Sunday, 1 December 2013

In My Garden ... in December

What's Coming into Flower

In my garden ... in December the first of the agapanthus are flowering. Yes, I know they are a noxious weed in some places - but I actually have to nurture these! I do love the spectacular display they make in the garden with their huge heads of purple bell like flowers, and I like to use them in the house as a cut flower over Christmas and New Year. They spell Christmas and summer for me!!!

 What I'm Picking

In my garden ... in December I'm still picking broad beans. These seem to be a 'second flush' and are on new growth coming from the base of the plants. The kale is flourishing in the warmer weather and the silverbeet is flourishing and I intend to make our favourite pitta (spanakopita) for Christmas feasting!

What's Growing

In my garden ... in December the plantings in the raised garden bed are growing in spectacular style. I've replanted the bush beans, added a yellow banana capsicum and tucked a pretty lavender to attract the bees into a corner. The sweet corn and climbing flat beans are doing well. I have planted seedlings - pictured lower left - given to me by my mother-in-law. These are a plant/wild weed she stews to make the Greek dish 'horta'. Dressed with lemon juice and a fruity olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper it is a wonderful healthy and rustic dish.


A Promise for Next Year

The oakleaf lettuces are running to seed, as are the Italian parsley plants. As the seeds mature and dry I will be collecting them for planting again next year.

A Problem

In my garden ... in December  I'm having varied success with the tomatoes in pots - but each one is flowering and setting fruit. The Big Red tomato is causing me most concern. Planted in a large pot in premium soil and compost it is flowering and setting fruit however it doesn't look healthy. Many leaves are yellowing and I'm not sure if the problem is soil/nutrient related, insect/disease related or a combination of issues.

Any observations, suggestions or advice would be most welcome! Please - help me save my tomato!!!

What We Won't be Harvesting

In my garden ... in December we won't be picking many peaches. After the windest weather I can remember  - during the critical flowering time - our trusty Anzac peach tree will have very few peaches this year. Usually we have so many I give bagfuls away, make copious quantities of jam, freeze poached slices and halves fore use during the year, and make a peach granita that we all love. We'll miss these things this year! The saying 'feast or famine' springs to mind!

The Saga of the Leaking Pond Continues

In my garden ... in December the pond has developed a leak - again. Earlier this year husband John emptied said pond, and spent days repairing and re-cementing it. This was followed by weeks curing the water, establishing aquatic plants and reintroducing fish. The pond was a picture over winter and spring - then on the first hot day of summer ... the water levels dropped again! Maybe we'll rip it out and ... suggestions anyone!

Over the Fence

Having found the beautiful creeper that covers our fence ripped off, and pushed back into our yard, I'm beginning to think that the neighbours over our back fence don't like the virginian creeper sneaking over the fence and down their side!  In the interests of being a good neighbour I think I will have to become more vigilant with trimming it in future!

A Cheeky Space Filler

Finally, in my garden ... in December nasturtiums continue to come up everywhere and meander through any available space. I do love the splash of colour they bring to the garden with their nodding heads of yellow and orange, and occasionally rust or red - and I use the young leaves in  mixed leaf salads for the peppery flavour they provide.

What are you watching grow in your garden in December!



PS: I welcome you to join me in this series - showcasing your garden and your part of the world. All you need to do is to leave your  blog name, URL, and a comment in my comments box. If your post meets In My Garden requirements I will add your name and blog link to my sidebar. You will need to link your post to this post.

I so look forward to hearing from you! Enjoy your gardening!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

In My Garden ... in November

My Local Area

In my garden ... in November I'm enjoying the beauty of the glorious jacaranda trees throughout Adelaide. I hadn't appreciated quite how many of these beautiful trees there are in our suburbs! I love their purple blooms and the purple carpet that develops underneath each tree as the delicate blossoms drop. This huge specimen is on Frederick Street, Maylands.

Through the Kitchen Window

In my garden ... in November the star jasmine is a pretty sight through the kitchen window.

What's Growing

In my garden ... in November the seedlings are being to grow! Unfortunately all but a couple of the bush beans seeds failed to germinate. I'll replant them when the weather warms up a bit more.

It's Five O'clock Somewhere!

In my garden ... in November my new standard roses are blooming! This one is 'Tequila Sunrise'. I do love that name! Margarita anyone?

Good Friends

In my garden ... in November the sweet corn and climbing beans I have planted together as companion plants are growing well. The idea is that the climbing beans will use the corn as their support structure and we will benefit from getting two different crops from the same patch of garden.

Growing at a Rate of Knots!

In my garden ... in November the ornamental pear trees - Pyrus 'Capital' - are growing rapidly! Planted as 1.2m trees they are now at least 1.6m tall. They will add shade and structure to the western side of our property.

