Friday, 10 March 2017

A Hell of a Summer

We have had a heat wave here in Australia; truly we have. Our gardens have suffered and I have seen pictures of what the heat looked like all over Facebook with quotes 'here's the Hellmouth, where's Buffy?'

But really, we did have a horrible time for the past 3 months; and I couldn't really do anything with my garden.

It was either too damned hot to get outside or it was raining. And once it stopped raining, it was twice as muggy and hot again. So, I lived in my home office decluttering the house bit by bit.

It hasn't been until the last two weeks where I've really looked at my garden for what I'll be doing this Winter. 
In the next few weeks, I'll be buying myself an edger from Bunnings (one I've been eying off for the past 6 months and costs only $35). Then, I'll started stocking up on potting mix and buying some lovely pots for the garden to upsize some of the plants that need repotting again in the cooler months. 

I have been seriously thinking of putting the Frangipani in the ground - because it's growing so well in the large pot in the corner. It's sprouted 2 more branches since its transplant last Winter! I'm so proud of how it's grown over the Summer. But I'm not happy it also grew poisonous mushrooms which I had to remove. 

Well, can't win them all!

I am looking forward to collecting more pots - not expensive ones - just so that I can divide up the Bromeliads and help them grow better and make the garden look and feel better too. But in truth, I think I need a bigger back yard to make it all work out better too. Or I could start selling Broms... now that would make some money, right? 

Until my next post, keep on gardening.  

Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Stinker of Summer

It's become a real Australian Summer over the last month; and with the storms coming and going, I'm working on making sure my lawn is green and lush - and that's difficult when you have a thief in your unit complex.

Now, I've gotten to a point in my life where I'm not hiding my garden hose anymore. If the thief is going to take my hose, they're going to take it and cut it up into tiny little pieces (and yes, I don't care if they're reading this - I know who they are). But I need to use my garden hose when I want to; not have to stuff arse around with connections for 10 minutes beforehand.

Anyway, the Agapanthus has flowered and so today I've cut the stems off; as the flowers are all gone. The Frangipanni didn't flower at all because I repotted both of them this past Winter and they will need a Summer to become accustomed to their new pots. So, next year, they'll flower - at least they put out leaves; which is promising. 

My brother and his girlfriend is getting a pup from my 14 year old Large Leaf African Jade. It's about a year or so old and looking lovely in its pot. And all they have to do is repot it in a new, bigger pot next Winter - or in the ground - and it'll flourish! 

I do have four others I'm hoping to put into larger pots for when I move out into another place in the next few years.

Anyway, there's others that have flowered this Summer. I'm just hoping it does rain soon... tomorrow, though, I'm hoping to get in and wrap up the Large Leaf Jade pot before it rains. But if it's raining, it doesn't matter... I'll pop it into a rubbish bag and tap it up with a Christmas label on it. No matter what, it'll be given as a present.

Well, that's what's been happening around my place here in Brisbane. How's your garden going? I'm hoping to get more plants next year growing in more pots. The Cardboard Plant is finally happy and sprouting more fronds - if the possums would just stop eating the new growth! But I think I've gotten them to stop that; I'm feeding them bananas. And expensive way of doing it, but at least they're eating something else. Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Been Busy Watching

There's a time in a garden when all you do is watch it. I know that sounds really weird, but it's true. 

Throughout Winter, I work my butt off and get my plants repotted, fertilised and looking their best, mow the lawn, pull every weed there is and trim the shrubs nice and tight. Then, as the days begin to turn longer, become warmer, as the thunderstorms begin to turn our way and water our gardens for us more and more, I start to just watch my garden.

Besides that, I also get in and water the lawn more. Because of the dry dry days that haunt Brisbane and Queensland, it's a must to get outside and water the lawn in the early morning and late afternoons. I have a neighbour who works a lot and so I've been watering her lawn as well - yep, sticking my hose over the fence and watering her piece of green doesn't bother me at all; after all, I'm doing mine, so why not?

Right now, the Agapanthus are in full bloom. There were three blooms, but some possums had a go at the third one and killed it - so there's only two left. Then there's the Frangipanni which I repotted into a huge pot to give it some room to move. This year, it won't flower - so I'm looking forward to it doing its thing next year. There's a little one which hasn't bloomed this year either, as I repotted it as well. so, next year, I'll have plenty of flowers around the garden. But this year, it's mainly just greenery.

The Ficus is growing so fast! It's really wonderful as well it's going. I'm impressed it's reaching up the fence so quickly. 

So, besides the lawn looking like a cricket pitch, my garden it looking good. But then, in Summer the lawn always looks like this, unless I keep the water up to it. Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

October Is here

Today is my Birthday, which means we're over a week into Spring and my garden has started its annual growing and blooming time.

I've been noticing the Frangipanni has started to push out new leaves from their normally rounded stumps - and seeing I repotted the taller one - I can't wait to see them both get in and flower this year. 

The garden is looking more lovely as time goes by; but I'd love to get in and move to another place where I have more room to move and a bigger garden to play with - I'm not sure when that'll be but I'm looking into that.

