Beeutiful, belicious 🐝

There is a world out there…..

Let me show you some of the bee magnets in my garden.

Salvias. I love them, and so do the bees. Also I have seen a wattle bird drinking the nectar. Now a wattle bird is more the size of a blackbird than a hummingbird. The stems certainly sway when this bird comes to drink, making me fear for the bush when I see one feeding, as salvias are quite brittle. The bees are much more gentle.

I have also had a couple of blue banded native bees visit. Maybe it is the intense blue of the flower. They do say that bees are attracted to blue.

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Rosemary. If you have one, you know how the bees love it. If you don’t, think about popping one into your garden. They grow well in pots. I am going to plant a prostrate one at some point.

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Sedum, Autumn Joy, I think. Not only does it attract bees, but the dried flower heads make a lovely feature either kept on the plant in a winter garden or brought indoors. And it is so easy to split the base and roots and replant elsewhere.

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However the most attractive flower to bees is this little unassuming one ~ oregano, if I remember right. It flowers for ages and whenever I look there are usually at least half a dozen bees in attendance. The bush sprawls its way over everything else, but I never have the heart to cut it back until flowering has well and truely finished. By that time it is already sprouting new shoots from the base.

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Of course bees are not the only good helpers in the garden, so I like to encourage others too. This strategy has the added benefit of allowing me to be lazy, letting things go to seed instead of clearing and tidying. Hover flies and ladybirds love the parsley flowers and the newly setting seeds. So parsley umbels stay, set seed and drop their seed everywhere. Parsley seed is best sown fresh. Consequently I have way more parsley than I could ever use.

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If you are stuck inside, longing for the outside world, my Instagram posts might help a little. On every daily walk I try to find something in the outside world that makes me feel good. When I can’t walk outside, I will post from my garden. And there is usually a bit of arty/sewing going on there too.

Stay well my friends  🙏🏽

 

How does my garden grow….in early Autumn (Part 2)

Our front yard faces north. That is the direction that captures most of the sun in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a reasonable size, about 3 x 2 metres. So it is the perfect spot in my garden for growing veggies. Unfortunately, last year it was simply a pile of dirt, even though I tried to trick myself into believing that it was left deliberately as fallow ground! All that grew were untended parsley and strawberry plants.

This Autumn the time had come for an upgrade . My Fella grabbed the fork and turned over the soil. After some lovely soaking rain I added compost and lightly forked it again. Then I mounded it into “beds”. Two of them are finished; the other half is still to be worked.

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I planted out the silverbeet that had been growing in a pot. I rummaged through my old seed packets and found broad beans, radishes and beetroot. They weren’t too far out-of-date, so in they went too. All enjoying today’s lovely soaking rain, no doubt.

I planted the silverbeet with a dollop of worm castings. This is an amazing, magical ingredient, which you get free from the worms. It is surprisingly soft, rather like chocolate mousse ~ and I am sorry if that image has put some of you off chocolate mousse for life!

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I also use the worm juice (the dark liquid that comes out of the worm farm into the square bucket). Diluted down it makes excellent liquid fertiliser and helps plants get established.

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There are some of my little beauties, munching their way through the kitchen scraps and leaf litter. Remember though, worms for the compost and worm farms are not the same as worms found in the garden. If you wish to set up a worm farm (and it is very easy), you will need to get the appropriate worms. That could be from someone else’s farm or compost. If you live in Melbourne, come and visit and I will give you some.

I mentioned parsley before. It loves my garden and all my plants are self sown. During the front garden’s “fallow” period it grew like topsy and set more seed.

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An avenue of parsley!

Just look at all the parsley seedlings we have growing ~ and this is only a small number of them!

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I have also planted out sweet pea seeds in the back garden. I quietly picked these seeds from one of my very favourite gardens in the neighbourhood. The gardener had mass planted the sweet peas so that they tumbled down her fence. It was a riot of flowers and colour and perfume. So I only quietly picked a few pods from the mass, and they were on the street side of the fence ~ and I am sure she wouldn’t have minded!

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Last thing to tell you about is my hellebore. Once I planted about half a dozen bushes under my maple tree. Only one survived. Imagine my delight when I looked the other day and saw that it had had babies!

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When I looked further I saw that one little leaflet was growing up between the bricks in the paving, surrounded by weeds. (Brick paving is rather grandiose, but that’s a story for another day.) Not the best spot, so I dug it out. I thought it would be a seedling. Instead it had this strong root system that made me think it was a runner rather than a seedling. Does any one know? This is the root system.

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It is replanted nearer the parent plant. I hope it will have a long and happy life! It may be sharing its life with sweet peas, because I sowed the seeds around there too.

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