Sunday, 29 October 2017

Damned Termites!

It's been a while since my last post and so I thought to update you all about what's been going on.

We had the pest control people out looking around the complex - they were checking for termites around everyone's houses. 

You see, years ago, one of the chair-people got a couple of termite infested trees chopped and chipped and - instead of getting them to haul it off to the dump and burned - they dumped it next to my place! Well, she told everyone here to use it in their gardens as free chip and the whole place would look great!

I didn't use it knowing it would destroy my house.

A few of the townhouses had to be fixed up and worked on because they fell for that trick. And the landlords were put out pocket for a lot of money. My Dad was so peeved about it because not only did the termites in those piles of chip destroy some of the townhouses around here, but they also destroyed the already dilapidated boundary fence faster than it would have fallen apart on its own.

So, we had to have termite inspections a few years ahead of time - because the protection on these places lasted around 25 years - due to this person's stupid decision.

Okay, back to what I was saying:

The guys came into my place. They looked around, tapped everything, went into the ceiling and walked around the backyard... but they found termites coming from my back fence.

This means it's not my fault; but my neighbour's fault. They had put down astroturf and forced the damned things into my direction! 

Today, Dad came over and treated the whole place for termites. I have a passionate hatred for those little wriggly white buggers... they eat everything, get through your house and destroy your garden! And if your neighbours are big enough idiots, they do something really stupid like put down fake grass and push them into your direction. 

I really can't wait to move into a place of my own where I can look after my own place... I'm not that close to another person's property and I can have a nice garden, lovely lawn and know where everything is. Yes, it'll be more work, but I like it that way. Until my next post, happy gardening.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Spring Is Finally Here

Yep!

Spring has sprung and that means hot hot days and still-cooler nights. But it also means that our gardens are going to burst into flower pretty soon, and I'm looking for the rain to help out with all of this - but it's nowhere to be found!

So, I've had to get out the lawn food, the garden hose and bird seed and help the lawn - which is going really well. It's becoming so well-established as well, seeing the sun is moving around to the other side of the house in the afternoons now.

My Frangipani has pushed out its first leaves and the Agapanthus is looking so lush and green. It's going to have nine flowers this year - and it's in 3 pots now -and so I'm looking forward to seeing them all show off their lovely, bopping purple heads in the sun this year.

But, there's still some things I have to get in and pot up. I have some pots I bought at a local thrift store I'd like to get in and use along the side fence. I also want to seriously save up some dosh and get a screen put up along that side fence for not only privacy, but also to keep the cats out and the people out too. It'll look good too.

And seeing the lawn is going well, I'm hoping to get the compost working again - but not until I move into another place; which might not be until next year. Yeah, I like to make those long-distant plans at this time of year. Well, until my next post, happy gardening.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Lawn Success - Finally

At the beginning of the month, I used a small box of lawn seed to reseed the back lawn of my place. But it didn't work out.

So, this last pay or so, I bought a bigger box and some lawn food and put it down liberally... watered in all in and watered in all every day - soaking it until it was all drenched. As the sun drew around with the coming of Spring, the grass grew; but the lawn food did burn a few spots in the yard.

I bought bird seed - just cheap old Trill. Now, before you laugh at me, and think I've fallen off my perch,  I've done this before with old Finch seed when my budgie died. I had about 3 bags of the stuff left over and didn't know what to do with it. No pet store would take it off my hands; and I didn't know anyone with a budgie or finches. And a checkout chick at Coles suggested I spread it out on the lawn; that it was trick her Dad did when he needed to lush up the lawn a bit.

I did it, and it worked out really well! So, this year, I've done it again!

Not only do I have to make sure the birds keep away from the seed, but I made sure it was watered in properly so they didn't eat it (birds hate wet bird seed)... then we had a couple of storms and some rain, and the lawn grew like you wouldn't believe! 

I mowed it with the push reel mower as it looked liked a waving sea of green at a monster length of 10cm! Okay, not all of it was cut, but most of it was. I gently raked the cut bits over the seed, and left it for the afternoon. It does look wonderful! I'm so glad it's going to be gorgeous lush and green again for Summer. Well, happy gardening! 

Friday, 11 August 2017

Reseeding the Lawn

I've been busily saving up money for a variety of things of late. But mainly, the lawn hasn't come back from what the Logan City Council guy did to it over Winter - when it's at its most fragile; and the sun doesn't get to it.

So, over the past two fortnights I've been buying lawn seed and lawn food to get it working and back to its lush best for Summer - and so I don't get bindis again too. 

This week, I bought a larger box of lawn seed and some lawn food as well, raked it over and spread the seed as much as I could, then put the food over the top and then watered it in as well. Now, to wait and see how it all goes. I'll have to water it on a regular basis and make sure it works out well. Once it's over 5 - 6cm long, I'll mow it and then keep on watering it again, throw more food on it and keep at it to make sure no weeds grow where lawn was before.

