Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in May 2015

The last few months haven’t been very exciting in the garden.

This month again it’s rained most days, but my rainwater supply lasts about three days, so even when I have had to water I haven’t had to use the hose at all.

I notice on occasions that the duranta has blue coloured bees visiting it.  They are the same size as regular bees, but blue.  They only really seem to be interested in the duranta, which has blue flowers.

Sometimes I also see micro-bees.  They are really tiny bees – that seem to behave like ordinary bees.

The other day I noticed while strolling along Gurney Drive – and also another day on Northam Road – that the big trees are numbered and labelled with their botanical names.

trees on Gurney Drive are numbered and labelled with their botanical names

trees on Gurney Drive are numbered and labelled with their botanical names

trees on Gurney Drive are numbered and labelled with their botanical names

trees on Gurney Drive are numbered and labelled with their botanical names

I don’t know when they did this. Nothing to do with my garden, but interesting.

Earlier this month I pulled out all the pumpkin vines as they weren’t producing any full size pumpkins. Time perhaps to give the soil a rest. Now I just have passion fruit and green leaf plants. Strangely I have one actual passion fruit growing. It’s green, but full size now.

The papaya growing on actual ground that I commandeered are doing well.  Except for the lone survivor of the great flood, which doesn’t seem to grow at all.

papaya and plumbago

papaya and plumbago – survived the great flood, but doesn’t grow

papaya

papaya is growing well

papaya

papaya growing nicely

A couple of them have flowers and even a micro-papaya. Normally there are many false starts where a papaya grows to half an inch or an inch, and then turns yellow and drops off.  Finally, later, you find they start to grow to full size.

I wanted to grow a papaya in a pot for decoration.  They don’t seem to fruit in pots.  So I grew a great many from seeds, culling them to the three biggest.  They were growing well until one morning I noticed that all the nice new leaves had been eaten by something. I found a small bird feather, so that’s my suspect.

bird attack

bird attack

I put a net over the pot, which I hope will do the trick.

net to discourage birds

net to discourage birds

There is a tiny amount of growth now, so I hope all three will survive.  A pity – they were so healthy before the attack.

With all the rain, naturally the mock orange are happy.

so much rain, so many flowers

so much rain, so many flowers

The local limes which grew from seed are thriving.

lucky lime

lucky lime

The Bougainvillea are doing well, as usual.

burgeoning bougainvillea

burgeoning Bougainvillea

And the hibiscus is happy.

happy hibiscus

happy hibiscus

That’s all, folks.

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