Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Routine Jobs

I remembered to prune the roses a few weeks ago and also sprayed them with some smelly lime sulphur to kill any overwintering fungal spores that cause powdery mildew. I also sprayed my dwarf peach with the lime sulphur and this will stop it getting peach leaf curl. Other routine jobs I have done include cutting the ornamental grass miscanthus off just above ground level and chopping it up roughly to add to the compost heap. I have been weeding madly leaving some of the poppy seedlings for a spring display. It is quite amazing how closely the seedling of a milk thistle resembles that of a poppy! You really have to look closely before yanking anything out. I cut back the ‘Nanho Blue’ buddleia (better late then never) and the stalks of golden rod Solidago canadensis. I have pulled all the old shrivelled leaves off the silver astelia which I swear has doubled in size over the last 12 months.

This weekend I hope to go and collect a trailer-load of rotted horse poo which I will use as a surface mulch around the garden. For once I am not concerned about applying mulch too early and stopping the rain from getting through to the soil. This spring I hope the soil critters have the moisture to do their job of incorporating the horse poo into the soil. I also have to move my rose ‘Graham Thomas’ because it is crowded by shrubs all around it and it struggles to get enough sun during the day. Roses really need at least 5 hours of direct sun every day or they will just elongate and succumb to every beastie and disease going.

The vegetable garden is looking a little empty with many of winter’s crops harvested and summer’s crops have not gone in yet. The asparagus peas have grown really well and aren’t frost sensitive at all. Each plant has grown about 30cm high and twice as wide and they’re dotted with little maroon flowers. I’m hoping as the weather warms these will be pollinated by the bees and I’ll start to get peas. The pods are a bit weird looking with frilly ribs running down the outside and you pick them when they are quite small – about 3cm long but they really do taste mildly of asparagus! The rainbow chard finally came good after all my trials and tribulations in autumn but I know it will be going to seed any day so I should plant some new seedlings to replace it. I dug up the rhubarb and separated it and replanted some crowns after mixing a bag of horse poo in the soil. Rhubarb LOVES to be fed and watered – I remember my dad digging loads of manure into our rhubarb bed at home and being rewarded with lots of long red stems.

In the Australian native plant garden the scarlet wattle Acacia leprosa ‘Scarlet Blaze’ is in full bloom and the seedlings of pink everlastings that I sowed in autumn are budding up. The pin cushion hakea has finished flowering but the grass-leaved hakea Hakea multilineata is covered in pink flowers. The wilga Geijera parviflora and pine-leaved geebung Persoonia pinifolia are still alive – haven’t killed them yet! Various correas are flowering as is the tree violet Hymenanthera dentata – its fragrance wafts around the garden on warm days.

The soft-leaf buffalo ‘Palmetto’ lawn that we laid 10 months ago has come through the winter really well. It is supposed to be the best soft-leaf buffalo for holding its colour through the cooler months and while it is not an emerald green it is green enough for me. Trevor spent some time with a daisy weeder going around pulling out the few clumps of winter grass, poppies and flick weed that had come up and I plan to fertilise the lawn this weekend. Then it should be looking great for when my garden is open over the last weekend in October. This is advance warning to all you gardeners out there that you should plan to stay home that weekend as we have not just one or two gardens open here but three! See the Open Gardens Australia guidebook for details.

1 comment:

  1. Loving your blog, very informative thanks for sharing