Thursday, November 7, 2013

Spring has sprung in my Macedon garden 2013

Things have been really busy on the garden front this spring (hence the lack of October blog entries). My private weekend gardening jobs have really picked up due to the change of seasons and I've been cutting down jungle thick front / backyards almost every weekend. My first weekend with no jobs was one which I planned to do my own lawns and other garden jobs but I was feeling burnt out garden wise and the garden has suffered as a result. The lawn is getting quite long with plantain weeds sending up their flower spikes everywhere. The weeds in the garden beds have started to grow steadily but luckily they are not as bad as they could be due to some really early spring weeding that I completed.

That said, I have kept on top of a few other garden goals at home other than the mowing and weeding. So far I have made sure that I plant some seeds every weekend and it is starting to pay off with lots of veggies and flowers shooting up. The veggies done from seed have been bush beans, climbing beans (blue lake), loose leaf lettuce and Galangal (well technically not a seed but a planting nonetheless). All have sprouted bar the Galangal and I am really hoping that it does grow because I have never grown or tasted it. On the flower side of things I have lots of sunflowers popping up from seed I collected from last years flowers that I planted in Parkville (click on this link to see them when in flower I've also been nurturing the herb garden at home and finally have a good selection of herbs at hand for cooking. Another really pleasing sight in my garden are flowers that have self seeded from last years annuals including black Pansies and Hollyhocks! I really hope the Hollyhocks take off and tower above the rest of the flowers come summer. My Garlic crop looks almost ready so I should be harvesting in a few weeks or so. Unfortunately some animal nipped the tops off a  quarter of my Garlic crop (looking at the animal tracks I think it may have been a Wombat). Whatever it was it came back 3 times at night but since then has not returned.

All in all this spring has seen many successes in terms of growing new plants and a few inevitable failures along the way but I guess that is part of the learning experience. I think this weekend maintenance on my home garden is a must or things will really start getting crazy. Time to start pushing the old mower :)

A mass of cottage flower goodness

This picture of the Kniphofia flowers was taken early spring (maybe the first week). I'm really glad this plant flowered as it was a bit of a gamble as I've never seen any growing in the colder Macedon climate. The good thing is that I had these flowers showing for much longer than the Kniphofias in Melbourne. The down side is that the foliage of the plant looked a little stressed due to winter frost. 

Another early spring picture of my Tulips with Aquilegias in the background. These Tulips were planted last year and came back with a vengeance. 

The Garlic is looking really strong this year. I have been eating the small bulbs and planting the bigger ones for the last 3 years in the hope of producing a better crop.

Polyanthus flowers are still going strong.

I planted lots of Violas this year and this one is my favorite. I love the colouring it reminds me of fire.

Heaps of yellow and also orange Calendula flowers are starting to burst.

One of the big success stories are my Snow Peas. They are really heavy croppers. One of my daughters rushes out to pick them every morning and there are still lots left over when I get home from work. Here is a link to when they started out There is also Broccoli, Broad Beans and Bush Beans in there.

This unassuming little fellow is one of many pansies that self seeded from last years flowers. 

Not sure what this beautiful plant with the pink flowers is called. It must be something incredibly common as it grew from a 'cottage garden mix' of seeds. Unfortunately I lost the packet so I can't identify it. I'm sure one of my fellow gardeners will know its name....... Several months later I was told this goes by the common name of 'Corncockle'.

Below are Aquilegias that have been going strong for 2 years now. I got them when I was working at Stephen Ryan's nursery 'Dicksonia Rare Plants' on Mount Macedon. They were growing in the path like a weed and a fellow employee suggested I take them home and plant them.

Icelandic Poppies that I grew from seed are still popping open. They really are an awesome flower and keep opening up one after the other for a long time.

My better half loves planting Australian natives in the front yard and the Grevilleas are on show right now. 

This is the very first rose from the David Austin rose bush that I won in a competition earlier in the year. It is not much to look at now as it is just unfurling but in a few days it should be in all its glory. I never used to like roses but since after winning this and another in a competition I have become quite obsessed by them.

My 'herb boat' the SS Herbsman is fully loaded with Lettuce, Coriander, Continental Parsley, Curly Parsley, Oregano, Chives, Rocket and for some strange reason Brocolli. The frame in the background is for my climbing beans. My god look at the length of the lawn. Its as though the boat is sailing on a sea of grass.

There it is, my favorite pocket of the garden in its entirety. Rambling, out of control and absolutely packed with plants both edible and ornamental. Just the way I like it.

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