The garden in January : Changing Seasons

Su Leslie “”Zimmerbitch” has taken on the running of the monthly “changing seasons”  challenge. As I am now a, mostly, stay at home blogger I would like to let you know how my garden changes each month. So new year, new challenge. This is the first and it is mid summer. Supposed to be our wet season but so far it has been very dry.


January has been about growth, lack of rain and watering every day.

Back in November/December Jack and I developed a passion for growing things from seed. I think I created a bit of a monster. I bought seed packets of petunia, paper daisies, alyssum, sun flowers, marigolds and pansies and had them all sown in recycled strawberry punnets. As they grew I moved them into individual small pots. Then into bigger pots. I checked them daily, sometimes twice a day. The weather got hotter, the temperatures crept into the 30’s, my poor babies suffered. I moved them into shade, but they got leggy, so I moved them where they would get morning sun. Then the winds came, I gave the taller paper daisies individual small skewers to stop them being flattened. But plants are resilient little things, they survived. Finally I planted them into large display pots and garden beds and look at them now…

2018 january garden 012_5184x3888
Paper daisies in a pot just starting to flower

2018 january garden 021_3888x5184These paper daisies are the same age as the ones in the pot, but they had more of a struggle so not as advanced, no flowers yet. In front of them are newly planted pansy seedlings. The straggly looking shrub behind them is the native wattle. I staked it as it was having a hard time in the winds. I’ve also tip pruned it to try to make it bush up, will have to wait and see. I’m hoping it fills all this space eventually…2018 january garden 011_5184x3888These petunias, in a pot, look good. I like this group of plants in front of the fish ponds.2018 january garden 008_5184x3888These hanging baskets of petunias and alyssum are also looking good, but I have to water them twice, sometimes three times a day as they get full afternoon sun and in a very windy area. At one time I took them down when we had gale force winds a few weeks ago. Can you just spot the sunflowers behind the petunia basket?

Well they do not look very happy at the moment…2018 january garden 007_5184x3888Do sun flowers hang their heads like this? This is the before a few weeks ago…mullumbimby jasmine jade 005_5184x3888Remember I had a problem with my dwarf lemon in a pot a few weeks ago?

Well I pruned off all the leaf miner effected leaves and sprayed with white oil about every 10 days and it is powering ahead now.

But the marigolds do not look very well. Look at their leaves, all sort of silvery. Any one out there no what is wrong?2018 january garden 023_5184x3888Meanwhile Jack’s babies are doing very well. Remember the post about the Desert Rose seeds he bought on Ebay? (check it here) Well they are still in the cradle he made for them but look how their trunks are swelling up.

Now he has bought some more seeds because the name intrigued him. Buddha’s belly  (Jatropha Podagrica) is a rare  succulent plant. He planted the 10 seeds about 2 weeks ago and had almost given up on them as the Desert Rose seeds germinated in about 5-7 days. But oh the excitement this morning when he checked them. Look…2018 january garden 001_5184x3888Yes that strange-looking “thing”  is the seedling all sort of twisted around itself.

Finally an up-date on the pumpkins in their palisade/prison.

They are racing away, finding their way through the slats and are getting quite a few flowers, but they all seem to be females. Except for one…beach sunset pelican lake 006_5184x3888Look a baby pumpkin…

A few years back, just before we started travelling I got rid of all my plants in pots. Putting them into garden beds, giving away or composting. I vowed I would NEVER have pots again….

Does anyone else out there make rash promises to themselves…




  1. If we’re honest, every gardener alive has a ‘do’ and a ‘do not’ list either in their head or written down every single year. The big question is how much do we listen to ourselves when we hear ‘don’t do that again’? I know I make mistakes more than once. 🙂 Love the pumpkins.

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    • I love the cottage garden look, but lots of annuals are hard work. I did them this year because I changed some of the garden from tropical to natives, so while the natives are growing and getting established I had the spare spaces, despite my previous resolve I put in the annuals and then because I had seedlings left over with no more garden room I couldn’t just throw them out, so into pots went all the surplus…

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  2. A really lot of work PP. I only use my pots now for spring bulbs, though I still have some plants in pots like the pelargoniums, but they need chucking this year and starting afresh. I aim to move my pots to the courtyard which never gets the sun (north-facing) and plant them up with shade-loving flowers/foliage then leave them to their own devices. Using plants that don’t need mollycoddling is my aim, so out with those the slugs and snails enjoy and in with plants that like moisture and wind! Watch this space…

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  3. So exciting watching things grow. The palette pumpkins are going to be amazing soon. And am fascinated by the desert rose successes – a native plant in Kenya – and all parts poisonous if I remember rightly – but very lovely flowers.

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  4. First of all, I’m so glad you’ve joined the Changing Seasons challenge Pauline. I’m really looking forward to seeing your beautiful garden across the year. I’m fascinated by the Buddhas belly; we’ll definitely need more photos of that. I hope you get some rain soon 🙂


  5. Oh, I should have known that you grew geraniums / pelargoniums! They ROK! I have been growing the same two primitive types (straight species perhaps) since I was a kid. I take pieces every time I move. One is orange/red. The other is bright pink. They are quite weedy, and not as pretty as yours are, but I totally dig them. I grew up with paper daisies too, but only because a neighbor grew them as a cut flower crop.

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  6. yes, sunflowers do droop when heat stressed. Pretty common in Gero where we actually have our own native sunflower. Water them more and they’ll recover.

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