Monday, April 30, 2012
Gardening Weather at Last!
Down the side of my driveway is a gap to the fence of no more than 15cm, as deep as the slab. The gap had nothing in it at all except weeds, and I thought I had no soil to put in it until I remembered the unused planter box mix sitting in a heap near my Hill's hoist. We weeded, then I barrowed the planter box mix to the driveway and the kids swept it into the gap. When we were uncovering the mix, we found a nest of blue ants with their eggs.
At every fence-post, the Sprig planted Dietes grandiflora, which I had divided from a clump in the front garden. The clumps are shallow-rooted in my clay soil but were very hard to dig out because the clump was a good half-metre across. Dividing the clump took a while too as I hadn't tried it before. Dietes is a great plant for Sydney, growing in a slow-spreading clump of strappy leaves to 60cm and requiring no attention whatever. The flowers are of the iris type, with a purple 'cup' over a wide white 'saucer'. Unfortunately, these wilt quickly when cut.
At the shady end of the long bed, the Sprig strewed forget-me-not seeds. I popped in a Pelargonium where we will see it from our family-room window, then planted rooted segments of Coleus amboinicus up at the sunny end. Near our pond garden, I found a baby Erigeron karvinskianus growing, and I've transplanted this to the driveway bed too.
The native violets I bought the other day (with the sweet peas and bugle flower) has gone under the little bracelet honey-myrtle by the pond. The sweet peas are planted around two tetrapods in the herb bed. I've also planted the blugle flower there. I have a feeling it is Ajuga reptans 'Cavalier' rather than the Ajuga reptans purpurea on the label: the cultivars were mixed in together and mine has large purple leaves rather than small ones. I thought the Ajuga would look good next to the Echium because of the contrast in foliage, and I do hope the bloom periods overlap: the bugle flowers are the same shape and colour as the Echium's, just much smaller.
Ixia viridiflora are a turquoise colour with a purple-black central eye, so I thought they'd go well with my mallard-green pergola. I've planted them around the bugle flower. There are now half a dozen Allium 'Drumstick' bulbs at the back of the herb bed too.
The peacock flower, Moarea aristata, has snow-white petals with a navy-blue stain at the base. I thought they'd look nice near my rosemary (which has a deep blue flower) and marjoram. At the other end of the bed, I have planted deep velvety purple Sparaxis so one day they will flower near a pineapple sage (not yet purchased).
Then I've started a row of 'Greenfeast' peas near my washing line and am soaking some snow peas for planting on one of my tetrapods in the herb bed. The other tetrapods have sweet peas around them. The only harvest in prospect is of small tomatoes, but they are delicious!