Kieran Got A Pumpkin For His Birthday - Apr 30, 2024

Dear gardening friends
I told Kieran I was giving him a Pumpkin for his birthday present. He was surprisingly happy about that. He's going to roast it first, and then make Pumpkin soup.

The ingredients are still a mystery "but definitely no Anchovies" was his response. I lost interest after that.

I've had a bumper crop of Queensland Blue's. The seeds came from that monster pumpkin Ken Sharp gave me last year. My pumpkins haven't grown as big as his, but I've got at least 25ish. I've tried to count them, but it's like counting sheep.

Kieran's back, he's giving me the ingredients now, this pumpkin has sparked his imagination. Cayenne pepper and potatoes have been mentioned, he's going to throw in a concoction from Green Valley Spices too.

An Onion has now been described. This Pumpkin, and how it's going to be consumed, is going to fill our day.

My Pumpkin vine had a slow start, the seeds sprouted within days, but then sat there and sulked. Too cold, too dry, too whatever, I could tell the seedlings were contemplating life.

It wasn't until summer rain and heat came, that they became turbo charged. The flowers stopped falling off and the vines got serious about reproducing. A few fruit got sunburnt and turned bad, the cows ate these with joy.

Now the vine can see the season coming to an end, the Pumpkins are starting to show, like its low tide at the beach. I'm almost expecting Soldier crabs to start marching.

Pumpkin vines don't like the cold. I'll pick the pumpkins next month and put them somewhere to age. That's when they turn bright orange inside. They will keep for 6 months.

I'm going to be making a lot of soup.
I do use Anchovies, they love swimming in Pumpkin soup. I add a dash of Curry too.
I'm starting to dream about Pumpkin soup now.

I'm going to keep the seeds to give away.
Ken Sharp's Pumpkin has become a chain letter.
Plant them in spring, in a place where they can take over.

Would you like to grow your own fruit?
One of the easiest fruit trees to grow is a Mandarin. Australia's favourite variety is the Imperial Mandarin. This is a great variety to grow in your garden because it ripens in winter, when there's no Fruit fly.

We have beautiful dwarf growing Imperial Mandarins, that have been grafted onto Flying Dragon understock. This keeps the tree nice and compact, so it fits in smaller gardens but the fruit are real sized.

Imperial Mandarins have easy to peal puffy skins and very few seeds. They are so sweet and delicious. Kids love Mandarins, so it makes sense to have a tree in your garden. When grown in the ground you will get over 200 fruit once it reaches maturity.

Dwarf Mandarins can be grown in big pots using Tim's Best Potting mix and they need almost daily watering in summer. Choose a pot that holds at least two bags. Mulch around the base with Sugar cane to save water.

If you're growing your Mandarin tree in the ground, prepare the soil by digging in a bag of Tim's Best Potting mix. This will lift your tree out of the clay soil and give it a better chance of survival.

Never fertilise your trees with Citrus fertiliser when you're planting them, or the leaves will fall off, and your tree might die. Mulch around the base with Woodchip or Sugarcane.

We have the best Citrus ever at the moment. They are huge big bushy plants. We've never had better plants. Trees cost $54.99.
They are about to go up in price.
Zoom zoom.

Angelo's mum came in yesterday and she was looking so radiant I just had to take her photo. She's in her very late 80s, but she's still as sharp as a tack. She's not a regular, we only see each other once every 5 years, but we carry on like best friends. I bet you have friends like that too.

I only know her through her son Angelo and I haven't seen him for 10 years either, but he's still my friend. I met him through another friend who I don't see often either. It's a long bow, this story.

But she came in yesterday looking for trees. I always get excited when someone says they are looking for trees. She wanted something evergreen that didn't grow much taller than her, something she could shape maybe?

I showed her a few trees, and I tried to sell her a real tree. Something that might grow much bigger than her. Maybe something that would provide shade. I showed her a few native trees, we have growing in our garden.

She took photos of the plant labels with her camera, not her phone. She showed me her "seniors phone". She only takes phone calls. She doesn't understand technology she told me.

I bet she'd be amazed how much time I waste looking at my phone.
I bet she'd think "what a waste of time".

My son has just bought a Flip Phone. He's sick of wasting time too. I wonder how long he can last without technology?

We had a nice chat, I heard all about Angelo and his children. His mum is very proud of her family.
But she's not giving them anything, she told me.
"Well not until she dies", she told me with a laugh.

We had a laugh, we always end up laughing.

Are you looking for a pretty border plant that will thrive in sun or shade? Well I've found the perfect plant, and once it's established, it grows without much love.

It's called "Tricolour Jasmine". It has pink white and green leaves. It's so tough and easy to grow, you will be amazed. It grows as a ground cover. It stays flat like this. One plant will cover 1m2, but you can shape it to any width.

Bugs and pests don't worry it. It's long lived and so easy to grow. Landscape architects use it all the time for its colourful foliage. It can get highly perfumed white flowers if conditions suit.
It's just a brilliant plant.
We have them from just $6.99.

Happy gardening