How does my garden grow? Plants

How does my garden grow?

It is a year since I last wrote about my garden ~ well I think it is. Lately I have been planning changes.

Very little has been done over the last seven months of staying at home. It may have been in March when I bought potting mix with the grand idea of repotting during this time at home. eventually I opened the bags over the weekend! Much to the chagrin of a trillion ants that have happily nested in the pots for who knows how long, I repotted the mint, an ivy geranium (which is actually a pelargonium) and a couple of succulents. Still a few more pots to go (and more ants to annoy!), but I have run out of potting mix. It looks like more online shopping. (Our shops are only open for click and collect.)

Newly minted mint

It is out the front where the larger plans are underway. You may know that the front yard is where we have been growing our veggies as it faces north and gets sun most of the day. However, the last eighteen months ~ the Fella’s medical issues and the virus ~ have made me realise that it is impractical to have a veggie garden. It is a question of priorities. To have a proper patch, with rotations and well maintained soil takes time and thought that I have to, and want to, spend elsewhere. It means that this year it has been a jumble of weeds.

So, my plan is to plant out the front with plants that are indigenous to my area, things like kangaroo grass and murnong, a native yam. I found a great pack of 10 tubes of plants from nursery I like. However, I am foiled by the pandemic again. The nursery is not delivering because they have a large backlog of orders. I could do a pick up, but it is outside of my 5 km radius. Patience.

The weeds are still growing well!

The other part of the plan for the front of the house is the verandah. For an embarrassing number of years it has been an area of unwanted junk ~ old plasterboard sheeting, bits of wood etc. This year I decided it was time for a council hard rubbish collection, so more unwanted stuff accumulated. The pandemic thwarted me again because I couldn’t book the collection. Until yesterday when they came and took it all away!

It went from this….

to this…..

in the space of a few minutes! Hurrah!

Now the observant among you will realise that we don’t actually have a verandah, just a verandah-shaped space. My current project is come up with some temporary solution before decking is put in. However, I know that temporary becomes permanent quite easily around here, so it has to be something quite nice. But easy. My thoughts involve big pots and some comfy chairs to enjoy the sunshine and chat to neighbours as they pass by.

Out the back, the Fella, AKA the Undergardener, took out a big bush, which opened up some space. This space is one of the few in the back garden that all day sun, which is why the rose flourishes. The spot for veggies, just a few that take my fancy. I sowed in some silver beet and spring onion seeds, and haven’t seen a single sprout. The dandelions love it though.

I take heart from the flowers that grow despite the lack of attention over the last year. They just do their own thing and I love them for it.

Now, I am going to take a chair out onto the verandah and have a read in the beautiful sunshine. Celebrate the small things. Take care.

25 replies on “How does my garden grow?”

You have accomplished a lot… hard rubbish pick ups are gold. You have ideas and plans that can be rolled out in stages… You’ve used a lot of permaculture design principles… observe and interact; apply self-regulation and accept feedback; use small, slow solutions; design from patterns to detail, creatively use and respond to change… and working towards a few more, obtain a yield; use and value diversity… And you have a lovely lot of perennial flowers… not much work required, simply appreciation of their beauty. 

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I am delighted by that feedback, Dale. I especially like “creatively use and respond to change”.There is so much change around us that we have to respond in creative and different ways.
You are right about hard rubbish, althoughI know it will go to landfill. Like many areas our council used to have the weeks of collection, where residents would put rubbish on the nature strip. It was an excellent opportunity for recycling. Now you have to book and leave it on your property, so no one can go through looking for the good stuff.

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The neighbours must have wondered, but they are very kind! It is an area of cute Victorian houses, so our rubbish stood out like a sore thumb. How are your efforts to clear things out?


I don’t think we are able to visit our land fill sites. Our hard rubbish collections used to take place during set weeks. There was a lot of recycling then, even people in vans cruising by. I remember I put out an old lawn mower and it was gone before I came out with the next load! Now you have to book the collection and keep the rubbish on your property.


There is something very cathartic about getting rid of a load of rubbish! Reducing the work in the garden sounds a really good idea. Looking at things you feel you should have done and didn’t manage is so disheartening! Enjoy sitting and chatting to whoever passes by and keep the work to a minimum.

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Wise words, Sue, and all very true. There is still so much to do like, new fences, but I tell myself to just think about one task. The others will happen, but probably not for a while. Otherwise I would be overwhelmed. I know you have been thinking about your future, and it strikes me that this is what I am doing too.

