Friends in North America, we remember so well the changes as August draws to a close– the garden abundance needing harvesting and processing; the slowing of growth and flowering as the mornings turn cooler; the giving up on this year’s garden and the mental shift toward “next year we will….”, and of course the urgency of yard and home preparations for a certain season coming soon.
Here in the southern hemisphere we are not as familiar with the cycles and seasons. It certainly hasn’t felt like the winter we know, although there has been a wintry quality about the sun – even if the days do warm up. And the winter gardens are still full of life, despite that we have only experienced rain once since we arrived 7 weeks ago.
There have been subtle signs of change in the air and in the stores – though not as dramatic as what we’re used to from ND! Nights over the past two weeks were not as cold and if one really takes note the daylight hours have increased by about 20 minutes. Hot water bottles and fleece blankets have gone on sale; September magazines feature stories on “spring projects.” Grass is beginning to grow a bit and some trees are swelling with buds.
I find it endlessly fascinating how much growth is present even under such severe conditions. Look at how these plants and trees look weathered and hardened but have such robust leaves, flowers, or colors!
(Above: Poinsettias grow to tree height!)
It seems we will forever battle the wildlife no matter where we locate- only here it’s not rabbits and squirrels, but rather birds. Check out this lovely papaya tree in our backyard putting out fruit. Couldn’t they just leave one for us to try!?
Just like home, we decided citrus bags might do the trick. After borrowing a ladder, Scott managed to cover up three fruits. Now, we wait for them to ripen.
We have been enjoying the citrus season with oranges and grapefruit in abundance and cheap. But we have certainly never picked lemons right off a neighborhood tree! This was the project on a recent Saturday. The work of squeezing by hand definitely makes the end product taste even more satisfying!
You may remember the neighbor’s bush we had been watching for new growth. Turns out it is a rose; I wonder what color!
And here is a peak in the gate of the same neighbor’s backyard.
Our garden, which does not resemble this one at all, is just on the other side of the brick wall. Though not as tidy, ours does have plenty of things flowering.
And look at this on our backyard tree, one of those trendy “air plants” that sell in floral shops in the US for big bucks- but this one is enormous!