Spring gardening

I’m fond of gardening and I’m super fond of the sort of cottage garden full of exotics and native plants.
It’s been a totally all over the shop spring here (it’s Melbourne, the weather is changeable anyway) with gale force winds, cold rains, warm balmy days, sunshine, sullen clouds, heaters and air conditioners. I can make a joke and say ‘and that was just last week’ – only it’s not a joke, it WAS just all last week. Spring in Melbs is just silly. Interesting though.

Gardening is an art form, right? Therefore bloggable on an art blog!

IMG_1228

The nasturtiums have RUN AMOK in the front garden! and that is going to be a garlic flower in the foreground when it blooms, that was from last years garlic.

IMG_1226

The view from the front door. Lots of daisies and roses and prayer flags I picked up in Tibet, flapping away.

IMG_1236

I have a purple house. It was white when i moved in. Now it matches the lavender

IMG_1232

Native Hibiscus in the front garden. Such a pretty purple

IMG_1231

I took these photos just after that wind that blew all the petals from the open roses. It also blew all the aphids from the buds, so not all bad! This rose is Bunny – smells divine, a really strong yellow

IMG_1233

Another purple native. Westringia I think. Comes in white but i prefer the purple. I have a few of them dotted around – good filler plant. like all natives you have to butcher them once a year and chop them back and they resprout afresh the next year. It’s an adaptation to lots of fire – defoliation just makes them stronger.

IMG_1239

The back yard – has a massive liquid amber which drops horrible spikey cones and means death to bare feet until you rake them up, but this time of year it’s safe. The tree was planted by the people who built the house (1951) and the lady who lives 2 doors up, grew up here, and she said her grandmother used to sit under the tree and read. Funny enough – so do I!

The rest of the trees and plants you can see here i’ve planted over the last 13 years, it was straight lawn when i moved in with a pear and plum tree (both rotten and hence removed). The bed in front is in transition, it was where the chicken coop was for a bit (a fox got them all. RIP Aeleron, Fluffburger, The Ovipositor and Pete), and is where the extended shed will go next year.

IMG_1244

I planted this eucalyptus about 11 years ago. It’s huge. HUGE. probably a mistake, a bit too huge, it sucks water from the ground like no one’s business. It’s along the back fence line so far from houses. But what a pretty tree – red flowers when it does bloom, full of lorikeets (who i can hear squaking away now – colourful native parrots), so I cannot regret planting it.

IMG_1246

New fence (the old one had ceased to function as a fence and was working hard to fall down as fast as possible). You can see the correa bush in the front, the acacia in the back, a bottle brush, and a banksia. I went a bit more all out native in the back yard. Also you can see that when I trim or prune, I chuck the branches straight onto the ground. It becomes habitat for animals. We have a lot of frogs/lizards etc that have come to live in the garden. I also have a frog pond which surprisingly has no spawn in it this year but is usually pretty full up by now.  I live smack bang in the middle of the suburbs – and  the animals we get here are birds, possums, bats, lizards (skinks and geckos mostly), and frogs. And so many insects.

The little box half way up the tree is a possum box. Unsure if a possum lives in it but I do know they are in the garden, i suspect something lives in it, maybe a bird if not a possum. too good a spot to waste living in!

IMG_1251

Bottlebrush/callistomen.  Very showy this time of year.

IMG_1248

And finally a shot of Andy, my long necked tortoise, who lives in an enclosure right up the back, along with two blue tongue lizards.

There. that was just as good as a post about paintings, right!?