Six on Saturday – W32/2019 – New steps and the wheelbarrow

We have fortunately escaped the ravages of the cold weather that has blasted its way through the southern part of Australia this week. That is expected to change, however, with a minimum of 7 degrees expected tonight. Here is my SoS for this week.

1. New stairs

Mr S has been busy this week! He has put in these new stairs leading down to the bottom of the garden. This little slope is normally quite treacherous when wet because of the clay, so the steps should save us from slipping!

2. Wheelbarrow

My trusty (and rusty) old wheelbarrow was finally retired. I gave it a new lease on life by planting it full of colourful spring flowering plants. There is a central pot of Muscari, surrounded by calendulas interspersed with lovely white alyssum. (I really should have painted the wheelbarrow!)

3. Muscari – Grape hyacinth

This is the first time I have successfully grown grape hyacinth. I find the leaves to be rather scraggly, but the pretty little flowers are certainly worthwhile.

4. Velthelmia bracteata – forest lily – with a flower in an unusual place!

My Velthelmia has sent forth its flowering spike, which will hopefully open soon. If you look closely at the flower spike and let your eye travel down to the leaves, you will notice that there is a single flower coming off the spike. Isn’t that unusual?

5. Tree fern – possibly Cyathea cooperi

We inherited the tree fern with the house, and in the almost 2 years that we have been here it has grown amazingly well! Although looking slightly yellowish at this time of year, it has already sent out four new fronds. Some of the older fronds are loaded with spores and I keep the nearby window closed so we do not get a layer of fine brown spores on the furniture. Despite the copious amount of spores, not one baby tree fern is to be found in the garden!

6. Cyclamen

Cyclamens are generally sold as indoor plants here, and I have only bought them to brighten up my office space. They never survived dormancy and I bought a new plant every year. However, since seeing them flourishing under trees in the UK, I now use them as outside plants, and this particular plant is into its third year of blooming! The old man’s beard (Spanish moss), Tillandsia usneoides, on the other side of the fence seems to be surviving the ravages of the Mickeys – the Noisy Miner birds that use it to line their nests.

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  1. Those are very cleverly put together steps & the wheelbarrow is beautiful. I’m glad your cyclamen is staying alive. They can be hit & miss here as well.

    • Thank you! The steps were not planned to look like that, but they have turned out really well! I’m thrilled the cyclamen has lasted so long. I might just get another cyclamen to keep it company!!

  2. I imagine tree ferns would be forest under-storey plants naturally and in the damper places. It took a while in New Zealand to switch from a wow reaction to a hillside of them to sorrow because none of the trees remained. They are surprisingly tolerant of full sun.

    • There are lots of tree ferns in our local National Parks and they thrive under the massively tall gum, cedars and other native trees. I can totally relate to your reaction to seeing them in NZ! We see local decimation of natural forest areas for development closer to the coast, and view that with utter sorrow. Despite protests, money rules and there is no regard to the loss of the vegetation or wildlife (echidnas, wallabys and other smaller species). The volunteers in the wildlife rescue groups have a hard time coping. My tree fern tolerates the hot sun quite well, but thanks to the tall native trees on the footpath it only has to endure the sun for a few hours a day in the afternoon, as it is usually in shade from around 3pm.

  3. What a difference between your garden and mine, which is so grey and wintry. I love your wheelbarrow full of cheerful plants.

    • I certainly do not envy you your weather at the moment! By the time the Arctic cold reached us it had lost most of its bite, so we got off lightly. The wheelbarrow worked out better than I thought it would!

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