Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Aussie Rambler, Lemongrass & Rhubarb


One day during our regular walk around the neighbourhood, my older boy spotted this beautiful Aussie rambler while I was looking at the smaller version - the pig face - growing in the same front garden.  I instantly fell in love with these flowers! They are large, about 10cm in diameter, hot pink and glorious! I knocked on my neighbour's door to ask for some cutting, brought it home, stood it in water for a day and then popped it into 50% potting mix and 50% sand.  Here's hoping it will strike.  Then I was totally elated to realise a friend, also a neighbour down the street, having tons of these growing in her garden.  She welcomed me to take as much as I wanted. One day I will!

I have failed several times growing culinary lemongrass.  First, I bought the wrong ones, 6 pots of them! And when given some authentic ones from an ex-neigbhour, and then a friend from Sydney, I managed to get them going in pots but neglected them as I was too busy with my newborn.  They died in winter.  Finally I was given some by yet another friend.  I carefully protected this little plant in winter and it did well.  I planted it into Patch Deck recently, still with plastic sheets surrounding it. It is doing well! Hooray! :
 My pot of rhubarb sprang up quickly after being invisible for a while.  Such beautiful colours! :

Monday, October 6, 2014

Spring Photos - Mulching the Front Vegetable Bed

This morning's weather was fantastic. But when afternoon began, we had wind speed up to 100km/h. It was quite scary! After we mid-morning walk, I hurried to do some work in the garden - staking the passion fruit and my grape vine so that their branches/stem wouldn't break.

Hubby and I put on our masks and starting to level the soil and  mulch the front vegetable bed. I also planted two grape tomato plants.  Finally done!!! :

The grape vine is looking so good! Love the glossy fresh green leaves and the flowers that have appeared. Within a week, the bare vine is covered with lush green leaves! Such is the magic of spring! Even my wisteria has put on a full head of leaves! And the pixzee peach tree too!

Carolina Black Rose Grape Vine in its Pot.
New leaves and new flowers for Carolina Black Rose grape vine.

Parsley thriving in the lemon tree pot :
Flat leaf parsley in the lemon tree pot.

Gai choy or mustard green in the front garden Patch

Another harvest of my gai choy/mustard green.

Okay now an update on my hydrangeas.  These were dug up from my previous garden, planted into pots and now I have found a new spot for them - next to the car port.  They were stricken by powdery mildew but done well after fungicide treatment :

Monday, September 22, 2014

Black Passionfruit Planted in Patch Deck

We had a fair-weather day today! I had a few errands to run mid-morning. Hubby decided to take the boys to Petbarn to get some dog food and let the boys look at animals, while I went to IKEA, Bunnings and Spotlight to get some stuff. So we had to go in separate cars and meet up for lunch. At the drive-way, when Little S (23 months) realised that I was not going in his car, he let out a scream and started to run to me. But then he switched to saying 'Bye bye Mummy' and 'Kiss Mummy' when I gently explained to him. Gave me a hug and a kiss before he went to Hubby's car. I want to record this here because it was such a heartwarming moment for me. My sweet baby!!! He seems very sensible at this young age.

So I finally bought the Nellie Kelly's black passionfruit and it is a non-grafted. Mister S and I dug at Patch Deck and planted it there.  Mister S decided to call this passionfruit vine 'Fred'. Fingers crossed it flourishes and bear us lots of passionfruit.  We also drove stakes around the vine and protected it with plastic sheet, as I was wary of possums coming to eat it up.
Fred the Black passionfruit.

Fred the Black passionfruit planted in Patch Deck.
I have always loved bluebells after reading a book when I was a teenager. I have seen bluebells in other gardens before. But now we have them on ours. Bluebells may be a flower of the past but it does not matter to me. I think I am happy to have them in my garden.
Bluebells blooming.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Edible Garden Bed - Plans for Patch Front

Now, a look at my front garden (though I am far from posting about the back garden). I shall call this garden bed 'Patch Front'. The photo speaks a thousand words. I find labelling much more efficient and clear. You can click on the photo to see a larger one.


