It isn’t summer but I have passionfruit

I have posted previously about how we had difficulty in finding a passionfruit plant that would grow in our garden but we eventually succeeded with Norfolk Island Black.

During the summer months we had flowers that did eventually turn into fruit but we are still waiting for them to ripen.  As you can see from the photo the fruit looks ok but the exterior is still green.  We are now in the last month of winter, maybe they will be ripe when we get more sun in the spring?  Any ideas on that?


Some serious garden renovation

We have two vegetable garden beds and they have not been producing as well as they should and we had finally decided that the reason for that is the invasion of roots from the pittosporum hedge.

I have completely dug up one bed and am now in the process of doing the same to the second bed.  It has taken a great deal of hard work to dig down deep and remove all the offending roots.  It is amazing that the roots have penetrated all the way along the bed from the hedge to the other end.  It was a miracle that anything had managed to grow at all although weeds seem to have no difficulty.

You can see from this shot that I am about half way along the second bed so I should get it finished in another day.

I have now completed the digging and have managed to get some seedlings and seeds planted.  I also transplated some of my strawberry plants.  I reduced the number of plants by about half.  I also transplanted the parsley and it seems to be doing fine.  Those are peas under the netting as we have an issue with bower birds eating our plants.


Tartan and Tweed

One of my recent borrowings from the local library was this wonderful book entitled Tartan and Tweed.

Tartan and Tweed, a well illustrated book, gives the history of tartan and tweed from their beginnings in the Scottish Highlands to their popularity and use in contemporary fashion design, music, art and film.

When they were talking about personalities and their use of tartan I was tempted to Google the Vogue cover to see the actual illustration that was mentioned in the book as Ewan Mcgregor is one of my favourite actors.

“Both tweed and tartan are fabrics with a strong cultural identity and history. But they have been reinvented to create multiple meanings, particularly when used in street fashions and in haute couture to mimic or parody the aristocracy, and to act as a subversive symbol of rebellion. . . . . It follows the early popularity of tartan and tweed including the fabrics’ connections from crofters and clans to aristocracy, and looks at tweed’s dramatic recovery during an economic crisis and its subsequent re-invention as desirable luxury fashion fabric.

The book explores the use of tartan and tweed in fashion in the collections of leading designers including Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Chanel who have used these textiles in a fresh, subversive way.

I am now searching for biographies of the various designers mentioned as this book has sparked my interest.  I have read Coco Chanel’s biography but will search out the others.

Here are a couple of interesting quotes from the book:

“Maybe part of the reason behind tartan’s eternal popularity is that it’s a fabric for both the Establishment and the rebel.”  (p 54 Tartan + Tweed)

“Tartan is a lot more than misty glens, bagpipes, haggis and shortbread – it can be rebellious, masculine and cool.  Its colours can be loud or harmonious, autumnal or vivid.  It’s a fabric for musicians, pop stars and coquettes, for fashionable 1950s New Yorkers or Shoreditch hipsters, and it has transcended its origins as a fabric of the Highlands to reach out around the world. . . . .It would be reasonable to say it’s the most politicized of cloths – there is no other fabric that acts as such a nationalistic symbol for a particular country while also evoking countless meanings and interpretations.” ( p 54 Tartan + Tweed)   

I have mentioned the use of tartan in a previous post a few years back.  It also gives you a look at some modern kilts.