Archive for the ‘successes and failures’ Category

Herb bed, five years on

Okay, so putting up the carport put my herb garden in rain shadow, so now it has less herbs and more tough plants. Never mind.


Not far from Eden.

For the past month or so Amaru and Maya have gone out to this tree every morning to get an apple for recess. It’s times like these that I hope become golden memories for them as they grow older.

Gathering the last of the Royal Galas

Gathering the last of the Royal Galas

I have also been a little proud because many people around here believe that you can’t grow apples in Quorn.

And there I was thinking that you can’t grow much any further north than here, when Marg Wilson brings back this huge watermelon from Ethadunna Station, which is out along the Birdsville track about 100km north of Marree.

"I carried a watermelon?"

“I carried a watermelon?”

Happy Easter!

There is not much happening in the garden thanks to there being almost no rain since early January, but despite the dryness this Easter Lily has popped up out of nowhere to give us a lovely surprise.

April 2015

This made up for the non-appearance of my naked ladies after the rain in January, even though they flowered just about everywhere else around here.

Summer Highlights

These somehow seemed to be mainly in the form of things to eat, or things we look forward to eating soon.

My first Andamooka Lily!

After years of driving past Andamooka Lilies in flower, in masses between Quorn and Port Augusta, I finally have one of my own.

My own Andamooka lily.

My own Andamooka lily.

This one I bought as a seeding at Aridlands in Port Augusta, around 2009 or 2010. I saw nothing of it until 2012, when leaves appeared for the first time. And finally, three years later, the first flower. It’s a nice touch for Leyla’s grave, as I planted Leyla here last June – that’s her saucer there (she loved milk).

Andamooka lilies on a hillside at Saltia.

Andamooka lilies on a hillside at Saltia.

The Andamooka Lily or Darling Lily (Crinum flaccidum) grows all through the Australian outback, but isn’t so common in WA. I’ve seen them around here and also around the River Murray. They come up after summer rain. When I first saw them out near Warren Gorge a few years back, I thought they were some garden plant that had escaped, but they are natives. Like jonquils they have quite a pong, but the look lovely dotted through native vegetation, and I’ve been trying to propagate them for years with no success so far. I gave Kate Llewellyn a few seeds some years ago – wonder if she’s had any luck.

I love them, and that’s why I picked them for my gravatar.

Things to look forward to

At this time of the year there is not a lot new and exciting in the garden, except in the area of food production (for a change). For weeks we have been eating Cape Gooseberries, which flourished despite the frosts of August and the dry months that have gone by since then.

Any day now!

Any day now!

Soon we will be digging into these apricots (above) that are growing in the septic orchard. This tree has been in five years now, as have the apple trees below.These have grown a lot in the past two years, after getting a few good doses of Sharon’s poop water. Many people have said that you can’t grow apples in Quorn, but this is one of the handful of success stories about the place. Others are the school garden and the Brooker’s garden.


We also have quinces growing in the citrus orchard near the purple garden but not much citrus as I keep promising myself that next year I will water it properly but next year never comes.

Vegie patch

Vegie patch.

Maya has been carefully tending the vegie patch this year, she can’t stay away from the place. Despite the lack of rain over spring things have been growing well. She says that the smell of the tomato plants is the best smell in the world, so that might be what draws her back each evening. I love that smell too, it takes me straight to childhood summers in the gardens of my grandparents Kramer at Modbury and Uncle Martin and Aunty Net at Lobethal. Soon we will eat our first tomatoes and I am looking forward to that blissful moment as you bite into something with real flavour that you have grown yourself.

Don’t worry bee happy

I see a bee!

Blue banded bee

Blue banded bee

A certain item came through my Facebook newsfeed today reporting that Australia’s honey production was down 50 percent etc; add that to the pineapple shortage and you might start thinking, “aarrghhhh, we’re all going to die!”

But while there have been less European bees around lately, I have noticed a lot more native bees. I don’t think I ever saw any Blue Banded bees before 2011 around here, although that could also be because I wasn’t paying much attention. But they do just as good a job at pollination, coming in for the Eremophila flowers and stopping off by the tomato plants while they are at it.

If only we could round them up and get them to make us some honey!