Monday, 23 February 2009

Australian native fruit; Finger Lime;

Citrus Australasica;

The fresh vesicles have the effect of a burst of effervescent tangy flavour as they are chewed.

Please enlarge pictures.

The Australian Native Finger lime is easily the most fashionable and exciting citrus product currently available in the market. Demand for the new varieties of limes has been propagated by the like of "Tahitian Limes" and "Kaffir Limes" and their use in Asian cooking which has built up a tremendous following one the last few years. With the development of truly Australian cuisine and its fusion of traditional cooking with Asian influences the use of the Australian Native Finger Lime was a natural progression. The Australian landscape and in particular the rainforests of the temperate, subtropical zones have recently been discovered as the home to one of the most fascinating, interesting and versatile of Australia's indigenous fruits the Australian Native Finger Lime. Read more here

Cuttings and fruit;
The Finger Lime plant, Citrus australasica (formerly Microcitrus australasica) is a thorny understorey shrub of the lowland subtropical rainforests of Eastern Australia.
Although there is no documentation that finger lime was traditionally eaten by
Aboriginal people, it's possible that indigenous use was not observed or recorded by European settlers. Early non-indigenous settlers consumed the fruit and retained the trees when clearing for agriculture.
The finger lime has been recently popularised as a gourmet
bushfood. The cylindrical fruit has globular vesicles, likened to a "caviar lime", which can be used as a garnish or added to various recipes. The fresh vesicles have the effect of a burst of effervescent tangy flavour as they are chewed. Marmalade and pickles are also made from finger lime. The finger lime peel can be dried and used as a flavouring spice.
Commercial use of finger lime fruit started in the mid-1990s in boutique marmalades made from
wild harvested fruit. By 2000 the finger lime was being sold in restaurants, including the export of fresh fruit.
There is a wide range of different coloured variants of finger lime fruit, including green, yellow, orange, red, purple, black and brown. Finger lime is thought to have the widest range of colour variation within any
Citrus species.
The finger lime has been recently grown on a commercial basis in Australia in response to high demand for the fruit. There is an increasing range of genetic selections which are budded onto Citrus rootstock. With the sudden high market demand for the fruit the primary source of genetic material for propagation has been selections from wild stock.
In cultivation, the finger lime plant is grown in much the same way as other citrus species. It may be subject to some pests and diseases requiring pest control in cropping situations. This includes scale, caterpillars, gall-wasp, and limb dieback.
Research conducted in the 1970s indicated that a wild selection of C. australasica was highly resistant to
Phytophthora citrophthora root disease, which has resulted in a cross-breeding program with finger lime to develop disease-resistant citrus rootstock.
CSIRO has also developed several Citrus hybrids by crossing the finger lime with standard Citrus species. Wikipedia

Believe it or not:
"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes." - Andrew Carnegie

A golden heart; Enjoy!

Photos TS

Thursday, 19 February 2009

SkyWatch Friday;

5 AM still dark;
Not long the sun makes it over the hill, while inky clouds are marking the sky;

Good Morning!

Enjoy SkyWatch Friday around the world, click here
Photos TS

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Salvia...My Love;

Salvia Guarantica; blue and black flowers end of summer;

Salvia guaranitica; Cultivar black and blue; Blue Anise Sage or Anise Scented Sage is also called Brazilian Blue Sage due to its nativity in southeastern Brazil, Paraguay & northern Argentina, or Sapphire Sage for its jewel-bright blooms.

It can be sensitive to cold & can be tender in (Zone 8). It will return every year bigger & flowerier than the last. In areas where winters fall below 20 degrees F., it can still do quite well as an annual.

In Zone 9 or 10 it will not be sensitive, but may on the contrary require a bright shade location since its large leaves will be injured if conditions are actually desert like.It likes moist well-draining soil, but dislikes over watering, & can be at some risk of rotting out of the gardening during wet winters if soil drains poorly.

In a more open area where it is subject to winter rains, a winter mulch may help barrier the soil somewhat.It grows into a three or four feet tall, potentially a six foot semi-woody shubshrub if allowed to get lanky & not annually pruned.

To look its best it really needs to be cut back severely in late winter or early spring so that it will remain a bit shorter & more compact.It takes until early summer to grow back, but if the previous year's growth is left, the new growth will not be as fine, so it is not a good idea to refrain from completely cutting back whatever is left of it from winter.

The cultivar 'Black & Blue' has largish (one- to two-inch) tubular & open parrot-beak ("bilabiate") blossoms of cobalt blue with black calyces (where the regular species would be green). An "orniphilic" flower, the shape is intended foremost to be inviting to hummingbirds.

These bicolor flowers are present over a long period from mid-summer to deep into autumn, at least until first frost. Deadheading the spent flowers helps to keep it reblooming. If it per chance stops blooming before summer's end, cut it back by one-third to one-half & it will take off flowering anew. The persistence of its flowering is one of its great assets.The attractive round pointed foliage is usually a dark even green, but occasionally a paler green. The leaves are so sweet-scented it has almost the scent of candy, hence the common name anise sage, though the scent is not really anise-like, it's more of a candied sage. It takes only a slight brushing into it in order to release its wondrous odor.

Spreading with rhizomes over time the clump can spread to three feet wide. Large clumps can be divided in spring. Or starts can be made from softwood cuttings in spring, or ripening summer cuttings, or from terminal cuttings from any month of the growing seasons.It needs the fullest sun exposure to flower its best; it'll be lanky & tip over if it experiences much shade, but will still bloom. A light slow-release fertilizing in early spring is enough.

Believe it or not:
"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power."


Photos T.S.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

SkyWatch Friday;


There is a bit of a tug of war going on this morning!

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Photos. T.S.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A small, walled garden;

This is my daughter's and her partner's suburban Garden;
It shows that one can grow beautiful vegetgables in a small space.
Bougainvilleas planted in tall pots give splashes of colour.
An arrangement of Succulents in a pot by the pool.

These tomatoes were so tasty and they had heaps of it;

A type of yellow capsicum;

Rhubarb in a pot does well. It is quite precarious to grow in this humid, hot climate. Lilli had a good harvest.

She has grown all sorts of salad plants, here chiccorino rosso. There are no insecticides used in this garden, the vegetables are all healthy.

Nooks and crannies are not spared either.

Believe it or not:
Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian seal for
that reason.

It is still hot here; Have a nice day!

Photos taken in the garden of L.andB.
Photos T.S.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

SkyWatch Friday;

Sunrise 5 AM...softly... softly...

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Photos T.S.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Glimpses from my Summer garden;

Heavenly scented frangipane flowers (Plumeria);

Please click pictures for a better view.

The huge flowers of the Pitaya fruit;

Quiscalis indica; Rangoon creeper;

Believe it or not:
Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.