Sunday, July 05, 2009

RAU-TI and other garden friends
The other day, Bernie and I were sitting on the front verandah, and noticed that the Rau-ti bushes were all in glorious bloom.

I was about to get my camera, but was distracted, and did not think of it again until the next day. Unfortunately some wind and rain had meant that the blooms were past their best by then, but they are still so very beautiful.
The Rau-ti plants, members of the Dracaena family, are found throughout the Pacific Islands, and are extremely useful as well as decorative. The Polynesians have used the long, broad leaves for making "skirts". leis and headgear, and other decorative purposes. I notice that our Fijian friends favour it to line serving dishes.

They can be used to wrap around food that is to be baked in an oven or on a fire. The root can be used as a food, but it is far more popular when fermented to produce a highly potent alcoholic beverage!!

Devon has many Rau-ti plants scattered around, both the red and green variety. This is partly because it was one of Bernie's mother's favourite plants. She always had a cutting or two sitting in water in a big jardiniere in the kitchen fireplace. They are easy to strike, and as soon as they had developed roots, they would go out into the woodland or the garden.

Bernie and I have carried on the tradition, although we tend to place the stalks in a garbage bin of water at the side of the house. Gradually we have spread them further through the woodland, as well as the road frontage and some of the bushes have become really big.

You can imagine how the bees love these blossoms!

But yesterday, I saw a lovely butterfly enjoying them too!

I don't know if it is the time of year, but the 'Nutmeg' bush (Iboza)in front of the house has burst out into very similar fluffy blossoms!

Meanwhile, I was ready last month with my camera to capture the old Persimmon tree, beside Devon Cottage, in all its Autumn glory this year. I am usually too slow to get it at its best, but I managed to get this shot before the wind and rain produced a carpet of red and gold on the ground!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Very nice, I enjoy seeing all of your different plants and flowers.

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