Sunday, 20 September 2009

happy little maple, the back bed, and favourite flowers

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/mapleleaves.JPGI'm glad to announce that the sad little maple tree survived its ordeal.  As you can see the tips of the longer branches have died, although some of them have buds that haven't sprouted yet.  But I'm very proud of its tenacity, and I hope that this year is kinder to it than last year.  Hopefully I'll remember to water it more often!  In the meantime it's going to get some coffee grinds around the roots this weekend.  It loves acidic soil and the grinds should keep the surface roots cool.  I just had to learn the hard way last year, only to put a thin layer of grounds.  Anything as thick as even 1cm turns into a hard caked crust!

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/cornersept.JPGI thought I'd add a picture of the back bed whilst I was at it.  The pansies in the raised beds are doing OK but I don't think I'd plant them back there again.  They want more sun, the blooms are large but don't last long, and any bit of rain makes them flop over.  Compare that to the smaller violas I describe in a moment...

In the meantime the oakleaf hydrangeas are starting to wake up from winter dormancy (they're too stick-like to see in the photo but they're near those lamps in the raised beds).  I also wanted to bring the perennial statice to your attention, it's those clusters of broad dark leaves with the whispy purple flowers.  They are fabulous plants, the blooms last forever, all through the autumn.  And when the autumn flowers faded it had already put out another set of buds which bloomed with the spring.  Two long shows per year, and they're tough and drought-friendly.  A great find for any Melbourne garden.

The big bed in the middle is full of manure and waiting for this year's veggies.  I'm thinking I'll try edamame soybeans, the kind you eat freshly steamed as a snack.  It's a Japanese snack I highly recommend if you haven't tried them.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/violassept.JPGAs promised, here's another look at the violas at the front door.  Now you can see why I prefer them to the pansies ... they put out so many cheerful blossoms and they've done so all winter long.  The trick is to pick off the spent flower heads every so often so they spend their energy making more flowers instead of making seeds.  Will definitely grow again next winter.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/geraniumssept.JPGNext we have probably my all-time favourite flower, geraniums (pelargoniums).  I keep showing photos but I can't help myself.  I can't quite get over that twelve months ago these were tiny seedlings with maybe six leaves.  And now they're going nuts!  This is the cluster that's done so well I've had to prune it back already.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/cliviabloom2.JPGMy clivias are doing well too.  I planted them in the autumn and they've all put out new growth, though only one decided to bloom this year.  But what a bloom!  This variety is meant to blossom twice a year, so maybe by the autumn all three plants will be ready to bloom at once.  And in the meantime, I think one of them has had a baby.  You can just see a little green leaf coming out of the bark in front of the parent.  I think it's a "pup", which would be great, I'd love to have a thick cluster of clivia in this bed.  Though I can't recommend them yet as they haven't survived a Melbourne summer yet...
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/cliviabloom1.JPG
And finally, another flower I can't yet recommend because I don't know if it'll survive the summer.  My hellebores survived a vicious aphid attack, and one of them decided it was ready to flower this year.  I'm very happy with the colour, they came from a mix so I didn't know what colour they'd be.  They go semi-dormant over the summer so I hope that means they'll survive the heat.
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden09/hellebore2.JPG


2 comments:

Mari said...

My oh my, what a little zoo of flora you have going there. Those geraniums are kick@$$! I think statice would do well here, too, but you never see them. Have to ask why at a garden center.

Funkbunny said...

I've just planted edamname and they've just popped up (hopefully won't be damaged by all this cold weather in Melbourne this weekend!) I'll let you know how they go.