Archive for May, 2013

Correas on show

Is it any wonder why I love these Australian natives! Now that it’s getting rather cold and everything else in the garden seems to be either dying or heading into winter dormancy, my correas are growing and starting to produce masses of flowers which will continue all winter. They really take the edge off the late autumn/winter lull. Previously my favourite correa has been “Marion’s Marvel”, however this year one of my new “Alba” plants has started to flower and it really looks remarkable! It may be my new favourite. But I suppose when there is competition for what flower/plant amazes you the most, it can never be a bad thing…

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alba 2


alba 3


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calycina 2


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“Fire bird”
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“Fire bird”

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“Chef’s hat”

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“Chef’s hat”

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“Chef’s hat”

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“Marion’s Marvel”

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“Marion’s Marvel”

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“Marion’s Marvel” planted in the front yard

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“Marion’s Marvel” (front yard)

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“Dusky Bells” in the front yard

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“Dusky Bells”

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first gardening photo

I had to giggle when I stumbled across this photo when searching for something on my computer. This is my very first attempt at gardening. Tomato seedlings – growing under a sunny (and yet to be renovated) window. As I thought only a few would germinate, so I had put lots of seeds in these little tubs (recycled fruit cups with no drainage! Ahh the inexperience) I ended up with 32 healthy cherry tomato seedlings that year, each individually nurtured and I completely fell in love with the experience. Small beginnings…

The front yard cleared
The front yard cleared

As we head into May and the temperatures start to quickly decline, I was reminded that the window of opportunity for my usual autumn overhaul will soon be closed. A day to complete my usual overhaul of the garden was essential. Weeding always seems to me to be the housework of the garden – really doesn’t take that long, but it’s amazingly easy to find ways of putting it off. And this year was no exception – the garden was almost looking like I was growing only weeds! Once I had gotten around to clearing all the now dead summer plants and removing all the weeds (and filling two compost bins in the process), I was left once again with the semi-empty template on which I could start to plan and plant out the winter garden.

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With each season and year that passes the better I get to know my plot. I know which areas get the best sun, or struggle to get any sun, where the snails will surely hunt first, or what is first viewed upon entering the yard, or from each window. Because of this it was already clear in my head where each seedling needed to go to get the garden to work this year – all that was left was to make it happen. After turning over the soil a little and adding some compost – the seedlings went in easily and extremely quickly. I’ll find out in the coming months whether a bit more time and structure to my planting would have paid off…

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The back patch however did take a bit longer to plan out in my mind, as I’ve never planted winter veggies there before. Needless to say the raised veggie patch we’ve planned is still not in, so the space is still mine to roam free with. I’ve spent many mornings staring at the patch with a cup of coffee drawing different ideas in my head. As usual the part of my brain that seems to yell “plant everything!!” always seems to win.

I’ve planted a row of broad beans at the back, which I can tie against the cucumber trellis still up from summer. In front of this I’ve put a mixed row of cauliflower and broccoli seedlings, finished with a mix of wombok and kale seedlings at the front. If I can get things to survive away from the snails long enough, I think I’ll be the best maximiser of the space and sun.
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I added some sugar snap, snow and sweat peas into pots with stakes to help them climb and topped everything with pea straw. Then I’d done it – both front and back autumn overhauls completed in a day! Absolutely buggered, all that was left was to head inside to find some wine…