29 Nov 2013

garden share collective: december

 

Hobart is in the grip of a chaotic spring. While the ugly winds have blown themselves away, the temperatures, rain and sunlight levels continue to see-saw confusingly. For example, a couple of weeks ago we had a run of four blissful days, each getting hotter and brighter (and marvellously coinciding with the weekend!), climaxing at a hot-for-Hobart 28. A day or two later, one of my oft-checked weather websites flagged that the temperature was 10 - but it felt like 8.

We've had gloomy, wet and yes, cold days; I have not yet mothballed my woollen scarves or drycleaned my coats because I am still wearing them. But we've had teases, as described above; flashes of shorts-and-t shirt weather requiring a hasty retrieval of lightweight clothing from its napthaleney winter hibernation.

What does this mean for my vegie patch? Overall, it has still been too winter-like, because nothing seems to have moved since my last garden share report. In fact, my basil-in-the-ground appears to be going backwards, because it's had too much rain and not enough heat. The peas, beans, tomatoes, passionfruit, lettuce - they don't know what's happening, so they are sitting tight and not progressing at all.

So if you don't mind, I'll show you around my flower garden instead, which in contrast to the vegies, is flourishing. While the mild winter and wet spring combo is one reason for this showiness, earlier in the year I spread around a couple of bags of sheep manure that dad got for me, then a layer of sugar cane mulch. This fed and protected the soil for a few months; once it started getting a bit dingy, I spread about bags of wood chips that I also got from dad (by-products of the January fires; all the damaged trees were chipped and left in piles around the district for everyone to help themselves to).

So the soil is the best it's been and the plants are proof: everything is at that perfect moment right now, which seems all too brief; it looks lush and colourful and gloriously pretty, not yet gone-to-seed or overcome by the heat.


My lavenders - mum and I furrow our brows in forgetfulness; French or English? Small flowers with that pungent, almost-bitter aroma we both prefer. I love their appearance here, right on the verge of being out. They remind me of those fibre optic light decorations so popular in the seventies; I'm giving my age away.

Now these I love: phacaelias (I pronounce them in my head as 'fah-see-lia', but have no idea if that is correct). Like all blue flowers, they attract the bees like nobody's business - a good thing! I have them in my vegie patch as well, and I love watching bees clamber across their soft tufty surface.


Let's get to the roses. Mention the word 'roses' to anyone here and they're sure to reply, 'oh! It's a good year for roses this year!' or 'the roses are good everywhere this year!'. Because they are. The mild winter followed by this crackers spring weather is turning suburban streets decadent with blowsy, vibrant colour. Mine are looking fabulous, too. This pretty, ballerina-pink-tutu of a rose - the bush is heavy with bunches at the moment - makes for a sweet display on the table at my front door:


That rose was here when I moved in, and we are not sure of its exact name; if you have any guesses please let mum and I know. Last year I bought two new ones to ramble across my front wall and disguise the grey subrurban brick. I planned two different shades of pink for a dappled effect. The first is Zepherine Drouhin, a hot lipstick pink with a glorious heady fragrance. The other is Pierre de Ronsard. I love its fat cabbagey blossoms and the pale green and white at each flower's base. Blushingly ultra-feminine! I can't wait till they are fulfilling their brief and obscuring the walls (google-image the roses' names to see the effect I'm hoping for; take a deep breath while you're there), but in the meantime, they still give me much pleasure.

 

 
Other flowers are not so special perhaps, but still make me happy. The osteospermums (African daisies) in the very first picture - don't they make you smile with their perfect white petals and crazy purple centres? And candytufts, and pansies too:



I'm even enjoying my neighbours' choices. This banksia tree overhangs our shared backyard fence, and with its brilliant scarlet heads, I do not mind one bit [correction: it's a bottlebrush not a banksia! Or more correctly, a callistemon.Thank you Linda!].


Finally, let's go out with a magnificent snapdragon that is actually growing in a garden bed. As opposed to growing in a crack in the driveway or a pile of gravel I haven't yet flattened or under the birch trees where I don't really want a pink snappy. Snappies must have some fiercely independent, travelling hippy gene, because they'll turn up wherever they want to, thank you very much, not where you would love to see them. But how can I get too cranky when they are this showy?


So I hope you don't mind that I have cheated on the Garden Share Collective. In all honestly, if you would like to see what my vegie garden looks like right now, please take a look at November's post - as I said, it doesn't seem to have budged a bit.

To do this coming month? Hope we get some consistently warm weather. It would be nice to pack away my winter woollies, and it would be fantastic to see something happen in the vegie garden.

Don't forget to see others in the Garden Share. Click on the logo in the column at right to see more green thumbs.

33 comments:

  1. Blooming lovely - your flowers beautiful. I share your pain about the veggie patch, though. At the moment we're oscillating between hot days and lots of rain showers here in Sydney - which the garden actually seems to be benefiting from. The seedlings have just poke there heads above soil to see what all the fuss it about, and the first of the cherry tomatoes are ripening. However, prior to that we'd had consecutive days of dry, dry heat - which stressed everything out, no end - and heavy downpours which drowned tiny seedlings. Is recovery in sight? Too early to tell - i suspect it's going to be a touch summer, weatherise. Good luck, lady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello FS! my goodness, you have been copping it too. the extremes are worrying - like you say, what does this mean the rest of the season will be like? i've heard it's going to be a hot wet one down here; i'm just imaging the mould and pests conditions like that will bring. i suspect all of us in the garden share will be sharing more tales of woe! thank you FS, lovely to hear from you again.

