Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Friday, 16 November 2012

Food for the Birds


Along the boundary of our back lawn are  the trees, Cordyline Australis, or the common name “ Cabbage Tree” ; they can grow to 20 metres tall, and flower in spring, After this there are thousands of small berries, turning from green to cream

Tui,bellbirds, starlings, sparrows, blackbirds and others flock to the trees to eat the fruit.

There is a saying “ If the Cabbage Tree flowers early, it will be a long hot summer”,the flowers are in full bloom right now. I will wait and see if our summer is indeed hot.

Cabbage Tree flowers

In a shaded part of the garden foxgloves thrive. The colours range from pale cream, delicate apricot, and deep purple. The bees like diving into the flower, and the flower is designed  so that when the  bee  goes in to get the nectar,  it will get pollen on its wings. Then when it visits the next plant, that pollen rubs off and another flower is pollinated.Nature is clever, innovative, and an artist in design.

Bumblebee perching on the Foxglove

This photo was one of many, as the Bumblebee visited almost every flower on this stem.

“ The rain has come, the grass has grown, Hugh is out getting it mown”.

And as for me, weeding, replanting the pots that had spring bulbs, planning  the summer flowers, and checking growth in the glasshouse, New bean seeds are germinating, the Yellow Submarine tomato plants are thriving, I might need to take them out when the flowers come,  to make sure the flowers are pollinated. More bees needed!!

Quotation of the day, from Robert Browning

Pippa Passes

The year’s at the spring and days at the morn;

Morning’s at seven;The hill-side’s dew-pearled;

The lark’s on the wing;The snail’s on the thorn:

God’s in his heaven- All’s right with the world !

Greetings from Jean


Gayle said...

A neighbor told me once that foxglove are poisonous so I've never grown them, but think they are just beautiful. Have you heard that?

How exciting the feeling of early summer is. And how odd that I'm in early winter... crazy how we live in such a big world that we enjoy different seasons at the same time. (I wish I was in summer although I'm starting to think that this "rest" time is much needed!!). :) Happy gardening.

Kat said...

Great quote, my friend. Your foxgloves photo is gorgeous! I don't know if I have seen a foxglove before, but what a beautiful purple color!

It will be winter here soon, though where I live in the US (South Florida) does not get the kind of "winter" that most people are used to. Enjoy your summer days and beautiful flowers!

Nancy J said...

Hi to you both in the North. Yes,Gayle, I did know they have poison in the sap,flowers,seeds and mainly the leaves, but they are very bitter.Stock very rarely eat them, and they are grown mostly in gardens.And some people are highly allergic to the seeds/pollen or sap in the stalks.6.30 a.m. 11C or about 53F.Dream on you in the frozen North, and Lorraine, never mind that your winter is not so cold!! Fond greetings from Jean

Michaele said...

As I sit here at the computer with my coat on and my fingers cold - I find encouragement in your blog of seasons too come. Enjoy!

Nancy J said...

Michaele, do you have those fingerless gloves, in merino fabric? I will do a photo of them, so good even here where we do not get the freezing days of the north.So good while at the laptop, keeps hands warm and fingers free to type!! Cheers from Jean.

Susan Heather said...

Your cabbage trees are slightly ahead of mine. Sounds as though Hugh is on the mend with the mention of him doing the mowing that is good to hear.

Note to self to get some foxgloves.

Lindsjö taxar said...

Hi Jean! You have great wheather for your garden....we are waiting for winter and more months to go for our garden to grow....

Jim said...

The Cabbage Tree is a very interesting one....what a treat for the birds!!
And the Foxglove.....they 'volunteer' around our garden in back every year. We usually don't know where the wind takes the seeds until the following spring. A beautiful flower indeed.
Enjoy the warmth of your garden and the sun, Jean.

Nancy J said...

We have had rain last night, the grass looks even greener, and all the flowers brighter. I think we planted just one foxglove some years ago, and now they are growing in lots of places, and different colours.I need to remember to leave the first year plants to flower the second year and grow on for several years maybe.Translations of "Digitalis" are.... relating to a finger,.. thimble...or glove like flowers.The story is the fox put the flowers on his feet to quieten his footsteps!! Lovely story. Cheers from Jean

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What an interesting tree and what beautiful Fox Gloves--They have long been one of my favorites, and I had them at my last home, and kept the seeds, I need to find them and plant them to enjoy too!

Here I Am/Carrie said...

It is so dull and grey and brown looking at my place now. So nice to seem some color at yours. Yes the work begins all over again for you. But the flowers that come and vegetable to harvest later are all well worth the work. I grow my tomatoes in my greenhouse all summer. I have to hand pollinate them with a paintbrush. I don't get as many tomatoes then nature can do, but at least I get something. Have a wonderful week.

Nancy J said...

My tomatoes are growing life triffids, and yes, I might have to hand pollinate if the bees do not go in, and I have found another 2 foxgloves, one is white,one pale lemon, photos to come when the flowers are truly open. It is windy and showery, so all outside work/labour,/ hard slog!!! is over for the day. Take care in the North. Cheers from Jean

Eggs In My Pocket said...

With me living in the states......Texas, I often forget that while it is cooling down here, you are enjoying nature waking up for you. Such pretty blossoms! Although we are close to our winter time, in this area, there are still wildflowers and some of my flowers in bloom.