Sunday, April 15, 2018

What? More Flowers?

Yes.  More new flowers continue to bloom.  We're seeing our first pineapple guava flowers since this tree was planted in the fall of 2016.  And judging by the number of buds still waiting to open (see the round, gray-green buds in the picture on the right), we're going to have quite a show this year.  Besides putting on a show, these flowers are edible - as are the fruit that follow - and of course they play their part in extending the foraging season for pollinators.

Speaking of pollinators, we're starting to see more mason bees, especially on the native flowers like the brittlebush and wolfberry above.

Seeing the mason bees made me wonder whether any had found our bee block on the northeast corner of the house.  I checked, and sure enough, one of the holes is occupied with eggs.

The paper sleeves in the bee block are there to protect larvae from splinters and to make the holes easier to clean between seasons.  The purpose of the wire mesh is to keep hungry birds from eating the eggs or larvae.

Below are flowers on the Barbados cherry (left) and Fuji apple (right).

Below are flowers on our newest moringa (left) which we planted this February and some flowers and peppers on the thai pepper plant (center) which we planted ... never.  This pepper is a volunteer that popped up in our labyrinth.

And I've saved the best for last.  The little white flowers on the curry tree on the right may not look like much, but the fragrance is amazing.  When I first sniffed these little flowers, I was expecting something more spicy and aromatic, to match the leaves, but no.  The strong but pleasant sweetness immediately took me back to my great grandma's garden and the lily of the valley that grew there in the black Iowa soil.

If you know someone who's growing curry leaf, go smell their flowers.  Go now.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Still More Spring Flowers

Every passing week brings new flowers to Sage Garden Ecovillas.

The plum tree is blooming.

In the picture below you can see the emerging flowers of the Thai lime (foreground).  In the background is a lavender bush, and on the far left edge of the frame, you might see a few of the baby fruits setting on the Washington navel orange.

Under the peach tree is a desert senna (right) and several self-seeded basil bushes that we have let flower.  The mason bees don't mind that at all.  I'm hoping some of them find our bee block nearby, so we can watch their lifecycle.

This year we sowed lupine (the native species) and vetch in several of our planted areas, and it's starting to flower.  It's a shame to see these go, but it's time to chop them and let their bodies and root nodules do their job and enrich the soil.  The vetch in this picture will feed its neighbor - a Fuji apple.  We'll leave a few flowers to go to seed.
And the olives are putting on more flowers every day.  I'm looking forward to this year's olive harvest.

Next up will be the moringas and the curry leaf (flower buds pictured on the right).

Check out the two preceding posts for more spring flower pics.