Spring Is In The Air

Spring is just around the corner!!

There is a degree of warmth in the air that is a little unusual at this time of year. Predictions of a warmer than normal spring/summer are on the cards with possible El Nino conditions. See link below for more information:

El Nino prediction revised down to 50 per cent chance by Bureau of Meteorology – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

So with this in mind I’m currently planning the jobs that need doing to ensure a smooth transition between the seasons!

The pump for the water tanks has been disconnected due to it breaking down, so this is one of my first jobs to fix that ready for onslaught of warmer weather. The drip irrigation system is to be checked for leaks and performance. The mulch will need to be topped up around the place and the weeds taken care of before setting seed and causing me further pain. The old saying ” One year seed is seven years of weeds” is always playing over in my mind. However there were some of last seasons weeds that went to seed that I’m sure these will be causing me grief for years to come. With that said, we soldier on, tackling one job at a time. Actually, twenty jobs at a time and not completing any….

I would have to say that one of the most important weeds to rid the lawn of besides the ever annoying Fireweed is the dreaded Bindii! Every blade has been cautiously inspected to ensure that no Bindii’s are left. I just hope that I didn’t miss any, as studying all that green tends to look the same after a while, to ensure that this Summer will be free of any sore feet and upset little children.

So just touching on that El Nino again, the heavens above our house have so far delivered August many more times it’s monthly average of rainfall, so I will be curious to see just how the following months pan out. More rain, no rain and high temperatures? Who knows! But with a fine weekend approaching, what I do know is that I’ll be sure to get down and dirty and tackle a few of those jobs on my ever expanding list!! Happy Gardening 🙂

 

The Weekend Tiller 🌿

 

 

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Native Bees are getting noticed!

Zeebeeman's Blog

Biologist Laurence Packer writes that “humans will be better off if we rely less on honeybees in managed hives for pollination and more on some of the 20,000 species of wild bees.”  in his book, “Keeping the Bees: Why All Bees are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Them” Laurence Packer

He was interviewed recently on NPR’s  ” Fresh Air”

Listen to his interview here

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Journey So Far

 

So I thought I would write a little bit about the journey surrounding my garden to date. One, so I don’t forget and two, in case anyone else is interested in reading about it.

I moved from an average size block of just under 600sq metres to a block more than double it’s size. My wife and I decided we wanted more room for the kid’s, somewhere quiet and a pool. We couldn’t of been happier with what we found. There was little work needing doing to the house itself, with a coat of paint inside and a couple of other little finishing touches like skirting boards etc that weren’t complete to knock over first up. We have a few other renovations we will do in the future, when time and money permit, like a new kitchen inside and some things outside like a pizza oven and a pergola for some summer shade in the backyard.

The garden itself was very bare really. Reasonably well set out but with plenty of room to make it my own. The site slopes from back to front but is made up of a couple of different zones so it can’t really be noticed all that much. I’ll break it down into these zones and describe a bit about each one.

Pool Area

The pool itself is a good size. Kidney shape at about 11m long, 6m at it’s widest with a beach area at the shallow end for the kid’s. Garden wise  I want the pool area to end up being a densely planted tropical oasis to give the feeling of being on holidays all year round. There are two narrow beds running parallel to the pool that have Yucca’s planted in them and a couple of bird’s nest ferns to which I haven’t really done anything to at this stage. Although being water efficient I really don’t like the Yucca’s and will eventually remove them for something a little more favourable. Up behind the pool are four tiered levels. Top to bottom towards the pool is planted like this.

Top tier – Staggered plantings of Yucca’s and golden cane palms

Second Tier – A giant strelitzia, dracaena’s, a frangipani and another couple of palms.

Third Tier – Staggered plantings of clivia’s, cordyline’s, more dracaena’s, a birds nest fern and another giant strelitzia.

Bottom Tier – Four hibiscus and a few clivia’s.

I have installed drip irrigation, dug the soil and mulched heavily to try and improve my clay based soil. It’s going to take a long time and plenty of organic material to bring the soil to where I want it but hey, every little bit added now makes it better than it was the day before!

So for now that’s about it. I will put up further posts about the progression of each part of my yard as well as descriptions of them soon.

The Weekend Tiller 🌿

Wild Weather

Well for the last couple of weeks the weather has definitely been a mixed bag in the garden! We’ve had little rain, a drizzle at best, cool to cold nights, and sunny days. But the worse part would have to be the wind!!

Now I thought I knew windy. Since moving to our dream home on a decent size block right up into the Illawarra escarpment, I have come to realise that what I thought was windy was nothing but a strong breeze. In the two and a bit years we have been there we have had some very windy times indeed.  However, I do believe that the wind in the last week especially has been particularly strong.  Being surrounded by towering gums trees, not only in my own yard but the adjoining properties as well, this wind makes me nervous. You see it on the news all the time when massive trees uproot and topple onto houses, cars etc, you just never know when that could be you! But this is the inherent risk we take living under such old and magnificent trees.

On the other hand, especially with no rain, this constant wind is wrecking havoc with my lower order plants! Our square metre patch has copped a beating! The peas have toppled, the beetroots are struggling to stand and the cabbages and broccoli are teetering on the forty five! But hey, if that’s the worst of the damage I think we are doing OK.

So the strong winds have subsided and there looks to be some rain on the way. Judging by the cracks in the ground, we need it!

The Weekend Tiller 🌿