Thursday, 1 September 2016

Paradise found!

I am back from Paradise World aka Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

My plants survived, well most of them.
Chickens dug up one parsley, one sage and one carex, but I just put them back.

I must tell you about the coconut palms as they are called over there the 'tree of life'. Unfortunately they do not grow well here in Auckland, but in the Cook Islands, they are like manna from God. The record for the fastest coconut tree climb is 7 seconds. (For a medium sized tree). A new coconut from which fresh juice can be drunk is called 'nu'. Then older ones you can have milk or make cream. The husks can be burned to repel mozzies. The leaves are used to make all sorts of things from hats to baskets to fans, watches, (on island time), the coconut shell  bras... a coconut tree can reach fruiting in five years. To open one, you need a sharp stick or tap it with a knife it can crack open.

Of course you may know this already but really they are nutty about coconuts there.
The place I was staying unfortunately had no hammocks which I must make a suggestion that they put some in although I did see some elsewhere.

Other plants of interest were hibiscus which gives you fresh flower every day to wear, gardenia (also known as tiare, or cape jasmine) for fresh leis, purple ivy as an interesting ground cover, and frangipani. There are cordylines but they are not like our cabbage trees being slimmer and different colours. But Coconut is King.

I wish I could have stayed longer to check out their botanic garden but there was a very lush garden at the Rarotongan spa entrance with a beautiful water feature with purple water lilies, fruit salad plants, bromeliads, ferns and coconut palms that I recall impressed me.
My stay was at the Edgewater where we had a garden room, which overlooked the gardens which you can see in these photos....