The left side where the fence is is usually shaded. I would love to plant a vine of some sort in that area but a bit more researching has to be done. My faithful Pixzee Peach tree has finally gone into the ground after a few years of being potted.  It has been fungicide-treated and then flowered and now the leaves are coming.  I have driven stakes around the tree for protection in months to come, against my dog and possums. For two years we hadn't eaten a single peach from it because my dog chewed it.

The kaffir lime tree was also planted a few months ago.  However, it did not do very well. I am not sure why and hope it greens up after a while, or I will have to investigate. Next to the kaffir lime, some mustard green vegetables are thriving.  

As I did not know where to plant my grape vine Carolina Black Rose (due to the shifting sun all over my garden and I know grapes need lots sunshine to sweeten), I have re-potted it into a larger pot. Wishing for the same sweet juicy grapes I had last summer/autumn!

Eureka lemon tree, brown turkey fig tree and wisteria remain potted.  Right where my entrance is, I plan on putting Saffron Crocus bulbs.  

Dreaming of an edible garden bed! And a beautiful one too! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DIY Garden Revamp Plans

Hi all! I am back!

Just for an update.  We have moved into our new property in March 2014. Took us a few months to settle down.  It's a two-storey house and this did get us some getting used to. Little S tumbled down the stairs a few times but he got the hang of getting up and down pretty fast!

Spring is finally here! In winter, the garden was not inviting and I merely kept up the maintenance. Can't wait for warmer and longer days!

This new garden was not at all what I had wished for.  To be honest, I was absolutely devastated.  This house was definitely a good buy in terms of location and price.  The garden is far from my dream one.  There is plenty of work to do if that dream was to come true.

Firstly, there are several medium and tall trees.  I am sure the roots are well established down below for anything else to grow. And the back garden, where most available land is, is mostly shaded due to the trees' canopy.

Secondly, the land is slope and has 'terraces'. There are plenty of rocks to deal with.  We have a creek at the back and the area is sprawled with overgrowth of creeping weeds.

Our plan is to remove much of the medium-sized trees to allow more sunshine. I doubt we will have permission to remove the large trees, but I do not plan to do that anyway.  I like the kookaburra's visits on the tall gum tree and we are getting rainbow lorikeets coming on our neighbour's eucalyptus tree.  I am sure my two boys will enjoy bird-watching. I would like to retain a bit of the towering greenery.

Okay. Here's my deck. I love it that it is right out of the kitchen. And here's some proposed plan :

I bought a passionfruit vine - Panama Black, which is most suitable for our Melbournian climate. I prefer the Panama Red but unfortunately it may not be that frost-hardy. It's strange that the garden centre is selling the red since it is more of a tropical vine!  My boys love passionfruit.  So do I. And they cost quite a bit to buy. I love the look of a climbing fruit vine too. I am thinking of planting it in the soil below the deck and allowing it to climb up built trellises up to the deck.
You can see the canopy of the medium-sized trees  and tall trees beyond. The spotted-neck pigeons frequent these trees but I really need to allow more sunshine by removing them.

The is the patch right below/beside the deck. I shall name it Patch Deck.  I removed most of the weeds in winter and covered the ground with weed mat.  Not sure what I will plant just yet but definitely something edible. I am planning to plant the passionfruit vine here where the compost bin stands temporarily, build trellises and let it climb up the deck.

I have also just put my culinary lemongrass into the ground.  There's sunshine at that spot and being able to grow really tall, it would be ideal to put the lemongrass there.

Two trees and a shrub most likely will be removed, plus all those groundcovers. I found some hellebores and rosemary growing in the same area and I would like to keep them.
"All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature...the challenge of Science is to find it." - Paracelcus, the father of Pharmcology, 1493 - 1541