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!


Garry Allen said...

The spare time i had this wekend was devoted to storm water. And today. Started gluing the fittings in. once I'm done, jill will be able to revel in her creativity in the barren wasteland that is our front yard. Since we have the pine, we'll have to plant seedlings rather than attempting to grow stuff from seed. The soil is deep and there are quite a few worms considering that we have done nothing out there.

kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

I need you to come and teach me garden things.

I will sit and watch you have at it.



Kathy said...

I was pleased that today for the first time in ages, I took my lunch into the garden and just sat and looked. Haven't done that for ages. Was going to do 15 minutes of clearing, but the phone rang when I took the bowl inside, and it was just go-go-go from there again. *sigh*

Chookie said...

Garry, your Council may be giving away a few seedlings and it's the right time to plant them. And if you want any Dietes I have plenty!

Kelley, I would love to do that, but you'll have to pay for the trip down! (And I would be out of my depth as your climate and soil is different anyway.)

Kathy, I was just reading some of the May Dreams Gardens blog where she says you have to do that. It's important to sit and enjoy!

Rock rose said...

Woa! Those are the largest ant eggs I have ever seen. For a moment I thought they were fingerling potatoes. And that turquoise flower. Stunning. I don't believe I have ever seen a flower that color before. You do have rather a narrow strip to work with but I'm sure you will work your magic there.

Beet said...

wow at the ant eggs!

I love pelargoniums and native violets. They are two of my must have plants :)