Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mr P. to the Rescue

Revived passionfruit vines
A couple of months ago I noticed that something had been munching my passionfruit.  Two of the plants looked completely dead and the other was just hanging in there.  Well it's come back to life!  I gave it a few doses of seasol and that didn't seem to do much but to the rescue came Mr. P.

Mr P. is our Italian neighbour with a big, rambling veggie patch at his place and he's just started to clear a couple of patches in the overgrown vacant block between us with veggies too (he owns it mind!)  He's got a goat wandering about keeping the weeds and everything else in a bit of control, an illegal rooster, a couple of chooks and lots of cats which he claims aren't theirs but he feeds anyway.  And he always has advice for me on the garden.

He doesn't often visit our garden, mostly we chat out in the street, but he came over a few weeks ago to see our silkies and admire Monkey Man's chook shed.  He complimented me in a typical, kinda gruff way on the progress I'd made.  Before I started working on the garden a few years ago I remember him saying that the old lady who used to live here would rotate in her grave to see how Monkey Man had neglected it!  But he was impressed with my tomato plants - two metres tall, lots of fruit (better than his I believe!) My climbing wall, constructed following his instructions from last year, was not quite up to chop apparently and he spent a bit of time fixing that up.  He also wasn't too happy at my haphazard planting - things need rows and furrows and lots more water.   He pulled some basil from pots and re-planted it in rows in a patch of ground and then took a look at my passionfruit tsk-tsking his tongue.  He declared that it would never do any good like that and set to work fixing it.

Firstly, he snipped off all the dead branches that I had left just hanging about.  Not sure what I was thinking leaving them there but that passionfruit had disappointed me and I was hoping it'd maybe fix itself.  Next he commanded me to find him some long bamboo stakes and he went back home to collect big, hammering instruments - apparently Monkey Man's were inadequate.  Before I knew it, he'd erected this roofy climby thing beside the shed wall, dangerously close to the clothes line and had weaved the passionfruit vines onto it.  
In the process he'd also trampled my silverbeet growing beneath but hey who's complaining.  So I've learnt a few tricks again from Mr. P.   Chop off the dead bits and give things some space to grow.  Now a few weeks later my passionfruit has sprung to life and ... what's that I spottted yesterday?  I believe it is a passionfruit flower my first - yippee!


  1. Ciao Bella! Senore P il giardiniero extraordinaro! Tu una donna molto fortunata. Per favore excusa la mia italiana ...Sono una skippy! Arrivedrci!

  2. Yeay! Congrats on your first passion fruit flower! Luckily you have Mr P to help you make things right again! May you have many many more flowers and fruits!

  3. Thanks p3chandan I hope I get fruit. Hazel - I have no Italian at all but bizarrely I'm pretty sure I understand your comment - thanks!

  4. Don´t mess with Mr P. It is amazing the different tricks that people have that work. My mom just slung a passionfruit vine in the ground with a length of chooky wire behind it to encourage it´s vertical growth. It then latched onto the patio and went wild.

    Congrats on your first flower...may there be plenty of delish fruit to follow.

    Thanks Mr. P!

  5. That's really fabulous VG, I hope the passionfruit revival was worth the sacrifice of the silverbeet!

  6. Hey, hey, that's wonderful! So glad you have a Mr. P. nearby. I can't even imagine being able to grow passionfruit here in my snowy garden...enjoy!

  7. Don't they say that WHO you know is more important than WHAT you know? Everyone needs a Mr P! [Ali has Bob the Builder; Hazel has Brian the Pump man...] I seem to be missing out!

  8. Yes everyone it is nice to have a neighbor like Mr P. Hope you all have one of your own. Ali, luckily he didn't completely ruin the silverbeet - they're struggling on.


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