I thought for this blog post I would post some photos of the harakeke plant that I am cleaning at the moment. The plant has lots of muka so is good for making piupiu and is a good length and strong so is also great for whariki. Yay!

harakeke close up 2

harakeke close up 2

Initially I thought I would use it for making flax paper. I still can but now I will use it mainly for weaving whariki and share it with other weavers who may want to utilise it. I am still to plant this type at home so once I have cleaned it out, I will bring some home!

The harakeke plant has always fascinated me not only because it is a plant that my ancestors readily used in their everyday life but also for its beauty. Most of the photos that I have taken have been from inside the plant looking out or down low looking up.

harakeke close up

harakeke close up

There is something about this view that appeals to me and with anything in nature it reminds me that there is something out there that is bigger than me.

Enjoy the photos! You can also see more of my harakeke photos at flickr and some of my flax paper art work at http://jotito.wordpress.com.

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My Magic Garden Refreshed

It’s been nearly a month since I last posted here! The year has gone so fast and sometimes I wish I could slow the days down… calendula blooming

And our magic garden has grown so much!

A few updates:

We have harvested some of our hue (gourds). Yay! Unfortunately a couple have rotted but that’s ok we will still get some hue that we will be able to work with. And they are a perfect size! I will post some photos of these harvested ones on my next post.

Our kamokamo patch has been producing lots of yummy kamokamo and has been the most productive vegetable in our garden to date followed by our self-seeding tomatoes which initially popped up in the backyard and the front. Amazing how seeds can plant themselves! So those are still happening!

And the calendula plants have produced beautiful yellow and orange flowers! We have harvested some and are drying the petals and leaves for future use.

the unusual unidentified red plant

The red unusual looking plant that I still don’t know what it is has grown into a small tree – amazing! I would love to know what it is! Someone got any ideas? Check out the photo.

The dandelions are coming and going as the lawns are mowed and have given us beautiful oil that we made ourselves for Teia’s eczema skin. It is working a treat!

All the flowers are blooming which is fantastic and the sunflowers are growing taller! We probably planted them a bit too late in the season and we have less sun these days but they have come away nicely.

And the harakeke plants that I planted last year have now got one or two extra leaves except for one which was accidently run over by the lawn mower! I have re-planted it and we’ll soon see how hardy these plants actually are. I’m 80% sure it will come away again. I know this plant, it’s very resilient! Even to lawn movers!

I’ve dug up some bulbs to make way for our raspberry vine which we just planted at the end of last year. We probably won’t see fruit until the end of this year so we will wait with baited breath and hungry pukus!

The apples! Yes the apples! We have two trees: one produces green apples and the other red apples and they have given us some really GOOD apples this year. We have made many an apple muffin, crumble and loaf! And they have been good to munch on their own. We are really wrapped with the apples as last year we didn’t get as many.

geranium magic

geranium magic

The fejoa, mandarin and orange trees are doing dandy and we will definitely have oranges again this year. The mandarin tree is still a bit small but there looks like signs of it baring fruit! It was given to us by our neighbour – bless his giving soul!

And the herb garden has been adding a wonderful aroma to the garden! Fennel, marjoram, parsley, mint, chives, lemon balm and thyme are all there! And I recently bought a stevia plant which is now ready to pot!

I can’t remember if I talked about our swan plant in previous posts but initially we had lots of eggs being laid on the plants to turn into caterpillars and then into monarch butterflies. We soon realised that the caterpillars were magically disappearing, they would get to a certain fatness (fat enough to eat!) and then they would disappear.

Just the other day I went to check the plant out and saw a grasshopper in the act, literally stripping the caterpillars’ black and yellow layer back! I was horrified! This is where they were all going! So I have cut the swan plant for now and am allowing for it to come away again. It was full of aphids as well so it’s having a fresh start! And we are going to guard it will our lives this time!




While weeding the garden yesterday, I found a chrysalis! Yes!! Success! After all that time we didn’t think we would be seeing a butterfly from our swan plant – it was a lovely surprise! So we are waiting in anticipation of this butterfly’s awakening and birth into this world…we’ll have video ready!

That’s about it for now – the big update! Next time I won’t leave it for so long although a month is a great time period to see change…until next time and don’t forget to check out my other blogs – Peace 2009 and My Mixed Lolly Bag. See you there.


Jo 🙂

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There’s an albino living in my magic garden?

Check out this photo. our gourds growing in the garden!

These are the hue (gourds) that are growing in our garden. We have at least ten now and they are  thriving!  Look at the hue on the right. Does it look a bit white to you? Out of all the hue growing, this one is the odd one out. It is nearly white! When it first started growing it was nothing out of the ordinary but as it got bigger the whiter it became. I’ve never seen anything like it! I found a definition of what an “albino” is:

a person with congenital albinism (from Latin albus, “white”): white hair and milky skin; eyes are usually pink.

There were other definitions similar to this but I highlight the word “person”. Now I am not sure if albinism extends to other forms of life including plants but right now I believe that it does.

Take  a look at this image.

It looks pretty white to me! I’ve looked at all the possibilities of why it might be white. I thought, maybe they start off white before they become green but no, we have tiny plants in the garden now and they are definitely green!

Has anyone out there seen this before?

When I think about it, plants and the way that they form are not that much different to humans and how we procreate. The female joins with the male to form the new plant – its as simple as that! So perhaps albinism extends to plants also?

All I can say about this is – my magic garden IS REALLY MAGIC!

I can’t believe I’m blogging about this! Anyway…

Don’t forget to check out my new blog post of my latest artwork at http://jotito.wordpress.com You’ll see my hand-made sustainable creations made with all natural materials.

And if you are wondering how to add a bit of inner peace to your 2009 – check out my peace 2009 blog.

Off to enjoy the day – its 32 degrees outside!

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there’s a hue in our magic garden!

I thought it would be great to submit a couple of photos of our hue (gourd) that are now growing….fast! Here are the latest…enjoy!

hue close-up

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hue magic

hue patterns

We had a great downpour yesterday. It was just enough to put some green back into the grass and give our magic garden some much needed sustenance.

Today I pollinated three of our hue (gourd) plants.

We’ve been waiting for thehue gourd calabash ipu female flowers to open as the male flowers have been open for a while and they have been waiting patiently too! Sounds familiar – man is always waiting on woman!

Nature is SO amazing…I am constantly fascinated by the many patterns and colours of nature that are so intricate…sometimes I wonder. How could a leaf come from a small seed and grow into something so beautiful? To look at, to touch and to feel…

Armed with camera in hand these are the latest shots. Enjoy!

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photos of my magic garden

I thought it’s about time I uploaded some photos of my magic garden – so here they are!

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Watch what you ask for you might just get it!


I originally established my weed garden in one spot but now I have weed gardens
everywhere! I thought since they are growing in different spots around the place then I will just watch them grow where they are and see what happens. And they are not so bushy and over grown being in many places…

And it gives space where the original weed garden was to plant more natives..thats a great idea!

So watch what you ask for, you might just get it!

Ka kite ano,
Jo 🙂

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