But even more magical, are the plants which show up, of their own accord. It's propagation by nature - and I can appreciate how other animals go about their business (literally) and move seed around for me. Especially after a well-known parent plant, dies.
July 2012 - parent passionfruit vine
note the silver foliage, of the wormwood (front - centre)
Take the passionfruit vine, in the background of the above picture. It was a splendid producer, with minimal care by us, but it needed more room, than we had beside the chicken coop. So we removed it one year, in preparation to install some new hugelkultur beds in the vegetable area, below.
See part 1 and part 2, of those particular hugelkultur installations.
I attempted to take a few of the remaining fruits, and scatter their seeds around the garden - in hopes more plants would emerge. All but one, didn't make it!
April 2016 - new vine
It was the least likely specimen, I thought would survive, as it came up in an arid area with minimal moisture. I knew it wouldn't survive long, so I relocated it under this acacia tree. I hear these trees are great for allowing passionfruit vines to invade, as they're a nitrogen fixing tree. The passionfruit benefits, as the tree goes into decline - lapping up all that nitrogen near its roots.
I'm happy to say, this vine survived the killer summer temps we had, due to the shade of the hardy native tree. Mulching with coffee grounds and twigs, helped in part, too. I expect this one will be putting out fruit by next growing season. Complete with it's pre-grown, natural trellis.
Much to my surprise however, I found another vine had popped-up in a secret location.
Surprise vine #1
The passionfruits which fell to the ground, on the old vine, were often hauled around the garden, by the brush turkeys or native rats. What seed wasn't dispersed as they were ransacked, were pooped out later. This passionfruit vine, was the result of nature's special propagation tactics - using other animals for seed dispersal.
This is one of the benefits of having brush turkey's in your yard! They pick at your food plants (annoying when they dig them up entirely) and move seed around in their digestive tract. Eventually leaving little nuggets of seeds, waiting for the next rains to germinate them.
Surprise vine #2 - that wormwood again!
Another passionfruit vine emerged from underneath the wormwood bush, near the other one. Which I only noticed, when it's leaves emerged at the top.
So nature managed to illicit several animals, to take the abundance of fruit drop and turn them into several new plants. Two plants, to my one, actually! So I'm happy for the help, and accept the good with the bad as far as living with brush turkey's is concerned. Boy, they can be destructive. But they do play an important part in nature too.
Which is why as much as they annoy me (digging up my seedlings) we find a way to live with them. We're all in this propagation business, together.