Anyway, I've been sitting back and watching the garden after we had a full day of rain over the weekend and it's been loving the cooler nights and warmer days, just as much as I enjoy getting in and mowing the lawn every week, now it's getting hotter.

Well, I don't have too much more to tell. I'm watching the Large Leaf Jade for the next few months because I'm going to get in and give them as Christmas Presents this year - the bigger ones which are a few years old that is; you can't give them too small, but if you do you, it's best to put them into a tiny pot and leave them for about 6 weeks, so they settle properly, then give them away or sell them. 

Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Woohoo! It's Spring!

Spring has arrived here in Australia!

I think... well, it kinda feels like it sometimes, but the night time temperatures are still on the chilly side at times.

The grass is greener, flowers are beginning to bud on my Jatropha and I've just spent three weeks watching a nest of baby Mickey birds grow from bald little, blind things into fully-fledged birds too big for the nest! All the while I was being swooped on by Pappa and Mamma and told off by another one - who that was I'm not sure.

But it was fun to watch the nest and see those lovely little birdies grow so fast in only about two weeks! 

Otherwise, I've been helping out some neighbours fix up their front garden and gave them a Money Plant to get it going along - freeing up one of my pots to plant a Large Leaf Jade that I'm hoping to give to my brother and his family for his garden this Christmas. It's going to be old enough to plant it in the ground once it takes to the pot. 

And this weekend has been great with all this rain! I don't have to water too much. All I have to do is wait and mow the back lawn and keep and eye out for the bindis which usually pop up around this time of year. Well, until my next post, happy gardening!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Kick Back Until Spring

I know that sounds like I don't care, but really, my garden is just like that.

I get in and fix it throughout Winter - repotting, fertilising and doing all the hard work - then by the end of July, I can mow the lawn, pull out the longer weeds and really kick back and look at my work and wait until Spring comes along.

Spring brings along the hotter weather and the bindi's. I get in and pull them out by hand; and they're usually around the clothes line anyway. So, that's a good thing for me to look out for while I'm hanging out the laundry.

And while I'm waiting and watching my garden sleep for a few weeks before the warmth of Spring to arrive, I'm saving up for a few more little things to decorate the yard with... just pretty things really, nothing to make the plants grow. I'm also saving up for an edger to clean up the straggly bits of lawn from the concrete when I mow it.

Otherwise, the garden looks nice. My folks came around to my place on Saturday to help me out with selling my old dining table and Mum was really impressed with how my little garden looked. She was amazed that I get so much done in a few months; and can't wait until Summer to see it all in bloom and happy. 

You know something? I can't wait either. Until my next post, happy gardening.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Warmer Weather

Over the past few days, the weather has turned warm and Summer-like. This has been good for the garden. It's moved a few things along quicker than expected.

My Large Leaf Jade has been flowering beautifully. It hasn't flowered in about three years - which is something I do look forward to. I've found that when it does flower, it's after I've trimmed it right back and given it time to recover; as well as back-filling it with fresh potting mix. It takes around 6 months for the plant to fully get back on its feet and then it'll bloom the following Winter. For some unusual reason my plant just won't flower in Summer.
But today, I got out there and repotted my Egyptian Sage. I was given this by the Caretaker of my unit complex, who thought it was a weed. But once I repotted it, this plant was happy as a pig in mud! Now, I had to clip off the straggly bits and back-fill it; otherwise, it's going well! I'm not big on touching this plant too much as when you do, it puts off a strong scent which can get a little much if you breath in too much of it.

I'm up to the stage in my little garden where all I have to do is pull out the weeds around the edges and watch it all grow for the next year or so. There's still a few little detail things to get on with, but that's about all... until the next year or two when I plug more big money into the yard.

Isn't it fun to get in and get your hands dirty? I think so. It's the most wonderful thing to just jump in just after breakfast in the early morning and work on the garden, to clean up the small things before they get in become something too big.

The Ficus is going well - it's been in the pot for 3 weeks now and I'm looking forward to what it'll look like in 6 months time. I'll keep a record on Pintrest for anyone who's interested. Well, until my next post, happy gardening.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Every Three Years...

Every three years, I work hard on my garden, spending money on it to make it look great. It's a work of passion and love to move its design forward - no it's never finished. 

Every three years, I repot what needs to repotted. I move plants that have grown so well in older pots into much, much bigger pots and then reuse those old pots (if they can be reused) for new plants that I buy at the nursery. Or if I have other plants that need new homes, I repot the others first.

Every year, I'm constantly writing in my Gardening Journal to record what works and what doesn't. I also write down which plant's I've bought and which ones have lived good long lives, and which ones up and died on me for no good reason - thus I know I won't be getting them again because they don't suit my garden. The Gardening Journal is a great way to keep track of what I can and can't do in my garden.

Every week I mow the lawn with my spin reel mower, and pull out all the weeds. Every Spring I pull out all the Bindis so I don't have a huge crop every year to watch out for. Every day I watch my garden grow and enjoy the small victories of when I accomplish something in it; as it's all a learning experience with it - and always has been. Every month, I prune the shrubs, making sure they look good, neat and proper. Every season, I fertilise the plants to make sure they live at their very best. Every week, I water my plants - unless Mother Nature does that for me; then I watch and enjoy the view of it all working out.

