Wednesday, 16 January 2013

In the Garden

One advantage of being retired is that I can now spend quality time in the garden.
I have always had a preference for having Australian natives in my garden. One of the reasons is that planting natives, and those that are suited to the conditions here, means that the garden doesn’t need as much tender loving care. Another reason is that I find them just so attractive, diverse, and interesting.
Professional garden designers seem to favour mass planting, but we seem to have ended up with just one of lots of different plants. I like it, and that’s all that matters. We’ve got banksias, callistemons (bottle brushes), lilly pillies, acacias (wattles, both flowering and non-flowering), and any number of different grevilleas. We’ve got native violets and brachyscomes (coastal daisies) for ground covers.  Even though the block of land is quite small, we even managed to put in a eucalyptus tree, that has the most amazing gnarled look at the base of the trunk, and smooth as a baby’s as you go higher up the trunk. I think it’s a mallee of some sort.

They all seem to flower at slightly different times. But even if they didn’t, the different foliage colours and styles means the garden always has something interesting to look at.

So when we move to Bathurst, we will be leaving behind this little oasis for the next people who live here. I will miss our garden. But our new home has a bigger yard, which means more opportunity for plants! It will take some time, and it will be a constantly-changing thing, but we will have a garden to be happy in.
To get ready for the move, we collected seeds from the wattles and one of the grevilleas, and it was my job to try to grow new plants so we could take them with us. We also bought some seeds for plants we would like to have. My favourite Australian plant is the Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea), so of course that was one.

See the little seedlings on the left!
And we are being adventurous and trying to grow some waratahs. Wish us luck!

But our new garden won’t just be decorative. It already has some apple trees, planted by the people who built the home we are moving to. They apparently already produce fruit – and I love apples! We will be adding a vegetable patch, but I’m not planning exactly what we will have yet, until we get there and I see where I can put it and how big it can be.
But I do know that our miniature peach will be coming with us. And there will be at least one tomato plant during summer, as I pretty much eat tomatoes every day. Both of us find cucumbers disgusting, so we won’t have them (pity, because I’m told they are really easy to grow).
I’m looking forward to planning the vegetable patch. I’m looking forward to growing the Australian native plants. I’m looking forward to spending quality time in our new garden.
What do you like about your garden?

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