about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

garden doings, garden undoings and May GBBD



During these autumn days, the only predictable thing seems to be deciduous leaves changing colour before their fall. First it's hot and sunny, then it's cold and rainy. The plants seem OK with the weather. Because of the rain over the past year many plants have grown a lot. Except for the ones that have been moved lots of times. I suspect they're not sure whether it's worth the effort of putting down roots.

When I think about it, I do seem to have managed to continue gardening in spite of the surgery. I've done a little bit myself, and had friends and a temporary gardener to do stuff for me.  So this is the May update... 


I removed some of the plants from the bed along this path because I felt they had grown too large and looked uninspiringly messily messy, instead of gorgeously, casually messy ...


The lovely heart shaped leaves of Lasiopetalum macrophyllum. I moved this shrub from the middle bed to a position further back against the Pittosporum garden picture frame when I realized that it grows to 1 metre tall by 1 metre wide.


I have been in love with the Australian native Leucophyta brownii, or Silver Cushion Bush for ages, but never grew it in the garden because it needed full sun and I couldn't think where to put it. Now I have recklessly bought 4 specimens, planted them in part sun, and hope for the best. 


I moved the smallest of the group of three Grevillea shiressei, or Blue Grevillea, from the fence on the north side of the back garden to the fence on the opposite side. When it fills out I think it will look good here, and I think the micro climate here will suit it. Only time will tell. This is the spot where the chunky Albany Woollybush (Adenanthos sericeus) grew for a few years, but I think I wanted a lighter, more delicate feel.


Usually it is notoriously difficult to move Australian natives once they are established because they put down a long tap root that they depend on. These tea trees have been in for several years but have never grown much. They were moved and managed to survive.  I'm so proud of these resilient toughies!


These Correa pulchella 'Dusty Bells' seem to flower for much of the year. I love the way this flower's shyly hiding in the shadows.


Apart from the traditional sage we use in cooking,  my favourite salvia is S. gregii. This one is the white flowered variety. I also have it in lemon and pink. Actually, I wonder if this flower IS edible? Can't be poisonous, so I'll pick it for a salad tonight. (If this is my last post .... only joking ...)


I planted this Lomandra longifolia, an Australian native grass, about 20 years ago. I love its neat habit and bright green colour. I saw it as a highlight of the bed, but in time it became obscured by the plants growing around it. That's why I moved them, and I think it's worth it. The gaps you can see are not beautiful but I think of them as opportunities, so to me they are beautiful, and part of the evolving process.


This sad looking plant didn't deserve its fate.  It is/was a Philotheca that didn't survive being moved. It was just a bit too big to cope with the change, even though it received the best TLC and nurturing possible.  This photo is not black and white!

Thank you Carol from May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.


28 comments:

  1. For a novice gardener like me, I learn a lot from you.

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    1. i so don't think of you as a novice gardener, you are a brilliant grower of veggies and other stuff, Diana.

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  2. You can EAT S. greggei flowers? Would certainly be pretty on a salad.

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    1. in the end I chickened out, they did look pretty, but no one dared to eat them. sometimes I'm all talk and no action.

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  3. Much care and consideration put into your garden, Catmint.
    I love your Dinya Godrej quote; I've not heard it before.
    May the wellness continue, Faisal.

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    1. thanks Faisal, the quote is from the latest New Internationalist, from a piece on mental health. I love and feel it really relates to me and the blog. I'm so pleased you love it too. cheers, Sue.

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  4. Some plants just can't take the shock. They will wither eventually. Mine too... especially after I splitted them. I hope you can find another Philotheca easily. And your garden will be taking rest in the winter soon? Good for you hehe... Btw it's so nice of your friend to help you during this time. Have a great week!

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    1. already have another Philtheca in the same spot - easy come, easy go - to the compost.

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  5. I do the same thing with plants. Sometimes it all pays off:) It's strange hearing you speak about autumn:) Summer is just kicking off the hot hot hot temps here!!! I imagine that during autumn, the plants breathe a sigh of relief from the torture of summer. Our plants practically glow in November here before frost sets in. Interesting experiment....this better not be your last post:)

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    1. I never quite get used to the seasons being back to front in your part of the world and also aware that when we sleep you're awake and vice versa. Experiment failed due to congenital wimpiness and lack of courage. Maybe just as well? We'll never know now!

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  6. So glad you are having some help in your garden, it makes such a difference doesn't it. Plants are so resilient when it comes to moving them, when making the garden here, some were moved so many times, I'm sure they said, oh no, not again! Take care eating your salvia, hope to hear from you again!!

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    1. it's good having help but it's also painful and i can't help having feelings of my precious turf being violated by kind people who are not me.

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  7. You seem to have had some difficult weather this year, our Summer has hardly started and still cool. You grow such interesting plants though.

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    1. Australian native plants are really different to English ones. They're generally not so pretty, more subtle in their beauty.

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  8. So glad to hear you've had some help with your gardening jobs. The Correa always catches my eye. I hope those fabulous Silver Cushion Bushes take off for you. They are quite lovely. Love the white Salvia too. Everything is looking great.

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    1. thanks Bernie, we're both troopers. Against different kinds of setbacks, but we've both come back to our gardens as determined as ever.

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  9. Gorgeously, casually messy.. that's the look I'm going for - in the garden, too.

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    1. soon you'll be going for that look - when your knee's better! So-oo-oo-n!

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  10. For someone who's recovering from surger CM ......you're awesome!!! Love your pics and gotta love your enthusiasm!

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  11. I like your non black and white photo - sums the situation up nicely. Interesting about your native plants and tap roots. Obvious really but not something I was aware of.
    I subscribe to the school of " move the plant and hope for the best, regardless of the time of year" though I draw the line at mid winter :-)

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    1. Hi eg, here our winters are so mild, i can follow this line all year round. you win some, you lose some, c'est la vie ...

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  12. Hi Catmint
    Your garden must be like Dr Who's Tardis.
    Always room for something else.
    Always interesting plants you feature.
    Denis

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    1. Hi Denis, I love the idea of time travel, I wish my garden was the Tardis. Then what interesting posts I could write! cheers, catmint

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  13. I really enjoy your words saying your rationale and describing the different plants. The grass is most beautiful and the path looks good too. Happy gardening and I am glad you are still able to do lots.

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    1. thanks Tina, it's an effort, but what's an addict meant to do?

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  14. Congratulations on having one of the most stunning garden walk ways I've seen all year, keep it up!!

    -Oscar Valencia

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