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.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

mid-august 2012 garden thoughts and pics

The garden is beginning to waken from its light winter nap. Growth barely stopped, especially weed growth, but now that spring is getting close growth is speeding up in breathless anticipation. We have had masses of rain, some very cold days, but also a few lovely warmish days. Typical Melbourne, several seasons in one day sometimes.

The rabbit has moved and is now guarding another bed. This triangular bed is near the front gate - hope she doesn't make a hop for it.


Believe it or not, this miniature feather duster pretends to be a clematis flower! I have learned to accept it if not to truly love it, and it is an ever present reminder never to (a) buy things from a stranger with a wily smile and (b) buy flowering plants when they're not flowering.


The brilliant lime green flowers of this Euphorbia shines brightly for a very short while, until it stops its decadent decorative play and gets down to the serious work of seeding the next generation.


 For years I've been wanting a Flowering Quince in the garden, but desisted because I didn't know where it would go. Then I thought I found a spot, and bought three. Several months later, one has been given away to a friend and the remaining two are occupying their fourth and hopefully final holes ..?? I think I like this somewhat unusual combination of delicate white blossom against brown tea tree bark.


Swan River Pea, or Gastrolobium celsianum, is flowering prolifically at the moment, to the delight of the nectar feeding Wattle Birds.


I spend years trying to work out a structure for the garden. In between the 'bones' volunteer plants fill the spaces nicely, especially when it's wet like it has been recently. Here's a garden posy presented to me by Lady Nature. All I had to do was frame it and photograph it.


Here's a change! These rocks were on the nature strip, or verge, as it seems to be called these days.  They looked great, but I worried someone might hurt themselves. So J. moved them for me, and they now can be used as seating, for children to play, or for their simple rock appeal.


When I ordered that pine mulch a while back, I scattered quite a bit on this bed, and the result has been quite alarming. What you see in this pic are super - plants. Giant opium poppies, giant love-in-the-mist, giant California poppies. Since these are self seeded, what I am wondering is: will these lovely delicate wildflowers resume their original nature next generation, or have I inadvertently started a new breed of huge gross plants?


A pink Valerian poses modestly in front of self seeded Echiums and Love in the Mists.


The foliage in lots of trees and shrubs, native and exotic, has thinned out. Word has got around the possum world that this gardener is a soft touch. My garden =  Possum Refuge. And clearly the fruit and vegetable content of the compost pile is no longer enough.


I'm linking this to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. 

22 comments:

  1. I envy you, because you have spring and we autumn. I can't stand all the darkness and coldness we'll have after a while... and it will last and last...I love the spring and summer!

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    1. Hi Satu, our environments are so very different. You have the Northern Lights that must be so wonderful to see, and you have had very little darkness recently. I wish you all the best for the winter, and I hope the blogging will help it to pass as quickly and painlessly as possible! cheers, catmint

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  2. Enjoy your spring! I will. Your blog has really opened my eyes. I never thought about 'the other side of the world' until I started exploring gardens in blogs. I am so looking forward to the end of our hot, dry summer - it's raining this morning so it's easy to imagine - at the same time I'm looking forward to watching your garden bloom and grow.

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    1. Hi Joy, it's an interesting learning exprience having garden friends 'on the other side of the world' - and it's funny that our seasons are opposite and I often think that when I blog you are sleeping and vice versa! cheers, catmint

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  3. Spring is such a wonderful time - except for the weeds! ;) I love your euphorbia. I have tried these plants two times in my garden, and am thinking about trying again. I really, really want one, but obviously there's something about my garden it just doesn't like!

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    1. Hi Holley, Euphorbia is a very large family, so maybe it's a matter of trying different species until you find one that works. But often I've found there are plants I love that dont' seem to reciprocate my love. cheers, cm

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  4. Love that combination of Hellebores and Forget-me-nots. I'm ging to give nature a hand and organise that in my front garden right now. Just have to move a few seedlings.

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    1. H Lyn, Sometimes we give nature a hand and sometimes she gives us a hand - if we're lucky it's a hand like that combo, but often it's not nearly that desirable. I look forward to seeing the result of your seedling moves. cheers, catmint

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  5. So spring can mean only one thing:) Fall for us and cooling temps!!!! Oh I'm so envious:) But isn't it exciting this time of year(for you) to see everything start up again? I laugh because I read several comments here about their fall, dark skies, and cold weather.:) Well because we're in the desert, it's quite the opposite story for us and yet we are in the same country:) I'm glad I don't live there either:) Pretty in the summer BUT very cold in the winter....the gray skies can get to me. I need sun to smile. Thanks for sharing your garden. Hope you are well and feeling better. My best. Chris

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    1. dear chris, thank you so much for your warm wishes, I'm still not as energetic as I want to be, but I'm OK. I like weather that changes - I love rain followed by sunshine. I don't mind grey sky but not for too long. I think we're both lucky that we like the weather where we live. My experience (holidays) in deserts is that it gets very very cold at night. cheers, cm

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  6. You and your garden are just starting again, spring is such a wonderful time of year, so full of promise, we are winding down towards autumn, its just that somehow we seem to have missed out on summer! Your garden is looking so green and lush after your winter, amazing. Your rocks look really good, take care you don't hurt yourself!

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    1. thanks Pauline, shame you feel you have missed out on summer. Did you see the fluffy pathetic little clematis? I wasn't exaggerating when I said it really didn't compare to yours!

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  7. Oh to see spring again...how lush and green it is all becoming...that valerian looks so familiar as it is reblooming in my garden!!

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    1. Hi Donna, It's nice that we have quite a few plants in common, like the valerian.

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  8. Hahaha, i love your reference to the Posum Refuge, maybe you should put a sign for them to think otherwise! Even your foliage plants are lovely for non-posums like me. I also laughed at your description of the 'feather duster pretending to be a clematis'!

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  9. We had a clematis, that we 'forgot' to water. When it bloomed I looked at it in horror and said ICK. Meanwhile the one I wanted is embattled, but maybe this winter's rain will eventually get it growing.

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    1. Poor icky clematis, healthy but unloved. The other clematis, loved, wanted but embattled. I'm afraid, dear Diana, you are setting up a situation for terrible clematis sibling rivalry.

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  10. Spring up here doesn't mean quite the same. We don't get the explosion of growth as we're still in the dry season. Then of course, the heat and humidity start up again. But I know you're excited about Spring coming. Everything is looking fabulous in your garden already, before Spring arrives.

    That mulching sure caused an explosion of growth. Can't wait to find out how all those plants fare next year. Loving those huge rocks. I wish I had something like that to sit on ... what a brilliant natural looking seating area.

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    1. everything looks pretty good in winter, but with spring we really get a growth explosion. It is exciting, also quite a lot of work because if it calls for culling here and there, moving things around and weeding. I'm aware the seasons up north where you are bernie, are very different to here.

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  11. I think you have bigger plants in the mulched area simply because the mulch is holding the moisture in the soil, causing them to put out more growth. I think your 'super plants' look great!! I love your pink valerian. It grows poorly here in our humidity and heavy soil. Hmmm.... Maybe I'll try it in a pot. Is your area very humid?

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    1. Hi Tammy, good idea to try it in a pot. I usually mulch and have never had growth like this, so it must be particularly the pine mulch. It's not usually humid here.

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  12. Good to hear your spring is on its way. Will there be more Mother Nature "gifts" in the coming months then? Out of curiosity, how does one rid oneself of possums?

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