The Forest Garden

yellow flower
I like to take pictures to document the changes on our property. One area I haven't documented yet is the hillside where I am creating a forest garden. There is a picture of me working in the area on this blog post - The other day I took many pictures of the landscape and in particular I wanted to get a few photos of the wild yellow sunflowers. Every weed, other than grass and vines, is being auditioned to see if it can work in the garden. Before I knew what these were I had to restrain myself from cutting them down because they were growing tall very fast. One day I did chop a few down until I saw a praying mantis on one and decided to let them grow. Now the plants are blooming and some of them are 12 feet tall. While I was looking for a flower to photograph I saw this one with two interesting bugs mating and a small spectator of another type on the sideline.

This picture is of a small mango tree I planted from seed. In the right foreground is a pineapple plant and in the left back the lower part of one of the gigantic Mexican sunflower plants. You can see that the perennial peanut ground cover is filling in nicely.

The forest garden area already has five large fruit bearing trees, I think they are a type of Sura tree. In May they flower and fill the area with a heavenly scent for about a week. Now the small yellow fruit is ripe and falling to the ground by the thousands. Flocks of different types of birds and many squirrels have been coming and going through the trees, eating the fruit, for weeks. The fruit on the ground has attracted an incredible number of fruit flies. One day I even saw a blue morpho butterfly enjoying the fallen fruit. The tree is on the right side of this picture. The fruit is probably edible for humans, but I don't think it's worth the effort to harvest the good ones from the tree. These trees will be a food source for the wild animals which will in turn help to fertilize the ground below.