      Delete
  2. I'm not surprised your Basil didn't do well - I am north of you (just across the ditch, in Victoria), and mine just failed to thrive as well, it was so cold. But your veggies are just waiting - when it warms up they will bounce out of the ground.
    Love the scarlet of the Callistemon - birds love it here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi linda - yes, i get a lot of new holland honeyeaters enjoying the callistemon (thank you for the proper name) and of course the bees, who buzz rather drinkly from flower to flower. it's a stunning colour.
      we just need to be more patient for spring to sort itself out and deliver some *consistently* warmer weather. but i am planning basil backups!

      Delete
    2. and thank you for the CORRECT name :-)

      Delete
  3. It's a bit like that here in Canberra too… we had an overnight of 4 degrees! One day it's 33, then drops to 12. Sheesh. Your roses are stunning! And I love those blue flowers too xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mum and i watch canberra temps, and see that you are just as crazy. what is happening to our weather?!
      thanks lizzy - yes, it's only the first proper year for the roses so we are off to a good start!

      Delete
  4. Oh snapdragons. They are a favourite of mine, since I was a little girl. I just bought seeds for some yesterday, I thought I would treat myself. Lovely garden as always :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you jackie! snappies are so colourful and lush. apparently they make great cut flowers, but i never have enough to take out of the garden.
      i hope yours grow where you want them too :-)

      Delete
  5. Your roses are looking beautiful - I always plan to plant more roses but never seem to find the time and space to do it... maybe climbers are the answer to the space problem, just need to sort out the time issue now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey GD, and thank you. i'm hoping too that climbers (which i have no experience with) also solve that visual problem of how ugly pruned-back roses look like at the end of the season - thorny bare sticks! we shall see.

      Delete
  6. Seems that the weather all over Australia is a little erratic at the moment. Have a great month and wonderful festive season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello kyrstie - in a way, it's good to know everyone is havng a crazy time in the garden.
      yes, you have a lovely holiday season too!

      Delete
  7. Sorry to hear the weather has been bad for you too. It just can't seem to make up its mind here either. Hope you get some warmer days and your veggies come back to life with gusto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i am just reading you now, lizzie, marvelling at your crops :-)
      we're having a hot couple of days at the moment, hopefully it will be *something* to give everything a kick along. my basil seriously need some heat!

      Delete
  8. Hi your writing is like poetry. Loved reading your post. As for your flowers - heaven! Roses look superb (no black spot yay!). Laughed when I read the bit about the lavender - I do that too! Never ever sure which is which. Happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, thank you frogpond :-) and re the lavendar - this is the case for keeping the labels!! happy gardenign to you too.

      Delete
  9. Flowers are just as important I think ;) That snapdragon is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. vegies feed the body - flowers feed the soul! thank you Becs :-)

      Delete
  10. Thanks for the tour of your flowers, its nice to see the other parts of everyone's gardens. I love the African Daises and those roses look like they must smell divine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi louie! i'm glad you enjoyed the tour :-) strangely, the pierre de ronsard rose has little smell, but the zepherine is heavenly. another reason i can't wait for it to grow up and cover the wall!

      Delete
  11. I don't mind seeing the gorgeous flowers at all!! They're stunning :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks lisa! i'm glad you enjoyed the colour.

      Delete
  12. Tasmanian weather, I actually miss it. Hope the seesaw stops, and the weather chooses Summer for you. Tassie summers are the best. Your flower garden is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you make me chuckle - not many people say they miss tassie weather! but what a beautiful way of looking at it - the weather chooses the season for you. i shall remember that!

      Delete
  13. Ha E...you weren't wrong about the mention of roses.

    Your pics are just beautiful, especially that cheeky little snap dragon - quite the character.

    Yes, the lavender is very much like the fibre optic lights of the 70's. I had one with a golden sphere base that sat on the dresser with my lava lamp. Oh dear!

    Oh...the good old days!

    Let's hope the weather stabilises and your vegie patch picks up soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. my nanna had a fibre optic light, and my brother and i were obsessed with it when we'd visit - we'd never seen anything like it! i guess that childhood fascination explains why my christmas tree now is a kitsch fibre optic one.
    thanks SB. it's been kind of reassurig to read everyone else is experiencing unstable spring weather wherever they are in the country.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I was trying to think what that lavender reminded me of... thinking fireworks, but fibre optic light sounds just right! awesome roses, in fact all your flowers are beautiful - I am glad you skipped your vegetables and treated us to this eye candy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eye candy is a great word for the post, AA, thank you!

      Delete
  16. Hello! I think your Lavender is English. French Lavender has 3 or 4 little tufty petals that stick out the top and they don't have such a pungent scent. Your roses are spectacular! Am sure your veges will suddenly just flourish. I thought my courgettes were in a right old sulk but now they are giants! Lovely post :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for your lovely words Sarah.l i love the idea of sulking zuchinis, i think of them more as a plotting veg, just waiting to surprise you with their killer size! An thank you for the lavender tip off, the smell is amazing with these so English they must be.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What beautiful flowers you have! So delightful, varied and colourful. Your ballerina-pink-tutu of a rose is superb. It is wonderful you shared your flower gardens with us this month, you have brightened my day with the viewing. Happy gardening, Merryn x :D

    ReplyDelete
  19. many thanks for your kind words, merryn; flowers do wonders for our mood, don't they, real or otherwise. happy gardening to you, too :-)

    ReplyDelete

I've had to turn word-verification back on - the robot-spammers are loving my orange pudding too much at the moment! I hope you understand - and I hope you'll still leave a comment at Dig In. I love hearing your thoughts, knowing someone is reading, and will always reply. Unless you're a robot-spammer.