Monday, November 29, 2010

I turn my back for five minutes...

I focus about as well as Imogen's cardboard tube that she uses as a telescope. With final exams over the last couple of weeks, plus an assignment due I had to really push myself to concentrate on study. Now it's all over bar the shouting and in a few weeks I should have my results.

When Imogen was born, an income took on a whole new meaning. Manufacturing was rapidly dwindling in Australia as imports from Asia were just too cheap to compete with and with another mouth to feed I decided to expand my horizons and spent the next three and a half years finishing work in the afternoon and heading off to class, finishing between 9 and 9.30 before heading home.

It has been really hard, but ultimately really worth the effort. And now, with the longer summer nights upon us I get to come home and see my family and potter in my garden once again.

And boy does it need it. It's been longer than five minutes, but still the degradation is amazing. These are but a few examples.

 Half the veggie bed has succumbed to the heat.

And the rest has gone to seed.

 But then an amazing thing happened. Super-girl arrived to help save the day.

 We used her gardening muscle and soon had things in order.

Super-girl and I removed some failures and some onion weed and planted some Escallonia Iveyi, ( the one with the white flowers), and some Berberis, (the red foliage). When it grows it should fill the area and prop up the purple fountain grass. I also put in a Japanese maple. Never had one before, so I hope I've done it right.

I put the "door" on the veggie patch to stop the long hot afternoon sun from doing damage, and tidied it up, keeping what could be kept and planting new where the old had been removed. It's not generally planing season, but the weird weather has made it far more amenable to plant new plants that should be able to take root well in all the rain.

My buxus japonica, now around 10 months old, has reached a stage where I can begin to shape it. I think it will be next season before it is a proper hedge though.

 And finally, the lawn which was a barren desert when we moved in has started to look better.I keep lawn to a minimum, but what I have I like to look good.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Garden bloggers bloom day

Two more weeks of exams and I'll be back in blog land catching up on your gardens. I really miss the opportunity to look over what you're doing, and e-chatting with some of the friends I've made. But study calls and this is the culmination of three years of being away from my family at nights sitting in a classroom. I can't wait for it to be over, but I can't chance cocking it up either.

My present from Alison last Christmas was my raised veggie bed. Putting in some veggies and seeing them come to fruition under my amateur ministration was the impetus for me to start gardening in earnest. Ernest took umbrage at this so I decided to use the yard to fulfill my garden needs.  Some therapy later and Ernest and I are on talking terms again.

Keeping up with what is changing or evolving is made all the easier by joining Gardening bloggers bloom day thanks to May Dreams Gardens. It gives me the opportunity to take a nice monthly hard look at what is growing, what is struggling and what just needs to be moved or removed. It's a diary of what is happening on my little plot.

And now to the blooms.

This is Ptilotus. The P is sadly silent as in Ptolemy, so no spitting at inquiries from interested onlookers. I have fallen in love. When I marry it we will have children with fluffy purple moustaches.
 Petunias in hanging baskets make a lovely show.
 Marigold in the veggie bed helps keep bugs at bay.
 This one was included last month, but has rewarded me with a second spike.

 The Mad Hatter is beautiful.

 The strawberries hold promise.
 Another native. Snake vine or Hibertia Scandens.

 This is an Australian native ground-cover. That little flower is the first wave of what will be an inundation in a week or two.

 Pyrethrum daisy also in the veggie bed as a bug deterrent.

 Even the chives under the roses are starting to flower.

 I swear I bought the blue agapanthus. Maybe some spray paint would help?


 Hebe Jeebie recently taken from the garden bed where it was struggling.

 The salvia has started.
 Underplanting of the Wollemi Pine.

Enjoy bloom day.