After the pleasant weather of the past few weeks which inspired a frenzy of gardening, I ended up with an upper respiratory cold early this week, which curtailed any further heavy gardening activities. Now that I am on the mend, the rain arrived for a couple of days. At midday today it is 16.2 degrees C outside, with 95% humidity, and it is raining and windy. But I’m not too worried! This is perfect weather for staying indoors and leisurely catching up on all participating Six on Saturday gardening blogs. To take a look, head over to The Propagator’s weekly blog and scroll through the comments section for links to these amazing gardens.
As mentioned earlier, I have been spending as much time as possible in the garden pruning back the excessive summer growth and removing weeds which have taken hold over the past couple of months. To give you an idea of just how dire the situation was, let me show what one of the borders looked like before I got stuck into it! The tangled mess contains dwarf mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus var. nanus), Paspalum, sedges and weeds, and the dried stems of Gaura. In amongst all this are iris and a couple of other treasured plants that needed rescuing.
2. This particular garden bed borders the dry riverbed and is edged by bricks, which had sunken down to the level of the path. I tackled the brick edges first, and then got stuck in and removed the weeds, mondo grass, iris and a yellow stemmed dogwood. Once I had a cleared the entire area of all the smaller plants and weeds, I repositioned and replanted the dogwood, edged the shadier side of the garden bed with some mondo grass, planted some fairy Primula, Primula malacoides, at the one end and filled in gaps with some of the iris I had removed. The excess Mondo grass was placed in a box with some wood chip, and left it outside on the footpath. Someone was obviously thrilled as it was not long before the box was taken. It is a lovely custom around here to leave any healthy excess plants for locals to take if needed.
3. I have also shifted the smaller garden ornaments. It is quite interesting to see that some of these ornaments provide ideal spaces in the garden for ants to nest in, while others offer the little skinks places to hide. The red snail seen in the photo above has been home to smaller black ants, and the cute frog sprinkler below was entirely taken over by the larger biting ants, who during the course of summer, built their nest up inside the hollow frog.
4. As the centrally placed Callistemon has now reached a reasonable height and provides some shade, I planted a few shade loving Scodoxus, pink Japanese Anemone and Coleus at its base.
5. Towards the far end of the garden bed where it adjoins the pergola, is a Wisteria cutting and an annual climber Ipomea lobata (aka Mina lobata). The struggling white tree dahlia was removed and repotted, and some filler plants such as a newly acquired perennial phlox, Phlox glaberrima ‘Bill Baker‘, an annual marigold and another newbie Calamintha nepeta ‘Blue Cloud‘. Both the new plants are from an online small cottage garden nursery in NSW.
6. Here is a view of the entire revamped garden bed. There is still a lot of tidying up to do, but it such an improvement on what it was.
That is it from me for the week! Here’s hoping that it will be a good gardening week for everyone!