Flowers in the Garden

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Most of my limited time and energy in the garden are directed to towards growing food.  However, that does not mean that I don’t love flowers or enjoy having them in the garden.

I don’t have a flower garden in the traditional sense where there were beds of seasonal flower displays such as snapdragons, sweet peas and my favourite, Iceland poppies.

We do have a number of native flowering shrubs which create a screening hedge on the verge but there are also some other gems tucked into various spots in the garden.

This is one of my newest hibiscus complete with a single flower.

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The lavender is thriving in this warm, dry corner of the front garden and has rewarded us with some flowers over the past couple of weeks.

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The marigolds brighten up the tubs on the front verandah.

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The vegetable garden is not devoid of flowers, either.  The rocket has gone to flower and is providing a pretty display.

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All of these flowers provide habitat for the bees and I am always looking to incorporate them wherever I can.

Welcome to the Weekend

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It is Saturday morning here.  The sun is shining and have lots of plans for the weekend.

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These flowers bring a smile to my face.  They are on the side table in the front entry.  I brought them home yesterday evening and yes, they are a little past their prime but I am happy to have them for a few more days.

We have a fresh arrangement of flowers each week in the reception area of our corporate office and they are discarded on Friday evening unless someone takes them home.

I finished work late yesterday and was happy to re-home them for a few more days.

May your weekend be full of smiles.

Starting Out Small

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We spent the weekend at home and had reasonable weather so were able to get out in the garden.

Tonight I want to share something which is quite exciting.

045Here are some white agapanthus.  I have a huge clump in the backyard which is now enclosed in the chicken run and these are some that we transplanted a couple of years ago from that clump.  They are alongside the path at the back of the house and have really struggled.  So to see them beginning to thrive and actually flower is rather special.

My eventual plan is to have the full length of the path bordered with white agapanthus so this is a start.  Once they become established they are very hardy and need no maintenance.

These are some I prepared earlier!

042These blue agapanthus which we planted about 8 years ago border the driveway and look like they have been there forever.  They have just begun to shoot up flower spikes and will be in full flower in a few weeks.  One day the plants at the back will be similar.  I just need to be patient.

The Patch – An Update

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In my post from yesterday I mentioned the new garden hose.  GMan unpacked and set it up today.  Here it is.

2015-07-05 01The hose retracts onto the reel inside the case which swivels on the black spindle.  Here is another view with the hose slightly extended.

2015-07-05 02The 30 metre hose extends from the existing tap to the vegetable garden area.  We do need more hose to reach the blueberries and the yet-to-be-built beds on the far side.  We put some of the new fittings onto one of the old hoses and hung it inside the garden area.  That way we can extend the new hose, attach the extra bit and we can water the whole of the vegetable garden area with ease.

2015-07-05 03GMan put this bracket on one of the posts to store the extra hose.  The bracket was one that had come from my father and proved to be perfect for our needs.

I have really neglected the garden for several weeks but nevertheless we still have things growing.  I weeded the flower garden that I made a few months ago and found that I even had some flowers.

2015-07-05 04These heartsease had managed to grow from seed and thrive among the weeds.  I have weeded the bed and transplanted some so that there is now a border of them in front of the sweet peas.

2015-07-05 05Finally, I wanted to show you the garlic that I have growing and also the celery which is now ensconced in cut-down milk bottles to encourage the stems to grow upright in a bunch rather than spreading out everywhere.

2015-07-05 06I hope you have had a great weekend and that the weather has been kind enough to get outdoors.

Winter Morning

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Yesterday morning I walked along the verandah.  It was sunny but quite cool and this was the vision that greeted me.

002One of the newer hibiscus shrubs which has only been in the ground for about a month and there were half a dozen bright pink flowers.  I am hoping this is a preview of things to come as these shrubs grow and we have a mass of dense foliage and brilliant flowers in front of the verandah.

Permaculture Principles or Plain Commonsense

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Whatever you want to call them, there are things we can do in the garden that will save money and resources.

Here are a couple of projects we have been working on this weekend.

2012-08-05 01When we came here there were numerous shrubs/small trees planted close to the front verandah.  They provided some screening and privacy from the road.  Over time we planted a screening hedge of native shrubs along the boundary so the ones closer to the house became less important from a privacy point of view.  We extended the area in front of the verandah and slightly reduced the amount of lawn.  The shrubs have been pruned several times to try to keep the blow the level of the gutter.

Last year I decided on the final format for this area.  We will have a selection of flowering hibiscus in front of the verandah.  We bought 5 hibiscus at the Garden Expo in July last year and they have been progressing well.  However, one of them was beginning to struggle and we realised that it was being shaded by one of the grevilleas.  We cut down the three remaining shrubs, mulched everything that was small enough to go through the mulcher and cut the bigger branches into manageable lengths.

2015-04-06 02While Gman was mulching Istarted laying out newspapers (usually about 6 sheets at a time) and hosing them down to stop them blowing away.  The we piled the mulch we had made at one end.

2015-04-06 03This shows a close-up of the small logs that we used to create the back edge of the area to be mulched.

2015-04-06 04Here is the mulch spread out.  It was convenient that we ran out of mulch and newspapers at about the same time.  We are going to bring home whatever newspapers we can collect from work in order to continue our project.   There is still quite a bit to do as you can see from the next photo.

2015-04-06 05You can also see some of the hibiscus.  They seem to really be enjoying the full sun now that the overhanging shrubs have been cut down.  We have been offered a huge pile of mulch from the neighbours so that will go towards completing the mulching of this area.  The next job will be to buy some more hibiscus.

2015-04-06 06Finally, I wanted to show you the garden bed that I started last weekend.  It is now dug over, edged with rocks and seeds planted.  We have no shortage of rocks as they are everywhere on the block in all shapes and sizes.  I have planted sweet pea, snapdragon and heartsease seeds in the hope of having a border of colourful spring flowers.  The sweet peas are in a furrow close to the fence which will do double duty of keeping unwanted animals out of the vegie garden and being a trellis for the sweet peas.