Thursday, 12 December 2013

Garden Update December 2013

It has been some time since I last did a garden update.  I do my best to take care of my garden but it doesn't inspire the same excitment that my kitchen does.  Unless there is fruit and colour.  In particular, blueberries! 

Yes you heard me.  We are growing blueberries!  Sylvia asked and our garden guru, my mum, bought her a pot.  They are not starting to turn blue and it is very exciting.  My mum has also kindly bought Sylvia a tomato plant that is showing some hopeful signs (to the right of the blueberry plant) and helped me nurse my ailing lavender plant (to the left).  After looking quite scruffy, I am pleased to see a few lavender flowers again.

Before exploring more of the backyard, let me take you on a little tour of some of the flowers in our front garden.  Yes I know one of the below photos is not of flowers but I included it because we had one of these trees in our garden when I was a child and always called the leaves bananas so it is a bit sentimental.

My mum does a lot to keep the roses flourishing outside our front door.  She knows when to deadhead and feed and prune.  I just do the odd bit of weeding.  Sadly the rose bushes are past their first bloom of spring but you can still see a few in the above photos.

On a rare occasion you can see Dolly in the garden drying off after a bath in the bathroom sink.  I love seeing her looking clean but it doesn't take long for Sylvia to get her dirty.  Nothing like feeding her watermelon and giving her a going over with textas (marker pens) to make her look very loved.

Less vigorous has been our lemon tree.  It yielded a low crop of lemons last year and the leaves have been yellowing.  My mum has given it some extra potting mix and I have started feeding it with Seasol plant tonic every fortnight.  (I am trying to give the whole garden some Seasol every fortnight after seeing Miss Piggy mention using it on her balcony garden.)  I think this TLC is starting to help.

The little baby lemons growing on the tree right now are promising to yield far more lemons than last year.  I take that as a good sign that the lemon tree is doing far better.

Unfortunately on both the lemon and lime tree, I have been cutting off gall wasp lately.  This is a little insect that buries itself inside the branches (see the little lump above) and will do bad things to a tree.  I wish I could tell you more but I am no green thumb.

Meanwhile the lime tree, which was always the puny one of my two citrus trees, is now the flourishing one.  It had a great crop last year and has so many little limes this year that Sylvia keeps dancing around the yard singing about all the limeade we will make.  It has lost quite a lot of leaves lately but has lots of new growth.

As well as all the new and fruity plants, the old regulars are doing nicely.  The camelia bush (just behind the lime tree in above photo) has been flowering regularly.  Recently it was looking quite weedy but has perked up and is growing well.

The mint continues to be like one of those scary cartoon characters who refuses to die no matter how badly they are treated.  No matter how much I forget to water it and it looks like it is on its last legs, it always bounces back.  It even grows in two pots now after some colonisation.

My other hardy potted herbs are rosemary, thyme and bay leaves.  I have tried growing sage and parsley, both of which I love and neither have taken.  (Kale, spinach and rainbow chard have also come and gone in my garden.)  I have occasionally had basil but it never lasts long.  Wheras the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves just keep on doing their thing no matter what.  I don't use them heaps but it is great when I want a bouquet garni

So there is my garden, green and thriving in our recent bouts of warm weather and cold rainy days.  I feel a wee bit protective of it when I think of the hot weather that we usually have to endure over summer.  At least I have more confidence these days, knowing it has withstood quite some years of scorching summers and hopefully will survive this one.  Now I just have to hope the birds don't eat the blueberries.

12 comments:

  1. I think I need your Mum to come and give my garden some advice too :-) My lemon tree is doing quite well - small lemons, but lemons nonetheless - but I have been a bit lazy with things and the heat is starting to have visible effects. I am really impressed with your blueberries!

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    1. Thanks Kari - my mum is very helpful - she did say to bring in the blue blueberries before the birds get them (even though they are still a bit sour) and I haven't. Always something to worry about in the garden but it is brilliant when the lemons are ripe.. Sounds like you have a heat wave in Perth but luckily we are still having fairly mild weather here.

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  2. You have a nice collection of things growing, and I love your wombat!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - the wombat watches over the garden and is very worried about the 40 C day tomorrow :-)

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  3. I cannot wait to get a blueberry bush for my balcony garden...they have a variety now that can grow well in pots.

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    1. Thanks Mel - I wonder if that is the blueberry bush we have - my mum bought it so I don't have a clue about such things

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  4. I love your wombat too! It's adorable! Looks like you're growing some lovely things. I know what you mean about mint, the bush we had at our old house was so resilient! Rain, hail, or shine there seemed to be an infinite supply of mint...

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    1. Thanks Little Vegan Bear - Yeah mint is amazing - you just can't destroy it - if only basil was the same :-)

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  5. Wonderful! You're like us with all the pots around a yard with no grass!

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    1. Thanks Sandy - yes pots r us :-) I was really impressed by your tomatoes in your pot - hope ours are as successful

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  6. Wow! This makes me so giddy! (I'm a dork, haha.)

    You have such a great variety in your garden. We've had a rosemary bush since before moving in to this house - I've done nothing to look after it and it has managed to survive.

    I'm pretty excited about your blueberries. And I had no idea they were white before going blue!

    I've heard Seasol is the shiz. Well, anything seaweedy is great for the garden... Hence my DIY fertiliser that had agar & dulse in it :) I read that a lot of people use kelp powder too!

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    1. Thanks Nat - your plant nerdiness amuses me - I am not quite there but getting better with the garden.

      Rosemary is pretty hardy though our pot hasn't really flourished as I thought it might - one of my housemates once killed the rosemary busy in the backyard and apparently that was some feat!

      Yes the blueberries are exciting - it is great to see them change colour.

      I think seasol is helping - my mum says it is a tonic (love your DIY fertiliser) but that my plants might need some food too.

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