Showing posts from April, 2013

Wandering through the garden, camera in hand

I had a little time over the weekend to plant out some of my little seedlings, and give the garden a good drink of seaweed tea.   The honeyeaters have a great time when there are little droplets of water of the plants, and they seem to chatter back and forth excitedly - way too fast for my camera.  In the shady area alongside the path this lovely little bush has started flowering.  I have forgotten what it is called, so for now it is just the white butterfly bush.  It doesn't really attract butterflies, but the flowers remind me of a butterfly. I used to have a plant with blue flowers just like this when I lived and gardened in Florida USA.  I also have another plant settling in - it is like a mini caladium.  These areas of white are great in the shady garden - they seem to pop right out at you.  The pink ginger is going great guns, and in fact I still have to cut some of these branches back as it is quite overgrown.  They always look a little dirty, though. Also in th

A kookaburra keeping an eye on my veggie patch

We often used to get kookaburra's sitting on the fence posts, but since my neighbour decided to grow a hibiscus hedge that towers above the fence, we have not had our regular visitors. We have them in the area since we are alongside a creek and every evening is filled with them calling to each other - roll call I suppose!    I don't think there is a more Australian sound, and their laughing just makes me smile. Yesterday I went around the corner to water my seedlings, and saw, perched on one of my new veggie supports .... A kookaburra!  He was not worried about my presence, and I was glad to see that my plant supports remained firm and stable.  He was looking up into the tree, I am not sure what he was looking at.  then he got bored with posing and turned his back on me. I am always pleased to see birds in my backyard, and glad that they now have a new place to perch as they survey the surrounding area. 

Finding treasures in the garden and bringing them inside

As I mentioned previously, the back section was getting rather overgrown, so I ventured into the heleconia/ginger section with my loppers.   Heleconia stalks flower and then die, so I decided to cut back some of the flowering branches and bring them inside. These red heleconias are my favourite, and I am so glad that they are now flowering profusely.  I need to figure out how to divert the new shoots so that they remain inside the bed, and I think continually cutting away the dying branches will allow the room for them to stay contained.  There is still way more to cut back, but for now I am enjoying flowers in the house.   The sexy pink ladies are so hard to put into an arrangement - maybe it would have looked better with another one in the center instead of the cordeline.  I was cutting back the lemongrass and found this tiny creature -  his skin had a metallic sheen to it.  I am still trying to find a way to make the perfect lemongrass tea.  I dried some leaves and will use t

Getting the soil ready

At the change of the season I always seem to have some crops that don't seem willing to move along, so that I can rip them out!  The Rosella were like that this year. They took up the front half of the bed where I plant  most of my veggies. They were inundated with some kind of bug, and it did not look as though they were going to produce flowers or fruit, so in the end I ripped them out. Some wet season plants are only now starting to fruit - notably the loofas!  This has been a  strange year with the wet season running late. Already the temperature has moderated and the humidity has dropped so it is lovely outside, although we are still getting a fair amount of rain.   I dug out the few sweet potatoes that I had planted - there were one or two tiny ones that the grubs did not get - a very disappointing crop.  The big bin against the fence started out with just shredded leaves, but has had cuttings and seaweed added over time since the lychee tree was pruned and my leaf supp

Making the garden seem bigger than it is - landscaping tricks learned along the way

I was talking to my neighbour the other day and she said that a visitor had commented on the lychee tree in their back yard.  They don't have a lychee tree - we do!  Because we grow the same type of plants along our fence lines both of us can use the illusion that our gardens are bigger than they actually are. This large tree and the palm trees are in her garden, but who would know?  The heleconias and gingers are a bit overgrown now and are going to have to be cut back to contain them, but I also don't want to lose the illusion of space.  Once a heleconia stalk has flowered, it dies, and sends out another stalk.  So the ones that have already flowered are taking up use-able real estate.  This bed is full of these lovely big red heleconias.  The red ginger are way too cramped and overgrown.  Here you see them from both sides of the fence.   There is a little path that leads just to the back fence, but because the fence is not visible one might think it leads further

Wicking pots and worm bed system for Solanacea

This year I am going to add some polystyrene boxes to plant tomatoes in.  Large tomatoes don't do well here - we have bacterial wilt in the soil, and I think a myriad other diseases that are commonplace here.  I like tomatoes though, and I did get some free seeds to experiment with.  I am going to try a sort of wicking bed system as in the past I have had blossom end rot as well which indicated uneven watering.   I am putting some boxes front and centre.  They are resting on the front of the the asparagus bed, making use of every inch of the garden.  I hope I wont be disappointed. assemble what you need: The idea is to drill a  drainage holes about a quarter of the way up the box.  Add drainage rock - I used quincam, scoria is another good one to use.   Below this line the boxes are filled with small rocks for drainage. . Now I am not sure if there should be standing water here, or some people even use sand.  There is conflicting advice about what barrier to use abo