Otherwise, the weather has been weirdly August here. The nights are freezing cold and the days are beginning to feel like Summer - so my plants are pushing out flowers when they're supposed to be still hibernating. I'm also seeing Blue Tongue Lizards around during the day - and even accidentally kicked one the other night. Don't worry, he's okay. I picked him up and checked him over before letting him into the safety of my back yard. Poor little guy! But he wasn't too impressed by my actions, I can tell you!

Anyway, I best be going. There's not much more to tell about the gardening, as the lawn hasn't come in fully. I only reseeded it yesterday, but it's looking good. I might yet throw some bird seed on the bare patches to make it look better over Summer - as that's what I did with my late-bird's seed when she died. Until my next post, happy gardening! 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Been A While

I know it's been a little while. But there's a reason for this. 

The Logan City Council has been in my yard, pulling up the sewage lid and sending cameras down there to check out the way it all runs underground.

Gross, right?

Yep, I thought so too.

Anyway, the chemicals on the camera to kill the germs in the sewer have killed off most of my lawn - so I'm up for lawn seed just before Spring (it won't work in Winter as I don't get any sun in my yard over that season). And I'm now pulling out bindis by the handful - right on schedule - as they're growing green and in huge clusters around the lawn; but not near the clothesline.

More recently, I've been potting up plants that need it badly. And since we've been getting overnight showers once in a while here in Brisbane, they've been settling in really well. 

I bought that $16 pot and planted up that lovely Large Leaf Jade in it and it's taken quite well to it. I'm looking at the sun-loving Brom and have found its pup really needs a pot around the same size; so I'll be needing to get my butt back to Bunnings to score myself another pot around the same size, with more stones for drainage, and yep, more potting mix. this will take time and seeing I only deal in cash, I'm not in any big hurry to get it done.

I'm also hoping to work more on the Frangipani cuttings as they don't have enough potting mix to make them really sprout... so, they have to have more potting mix put into their pots; which I'll be doing this arvo.  And while I'm there, I'll pot up the other Small Leaf Jades into the pots I scored from the Logan City Council, so they're ready by Summer to sell or give away, or to place into bigger pots for the garden and make into money plants. 

My planning for the garden has been put back a month; and I hate that. But seeing it's so chilly lately, I'm glad to say that I'm able to work on the yard more. Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Friday, 30 June 2017

My First Bunnings Run For Winter

Today, I was out and about at Bunnings to get a large pot, a bag of stones and 3 bags of potting mix for my first project for Winter.

I'm repotting a pup from the main Large Leaf Jade that I've had growing in my yard for the past 15 years. I'm proud to say the smaller one I'm putting into its own 'Forever Pot' is going to look great! I can't wait for it to get its growth on, but this also means I'll have to move a few of the pots around to give the pot room along the fenceline. 

Anyway, the really big pot was only $16 and I'm thinking of going back to Bunnings and getting another one for the main Large Leaf Jade, as it looks straggly and the last time I backfilled it, it didn't seem to be all that happy after a few weeks. So, I do think it does need another, bigger, pot to really stretch its legs in. 

I'm potting up these two Jades so I have two big Jades to plant out at my next place I call home... then I have two large pots to use as herb pots around my garden. It's not a bad plan really, is it? 

Yep, everything I'm doing now is a precursor to the next few years of my life. The bigger pots will be used for little flowers or roses, or around the corners of my yard for individual, smaller plants - like smaller lime or lemon trees I can use around the place - and then, the next yard can be a mixture of planted and potted plants; simply because my next place of residence will be my forever home. I won't be moving from there. 

I only hope the next people who live in my place see the potential of the back yard like I did, and use it the same - or similar ways. Okay, the pots for the larger plants are getting bigger, but there are smaller plants which will be used later on in a few years. I'm only hoping I can put them in hanging baskets - but that's just something I have a vision of in my imagination. 

Or am I looking too far ahead with this? 

Oh well, we can all dream about the perfect garden, right? And this is why I love gardening... to get it right - eventually - no matter how long it takes me. So, how is your garden going? Have you had anything great happen?  

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Logan City Council Sewage Drain Fun

My lawn has been turned into mud over the past mud... and I can't do anything about it.

The Logan City Council has sent guys here to pull up the round sewage lid and send a camera down there to look around, assess it, and then reline the whole thing - if needs be. It takes hours out of the day each time; well, the last time didn't, but that was just a check-up.

So, I've had to move my repotting month to next month because of this unscheduled invasion to my yard.

I don't mind - mainly because I'm a little short on cash right now. Also, I've had to replace the hose connections because somebody I let use the tap connection once a month ago broke them. So, I've had to wait this long until I had the money to get the right brand and spend a good amount of money on them.

Anyway, this weekend, I'm going to get in and repot a few of the plants around the garden. I have to buy some potting mix, and a couple of bigger pots to make it all work out. I was hoping to make this year a more productive year in the garden, but I guess beggars can't be choosers. Until my next post, happy gardening.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Not Much Gardening Done

There hasn't been much to report because I haven't had much money to spend on the garden lately - also because the Logan City Council had to come in and reline the sewage lines too.

Not a pretty sight.

