So many things going on in the front yard.
🕷️ A cute spider has taken up residence on top of a large potplant, spinnig its web between the plant and the tree sitting above it. It sits in the web all day.
🐜 The Insect Hotel is about to flower again (in a couple of weeks, the flowers are just forming). It is a variagated Japonicus, and the flowers must be perceptibly stinky (to me). I call it the Insect Hotel as all the insects around, including species of ants, are attracted to it, especially at dawn. Not bees though.
🌧️ There were precisely 5 drops of rain earlier. Nothing since. I hung the washing out 🤞
From the Front Garden rounds today.....
🐝 The beautiful butterfly-looking Gaura certainly bring all the bees to the yard. I love these plants.
🎀 I planted some Pink Evening Primrose once, some years ago, but it didn't like the front yard with its large surrounding trees (3 gums, 1 jacaranda, 1 other). Imagine my surprise today when I found one lone flower, with even barely a stem or leaves, open in the morning light. It is so pretty, and is in a small bed. I wonder if it will survive. It would look lovely under the Gaura.
💮 I am digging out the bulbs of the Naked Ladies as I come across them - I dug up and spread a clump of abut 100 through the yard some years ago. The clump used to flower, maybe a dozen flowers, each year. The replanted ones, planted properly, zilch flowers. They do grow leaves in Autumn/Winter, just no flowers. They've had long enough to acclimatise.
(The bulbs I dig up look perfectly healthy, so no excuse.)
It is a hot one today, 36C and already you can feel the heat in the air. The pot plants are watered, the bee water is topped up, and the veggies are watered. Lovely buddleja is flowering to bring the butterflies and bees. Tomatoes are happening, greens are prolific, and the zukes have first flowers. Very grateful for a garden and the life in it. (Except the weeds. And the next door cats-from-hell who lie (and poop) on my garden beds and chase wild life.)
Given we have seen multiple rats in frame on the WiFi remote camera in the last few days, we pulled out the extra snap traps to try to get on top of the problem. Caught 4 last night. Still no tomatoes eaten. We're gaining on 'em. #gardeningau
@JimmyB I am guessing you live somewhere in Great Britain? If so, your different climatic conditions probably makes morning glory a pleasant plant.
Here, the weather conditions are too good for it and turn it into a zombie plant that swallows everything that is in its path. It is like the Dr Who weeping angels - every time you look away, then look at it again it has advanced several centimetres. It smothers our lemon and lime trees so we have to go on missions to free them from its entangled web. It grows so luxuriantly it makes fences sag and the sheer weight of its foliage gave us a workout today.
I would happily donate the whole lot to you for your garden if you could come here and collect it!
After doing our potting morning, we went to the laneway behind our place to try to tackle the awful morning glory weed. It is getting into our place from our neighbour's place. You can see the morning glory on top of the fence with pretty flowers. #Melbourne people - do NOT grow this in your place and remove it as soon as you find it. It is very invasive.
This photo shows us part-way through cleaning up the masses of morning glory in the laneway. The morning glory was also growing over rubbish on the ground. There was so much morning glory that it was creating dirt beneath and there were some very healthy worms.
The skip was already half-full when we started. We had to stop shortly after this photo was taken because we had already filled the skip with rubbish and morning glory. We will have to finish the job next weekend.
Look what the rats can't eat now that we have an electric fence.
We have video of 3 rats playing on top of the trap. Have fun guys. 👍 #gardeningau
We went to my elderly mother's place and worked hard pruning lots of plants. We filled garbage bags full of pelargonium cuttings, abutilon cuttings, divided clivia etc.
We are planning a potting morning this weekend where members of our street gardening group and neighbours can come and pot up some cuttings. The idea is that we give the potted cuttings to people to babysit over summer so they are ready to plant out after the equinox in March.
Does anyone in inner eastern #Melbourne know where I can get free, fairly small plastic pots for the cuttings? I was thinking of going to Bunnings in Box Hill and see if they would give me some pots people have brought in to recycle.
Quite enjoying how this cucumber grew out of the compost in the cucamelon pot and now I have some sort of cascading cucurbit chimera. #GardeningAU
Opened the door for the cat this morning. She stopped, then turned away from the door.
Two minutes later she wanted to go out again. This time she was brave, but only spent a minute outdoors and came back in.
#Melbourne - we have had 6.6mm of glorious rain in the last 24 hours! The cat can suffer - I am sure the garden is enjoying it.
