The threesome in the bottom of the garden is just not working out well, or not for my lonesome lady kiwiberry anyway.
Most kiwi fruit are dioecious – to produce fruit you need both male and female plants. Commercial producers have maybe one staminate pollinator to eight fruit-bearing pistillate plants. In our garden, there isn’t enough space for such large scale polygamy. All in all, the plant sex around here is playing into the hands of the social conservatives.
The couply-couply Sweetie kiwifruits in the “solar pergola” have done their baby-making (with a little bit of help from me). Inspired by their example, the Mt Tomah Red kiwiberry is now in bloom. But it’s just not happening for Hairy Hayward, her pollinator (or his lovely vigorous and hairy wife). It takes chillier weather to get their blood up, I reckon.
I’m not quite sure what should happen next. Mr Sweetie has done his dash fertilisation-wise this year. I have no shame – I am willing to act like a bee and transport the good stuff around the garden but I’ve gotta have something to work with. Perhaps internet dating is the way to go: “Would like to meet: generous pollen-laden male kiwifruit. A love of warm weather essential. Variety and nectar-production unimportant. Must be willing to reproduce immediately. No time-wasters please”
She may not have a fully functioning pollinator, but Mt Tomah Red does have a new BFF. A teenaged possum has snuck into the marsupial sunroom – between an old pane of glass above the barely used airconditioner and the boarded up window behind it. I don’t think he realises it’s like the Big Brother house in there: he might feel like he’s having a secluded nap amongst the kiwi vines but in reality anyone hanging out the washing can look in and catch him snoring. And if he’s hoping that Madam Tomah Red is going to provide him with a sequence of midnight snacks, he’s mistaken there as well.