Sunday, August 31, 2008

Busy working in my native garden

The last couple of weeks have been so busy I haven't had a lot of time for crafty stuff. I worked out yesterday that my last proper day off was the 17th of August. Last weekend I went to the Canberra division (Zone 7) of the OTA's AGM/seminar day. There were some interesting topics being discussed, and I won a backpack/trolley bag. I think it was a leftover from the state conference earlier this year, but it is really cool. It has loads of pockets, and has wheels and a handle so you can load heaps of stuff into it and push it around if you need to. I sat there and visualised how many pasties I can fit into it to bring home from Adelaide next year. I will add a photo when I get round to taking one.

I spent time last Friday arvo and Sunday morning working in the garden. I have a little patch out the front of my place that had horrible diosmas in it. They were scraggly looking things, that had been badly pruned at some point. I hated looking at them, so had them removed by one of my neighbours. He certainly earned his money that day, a couple of the plants were so deeply stuck in the ground he had to use his car to pull them out!

The soil that was underneath them was mainly clay, I don't think there was anything good about it at all. I started my work trying to improve the dirt, by adding garden mix, compost, dynamic lifter, and potting mix that I removed from three rotten wine barrel planters that were in the backyard. I planted some natives and put down sugar cane mulch so that when it broke down it could add some nutrition to the soil.

Last week the local garden centre had their spring sale, so I bought more bags of compost and mulch, and some more plants (to replace half the plants that had died in the front garden last year). I spent hours digging the compost into the soil, using the garden fork I was able to get at 25% off. It was still really hard work, but much easier than last year. I think when I started on that garden last year it was 100% clay, this year it was much better. Using the fork was a lot easier too, the spade I used last year just got heavier and heavier with the clay.

Here are some pics of the garden, luckily I finished Sunday morning, because I got called in to work after lunch. I did run out of mulch before I was finished, so still have to top up one end of the garden, and inside the courtyard. I made a quick dash with my sister to The Garden to pick up more mulch at lunch time, it is still sitting in the courtyard waiting for me.
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garden August 08

Katie's plant

Here is a photo of the Correa that I planted in Katie's memory after she died in January. I didn't get any photos while it had more flowers, I have had to hold back some leaves so you can see the one flower that is left. Luckily that is one of the plants that survived. This close up was taken before the mulching, but the Little Cate correa is surrounded now by Cutie Cat Pansies. We had a bit of rain last night so everything should now be doing really well. Hopefully it will all survive.
Little Cate Correa

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4 comments:

Michelle said...

The garden is looking so good - can't wait to see it when it's all grown.

You've been very busy! As I type, Scott is out the front planting our box hedge border - he's spent days digging a clay trnech, putting in clay breaker, and adding our home-made compost. I'm more than happy just to watch.

Trudi said...

Forgot to mention that I had put in clay breaker earlier advice after you told me about it - I reckon it is fabulous stuff. Much easier than gypsum. I think that helped so much to improve the soil.

Bells said...

nice work! I personally love Diosmas but I can understand why they'd get a bit ugly.

And Correas are a personal favourite. They're such lovely little things!

bibliophile said...

The garden looks much better now, it was a bit of a mess in front of both of our fences when I moved in. Mine took a bit of effort to clean out too!