In the Garden

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After a break of almost 3 months, I finally made it back to the garden today.  I have really done nothing since before we went to the UK at the beginning of November and since we arrived home in early December my intentions have been thwarted by hot weather, Christmas preparations, another holiday and numerous social events as well as being busy at work.

However, I woke up at 5am today and decided to bite the bullet before the sun became  too intense.  2.5 hours later I came in after having made a start on some weeding in the vegetable garden enclosure.  In all honesty, you could barely see where I had been but I felt better knowing that at least I had made a start.

We went shopping this morning and as well as food we managed to buy more than a dozen plants.  Later this afternoon GMan and I weeded the area in front of the house.  This runs the full length of the house and is planted with numerous hibiscus shrubs and covered with mulch.  Where the hibiscus are well established and close together there was very little weed, however, there are still some substantial gaps and some unwelcome plants had become quite well established.  Of course, the area is almost overrun with cherry tomato plants but I am prepared to accept them as they are food.

The next job was to tackle the raised garden bed containing the sweet potatoes.  When we planted them some months ago we placed a panel of old pool fencing over the bed to keep the scrub turkeys away from it as they just dig up the potatoes and eat them and completely destroy the plants.  We had intended to remove it once the plants became established but that did not happen.  The plants had grown right through the fencing and far, far away…………  It was not easy to remove and in the process we discovered that there was a good crop waiting to be harvested.

Here is our haul.

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I can see sweet potato fries, sweet potato mash, vegetable curry and baked sweet potato in our future.

In a recent post I published a list of some of the projects we intend to tackle this year.  One of them was to create a garden outside the vegie garden.  My intention is to create a mostly native garden with a seat in the midst of it. At the moment it is just grass but that is about to change.  Today we took the first step and bought a selection of plants which will form the basis of this garden.

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This is the result of our garden shopping so I am quite keen to see my planned garden come to fruition.  Not of all the plants we bought will be for that area but we have plans for all of them.

Hopefully, I will have some more photos to share before too long.

We are planning to make an early start again tomorrow as it is really the best option during the summer months here.

Tackling the List

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The past couple of days have been spent working on projects from the list which I wrote about a week ago.  We have managed to cross off numbers 3 & 4.

Yesterday we measured the fence and calculated the number of shrubs that we would need and then set off to our local nursery.  We chose  to alternately plant Grevillea ‘Winpara Gem’ and Melaleuca ‘Great Balls of Fire’.  We bought 15 of each variety and have planted them on the outside of the boundary fence.  The shrubs grow about 1.5 – 2 metres high and will provide bird habitat as well as screening of the garden from the road.

While we were at the nursery we also bought 4 assorted low-growing shrubs and groundcovers to plant in the ‘V’ of the fence and adjacent rockery.

Today I covered the bare ground with several thicknesses of newspaper to reduce weed growth and covered it with a thick layer of mulch.  Finally, I planted the new plants as well as a clivea that we had in a pot.

Rockery
I still want to add some more plants and develop the rockery more on the other side of the trees but I am very pleased with the progress so far.

Since today is Australia Day, I thought I would share this photo of The Duke with that Aussie icon – the Victa lawnmower.

Mowing
I hope you are having a brilliant weekend, whatever you have chosen to do.  Since it is a long weekend here in Australia we have another day to do some more jobs at home.  I am hoping we will be able to get the fenceposts cut to length and start painting them.

Make & Mend – A New Garden

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Today I made a garden bed, or more accurately refreshed an old one.  Unlike most of my gardening posts this one does not include growing food.

This is an area between the side of the garage and the front steps which originally had a selection of fairly unappealing shrubs and plants.  They had been cleared out some time ago and the space badly needed revitalising.  I did have a before photo, however, it is on the desktop computer which seems to have some issues so I took it to be looked at/repaired today.

Front garden
We bought the plants at a local garden centre on the weekend.  They are Australian natives – low-growing shrubs and ground covers.  The area has quite a considerable slope so I move some more rocks to build up the edges to prevent the mulch washing away in the first heavy shower of rain.  We were lucky to be offered a large pile of mulch by our neighbours who had several large trees lopped and mulched.  We moved 3 loads in the back of the ute last weekend so some of it was used on this garden with several layers of newspaper underneath to help suppress any weeds.

I thought we may have had some rain late this afternoon as the storm clouds were building rapidly and the thunder was rumbling in the distance as I put the finishing touches to my new garden.

Storm clouds

The threatening weather dissipated quickly and we have been left with a warm, humid night.