06 June 2011

5 June 2011

Its getting decidedly chilly now. The other morning I took Chloe out for coffee and cake after school drop off just so I could buy myself something warm!! I must get Paul to get my winter stuff out of the attic.

We ended up having some great rainfall for the last few days of MAy and the roses have certainly shown their appreciation. One of the Lil Marlenes is doing extremely well for a change though the other is still looking decidedly poor still, they've always been a hassle. A number of the Bonicas are putting out fantastic watershoots. I'm going to go easy of them this year when pruning. The Magics are looking so green and bushy, they are obviously loving their new spot. Even Pierre is looking happy and healthy. I'm now thinking of buying him a giant pot and obelisk for him to climb, I don't think I'll even have the perfect spot for him. But on a plus if we ever (god forbid) moved at least he could come along.

The potato which I put into the potato sack is going great guns. Its got lots of green leaves on it now. Pretty soon I'll be able to dump more soil on it to increase the potato crop.

Did I mention the Vanilla Marigold seed I bought? I decided to plant up some of the seed early. I planted out 8 seeds in some seed raising mix and popped them into the green house and it looks like I've got 6 good seedlings from the batch. Now I've just got to keep them going along. The pack says a weak seaweed solution will do them good so that will be a job for today. I planted 8 sugar snap peas at the same time and all 8 are growing furiously - obviously they are just showing off!!!

21 May 2011

20 May 2011

Gosh this year is flying!!! We haven't quite been home from Darwin a week yet but its back to the same old routine already. I'm pleased to report that everything survived quite nicely while we were away - even Basil who got left inside accidentally - a good watering when we got home and he seems quite happy again. On Wednesday (the day after we got back) we had a good steady downpour which resulted in 8ml and today its been raining most of the day which has given us well over 20ml which is wonderful! I'm very hopeful that we'll get a good rainfall this winter which will hopefully keep severe water restrictions at bay for the summer.

We've had some quite strong winds along with the rain. Good old windy Perth - if it isn't the easterlies howling down the escarpment in the summer its the westerlies howling in off the ocean in the winter. The wind caused one of Orville's oranges to fall off so despite still being a touch green we cut it up. It was quite juicy but still a bit tart but not enough to stop the kids eating it. It was nice in spite of (or maybe because of) that slight tartness. The rest should just about be ready - maybe another fortnight? Clayton has pretty much lost all his leaves in the wind and I went outside this morning to find the Plane Tree and plums were losing heaps as well. I might have to get another compost bin at the rate they are going.

The three Magics and salvias out the front are looking good - obviously they haven't minded the move at all. Hopefully the salvias will spread nicely and cover that area of fence.

Back to fruit momentarily... there's a passionfruit on the vine. I was really surprised when Paul pointed it out, I didn't expect it to fruit in its first year.

The King Alfred's are now in - I've potted them up this year along with some of the poppy seedlings I've grown from the seed. I also found a bucket in the shed with an assortment of bulbs from last year so I'll have to throw them in somewhere as many of them have started sprouting already. And I've also popped a potato in the ground that was growing madly in the potato bin, so it shall be interesting to see how that goes.

26 April 2011

25 April 2011

So Easter has been and almost gone. For the first time in a long time Easter Monday is on the same day as ANZAC Day which means that tomorrow is also a public holiday. The kids are wising up to this Easter Bunny caper. Sunday morning they were up at the crack of dawn checking the windows out the front and back. But the "Easter Bunny" is just as smart. She made sure that when she put the eggs out that they couldn't be seen by the kids from any of the windows. That tricked them!!!

After the hunt we went for a drive firstly to Bird World and afterward we just drove around finally coming out at the end of the Tonkin Hwy so Paul suggested visiting a rose nursery he had once seen. As it turns out there are a few nurseries along Alexander Drive but one in particular is called Roworth Roses and that is where we ultimately ended up. Its not massive but it would be about 99% all roses. At the bottom end of the nursery they have planted out a large number of the varieties they stock and it was amazing to wander through all those beautiful bushes (although I was just itching for a pair of secateurs to dead head them). They had the most gorgeous bushes of Chameleon which was a striking pink and yellow with a delicious scent. Paul was quite taken with Gold Bunny and Alex was most disappointed that we wouldn't buy Alec's Red... a stunning red rose with a lovely strong scent, the flowers look like the Old World roses but its not a David Austin rose. Many of the roses there I had heard of but there were so many more that I hadn't. The standard I rescued from Greenwood I have decided is definitely "The Fairy" and I would give my right arm for "Chaucer" - maybe he and Pierre could live together - the poet and the writer, the Englishman and the Frenchman. I still haven't decided where Pierre is going. He looks quite nice where he is but that area will eventually be replaced with paving. I've also considered a garden arch buy the coffee nook out the front but I'm not sure how that would go down. I've even considered systematic poisoning of the diosma and conifers... I could get quite a few roses into that section and be rid of those horrible massive hedges once and for all. So for now Pierre will have to remain potted. I think today I will plant the "Magics" in the front between the Bonicas and Pierre can go into one of those bigger pots.

For the record, Clayton appears to be a type of Ash and the tree out the front is a London Plane Tree. Apparently the London Plane trees are particularly resistant to vehicle emissions which I guess you'd have to be if you lived in London.

We actually had a bit of rain yesterday... the first since I wrote about it on the 11th. It was a bit on and off during the day but today it is intensely blue skies.

