A bit of progress !

So. I’ve put another plant in The Front Bit:

It’s a gazania (top left) that hasn’t flowered since first I planted it as a teeny seedling in my very first Geelong rental. It turned out to have flowers of the most gorgeous dark bronze colour – none of which has been seen since I put it in a pot to take with me. I am hoping it will be so happy to feel the real earth again that it will say thanks with many blooms. Dream on, M.R.

The roses planted by Denuta are in their prime right now:

and I am betting that they haven’t had such a showing for many years. S’s pruning was the secret !

I told you I couldn’t take a shot that wouldn’t look like this. Sighh …

From the centre left: a grevillea, a dampiera, a … umm … I forget, at the back a bigger grevillea with different coloured blossoms, in front of it a eutaxia, to the right of that a prostanthera and behind another one the name of which has gone from what I laughingly call my mind. And I cleverly managed to frame out on the right a Silver Cloud. World’s Best Photographer strikes again !

I’m not too fussed about being so forgetful right now; because this garden isn’t worth looking at. In the future – I hope in the autumn – the little things will have grown and be worthy of at least a glance, and I shall know them all.

Besides, there are several gaps to be filled. S and I couldn’t decide how many plants I should buy; and it wasn’t possible to know until these were planted out. I MUST have a smallish callistemon (between the two left-hand poles, only one of which can be almost seen), as well as an Acacia aspera or Rough Wattle – native to NSW and Victoria and growing only to 2m max.

What’s happening in my garden

Here is the current situation.

As you stand on the small lawn rise between the two rows of units –

(the satellite view from Google was taken in high summer, as you can tell from the colour of the lawn) – my unit is the first on the left of the second block at the bottom. This means that I have a side yard for pot-plants and Boodie as well as a wrap-around garden that goes from in front of the side yard to my front door. Then to the right of the front door is the garden that’ll be just for natives. Well, that is – all except for the little bit at the end that actually goes with Unit 7; where Orlando has been graced by us with weeding it so as to allow its daisies to spring up. Dice Orlando: “Voglio solo le … daisies” – which is what happens to one’s native tongue when living among speakers of other languages, alas !   :)

So. We are standing looking at the unit, yes ? From the right-hand side, on the near side of the fence enclosing the side yard, is to be found THE CEANOTHUS !

It IS there at the back;, but you can scarcely see it against all that mulch. There will also be dychondra as a ground-cover; and if  S and I can find another part of that strip without pavement underneath (!), we’ll add something else. Note: MACS was originally built without the units, and the ground layout was totally different.

Next is the garden along the front of the loungeroom window, that is the continuation of that shot above:


The three rose-bushes had already been planted by Denuta, in charge of the gardening volunteers, and very pretty they are ! S and I added the three bacopas (bacopæ ?) along the front and the one at the end, and they look really good. I hope they’ll struggle against the chip mulch and win out, so as to make ground-covers.

Then we step back a bit, moving up a few paces onto the lawn hill, and see

what I call ‘the front bit’. This is largely occupied by (ugh !) a mirror bush – AN INVASIVE SPECIES ! I hate it; but my problem is that the little birds love it. It gives them shelter, and they fly in an out of it with much twittering and wing-fluttering; and as I adore them, I can’t remove the bloody thing.

I have planted at the near end (to my unit, I mean) two red geraniums that S gave me and a little lavender bush that I hope will grow to about a metre. The red and the lilac-colour actually look OK !

Then we look to the left of the front door to see the big empty, which will be planted with natives only. I have 9 ready to go, and am feeling somewhat alarmed at the amount of work ahead of me.

And last, here is a shot looking out of the front door – which you can just see set back on the right, above – to give what will, I hope, a better idea of the front layout:

How happy I would be if I had the smallest idea of how to take photos that clarify situations ! Sighh …

Anyway, that’s as of today, Saturday. The next changes will be to the empty bed, of course; and as I said to ST in a comment, it’ll show as lots of soil with some little plants dotted about.   :\

Open gardens

Had a ripper day yesterday: my dear friend S drove me about during an annual open gardens day, called “Through the Garden Gate”. I will confess up front that I didn’t last past the morning’s viewings; but that was partly because they had provided me with three epiphanies (sort of).

