Posts Tagged ‘salvias’

The April Garden

April 4th, 2010

Dahlias still delight

Dahlias still delight

April is the perfect month for gardening, the days are long and mellow and the soil is still warm from the summer sun.  The days lately seem to be calling you outside to play.  But just lately I seem to be very busy and not have the long days to spend.  How frustrating!  But, you cannot deny that in the past week or two it has been beautiful gardening weather!

my red sasanqua camellia

my red sasanqua camellia

It is still bulb time, time to plant heaps of things!  I mean, when you think of it, doesn’t it make more sense to plant in the autumn?  If you plant in the spring, the little plant has only a couple of months growth and then its tiny root system has to cope with the heat of the summer.  But if you plant now they will have two good months of growing time before the winter cold sets in, then they may grow more slowly, of course, throughout winter and then put on a burst of growth when the spring comes.  All the more reason for getting out in that garden!!

Pineapple Sage, the honey eaters love it!

Pineapple Sage, the honey eaters love it!

One thing that is growing with abundance out there in my garden is weeds!!  So, have to get on to them pretty soon.  I plan to make myself real comfortable out there with a little pad for my knees or my bottom and just enjoy being out in the still warm weather!  In fact if you plant yourself in the centre of the garden and quietly work away the little finches dart about above sometimes and it can be a quite pleasant job.  Time seems to slow to a moderate pace and you can enjoy the garden from a different perspective. 

GardenApril10 020My red sasanqua camellia is covered with blooms and out the back the pineapple sage is beginning to send out its red flowers that the honey eaters love so much.  My pineapple sage is just where I can view the little honey eaters from my kitchen window, so this time of year, I enjoy watching them flit about while I wash up.  My new fig tree has figs!! They are slowly ripening.  Hopefully my possum wont know what they are.  But a friend of mine says I should cover them just in case!  Molly, my possum, is a funny creature, a lady of very particular taste.  Last year I planted out a pot of pansies, yellow, orange and blue.  I had bought ones already flowering from the nursery for a quick colour lift!  They looked a picture!  Very pleased with myself I went to bed only to find that Molly the possum had eaten all the yellow & orange ones.  Apparently blue ones do not appeal. Or, perhaps Molly couldn’t see them in the night being a dark colour.  Who can tell, not me.  But  now I only plant blue ones and never do they get eaten!  Molly also likes yellow roses but lucky for me not red ones!  My neighbours possum does like red ones and thinks I am very lucky with Molly.

Now I must away to plant myself amongst the weeds and start to make a difference!

Happy gardening!

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Summer Skies

February 13th, 2010

GardenFeb2010 005

I decided last year that I have neither the time or the inclination to trot around holding the hands of those plants that look up at me and gasp, ‘Water, please!!!’ So, I have begun experimenting with more waterwise plants. As Australia continues to struggle with climate change, and I and other gardeners struggle with our water restrictions,  I am moving more to the Mediterranean plants along with our natives.  Mulching is now essential.  My exciting find this year has been the Cistus – the hardy rock roses, these come from the Mediterranean  and the Canary Islands.  They require very little water and their delicate crepey blooms flower for months.  They seem to manage over the winter with the frosts that my garden has, so have been a good choice. 

Rosemary loves summer skies

Rosemary loves summer skies

Clivias, of course, are a great  favourite and one of the most useful, easy-to-please plants, they don’t even mind dry shady spots.  So, good for them, must buy some more!!

Our old friend the Lavender – well, what can I say?  They just seem to thrive in the heat. But they do tend to get leggy and I find can sometimes mysteriously drop dead.  Always a sad thing,  maybe it is the frost.  But I will keep trying with them, just because I love them.  I think the Lavandula angustifolia, or English lavender is the toughest.  Maybe I should just stick to that one and give up on the other varieties.  I don’t know.  Maybe where I live it just gets too wet and frosty in the winter.

Pineapple sage

Pineapple sage

The spring flowering bulbs such as grape hyacinths, sparaxis, freesias etc. don’t even want any water over the summer because that is their dormant period – well, they make a perfect choice for the waterwise garden.   

The lawn will green again when the rain comes

The lawn will green again when the rain comes

Herbs too can be terrific as ground cover – rosemary, sage these do very well.  The hebe seems to stand absolutely anything too.  Experimenting can be fun.

Well, happy gardening!

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January Gardens

January 2nd, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

The new year has arrived! Happy 2010! Suddenly, the holidays are here and it is time for us all to look back on our accomplishments over the past year. For the first time in a great many years I am not too behind with my garden chores and am feeling pretty smug really about enjoying my trim and tidy garden. I managed to mulch well in October last year, pulling out those weeds as I went. And for the first time I managed to get this accomplished before they (the weeds) seeded! Happy days!

I am just about to start my new garden diary for the coming year. I like to record when I plant, prune and do my chores so I can learn more about my garden. I note down when I prune my roses and when they flower after so I can have some idea how long it takes for flowers to develop. It has helped me improve my pruning skills too.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

I have had a few losses over the year. I miss my Curry Plant (Helichrysum Italicum) with its silver leaves poor little dude just got covered over with a larger bush rose and it just got too dark and gloomy for him. I had forgotten I had put him there to tell the truth and discovered his poor little remains when clipping and weeding. Never to mind!

My salvias continue to flower and bring joy and I am always finding new ones. They seem very easy additions. Easy is good!  Anyway, I hope you have a really good 2010 and happy gardening!

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Magic in the Garden

December 10th, 2009

Today is warm and sunny – just calling you outside to enjoy the garden. I have just been for my morning walk around looking for new treasures in my garden. Magic happens everyday in the garden, but you have to look for it. 

 Wilbur the Wizard

I like to make little pictures in my garden to stimulate the imagination.
When I went for my walk today I noticed the Salvias are flowering always a joy! I am becoming addictied to salvias, they are such a useful plant to have and the varieties are endless. The birds love them also. When you have salvias in the garden you will have birds come to visit to enjoy their nectar.  I have a picture of one with its fat rosette of grey-green hairty leaves, out of which spring tall spays of intense blue flowers.  Absolutely fabulous!

The birds love to visit this plant

The birds love to visit this plant

You really can’t go wrong with a few salvias in the garden, they are hardy and seem to cope with less water than most other plants.  They have colours of every hue: yellow, pink, red and shades of blue.  Most good nurseries now carry quite a range.  Often you will find that the labels say drought-tolerant, most salvias seem to have this quality and so are a handy addition, add some to your garden, the birds will thank you for it.

Colour in the garden always adds magic too.  That is where pots really come into their own.  Always remember that pots are mobile, so move them.  I have put these orchards down under the porch to brighten up this shady and forgotten area of the garden, also when I look over the rail in the evening I can enjoy the beautiful blooms.

Enjoy your flowers

Enjoy your flowers

I really enjoy moving my pots about, it revamps your whole garden and can give you a whole new look. 

Well, its time to head on out into the day I need to dead-head some more roses to keep them flowering and maybe cut a few to enjoy inside for a day or two.

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