Saturday, November 08, 2014

My Other Garden

Since 1989, with a break. I have had at least two gardens - which is why the name of this blog is in plural. My other garden of the minute is down at my Mum's hostel, which started with just bringing in four Hoyas from home when she went in there, but grew. The Hoyas have moved with her (not really well) as she moved around the hostel, and are still there. But now what there tends to be more of is strategic pots, mainly in the outdoor area near Mum's room, but also in a few other spaces. 

The one above is my favourite planting technique - throw three geraniums with different types of leaves in a pot, and top the soil with a handful from my magic bucket where I continually put spent Lobelia, Virginian Stock, Violas, Alyssum and Snapdragons to drop seed into dry potting mix. I have even been known to throw in Italian Parsley for some greenery with geraniums. I just put a bit of the soil and seed mix on the top of each pot, and voila.

Here is another pot, which is past its best now, and about to come home. It was supposed to be Babianas, and they were superb - but then the volunteers really took over.

I keep rotating these pots home when they are not in flower, and am really enjoying getting some propagating space back after all the upheavel of eight months waiting for builders.

This one is a geranium all on its own - sometimes placement is the most important, so the pot can be seen from a distance and give the impression of a garden. This pot does that brilliantly.

This is one area where I did a quick "makeover". One woman there was a wonderful gardener before she came in, and all she could see from her window was a brick wall with pipes. She was asking for "just a couple of flowers". Maintenance staff put down four pavers, I threw four quick pots on - and now I am ready to look for some pink and retire some of the orange/red to a courtyard that has nothing.

The only down side is that staff are extremely hard-working, but do not have the time to water pots all over the place. So I am starting on the time of year when I need to water daily.

And I only took these photos as I wanted a shot of my Albuca canadensis. This is in the Lily family, and I have carried it around for years. It is down there for a visit, then I need to divide it up. Staff (there are so very serious gardeners in the staff), keep asking me what it is. Common name Slime Lily (which I do not like) or Sentry-in-a-Box - which I do not mind.

Monday, November 03, 2014

November in the Garden

It is November in my garden in cool and damp Gippsland in Victoria. Inch and a half of rain yesterday - bit more than we needed. (33mm)

So, here we go.  Yes, it is that time of month again, when gardeners across the country, and across the world, report on their activities, as part of the Garden Share Collective. This is kindly hosted by Liz at Strayed from the Table.
The BIG news from here is that YES!!! finally, we almost have our extension finished out the back. Not only will we have a large sun-room, we will have a Garden Shed. I am most excited - it is that square of concrete you can see here, with the wheelbarrow on it. Just waiting for the sides.

Behind it will be the extension to the garage. There was a thought my potting table was going on this side of the wall, but when we finally decided on exposed pebbles for that area, I gave up, as the mix of soil and pebbles would have been too much. So I will get the  BBQ (the black thing lurking behind the barrels), out of the garden.

The down side is that the sun is definitely hitting this bed later in the morning, due to the shade from the extension, but I am going to have to live with that.

So, somehow, I have to reduce the potting area I have so I can fit the four barrels (top photo) along the fence with four citrus. It will be a challenge, as I want to keep the three worm / compost bins growing pumpkins as well. But we need the space where the barrels are, as there is no lawn left in the back garden for the mulcher. Things are tight.

This is what has to be reduced! But I am not giving up this, now I finally have it set up again:

Ths is where I water the pots after potting them up - recycle the water with extra nutirents added that are leached out of the pots.

Meanwhile, back in the veggie garden. It has been an awesome month for growing. Here are beds One, Two and Three, in order:

Bed One was winter onions etc - most of which have not thrived in the wet winter - leeks are currently running to seed, some of the garlic is stunted, due to being overshadowed by the Broad Beans. With a heavy heart, I pulled themout after a few feeds, as they were so large they were dominating the bed. Next year I am going looking for a dwarf variety.

Bed Two is the new tomato house. It is working well, except with cheap arches, what you pay for is what you get. In the recent high winds, three of the junctiosn lost their screws, or snapped them. and I have had to splint them. I had Mizuna in there too, but it just got so big, so quickly, that I have pulled it all out and given it away. I am keeping one plant in a barrel to seed, so I can grow a plant now and then - eight from a punnet is just toooo much

Bed Three has all sorts of seedlings - all under industrial-strength bird deterrent at this stage - although the beetroot may almost be big enough to go on its own. This is cloches plus an almost-overall cover of find black bird netting. And the birds here are big, but they cannot move half-bricks. In the centre is more beeetroot, carrots and parsnips, up the end two sorts of cucumbers.

Beds two and three were hibernated over winter, with manure dug in then covered under several layers of folded shadecloth. At this stage it seems to have been a major success.

My disaster with manure is in Bed One, where the only explantion I have for this is one of the manures - and I cannot remember what went in there.

 Yep - It is Oxalis. I am quite stressed about it, as I did not have it in this garden, and I am going to have to be very careful and dig out every little bit - and there is a fair bit. Big :(

So, here is the formal bit:

Planted since last report: Bok Choi, Beetroot, Cucumbers (second type added to first), Zucchini. It doesn't seem much, but such a heap went in last month.

Harvesting: Spring Onions, Lettuce, Lemons, Mizuna, Carrots, perennial spinach.

Wins: The Celery planted before winter from the base of a commercial stick is going gang-busters. We harvest a little occasionally for a salad.

Plans: Get the Oxalis out,  Now! Let everything else happen as it happens. Can't move the barrels until Autumn, when I can move the pumpkin bins.

And I picked up this idea from someone on the Garden Share Collective- was it e/dig? Use hanging baskets (I bought two large ones at the cheap shop) with netting to make little individual bird-proof houses. Worked a treat with some added saucers, but they grew soooo quick. But it got me over the hump.

I'm off to read everyone else - I won't let myself do it until I have posted, or it would never happen.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Iris Time

 It is Iris time. I think mine seem to be best every second year. This is one of my favourites, above. Very vigorous and pure white.Taller than everything else.

 This one hasn't flowered yet this year - but there are late buds.

And this one is one the way out. The stems are so weak they always need staking - and I am not sure I like the colour combination anyway.