And they weren't all that dainty about my garden. The lawn is all muddy now, so it has to grow back; and seeing my yard doesn't get any sun in the Winter, that will take more time than usual. 

Anyway, I've had one bag of potting mix sitting near the back door and a collection of pots I scored from the Logan City Council for nothing to use around my yard waiting for me to do something with them. But with all this rain we've had - and that I've been off to art classes lately - I haven't had the time, energy or money to jump back into my garden. 

So, today, just when I was feeling my lowest - and the laryngitis I've had for the past few days has been at its worst - I noticed that one of the units down the way was getting a Frangipani pulled out of its front garden. 
Now, Franigpanis have a huge root system, and really shouldn't be planted in places where they can't spread out their roots. Unfortunately, this poor plant was starting to make problems for the building's foundations and had to come out. So, I asked the guy removing it if I could nab a few of the branches to use as cuttings and he said that I could 'go for it' that he was going to toss the whole thing anyway. 

Now, being a gardener, I would have transplanted that tree somewhere else - seeing it's about a decade old. But this guy was willing to waste a perfectly good tree. 

Well, I took my chosen branches away and potted them up. Don't they look wonderful? I think so. I can't wait to get them into the pots they deserve next Winter. Now... to save up the money to buy bigger pots for them.

I've also made a decision today that may tick off some people. I sometimes lend out things to the care taker or a neighour I trust here. Well, my care taker has broken my hose connection recently because he pushed it back onto the connector too hard and now I can't water my garden or wash my car. I'm not going to lend anything out to anyone anymore. Instead, I'm going to save up for a proper hose reel where it's attached properly with metal fittings and it can't be removed. I may even get it all changed into the back yard... I'll have to ask my landlord to see if they can help me with that. I'm just getting sick of things being broken around here and I have to foot the bill in replacing and fixing them. Until my next post, happy gardening.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Welcome Autumn/Fall

This is my all-time favourite time of year. Honest! I love this time of the year because it's nice and cold at night and warm during the day, and I can start planning what I need to do over Winter.

However this Winter, I've got my work cut out for me. 

Neighbours over my back fence threw feces over my fence and now I have to be very careful how I repot anything. I don't know if it was human or animal poo, but it was disgusting and no matter who I spoke to, nobody wanted to deal with it - and I had to clean it up. Living in a townhouse/unit complex, it's not my job to clean up this kind of thing; it the site manager's job. And he wouldn't do it.

So, this Winter, I have to wear rubber gloves, a mask and clothes I'm willing to part with if needs be. I know that sounds like I'm overthinking this, but really, I'm not.

Anyway, I've found that my sun-loving Bromeliad has got a pup. And this time around, I'm keeping the Mum - unlike last time where I tossed her out. Yes, I'm hoping to expand my garden more with plants I do love; and I love the sun-loving breed of this plant. 
And the Agapanthus has got a new pup now too. Now, instead of seven, I've got eight, thanks to all that rain we've gotten over the past couple of months. The Ficus is going well; and it loves being where it is, taking its time to stretch itself to the top of the fence; it's going onto its sixth month being here. 

Just last night, I spotted a possum sitting on the fence looking at me. He's a regular who walks along the fence, and so I went inside and grabbed him a couple of bananas (these were over-ripe ones I have sometimes) and pealed them for him, broke it in half and handed it to him. His little paw touched my hand as he took it from me... so cute! And I lined the side fence with the other broken pieces of the other banana. He spent the rest of the night eating those. Such a busy little guy. I feed him - and other possums - bananas because food becomes scarce at this time of year, and they start really fighting over the smallest things.  Well, until my next post, happy gardening.   

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Logan Floods Recovery

I didn't write about the floods here, mainly because my place didn't go under in them. I'm not in a flood plains and so I'm one of the fortunate ones.

However, a lot of people weren't so fortunate.

A lot of Beenleigh was flooded, as was Loganlea and any other areas below the Albert and Logan River levels. Yatala Pies went under (which caused them to create a few new pies in honor of Cyclone Debbie) and then there was the clean-up - which is still going on.

There are still people who don't have homes, who are still looking for beloved things they lost during this horrible time.

However, the gardens and a good part of Brisbane's gardens flourished with the rain we got. From my rain gauge, we got over 300ml of rain in just over 48 hours. That's huge! That's about a months' worth of rain in such a short length of time. We were prepared for it. We were told to take care if had to go out. Shops were closed on the first day of the rain by midday and no businesses or school was open by Friday morning (third day in). 

It's been around three weeks later, and school has started up again. Autumn is most definitely here with the cooler nights and warmer - but not hot - days. And yet, our gardens are still pretty. Yesterday, I found huge wasps nest on my down pipe just outside the window of my home office. I don't know how I missed something this huge hanging off my home, but I did. Isn't it a beauty? Well, my landlord is coming around to take care of it in the next day or so.

Otherwise, during the time of the rains, the Egyptian Sage has grown so much! And my Ficus is going so well! I've had to mow the lawn three times... but the Frangipani might need to be cut into two and repotted - I'm not sure. I'll see what I can do, it just seems to lean so much. Until my next post, happy gardening.

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.