Sunday, December 16, 2012

What's in the Macedon garden December 2012?

Summer update on my garden in Macedon. The lawn has lost its green lustre and is now a shade of straw which although unsightly means I don't have to mow as often, thank god! I planted lots of annuals and had mixed success with them. Lots were taken out by my own chickens when they were seedlings. I really did the annuals on the cheap and they were all the bargain basement seedlings from the local nursery (not that the nursery has a basement). The pansies however, were all from seed. I refer to them as my Grandma annuals because they are the old fashion favorite annuals and quite common. I bought half a metre of mushroom compost and dug it through some really poor soil to rejuvenate it and spread the rest as a mulch. The plants have really responded to it so I will definitely do it again next year.

The Marigolds took quite a hammering from the chickens and only a few survived.

The Snapdragons were untouched by both chicken and snail and all survived and thrived as the one below.

Below is the giant Ullswater blue pansy

Blackjack pansies.

My pride and joy this year giant Hollyhocks. I've been on a mission to grow these for a couple of years and have failed until this year. Even this lot has come close to being lost. First they contracted celery mosaic virus and had to be nursed back to health so they adapted and managed to overcome the symptoms of the virus. Secondly they came under attack from cabbage butterfly caterpillars (which I had to spray to clear). Thirdly they were smashed by really strong winds one night and a couple were on the ground the next day. I had to stake the wind damaged ones but they are looking good now. They haven't flowered yet but look ready to pop. I'll get some more photos when they bloom.

Awww a small Hollyhock bud.

This perennial is a Kniphofia (unsure of the species though). Its now much to look at now but it has a wonderful flower head in winter. It goes by the common name of 'red hot poker'. I propagated this by division last autumn and it looks ready to flower next winter.

Hydrangea macrophylla is an old fashioned favorite. These existed on the property when we bought it. They are an extremely common plant here in Victoria but i can't bring myself to get rid of them. I must have the acidic (low PH) soil here as the flowers are always blue.

My daughter planted these Impatiens and as with all the things she plants they have somehow thrived even with minimal intervention.

Below are some blueberries from my only blueberry bush. There seem to be lots on the bush this year so if the birds don't get to them I should harvest enough for a couple of punnets.

The ever reliable chives

The broadbeans have been really successful. They are nearing the end now but I've harvest heaps. Almost every day I pick some and eat them raw.

One of six sunflower seedlings. Fingers crossed some will grow to maturity. The bloody snails love these things.

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