microb's blog

Feast or famine
Posted on Dec 11, 2017 2:03 PM

After a week with 30 inches of rain we have now had a week with out a drop of rain. Clear blue skies, little or no wind and cool temps - about 70f during the day and mid 50s at night. Perfect for gardening.
So I'm trimming and weeding the back ponds garden, trimming the fringe off an overhanging bamboo and trying to clear more forest to make clear space and paths to link the back garden with the bamboo Shangri-La and the dark forest garden. Basically the garden will then encircle this huge green waste pile. In our tropical environment and rain forest climate green waste is overwhelming.
Last two days have been chainsaw madness with each session using up a full tank of gas. New planting areas are now clear, skinny trees taken down and pathways defined. The trunks from two or three larger trees will be used as edging for the paths to mark their progression through the forest and show the way to go.
No sign of pigs coming in this side of second gate which is good news . Will soon start to go beyond 2nd gate and start checking fences around the bottom 60.
Notice that the water was low in pond 1A yesterday. Hope that wont need relining. Nice white night blooming water lily in pond 1B and lots of red night blooming lily buds in the upper round pond out front.
As long as the weather holds then weeding and trimming will continue.
During the week I took down some Oldhami Bamboo canes. Probably 80 ft long when they were laying on the ground. (Probably 80ft high before I cut them down) Was able to harvest 12 new starts from the upper nodes that were showing signs of roots. Will be 6 months before I know if thay take root.
The County graded the road that runs past our property after 30 inches of rain caused some wash out. Problem is that the grass and brush on the far side of the road is not trimmed so vehicles tend to drive around the obstruction which forces them to our side. County comes along and grades the road where the car tracks are and we now have road just 18 inches from our fence line. Years ago we had 4 or 5 feet of nice green grass. So I grabbed the supervisor and pointed out the problem. The County sent up there mower and cut down the grass on the other side of the road and next time it needs grading there is a promise to start moving the road back to its original track.

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Posted on Dec 2, 2017 12:09 AM

Been a week since my last blog and this will not have much to add.

It started raining last Monday and over the first four days of this week we had 26 inches of rain so nothing has got done this week. We saw the sun for the first time today. The heavy rain and moderate gusty winds took down some bamboo canes and a yellow candle tree snapped a bough so there is some cleaning up to do. Some areas of the garden flooding so real mushy underfoot

Plus its approaching Christmas so we are decorating our house. Robin and I are now both retired so this is the first Xmas with nothing standing in the way of decorating. We have no family in Hawaii so we decorate for ourselves. Three trees, wreaths and tinsel garlands all throughout the house. Plus table decorations and outside lights. No one can see our house from the road but the lights look great with a large wreath on the outside of the house.

Weather will return to normal over the weekend with a drier week forecast for next week. So will need a couple of days to dry out and then back to it.

One bright spot, the Amaryllis are still giving us a couple more blooms so they will decorate our dining table for the next week or so. Hopefully more blooms will be produced beyond that.

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Happy Thanksgiving
Posted on Nov 23, 2017 2:06 PM

Cold weather continues. Down to 56f the other night. Now have a cool NE wind with frequent showers. Socks and sweat shirt and jeans for early part of day, sun heats up and back to T shirt and shorts.
Weed wacked roadside grass this week and trimmed back the yellow gingers that were creeping out from the fence. Still have to attack the roadside grass from 2nd down to 1st road and then from our driveway up to 4th road. Looks nice.
Finished the rain shelter in the forest. Still have to landscape and reroute path at the front of the entrance.

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Pigs got in under the fence inside 2nd gate. Spent a couple of hours yesterday doing serious fence fixing and clearing forested areas. Need to cut down rubbish trees and lay them on the outside edge of the fence line to stop pigs burrowing underneath. Spent some time just walking around the area planning which trees and brush to eliminate.
Trying my hand at growing Anthuriums from seed. Plenty of seed available on my plants. In some areas their are already baby anthurium plants on the ground from self sets. Using clamshells from store pies. Putting a moss bed and setting the seeds on the moss

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Amaryllis blooms number 4 and 5 are indoors and will be on our Thanksgiving table. One is blooming and one is a bud.

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Amazing that the night blooming water lilies are still going strong

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Frog spawn hatched a couple of days ago. Small pond was full of mini black tadpoles. Not sure how many will survive. Be thankful they don't all survive or we would be over run with large green bullfrogs.

Starting to clean up back yard yesterday. Angel Trumpet trees are out of control again. Hundreds of blooms but need radical trimming.

Cold rain and Thanksgiving dinner will keep me indoors today. Will take the opportunity to dig into our 40ft shipping container storage for Christmas decoration. The best thing we ever did was purchase the shipping containers that we used to move from Oahu to the Big Island. We have two great walkin storage units accessed from inside our covered lanai area. Huge metal doors to pull open. Each door is 8ft high and 4 ft wide, two doors per container. Interiors are lit by strings of lights. All this has nothing to do with gardening.

