Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blink and you might miss it

As we travelled the last few miles at the end of our recent 3500km driving holiday in southern Australia, Pammy said "I wonder what has changed in the two weeks since we left?" She was referring to anything and everything in our local area. "Look, that shop has closed down" ... "and finally they've taken down all the ugly hoarding around that construction site — that new apartment building is almost finished."

No matter how little time you spend away from your home base, in a fortnight something always changes.

And that proved to be true for our little garden. During our two weeks away, one of our garden's best flower shows reached its peak and then quietly faded (just like they do in the forest). New things burst into full bloom, and seeds sprouted. And we weren't here to see any of it. We blinked and missed it all.

Still, it's an interesting thing to do ... leave your garden to its own devices for a while. And so here's what we missed out on over the last couple of weeks.

In the foreground, our usually fabulous scadoxus looked like the stragglers on the morning after a very memorable party. Frazzled, tousled and tired, but they did have fun for a while. In the background, the yellow clivias were in a similar tatty condition.

Poor yellow clivias, they'll be back same time next year, and hopefully there'll be more of them next time (and there'll be an old blogger there to photograph them in all their glory and lavish them with praise).

The one very good thing about the scadoxus section of the garden is that all the baby plants are thriving. In recent years I have been painstakingly raising them from collected seed, and this spring they are growing stronger than ever. There's more than a dozen newbies here and there. I'm just hoping these are not plants that need 10-15 years in the ground before they do their first flowering. I'm not sure if I'll live that long to see all my work come into glorious bloom!

In other pleasing baby news, all the flat-leaf parsley seed which I scattered in a few spots a few weeks before we left have sprouted up through the sugar cane mulch and seem to be powering along. This year all I did was open the seed packet and shake it here and there in the mulched vegie area, then say "you're on your own, kids; good luck". I think this has been my most successful seed-sowing method yet for parsley.

Upon our return we were greeted by some new blooms, including these little mint bush beauties ...

... and all our hanging baskets of pelargoniums perked up in the spring sunshine. 

But the flower show which impressed us the most was this (next) unexpected one ...

Our broccoli patch was in its full glory as adult plants, and the loud humming of the bees all around the broccoli's yellow blooms was a clear signal from the bees to me to "leave our broccoli flowers alone". 

They're perfectly correct, of course. While we grow broccoli with the mindset of "food/vegetable" and tend to look upon these flowers as a signal to replace the crop, the bees adore this plant's flowers, and so until all the flowers fade our broccoli plants are staying right where they are, as a bee temple.

So that's my little report on how our little garden looks after a few weeks of slight neglect (although our wonderful neighbours Nick and Katerina did their usual great job watering the garden for us).

Oh, so how was the holiday? Great! 

I'm still sorting through the thousand or so photos that we took along the way, and once that's done I'll show you some of the highlights, especially the lovely gardens we visited and the new people we met (hi Kerryn in Kyneton!). 


MDN said...

Jamie, Happy spring! My clivias are blooming here too (posted some pictures) I hope spring will be nice (and not too hot!) for our gardens!

Phil in Newy said...

Great post, thanks Jamie. Again you have introduced (or reintroduced) me to plant I either forgot existed or never really knew of. My list grows (unlike my garden :0)

The pelargoniums photo made me double-take. While familiar with the name since forever, I never confronted one in real life. But suddenly I realise my motley collection of geraniums are half and half!!

I wasn't fooled by that "bees are happy" excuse for not eating your broccoli. Just admit that broccoli is best left for other species to gag on.

By all means post your favourite travel photos - but, please, no invites to slide night :0)

Jamie said...

MDN: I checked out your spring flower photos. It seems like you're a month ahead of Sydney's rose-growers in particular. Very nice!

Phil: yes, we're never going to convert over people to calling geraniums pelargoniums, but I keep on trying, just for fun. And you're on the side of former US President George HW Bush (W's dad) who famously declared that since he became President he no longer had to eat broccoli. He could eat what he damn-well liked! Pammy and I enjoy broccoli (which is why we grow it) and it's going to be coming back next winter, too.

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