This morning I planted a small pot of blue salvia in our street garden. I must have looked mad out there watering the garden just after it had finished raining. However, there is a reason.
Whenever I plant out something I first big a deep hole and pour water into it. This is to ensure that the plant gets a head start by having very damp soil around the bottom of the roots of the plant. I mix the water with the soil, then put the plant on top and soil around it. Then I give it another water so the top level of soil is also damp. Then I add mulch.
In a dry country like Australia, I feel that this method gives newly planted plants a head-start and helps get them established. Despite about 2.6mm of rain in the last 24+ hours, the soil is parched after our El Nino spring. I hope all the rain forecast for the coming week actually eventuates.
Do electric fences work in the wet? Apparently, they do. Certainly, some voltage will be shorted to ground by the water, but the rats might already have learned that this is now not a good place to get a feed. Haven't seen any rats on the camera in several days.
Before we put up the zapper, they were visiting nightly, checking for fruit. Even checking out the peanut butter in the traps. No more.
Our baby tomatoes are untouched... so far. #gardeningau
Container vegetable garden.
I still haven't got most of my garden sorted from the move, but I am happy with where my containers are.
There is some slight leaf yellowing due to the rain over the last few days. No complaints from me about the rain... it was desperately needed as everything was bone dry!
IN MORE EXCITING GARDEN NEWS.....
🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝
I saw my first blue banded bee for this year. NONE last year, a lot the year before.
They are early! And I am hoping for many more.
Read about BBBs here: https://www.aussiebee.com.au/blue-banded-bee-information.html
Et voila! here come the fruits. Rats will have to brave the electric fence if they want to eat these. #gardeningau /fin
One of the seedlings cut down by the snails was caught the next morning before it wilted, dipped in rooting hormone and stuck in a punnet of potting soil. It set root and got planted at the site of the attempted murder. Suck it snail, you lose. #gardeningAU
We have planted them too densely. Figured that it's better to space them too closely and cut back foliage rather than waste space if our plants didn't develop well. Snails got a couple of our seedlings early on, so we poked in seeds in the now vacant spaces. One took really well and will make a healthy if late harvesting plant. #gardeningAU
There's not much to pruning, just pinch out the branches that grow between the mainstem and leaf stems. Long leaves should be tip pruned to prevent them from touching the ground. #gardeningau
Fort Red Sauce is going well. Plants really seem to like the soaker hose. Plants are stumpy, thick with eager leaves and flowering like mad. Rouge de Marmande is an indeterminate or vine type tomato. They need frequent trying up to their stakes and pruning of lateral shoots. #gardeningAu
Great news from the Garden Rounds this morning....
🌿 Purslane has arrived! It is extremely early for it to pop its head up - it can be as late as late December. It is such a healthy, self-sowing plant - it will be a daily inclusion from now on.
🍓 I picked the first strawberry for the season today! The first of many 🤞
🥗 Self-seeding plants are the way to go. Today I picked (amongst other things) purslane, nasturtium leaf, oak leaf (red and green varieties), common amaranth, red amaranth leaves, rocket, flat leaf parsley - all self sown. A self-sown salad is on the menu for today.
🌿 Curry leaves picked and washed, now drying (to avoid explosive contact with oil) for Curry Leaf Semolina today or tomorrow.
☘️ Weeds are taking over some of the veg beds. Common amaranth too, it is such a self-seeder. There will be quite a bit of weeding on the weekend.
This afternoon I created another planter out of old wire baskets that I was given by the scrap metal recycling place nearby. I lined it with coir, upended a bag and a half of potting soil, then planted some tomato seedlings. The seedlings are Lycopersicon esculentum or 'Trussty' tomatoes. I haven't grown this variety before.
I have placed it in our small inner urban #Melbourne backyard in front of 2 other planters I created a few months ago in which I am growing sugar snap peas.
Australian gardeners need to avoid purchasing seeds, tubers, bulbs and plants online from overseas providers. A couple of gardeners did this a few.years ago and in doing so introduced an invasive weed in Australia. The local council thought they had destroyed it all but it has popped up again - possibly via birds eating the fruit of the weed:
Gardeners in south-east Australia should watch out for cabbage butterflies [edited] say ecologists who believe that numbers of the imported pest have exploded due to an unusually warm winter and favourable Spring conditions.
There are ways to deal with them that do not involve chemicals.
@Natalie Bougainvillea is the curse of our small inner-urban backyard. We tried to train it but it always wanted to be massive so we cut the large trunk (been planted years ago) and dealt with the branches by cutting them up small, putting them in empty bags of potting soil mix and week by week putting them in our wheelie bin.
