Saturday, August 31, 2013

Spring started weeks ago!

One of the fortunate things about my new life as an erratically employed freelancer is that I get more time off to do gardening, whether I want the time off or not! The pay is lousy but the lifestyle is terrific. As a result, my garden looks rather tidy at the moment. As the heading for this post says, spring started weeks ago, so this posting is nothing more than a wander around my happy and unusually tidy spring garden. 

For me, this light, fresh green is the true colour
of spring. In this case it's the top leaves of my
potted Turkish Brown fig.
Flowers do announce the new season nicely, and our potted native
orchids are producing sprays of these tiny, fragrant little blooms.
Small but perfectly formed orchids less than an inch across
from side to side, the other nice thing about them, speaking
as a gardener, is that they are very easy to grow.
Our two lavender bushes have been blooming
their heads off for a month, the bees love them
and they aren't looking like slowing down any
time soon. I've added its fellow Mediterranean
classic, the rosemary, to keep them company.
Wet weather can truncate the show of the superb
scadoxus, but with hardly a drop for the last few
weeks they're putting on their best show ever.
Our self-sown strawberry patch (which came
up out of some compost spread in this spot) is
still rudely healthy. Its spot is a bit too shady
in winter so it's content to snooze then, but now
the amount of sunshine it's getting is growing
daily it is flowering (with liquid feeds from me
to help the cause) and the first fruits are forming.
The end of winter is one of the two times of the
year when my in-ground citrus are fed, and a
week ago our garden was resplendent with the
heady aroma of chicken poo. Now the Eureka
lemon is flowering its head off quite fragrantly. 
Our potted Thai lime is clapping on a lot of
deep maroon new growth, but as it's in a pot I
feed it lightly once a month, unlike the other
citrus trees growing here.
I sometimes channel a bit of Basil Fawlty when
I am yet again caring for my potted mint, as
what mint needs "is a damned good thrashing".
What I mean by that is mint needs constant
taming and cutting back, sometimes all the way
down to pot-rim level. I did that for the
umpteenth time about three weeks ago, and
since then with regular watering and liquid
feeds, it has bounced back nicely yet again.
It's a high-maintenance herb, mint, but it
does look and smell lovely in these peak times.

I'm not going to say too much about the passionfruit vine
trained on my neighbour's garage wall, other than to report
that it's ludicrously lush and green, and has no flowers and
is doing sod-all in the way of producing fruit yet.
The small gaggle of garlic plants raised from
sprouted supermarket cloves is growing on well.
I told you the garden looks neat and well mulched at the moment.
I pulled out the winter crop, dug it all over as usual, then planted
seedlings of lettuce, basil and chillies, along with pretty little French
 marigolds for some colour. The round bare patch on the right
rear is where I am raising Collard greens direct-sown from seeds.
The Collard greens came with the Soulicious eBook cookbook 
Pam and I bought from our friend Awia Markey.
New plants have been added recently, too.
This row of four Gardenia magnifica should
grow to about 2m tall and cover up that
white Colorbond fence. I am hoping for dense
glossy green growth, white fragrant flowers
in summer and no problems, please!
And finally, if it all grows too big and everything
gets out of hand – start again! That's what we
are doing with a potted bay tree. Our last one
was here for ages but grew too big, then became
pot-bound then got sick and ugly. All my fault.
So here is "Son of Bay", my attempt to make
amends for all my bay-tree growing mistakes
perpetrated over the last 20 years. Whether I find
redemption or not remains to be seen, but I do
like adding just a touch of epic theme to
gardening here. It puts things in perspective.


jeanie said...

Hi there Jamie - came by way of a google search for coriander seed and am enjoying your garden!

I shall link you when I do my garden update this weekend.

Lanie at Edible Urban Garden said...

Your garden is looking beautiful. This early spring weather has tricked my fig tree into producing leaves too. And my persimmon (which doesn't normally come into leaf until November). That said, it has been gorgeous weather to potter around the garden.

Simone Felic said...

Que beleza seu quintal , a primavera é minha estação preferida.

hmsuperior said...

Lovely to see Spring kicking in. Also interesting to see the difference in timing. At my place I'm only just seeing the beginning of buds. Sydney is just a few weeks ahead.

ambradambra said...

I too love to see citrus flowering this time of year. Speaking of citrus, are you familiar with the 'Buddha's Hand Citron? I bought one in South Australia recently and have cooked with it. Now trying to find where I can buy either the plant or the fruit in Sydney. Here's my blog post about it:

Jamie said...

Yes I know those Buddha's hand citrons. They're fragrant, too?

Online, Australia's best fruit tree specialist Daleys Nursery has them