Every three years, I have watched my garden through that camera lens change from being an empty desert of a lawn into a lush, green, flowering oasis of beauty, which is ever-changing and beautiful. And the best thing about my garden is: it's a container garden.

How do you see your garden? 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016


These little guys can be a pest or a good way to spot when rain is coming our way. Now, there are different types and I've seen a few around my place that have either made themselves useful or had to moved on because they got in the way.

Meat Ants are the big orange ants which you sometimes see around your place and they nest near doorways and drains. They are more active when it rains and they're not the most attractive of the ant species. However, you don't leave them alone! If you let them walk around your house they will invite the rest of the ant colony inside to nest... yes, they have a few different jobs to do around the place. Meat Ants are the guys who look for new places for the little black ants to find new homes - dry places to nest. Never ignore them if you find them around your house. When you see one, kill it, and wait for another two or three to show up (and they will) and kill those too; otherwise you'll be in for a nasty surprise of ants inundating your home.

Green Ants are another nasty you don't want near your home. They nest just about anywhere and if they get into your potted plants, they'll eat the roots of your plants and kill them, taking over the pot as their own nest. You don't want this and it's easy to get rid of them. You need a big bucket of water and you dunk the whole pot into it and leave it for a couple of hours - drowning out the whole nest. But if your Green Ants Nest is in a huge pot too big for a bucket, you get your hose, put it onto 'jet' on the control on the gun and drown them out that way. Just make sure the soil is soaked through with water and the ants will leave. Sometimes, when you've done this, watch carefully around your trees, the nest might take to the leaves in the trees. They will stick together leaves and make a nest in a tree if they're really desperate for a nest.

Sugar Ants are another black ant which nests in gardens. They are practically everywhere and are a good warning system that rain is approaching. I have a few nests outside in my front garden I don't touch because when they get busy and rush everywhere, I know from their activity that they're preparing for a lot of rain. However, when I find them inside my house - tracking from my back, through my living room to my front door - I know for certain, something big is coming our way. When they do that, I get the flour out and sprinkle it on the doorways to get them to keep out of my house.

Fire Ants are nasty little bastards. They nest in areas where the soil is built up and gardens aren't cared for well. This is why I always care for my garden and make sure I don't leave any soil to build up in my garden or long grass uncut. I'm always checking around the corners of my yard and over my fence into the properties of my neighbours' to check if they're caring for their yards as well - because it's not just my responsibility to care for my yard. If somebody isn't caring for their yard and they have Fire Ants at the back fence, those ants will find their way into my yard and destroy my well-kept garden. And even though most of us rent, it's a decent thing to do to keep our gardens looking good. Besides, Fire Ants have a dreadful bite; and they're name signifies how bad their bite is: it feels as though your skin and all surrounding it is on fire. 

Now, with most ants, you can keep them from invading your home or your garden with simple Ant-Sand, which you can buy at your local gardening supply store. But that's a chemical, and can be harmful to pets and dogs. So, if you use flour, you'll find that they can be stopped from entering your home that way because ants all breath through their stomachs and flour suffocates them. Otherwise, if you want to shift an ants' nest, pouring a kettle of boiling water down the nest is another way of getting rid of them... it does take a few doses of that to get them running, but it does work (I've done this to three big Green Ants Nests near my clothes line and they took off). However, if ants are really being a pest, I once used Kerosene on a plant outside my house and it got rid of Green Ants - however I do not advise people to use this on any of your plants to get rid of ants nests. There are other methods; and I only used it because nothing else worked.

Okay, that's all about ants and how to treat them... how to work with them and what not to do around them. Until my next post, happy gardening.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A Weekend of Rain

It's the first week of Winter here in Australia and today, as I came out of the cinemas with a friend to find it was pouring rain. I looked on the weather forecast and it said that we'll have rain today, tomorrow and all across the weekend - with some storms as well.

This is great news for the garden. 

I've done some work over the last few weeks in my garden - as you know - and it's all going to pay off over the next week or two as the Frangipani and other plants I've repotted recently settle into their new pots have the rain assist with their new living arrangements.

The Large Leaf Jade is starting to flower as well. This is a big thing seeing it doesn't flower all that often - and the last time it did, was around 5 years ago. I'm really looking forward to this; as there are more buds on the plant than there were last time.

The Small Leaf Jades out the front have done well since I last trimmed them and they've grown into their new shapes nicely. These plants aren't in pots, however, I planted them as cuttings into the ground around 12 years ago and they've really shot up and taken precedence over the front garden area of my townhouse. I'm really pleased at how they've thrived in such little soil as well. 

So, over this weekend, I don't have to do much, just plan for July - yep, four weeks away - get in and do some more gardening to prepare for Spring. That means saving up money, putting it all away and working on getting in and making sure the other plants that need repotting are done before the weather warms up again in Summer. Well, until my next post, happy gardening.