We have spent hours dealing with the thing. We have now given the stump some blackberry poison. It will take me a few years before I am convinced we have actually killed it.
And removing it revealed the damage to the fence it was causing. Fortunately it is fairly superficial damage but it could have ended up breaking the fence.
Sorry, for the long message. Just has to vent my feelings about #Bougainvillea planted in the wrong places!
My sugar snap peas are growing well in the planters I made out of discarded wire baskets. One thing I have learned is that to get enough peas cropping at the same time to accompany a meal, I need to plant a lot more.
I planted the ones on the left four weeks ahead of the ones on the right. I recorded when I planted them but can't remember where.
Ferns and #gumtrees adorned this space for hundreds of square kilometres… thriving in their natural habitat.
Earlier, #kookaburras were heard ringing out amongst the tree tops.
Blue Wrens flitted throughout the trees.
And no other person was around, for miles.
This is kinda Heaven on Earth!
Found it tough to identify these, therefore if anyone knows what they are, please enlighten us!
They were in abundance… we’re in late Spring here.
The backdrop of gorgeous gums completed the scene.
#FromTheGardenRounds today 🏡 (perhaps a developing 🧵 )
☀️ A nice hour or so in the garden this morning, watering yesterday's plantings. It is hotter today so most of the time was spent erecting shadecloth.
🐛 The preying mantis is nowhere to be seen this morning. I hope I run into her again but no doubt she has moved on.
🐝 The bees are out on the nasturtiums and citrus blossom in force this morning.
🍊 The finger lime has flower buds! 💃
I have about a year's worth of oregano dried and stored in the pantry but the herb bed has a profusion of fragrant leaves that will likely go to compost. Herbs have to be frequently cut back to maintain healthy plants, whether they make it to the kitchen or not #gardeningAu
Beetroots are going FOOMPH. Of course you can eat the leaves, but they tend to be a bit rough & ready for me... but they LOOK tasty. #gardeningAu
Green beans are making a run up the trellis. The most vigorous one has begun to flower! #gardeningAu
Rouge de Marmande crop is booming. I think we have got the rats beaten with the coroplast barriers, which is saying something considering we lost about half last year's crop to rats. Slugs cut two seedlings down. We caught one of the damaged plants soon enough to pot it up as a cutting- and it looks like it will make it! That will make 23 plants out of 24 seeds. Pretty good batting average. #gardeningAu
A walk around the veg gardens. #garlic2023 is progressing well, not as strong as last season's plants but we still will have a nice crop. No signs of scapes yet, which is good. I want to see them put on some more vegetative growth. Scapes are the pre-flowers. When the plant flowers, it stops putting energy into the bulbs. We cut off scapes to force more energy into bulb formation. Scapes are nice in a stir-fry. #gardeningAu
At last I found a pic that is very similar to the mantis I saw. She is female (currently has situated herself inside a hollow tube within a garden bed frame, with her tail hanging out).
It's a Tenodera australasiae mantis. How awesome and majestic.
Pic is by dhobern - https://www.flickr.com/photos/dhobern/3211565669/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5758737
#FromTheGardenRounds 🏡 (cont)
🐛 I popped outside for a break from what I am doing, and got caught up in some garden work, of course. I ran into a huge preying mantis as I went to put some shade cloth over new plants. HUGE. A beige-grey colour, possibly with some prey. I didn't want to disturb it so didn't get too close.
Had to google to find out more about them. What magnificent creatures. Also a good omen to come across one, it seems. 🥳 It looks like a great year ahead.
#FromTheGardenRounds today (perhaps a developing 🧵 )
🌿 Isn't it funny that no matter how carefully you pick broad beans, and no matter how sure you are that you have every single one, you will ALWAYS find a dozen more as you stroll around the garden later.
🌿 I was delighted to find a small plant - either marjoram or oregano - growing in one of the beds, a tiny little plant but vigorous. 💃 🎉 There may have been a larger plant, plus marjoram, but I suspect I lost them in the "go hard and don't look" style garden help I had recently.
👍 I am going to plant a whole bed of okra this year.
🐝 Bees are getting friendly in the garden. I swear they know me and I never get stung 🤞 even tho I poke my head and hands quite close to them.
🐦 The native pigeon is getting used to me and only flies off if I come TOO close.
🍇 The grape vines are flowering.