    1. I’ve gone off planting salvias in my empty front bed. There are simply too many people growing salvias; and I have no wish to create a déjà vu feeling.
    2. I MUST have a ceanothus ! This plant is about the most attractive to bees that I’ve ever seen.    :)
    3. I’m going (now) to have that front strip a native garden. Q.E.D.

Here are my favourite shots:

old-fashioned rose
they call it ‘court jester’
could it be a eucalyptus preissiana ?!
white boronia !
just one aspect of a huge garden
ceanothus – heaven to bees !

S and I have prepared the front bed with manure and then compost (her) and lots and lots of turning over and working it all in after having weeded – meaning daisies, too (me).

Now for a buying spree !!! YAAAAAY !!!

What do I do ? – what am I to do …?

There’s a gardening show on our national television channel, the ABC, called “Gardening Australia”: it’s been running since cocky laid an egg or thereabouts.

It was upped from half an hour to an hour a while back, and that caused a problem for viewers like me: too much screen-time to fill for the programme-makers meant a step away from what the show used to be – from instructions to display.

Here’s an example:


I’ll be in my new place on the 8th of next month. It has two outside yards and a front garden, and this latter has been let go. I’m hugely looking forward to getting stuck into it and turning it into a flower garden; so advice and instructions are what I need. That “Gardening Australia” story about a young woman who’s made a small-ish commercial one is very nice,  but very lacking in actual help. In fact, there’s none at all.

The show has moved away from giving viewers information, and now provides … ahh … entertainment, I suppose: stories about the results of other people’s work, not how they did it.

This is ANNOYING. It is FRUSTRATING. And it is also SILLY.

I mean, where shall I turn now for help ?!

P.S.: https://youtu.be/zn2r0K7vnSU


Effie and Phyllis

My Brisbane friend DMN, who comes down to visit every so often (is that friendly, or what ?!), once brought with her a medum-sized pot containing soil and a strange, long, green … thing. It was a bit like a three-cornered spear; and about 20 cm long (high ?). She handed it over and told me she’d also done one of these for herself to take home: she’d propagated them from her mum’s place, mid-way between Brisbane and Geelong in glorious Richmond, NSW.

So. I considered it. “What IS it ?” DMN had no idea of its name, but assured me that it was beautiful, once grown and flowering. Then we both set out to discover its identity, without immediate success: for my part, entering something like “long green 3-cornered stalk” into Doctor Google and checking out what he responded with just made me enraged. Happily for us both, another friend of mine here, the beautiful Barbara, came across one at an exhibition she attended (I think) and brought me a brochure. Epiphyllum. The hitherto unhelpful Doctor G came good: I was able to email DMN with his results, and she said, unhesitatingly, that it was the oxypetalum; for she could identify it from memories of her mother’s plant’s flowering.


DMN decided to call her plant Effie; M.R. called hers Phyllis. You observe that we are both somewhat lacking in imagination when it comes to botanical nomenclature (ahem !). Anyhoo, here they are; and I need no comments regarding whose photography is better, thank-you !

DMN’s Effie
M.R.’s Phyllis

The moral of this story is: have gardening faith. Long green spears will prove amazingly fascinating, developing into sensational plants.    :)

Moving on down the line …

There are several things I’m really interested in other than crochet and knitting – or should I say, as well as C&K. These include gardening; at which I am embarrassingly bad, bugger it.

Since arriving in this town at the end of April 2016 I’ve lived in no less than five different units; and my current rental is the first one with garden in which I can expend my less than satisfying efforts. I buy seeds online, and have even bought a couple of seedlings there, too; but the best way of all to try to fill the smallish but actually not so tiny garden beds is to go with my friends M&L to various plant markets on weekends.

The one I like best is the Drysdale market on every third Sunday (not counting winter) – it has easily the best plant stall-holders.

But the trouble is: no matter with how many bags of seedlings I come away from such places, I never seem to be filling up the L-shaped garden that follows the line of this building. It is NOT FULL. It is SPARSE. In spite of my planting out things that are meant to spread, they don’t. At least: if they’re meaning to, they’re taking their bloody time about it. :\

M of M&L made me a wonderful planter on legs, back in my 3rd unit; because there was a back yard but no soil. I seem to be OK with that in terms of filling it up – it is, after all, a very finite space. I shall take some photos with my current phone (my younger sister donates her cast-offs, which is much appreciated) and you’ll see exactly what I mean …