I forgot to write about the sweet groundcover I got at Drovers the other week... Winter Candy or something similar its called, a grevilla groundcover with sweet pink and white flowers which flowers in the winter. They are now in the native patch.

I've cleared out the base under the second plum. I've (A) never seen so many ants in my life and (B) never seen so many jonquil bulbs in my life!!! There were quite literally hundreds. They've obviously been dividing and multiplying at a furious rate there. Each time I turned over the soil there would be more. So I've taken them out, sorted out the bed and them replanted them. Still have the ranunculis to put in Clayton's garden and the King Alfred's to put somewhere. Speaking of ranunculis, one has popped up its head rather early in the Bonica bed... silly thing!!!

12 April 2011

11 April 2011

We went to sleep last night to the sound of rain. Not the sudden massive dowpour which is over before it really begins but the steady constant pitter patter of a good soaking rain. Let's hope its the first of many such soakings.

Could there be anything better than Autumn in Perth! The weather has been beyond glorious lately. Even this morning, though cool, its not cold and it definitely wont be hot. Everything is putting in a last mad growth spurt before winter truly hits us.

The three Magic Carousels are looking particularly good at the moment. I would never have thought they would do so well after I separated the bush into three last year but all are looking very fine.

After having bought a lovely urn for the "fronds-on-a-stick" and planting it up during the week, I examined it yesterday and found in fully rotted through. So as it turns out it didn't need repotting afterall... it needed replacing!!! I'm thinking of getting a dracena to put in its place. I'm pretty sure its the ants which are causing so many of these problems lately, they are everywhere!!! Whenever dirt is moved you can be sure to find them. On Saturday I cleared the bed under one of the plums. I was concerned about all the mulch Paul put around them and just as well I did because collar rot had started. But worse still were the ants around the base of the tree. I've moved a large amount of soil from the bed, fed the tree and hopefully it should give a good display this year. I'm hoping the jonquils will do better this year as well, not having a massive amount of dirt to try and push up through. I've sown some seed from the lovely poppies that Yvonne has in her garden so I hope they come up too... that would be nice!

Roger and Shirley have taken out the massive Wooly Bush which was on the fenceline, so its looking quite bare there now. I'm torn between putting the salvias in there now or putting them in Clayton's garden. Either way I want to get some cuttings so that while I do one or the other now eventually I can do both.

I need to start lowering some of the other beds like I've done for the plum. Because we lay mulch every year the beds are getting progressively higher, the front roses are slowly getting swamped.

04 April 2011

3 April 2011

Yesterday I finished taking out the grass from under the study window. Its now all ready to be made into a native garden bed. The two grevillas already in there seem to be settling well and we'll put the third plant we got from Kings Park there too. I wouldn't mind getting one of the beautiful dwarf bottlebrushes we saw there as well... the most intense red flowers, it was very striking! A little love seat under the window, some stepping stones, ground covers, possibly a bird bath... I can all it all now!!!

31 March 2011

30 March 2011

I've decided that bulbs are the ultimate sneaky plant. W hen I've come home from the garden shop with a new plant the evidence is pretty much right there. Bulbs however can be snuck into the ground and when they appear months later one can feign complete innocence. "How on earth did that get there?" or "conditions must have been just right for them this year". Case in point - I"VE planted some freesias under "the tree" in the round bed in the courtyard. We've never (or at least not yet) fond out what that tree is. Just yesterday I was thinking to myself "what can you call a tree when you don't actually know what the tree is called?" And the answer was obvious really "Clayton" the name for a tree when you don't have a name for a tree (as opposed to the drink you have when you're not having a drink). So the freesias have been planted under Clayton and I'm going to put some ranunculis in there as well. That should take case of the spring flowering. I'm thinking of putting in 3 pink salvias which should flower pretty much from Spring to Autumn. The agapanthus will take care of Summer and the Princettia will give colour during Autumn and Winter. So that's the entire year taken care of in just one bed. Obviously I need cuttings of the salvias and princettias in order to have enough plants to do it but they will come along eventually.

29 March 2011

28 March 2011 (B)

"Rosehips and Crabapples" has proved to be a wonderful read (yes I know, finished already!). Susan Irvine and her husband have a house in Tasmania "Forest Hall" which has an extensive garden featuring surprise, surprise roses and crabapples.. Her book "Garden at Forest Hall" detailed the restoration of the house and garden... Rosehips and Crabapples is a "rose lovers diary". She has a nice conversational style and it is accompanied by lovely photos. Susan Irvine is an authority on Alistair Clarke roses and so a lot have been planted in her garden.

Today I got myself a few belated presents... at Big W I got two Dahlia tubers - Emily Jane and Gamiber Jane. My interest in Dahlias was sparked by Yvonne in Standish with her beautiful display every year out the front, She has given me a few tubers which she took out so I'm starting my very own Dahlia garden. I Also got seeds of poppy, larkspur and linaria... all plants which feature in "Rosehips and Crabapples". And I couldn't resist a Jiffy tray with lid (which now contains linaria seeds). After that I had a wander into Red Dot. I was impressed with the little $3 pots I got the other week but so much more impressed with the massive pot I got today - $30 and its now holding the 3 strawberry plants Chloe got. It has taken close to 50L of potting mix and is still a couple of inches from the top - it could probably easily take 60L.

After shopping I went back to Red Dot intending to get another one and wouldn't you know it... all gone!!! However, up the back of the shop there were mini greenhouses - plastic frames with clear plastic covers which zip up at the front - they were $45 but were now $15 - I was definitely getting on of those thank you very much.