Posts Tagged ‘planting season’

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.

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What happened to autumn?

Last day of April

Last day of April

We seem to have gone almost straight from summer to winter, as there have only been a few weeks of autumn weather in between. Just like Alice Springs.

Winter already

Winter already

The super hot summer meant we have had a good wet start to the sowing season here, and three days after a decent 18mm it is raining again! I am thinking about the lovely wood I was lucky to be given which is out there and wondering why I did not bring some in.

Wet again

Wet again

About half the time the block is still dry this time of year and doesn’t green up until June. This time last year my tanks were almost empty and I was praying daily that the water would last until the rains came again. And I was still watering my desperate garden.

12 months ago.

12 months ago.

Beautiful blue plumbago

It’s a over a month since the big rain, and plants are starting to look thirsty again, although there are some exceptions like this lovely deep blue plumbago, which always looks best as summer goes into autumn. It is a pretty hardy plant when it comes to heat but it hates frost, so I have had to plant it in sheltered places in my garden.

Beautiful blue plumbago

Beautiful blue plumbago

It’s been a funny season so far, one month of autumn has already gone, but I have not had that lovely autumn mood that I usually love. I’m supposed to fall in love with this place all over again, and not be able to get enough of that lovely autumn light. I have been wondering why, and I think it is a combination of a few things, the weather for one, has been too hot or too cold to make it feel like autumn. I have also been rather busy traipsing all over the countryside taking my kids to mainly swimming-related things. And the third is that my autumn crocuses are late.

Many years we’ve had rain bang on the end of February, which has made the autumn crocus emerge a couple of days into March. Our rain was two weeks early, so the crocuses in my garden are late this year. One is only just unfurling now.

Autumn Crocus

Autumn Crocus

 

 

Autumn is coming!

Finally the heat is off and there are only a few mild summer days left before autumn is here. We did get a lovely rain at the end of that very hot four weeks, almost two inches, most of it falling in the afternoon which led to minor flooding around here, and that lovely sight of the creeks flowing for a short time. At last the big Bangor bushfire further south was dealt with.

Maya in the rain

Maya in the rain

The Easter Lilies that came up late January finally flowered, they looked a bit sad but I did have rather a stuggle keeping them alive in that awful heat. I planted these five years ago, and this is the first time they’ve flowered, after I moved them two years ago. They must be happier here than where they were before.

Easter Lilies in the pink garden

Easter Lilies in the pink garden

The song of the magpies each morning gives us joy during this part of the year. Autumn has a way of making me feel optimistic when it begins. But I’m starting to get why some people get melancholy, had a touch of that last year in mid autumn, for the first time. Or is this some mid-life thing?

I love the domestic mood autumn gives me, that ‘let’s get the house ready for winter’ time, and daydreaming of hot soups and puddings and oven-cooked meals and marshmallows by the fire. I prefer it to the restlessness of spring.

 

From one Adelaide girl to another.

While half the roses in my little rose bed died over that very cruel summer, now comes the fun part, replanting. Bare root roses have begun to appear in the shops as they do each July.

The other day I picked up a couple of hybrid tea roses at our local IGA. One was an orange one called “Julia’s Rose” so yesterday I planted it for our Julia Gillard, our ex PM.

For a fellow South Aussie and redhead.

For a fellow South Aussie and redhead.

I am hoping this rose will be tough enough to withstand the heat here!

Proper rain at last

After two years of very little rain, we have finally had several inches over the past month. It has been a great time for renewal, and lots of planting.

I have also almost finished the paving of the back verandah which I began at the end of January. To celebrate, I have put in another pond at the end and made a delightful shady corner there, which will be a wonderful place to sit, when summer returns.

The shady corner when it was all still in my head

Before.

The above photo shows what the shady corner looked like a couple of months ago, when it was still just in my head.  Below is what it is now, straight after last week’s downpour.

After

After

Of course in my mind the plants are way bigger! We have four little fish that we have put in this pond, because the children wanted them. We have not seen many frogs around our other pond as it was such a dry year, but we are hoping to hear croaking again in the future. I might bring in a few tadpoles this year to make sure.

More poo secrets – spread it round!

At last we have had a little rain, enough to start the winter grass growing and the farm tractors working. More of course is needed. But I have been happily planting things this weekend, some of which have had to wait in the shade house for years!

Of course any day now we will have the first frost, so things that might have grown at last will be hindered. That is the trouble with this place. The main issue is lack of water, but we also contend with bad soil, high winds, lots of winter frosts, extreme heat, we get it all.

And this is where horse manure comes in. Sharon has pointed out to me that if you spread it around the garden in autumn, it keeps the soil warm for just that bit longer as it breaks down, thus extending the autumn growing season. By how long, I’m not sure.

I really noticed the difference horse manure makes when put on top of mulch in my pink garden bed last year. Whilst mulch is needed to maintain moisture and keep plant roots cool, wood-based mulches temporarily deprive the soil of nitrogen as they break down. But horse manure counteracts it.

The pink garden

The pink garden