#FromTheGarden 🧵 ⬆️
The last #FromTheGarden for today (I think).
🍅 I've planned the pots that the "grow by myself" tomatoes will be potted into until big enough to plant out. It is all ready for tomorrow. I really only need a couple, so the rest will be given away.
🧅 The leeks I will leave in situ until bigger - there are a lot of them, in various places where I threw seed heads. Probably too many for me, so will gift some if the transplant Ok.
🌿 Meanwhile, I found that there are some round leaf chives popping up. This is good because I have mainly flat leaf chives - and tons of them. It will be a very chivey Summer.
🌿 Also, both coriander and parsley are doing the #GrowByMyself thing. This is good. Quite a few of each, very tiny, so I hope they survive.
🌾 Also, amaranth is popping up everywhere, as it does, but I am just pulling them out atm. There will be tons and tons later in the season. Enough for the suburb.
🍊 The cumquat is simple COVERED in flowers. Gorgeous.
#FromTheGarden 🧵 ⬆️
🏡 I managed to get out into the garden, and it is quite warm in the sun - I had to peel off a couple of layers. A few more veggies planted. And more of the lavender bushes pruned.
🧅 I see that some onions or leeks have joined the "grow by myself" movement that always invades my garden - I do insist on throwing seed heads onto beds, so it is no wonder. By tomorrow I will have to decide what to do with the "grow by myself" tomatoes - which bed will I transplant them too? - while letting the leeks grow larger before I transplant them.
🌿 The "grow by myself" basil is being attacked by snails. Need to attend to that.
🍓 The strawbs are flowering - can't wait - and rhubarb is ready for picking. It is all happening.
:ma_flag_aboriginal: I put the karkalla (native food) in a pot. Apparently it is very tolerant of a wide range of conditions, so fingers crossed.
🌷 The hollyhocks are flowering madly.
Good evening. The purple and silver green colours of lavender are always striking. Sunlight adds to the moment.
Good morning. The large round saucer-like leaves of this orange nasturtium were the most interesting find in yesterday's lunchtime walk to check out the street planters near the office.
Gymea lily up close. You don't usually get to see them from just 2m away- this one is 6.5m tall- it just happens to be just above eye level from our front verandah. The floret petals are changing colour daily, moving from cerise to magenta. The blossom won't last much longer. It took about 4 years for it to go from a sick tubestock rescue to a monster flowering spike. #gardeningAu
Fort Red Sauce. Rouge de Marmande toms coming along despite a cool turn in the weather. Rats tried to get in but the bottom edge of the corflute is bent outward and buried. Can't climb it, can't burrow under it. Cop that, rat. #gardeningAu
We are planning our next #melbourne #StreetGarden challenge. We have some plots that are currently covered in rubbish and trolleys and are waiting for the council to clean them up. While waiting I am collecting cuttings of plants that are difficult to kill and require little maintenance.
This morning I spied this pelargonium and knocked on the door of the owner to ask if it was OK to take cuttings. I didn't really need to because it was on the street and growing outside his property, but as a society we need to combat #SocialIsolation by talking to our neighbours.
So I have a couple more cuttings in my collection for our next garden project
The flavours in herbs come from volatile oils which evaporate at low temperatures, so it's best to run your dehydrator at the lowest temperature it will support and run it until the herbs are crispy dry. Mine will go as low as 45°. I start with 36 hours, which is ok for low humidity weather, but if you get some rain, you may need to bump up the temp & time to prevent moulds from spoiling your herbs with a musty scent. #gardeningAu
It's dead easy to grow your own herbs and dry them in a dehydrator, that way you know what you have and how fresh it is. Herbs are prolific and strongly scented in cooler, sunny times of the year, so I'm working on getting 6 months worth of thyme and oregano processed now. When the dehydrators are freed up I will also do a batch of sage. #gardeningAu
It drapes beautifully over a rear fence, backing onto a public reserve.
This magnificent #WisteriainSensis, commonly known as the Chinese wisteria, is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, native to China.
I’m in Love with these 🙏💜💜
Before and After…
The first photo was snapped a month ago.
The second pic was taken prior to sunset the other night. This tree has just commenced blooming.
I plan on keeping an eye on this one and update you with its blooming evolution.
What a beautiful transformation… a gorgeous work in progress.
#Strelitzia is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa.
In South Africa, it is commonly known as the #CraneFlower.
The gorgeous ‘flowers’ are so colourful and cheery. A welcomed sight, during late #winter here in Melbs!