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There is so much uncertainty at present but some things are for sure – I will get older and I don’t fancy spending it sitting in a plastic chair dribbling from both ends in front of daytime TV! Having a plan and then implementing it one step at a time has worked for me.


Love love love your irises…. For your verandah, how about decking tiles, those 30cm squares that you can get at Bunnings? It’s a less permanent solution than a proper deck, but you can move them about to suit your needs and it raises you off the not terribly pretty bare ground. And maybe a bit of pea gravel in the areas without the tiles, with pots on top?

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Irises are among my favourite. As well as their glorious flowers, I love their hardiness and that they are so easy to plant in a new spot. and they seem to love my garden too.
I think I will get something like those pavers. I have thought about a range of things, and these seem the best. I was going to get gravel/crushed brick, until a friend reminded me how easily it tracks into the house. I am already paranoid about the new carpet without adding gravel!

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Now that my garden is dying off for the year, thanks for giving me a flower fix from the southern hemisphere and I can’t wait to see more!

Since we can’t travel this fall like usual, I had great plans to replant most of my front and back garden (thinning overgrown plants, adding new ones, etc.) but the stupid wildfires threw a spanner in those works for several weeks (too smoky to do anything outside). I did manage to replant a couple areas, but now it’s getting too late in the season to do much more.

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Life throws another spanner in the works! It has been a year for spanner throwing, hasn’t it? Do you get snow? Or is it just too cold for anything to grow? I am glad I could bring a flowery smile to your face. I will try to post some more. The irises have been glorious.

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We do get snow and ice, but mainly when the sun is low in the sky like it is in fall/winter, my yard is too shady for anything to bloom. Plus, the rains have arrived which turns everything into a mucky mess. I hate autumn, so keep those spring and summer pics coming!


Those irises are so pretty! They are so tough, they take abuse and still bloom. 🙂 Hurrah that you now have the junk removed, what a great feeling, I’m sure. I like Kate’s idea, simple, easy to do with one or two people, and you can easily change it when you’re ready for an actual deck.

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I love irises for those reasons, Kathy ~ tough and pretty, a great combo. I do feel lighter with the rubbish gone. I think I will end up with pavers. However I want to look at my options, not just online. Our shops are still shut because of restrictions, so I will be waiting a few more weeks at least. I sat there yesterday, and just enjoyed it!

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I wrote a whole reply – relooked at what you have said – and decided you needed an upbeat reply – not that my first reply wasn’t – it was just stating some obvious stuff!

So that’s the magic you have a garden – and the riot of colour from both the irises and other flowers are brilliant. Taming will be easy, clippers and then do the gelli plate thing – suddenly you’ve growing a collage like some of my “gardens” of late…

And then there are your “weeds” out front, more fodder for your art… lets’ not forget your new foray into the clay plates, make some that could be hang along your verandah that is on your horizon – I know you will enjoy recreating your home and garden

Go Grrl

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That is gloriously upbeat, Catherine, thank you! I am lucky to have a garden. I appreciate it even more this year because we have spent so many months at home, I feel for those who are in small apartments.
I love your idea of using the flowers and weeds for inspiration ~ and for making something for the verandah. My brother has got into mosaics and is making me a ‘curious creation’ for the front garden.

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a ‘curious creation’ now that will bring some smiles for sure …. as you sit in years to come on that “rocking chair” on your verandah and survey the changes you made at this time…musing on the good, the excellent without any of this now un-normal stuff creeping in!


“The best laid plans of mice and men …” We had some flowers that came back from last year, and we planted some flowers that sprouted, then went belly-up. Our sunflowers did well, though since we did not plant them until early June, we only had them in full bloom for about a month, but still, they brought joy! Our entire yard is about the size of your verandah-that-isn’t-actually-a-verandah, so we usually plant a wide variety and have tons of colour in the yard. This year, our hearts just weren’t in it. Ah well … there’s always next year, yes? Take care, my dear friend!


Reading through everyones replies and suggestions was fun. Lots of great advice too. It’s been a strange year to say the least, lots to prioritize and change. Sounds to me like you had a great year despite all the awful things that went and are going on and ….. produced gorgeous art pieces too 🙂


Good for you, Anne! I wonder if you could get Bunnings to deliver a load of coarse sand and maybe some planks? Spread the sand on the ground then put the planks on top. A stable place to put some chairs and maybe a table. 🙂
I have to get the deck out the back fixed as it wasn’t water proofed properly and now parts of it are rotting. But of course there’s no one who can come out. -sigh- This too will pass. 🙂


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