been wonky the past few months. On days when it’s not supposed to rain, it pours. And when we expect rain, there isn’t any, and it’s so hot.

The pineapple tree in the pot had some hot sun at the beginning of the year. But during one stretch, it rained a lot, so hubby moved the pineapple to a warmer spot in the garden. And the weather changed again, raining cats and dogs!

So much so that it affected the stability of the fruit, weakening the stem of the pineapple tree. We had no choice but to harvest the fruit, small as it was, instead of letting it go to waste. Despite its size, the fruit still has a chance to ripen, and we may still get to enjoy it. Fingers crossed.

Not big but edible. Only time can tell

Protecting Our Fruits

22 Mar

There is something else other than the garden squirrels in our garden. The fruits on the papaya tree, while still on the tree, were eaten, and we were mildly irked by this discovery. So, we decided to do something about it. As there are quite a few fruits on the tree, we had to protect them.

Hubby said it could be a civet cat as the bite and claw marks on the recently eaten papaya were too big to be that of a squirrel. Further evidence is some orange-colored poop left on the retaining wall. How dare this uninvited intruder? Hrmph.

And so, I used some leftover wire mesh and covered the fruits from being a buffet offering. I think I did a good job.

Take that, you uninvited intruder!

A Quick Makeover

18 Mar

There is an area of our garden adjacent to our neighbor, left unattended for some time, being of sight, hence, out of mind. So at the beginning of the year, I told hubby it a needs a makeover. But we have been busy, and the area was still left unattended.

Finally, there was an opportunity last week. And within a day, the area was cleared and spruced up. We kept it to a minimum to be Zen-like. It’s a nice refreshing change. Too bad this look only works for this area and not the other parts of our garden.

Before and after the makeover

Mixed Yield

28 Feb

It has been raining a lot, unusual for this time of the year, and it’s creating a lot of havoc for our garden. It gets flooded when the rain comes down fast and hard and does not drain away fast enough.

The two attempts to plant vegetables, feeble as it is, have failed partly because of the rain. The moist habitat has been attracting mealybugs and is detrimental to the overall garden space.

The eggplants have not seen further yield since the last puny harvest. As for the lady’s fingers, hubby got rid of them because he did not want the mealybugs to contaminate the other plants. So he planted some shrubs to utilize the area while figuring out what to grow next.

On a brighter note, the papaya tree next to our frangipani tree has been in abundance! So much that sometimes, the garden squirrels help themselves to the fruits. We’re not complaining as there’s plenty for everyone, but we wouldn’t want to encourage the squirrels to keep eating the fruits on the tree.

Our mixed yield garden

Something New from the Garden

11 Jan

Our garden is full of plants and edibles. But I have to admit I am not the green fingers person managing our garden. It was only during the lockdown phases the last two years that I learned to appreciate it. I can identify Creeping Charlies and unwanted weeds and even made an effort to plant vegetables for our consumption.

You can find the usual air plants, stag horns, and bromeliads that hubby has besides some other plants, small trees, shrubs, and the one big frangipani tree that we love very much. Then there are the edibles like chili, curry leaves, fruits, herbs, and some vegetables spread out here and there. The space is balanced between plants to appreciate and food to eat to be sustainable.

When M1 came home last year, she brought back some corn seeds, glass gem corn, to be precise. At that point, we were not sure whether the corn could grow in our environment. Hubby, being the green fingers maestro, tried. After almost five months, he has successfully grown some glass gem corn! Wow.

Glass gem corn from our garden!

It does not matter that they are small and puny in size upon harvest. The fact that the species can grow in humid and wet conditions is good enough. Both corns are not as colorful compared to what we see on the internet. Nonetheless, they are very pretty looking, and we are most pleased with this new thing from our garden.