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Rain all day
Posted on Nov 16, 2017 9:33 PM

Yesterday I got another of the traded bamboos in the ground. Just one to go. Spent a lot of time clearing more forest to expand the Bamboo garden. Found a nice gentle slope down to a boggy area so I will be able to make use of the sloping ground to plant some different plants around the bamboos. The bottom of the slope has standing water so may be a pond would be an idea.

Managed to fill a 30 gallon plastic bag with walking irises that I harvested from a site needed for another bamboo. Carried them down to second gate and left them in the bag for now. When the weather dries out I will plant them along the edge of the forest trails.

Cold, rainy day today. Never got much about 70f. Over the next few days we might stay in the upper 60s which for us here in Hawaii is sweater and jeans weather.

Spend the day in the Dome weeding and trimming out dead branches from the Orchid Cactus. Quite a few pots have died off this year. Could be my neglect of lack of watering or it could be disease. I have the same trauma every year as the plants really get stressed during the blooming period. There are new branches appearing so I think it will be business as usual. I'm not taking cuttings this year and replacing pots. Reducing the numbers will be good for me. I think I probably still have 200 plus pots at various locations.

Trimming the New Guinea Impatients and Coleus around the ponds yesterday. Now have a small bunch of cuttings to go into the forest. They have laid on the edge of the driveway all day where the rain as kept them fresh. Must get them into a damp soil in the forest tomorrow. The last bunch survived and I now have a patch of growing cuttings.

My sister in England sent me a dozen seeds from her Canna Lilies. They arrived yesterday so will get them in pots tomorrow. I'm also going to try and start a new bunch of Anthurium seeds under controlled conditions in the kitchen where I can keep an eye on them. The last bunch I put in a pot outside and they disappeared.

Considering joining the American Orchid Society for $65 a year. Both my wife and I like looking the photos and I do have a few orchids here and there around the property. Just cant afford to get hooked on collecting another variety of plants.

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New Bamboo
Posted on Nov 13, 2017 2:50 PM

Really heavy rain yesterday late afternoon and distant thunder. Flash flood advisory and coming down at 2 -3 inches and hour. We have a metal roof and it was really making a lot of noise, gutters overflowing and deep trenches in the unpaved road we use to get to the highway. We have other ways to go through the local subdivision but hopefully the County will come along and do their usual temporary fix which is OK.
Finally made the bamboo trade that I have been pushing for the last couple of months. Christian called and said he was available if I wanted to deliver mine to him and pick up his trades. Hey, that's OK with me. I always like to see other peoples bamboos and I had not been to his second small farm location. Digging out my contribution was hard work. Ended up with 75lb root balls on the end of three clumpers and then I added in a couple of small starts, so six plants going to him. Cut the ends of the canes off so they would fit into my E150 Ford van and left bamboo leaves sticking out around the back doors.
Christian was at his farm as arranged and turns out he has an acre and has almost finished building a new two storey wood frame home. Outside paint already on and a nice Bamboo mural on the exterior going from ground to roof line, real cool.
As arranged he had four different varieties of bamboos waiting for me but much smaller than my trades, so I suggested he threw in a fifth pot, which he readily agreed to, and now I have a new black bamboo variety. Turns out one of those others duplicated something I already had but you can't have too much when you do a free trade.
So today is hot and sunny and after doing domestic chores (Monday is domestic work day for my wife and I around the house) I can go and put in the new plants.
All the painting is finished for the man cave to be relocated and all the concrete foundation blocks are at the new site ready to be set out and levelled. Once that's done it should take about 3 hours to reconstruct the kit and job finished.
Pigs have been coming under the fences on the bottom 60 which is not surprising as I have yet to check the entire fence line. As long as they don't come in this side of 2nd gate I'm OK. The fence between the bridge and second gate is secure and easily monitored if they do decide to make a try. I'm going to mark the edge of trails on the bottom 60 with walking Iris. I have plenty and they are easy to put in the ground. Will pack them in a large plastic bag and carry them down Santa style. They don't seem to appeal to the pigs.
Still have to put the tarp over the original man cave in the forest but noticed plants growing on the roof so they have to be cleared before the tarp goes on over the rust tin sheets.
Also purchased a small tarp to setup way down the bottom of the property. Probably set up a tent shape over a tree branch type construction, really simple, just somewhere to dash to in the event of a shower.
Both tarps are Camo colored so may attract attention of Police helicopters when then overfly looking for Pakalolo growers.
Still lots of trimming to do around the house gardens. Amaryllis blooms numbers 4 and 5 are starting to develop. Numbers 2 & 3 are on the dining table. Nice red and a pale pink.
Weather guys say we have a stretch of good weather for the next week so hopefully will get some catching up done

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