We are now on the doorstep of winter. Weather wise this month has been very erratic. It started off mild, but suddenly the wind changed to the south and the temperature plummeted to a record 5-6 degrees at night time. Brrr, time to get the extra blankets out. But that only lasted a week then it was back to mid 20’s down to 12-14 at night. Beautiful, blue, sunny skies. There has been 36mm of rain spread over the month, so perfect weather for gardening. Being confined to home I have relished all the extra time to spend in the garden and in the art room.
One of the main tasks this month has been preparing and planting the annual seedlings for spring.
I’m hoping for a colourful display. Giant pansies, stock, tall snapdragons, dwarf snapdragons, paper daisies and a new plant I trialed last year and loved, called Calibrachoa. So watch this space…
The star of the garden this month is the Snow Flake bush (Euphorbia leucocephala) it is making its usual exuberant display.
In front of the Snowflake bush is a new addition to the garden. The Rosella bush known as the “Tucker Bush”
I thought it was a native bush. But it turns out to be originally from Indonesia and it is not a bush but an annual, but in tropical zones can be grown as a perennial. Of course I googled it.
“The Rosella bush ( Hibiscus Sabdariffa) produces red edible calyxes that are high in vitamin C. They have a pleasant tart-sweet flavour that goes well in salads, jellies, red sauces, jams, cordials, syrups, fruit teas and wine. They are often found in shops, preserved whole in syrup or liquid, as a decorative and flavouring additive for cocktails, white wine or champagne. The seeds may be roasted and ground into flour. The young leaves may be steamed or stir-fried – these are also known as red sorrel.”
I am going to have some fun experimenting with it.
Looking back at May 2019 I was very surprised to see that it is only a year since we put up the greenhouse. It has been a great addition to the garden, giving me somewhere to keep seedlings when the weather turns cold or wet. Also it was at the same time that we started the container grown vegetables. That area continues to flourish.
I started 3 “Tommy Toe” cherry tomatoes seedlings in the green house in mid March. They are now in the container beds and just look at them now.
Silver beet, spinach, egg plant, herbs and strawberries are all doing well. On the seat are the next seedlings of silver beet, spinach, cucumber and marigolds waiting to be potted on. I carefully carry them back to the greenhouse each evening to protect them from cold and any rain that I would like to fall…
A labour of love.
The cream Poinsettia is an interesting plant and I was fascinated to watch the ants and native bees foraging for the nectar.
Look carefully at the flower head, the bees were hanging onto the protruding stamens and it was impossible to get a photo as they waved around. But look at the ants, I wondered what an earth is that strange mouth-like looking part that the ants find so interesting?
This is another interesting native plant that is flowering at the moment. Banksia spinulosa, sometimes known as Hairpin Banksia. Here are just a few more flowering at the moment.
I am very happy with the garden this month. Autumn has always been my favourite season when I love to get out regularly into the garden after the heat and humidity of summer. And before the colder weather of winter sets in.
To finish this months roundup I would like to take you for another short walk around another part of the garden…