Tuesday, 23 February 2010

a little hedge trimming

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden10/hedgeremove1.JPGAlong the back of the house runs a long bed.  It alternates between camellias and tall pine hedges.  The camellias have always struggled - they get shade all winter but sunburned in the summer.  Each year they seem to lose as many leaves as they put on, and most of the flowers get eaten by the possums.  Still, last autumn I replaced two that had died.  They're doing ok, but another one has died this summer.  I feel like I'm fighting a losing, uphill and expensive battle.

In the meantime I hate the pine bush on the end closest to the melons.  It shades the bed in the summer and because of it one of the melons never set fruit.  It's actually taller and thicker than in this photo but I'd already cut a chunk out of it before I thought to take a photo.

So I decided I was done mollycoddling precious camellias along.  The dead one is coming out and I'll try to transplant the other.  I'm slowly going to replace them all with agapanthus, a plant that's nearly indestructible in Melbourne.  I actually have a plant that's formed a cluster of 5 or 6 that I'll transplant. 

And though I'll keep two of the pines, the one on the end has seen its last days.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden10/hedgeremove2.JPGIt was a lot easier to cut out than I thought, the wood is very soft.  I'll wait a few weeks for the next step; the agapanthus you could transplant in the middle of a heat wave but the camellias would appreciate cool weather.  It's starting to cool down for autumn but we could still have some high-30 weather before the end.

Speaking of autumn, you can just see the wilty pumpkin vine in the very corner.  It gave a very bad showing this year, only two tiny pumpkins and I'm a bit worried about them ripening before the vine fully carks it.  I did a lot better last year with the potimarrons but this year I planted them far too late.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden10/serrano.JPGAnd speaking of unsuccessful plants, I give up on chillies.  I've had grief germinating them, I've had them barely ripen before autumn, and this year I didn't get a single fruit.  Just a lot of flowers that dropped and a lot of leaves that fell off.