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How does my garden grow? Plants

How does my garden grow…….in late Autumn?

We have had some glorious weather over the last few days. After some rain the sun has been shining, encouraging quite a bit of growth. Gardening has been a pleasure, well, except for the weeds. But more of them later. Firstly, some of the pretty parts.

Like the crepe myrtle. It grows down in the back corner. I love it for its flowers in Spring and leaves in Autumn, as well as it’s bark and the shape of its branches. It really is a stunning tree through all the seasons. And it has needed nothing but admiration from me.

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The correas are in flower.

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The sedum has flowered and now the seed heads add an extra dimension to the garden beds.

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Is it time for orchids to flower? Apparently it is in my garden!20140517-202004.jpg

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And now for the weeds….
There is the old adage “A weed is just a plant in the wrong place”. That’s true, but they are also opportunistic plants. While they certainly grow in my garden beds, with regular maintenance I am able to keep them under control. However I have areas that are not beds, sort of biggish pathways, I guess. The weeds love to grow here, especially at the moment.

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I don’t want them growing there but I recognise that they have been able to harvest nutrients from the soil in these parts. This is especially true of stinging nettles. They have deep roots which are able to draw up minerals from deeper down than other weeds. I want to recycle those nutrients back to the plants I want to grow.

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Composting is not really an option and poison is definitely not one. I use a cold composting system rather than hot. This means that while the matter decays, the seeds are not necessarily destroyed. Spreading more weed seeds around the garden is not my idea! I could just chuck them into the green bin and have the council take them away. Then the nutrients are taken away too.

My solution is to put the weeds into an old style rubbish bin and cover with water. (Remember those small, round plastic rubbish bins with lids!) The weeds will rot down, giving me some lovely Weed Tea to use as liquid fertiliser. The rotted material can then be put into the compost, without fear of seed germination.

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What do you do with your weeds?

Categories
How does my garden grow? Plants

How does my garden grow….in early Autumn? (Part 1)

Today is dull and rainy, perfect for staying inside to tell you about my Autumn garden.

We had a run of very hot days over Summer ~ 40 plus degrees. That knocked the garden around. In Spring last year I planted out a bed with annuals and over the Summer I learnt what survived and what didn’t. The lobelias didn’t make it through. The pansies were a mix. The first ones I put in as small seedlings in Spring limped along ~ a couple of plants have survived. Later in Summer I put in some larger pansies to add quick colour to the bed. (I was hosting a family BBQ.) They have done well. The wallflowers are now flourishing and the aquilegias have a second burst of leafy growth. They didn’t flower this year. Any thoughts on why?

Backyard

This photo is a long shot of the garden, down to the shed and the back fence. The annuals are to the left ~ you can just see the pansies and wallflowers. The verbena, at the bottom left corner, also did very well over Summer. The bush in the centre is a correa and you can just pick out its long red and cream flowers.

The next 3 photos are of the grapevine being cut back. We don’t have air conditioning in our house so our back living area relies on the cool shade of this vine. It works remarkably well. Come Autumn though, it needs to be cut back. Now the sunlight streams through the windows.

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There is a lot of green waste. We filled up our green bin, as well as the neighbours’. The bins are collected fortnightly. The waste is used composted and used on Council garden beds. It is good to know that if we can’t use it it is not going to landfill.

I also added leaves to the worm farm and the compost.

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I am always fascinated with the small things in the garden. These pelargonium seed pods intrigued me.

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Lastly, for this post, is the beautiful nerine that is in flower at the moment. Tough as old boots, but always comes up trumps.

I have been working in the front yard, and will show you what I have been up to next time.

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