A Promise for Next Year 

In my garden ... in November one of my favourite herbs - dill - is going to seed. I am allowing the seed heads to ripen and will be collecting the ripened seeds for next year's crop.

Against the Odds

In my garden ... in November the 'Royal Gala' apple tree has lots of new apples forming - despite a severe pruning and incredibly windy weather throughout flowering. Now to keep the birds from feasting on them!

Mellow Yellow and the Bees

In my garden ... in November the potted tomatoes are growing. I used an old yellow T-shirt torn into strips to form a support structure with the stakes. My grandfather believed that yellow in the garden helped attract bees. I'll see!

Passing on a Legacy

In my garden ... in November two of my grandsons and I organised a worm farm in a broccoli box. I still remember the little lessons taught to me in the garden by my grandfather who was a wonderful gardener in his retirement. I credit him with developing my interest in gardening - I hope I share some of his legacy with my grandchildren. These are our 'seed' worms.

Over the Fence

In my garden ... in November I am impressed with the bees attracted to this lavendar which tumbles through and over our neighbours fence. The perfume is heavenly! I love walking past it and would love to know what variety it is - the neighbours have long forgotten! Can anyone help me?

How's your garden growing in November!



Wednesday, 23 October 2013

In My Garden ... October

Recently on my food blog Apricot Tart, I participated in a monthly series named 'In My Kitchen' hosted by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. I really enjoyed reading the blog posts of contributing bloggers from around the world,and contributing my own. It really got me thinking about the importance and value of sharing with others.

It has inspired me on both my retirement blog 'The Living Well in Retirement Challenge' and this blog to begin a monthly series documenting the special moments, happenings and meanderings in these areas of my life. I am grateful for the inspiration, Celia!

For my inaugral post here I have selected a range of headings to start me on recording watching my garden grow. What else would you add?

What's Blooming in My Garden

In my garden in October ... the roses are blooming! Adelaide has the perfect climate for growing roses so they are a feature of almost every garden. John and I recently planted seven standard roses along our front fence - four 'Remember Me' and three 'Tequila Sunrise'.

I am unfamilar with each of these roses but have to say I was quite taken with the name of the second! I don't mind the odd Margarita!!!

I'll let you know how they go - the roses that is!

What's Picking in My Garden

In my garden in October I've been picking broad beans and climbing peas. What bountiful crops they have proved to be! The broad beans just won't give up! They have grown to over 2 metres tall and just keep on producing- and despite the windiest October in years. I'm feeling guilty because I actually want them to finish - I need the area to plant some summer veggies!

Something New in My Garden

In my garden space is at a premium so in October John has built a raised garden bed in what has previously been an unusable section of the garden.

We had tried for years to grow a range of plants and vegetables in this area without success. All has been explained however - when recently digging a deep hole in which to plant a lemon tree we hit concrete - a large concrete slab in fact!

I've not used a raised bed before so I'm keen to see how it goes.

What I'm Planting in My Garden

In my garden in October I've begun planting summer vegetables. I have three different types of tomato growing pots - a grafted 'Mighty Red', a 'Nellie Kelly' and a euphemistically named 'Pot Tomoato'.

In the raised garden bed (above) are lebanese cucumbers that will hopefully climb up the trellis provided, silverbeet, capsicums, a lebanese eggplant and a chilli bush. Bush beans have been planted around the borders, while thyme and basil have been tucked into corners. I wonder if I should have researched companion planting first! We'll see how they go!

Something I'm Using in My Garden

In my garden in October I'm using sugarcane mulch on all my garden beds and potplants. A very long hot summer is predicted so keeping plant root systems cool and retaining as much soil moisture as possible will be important.

A Tool I am Using in My Garden

In October in my garden there has been plenty of digging to do! Our trusty garden fork has had a pretty good workout. I love the way it gently loosens and aerates the soil, and makes it easy to dig in compost and manures.

A Special Moment in My Garden

In my garden in October it was a special moment when the first buds of the Pierre de Ronsart climbing rose began to open. One of my favourite roses, it has flowers similar to those of old fashioned cabbage roses. We have four planted along our back fence. When in full bloom they are quite spectacular!

Over the Fence

Our lovely neighbours across the road have an impressive row of standard roses. My favourite is this one - Peace. It's magnificant - I'm sure you'll agree!

How's October been in your garden? I would love to hear about it!



Monday, 21 October 2013

Welcome to Watching My Garden Grow!

Welcome to 'Watching My Garden Grow!

I'm Marian and, newly retired, I now have time to indulge my love of gardening!  I grew up on a farm and consequently have a love of everything outdoors. I am not an expert gardener by any means - I am instead a home gardener with lots to learn! ! My 'green thumb' is, at the moment, more rusty coloured than green I think! 

Together with my wonderful husband, John, I live in a Adelaide, South Australia - the rose capital of Australia - on a smallish suburban block of land. I have a second garden at our beach house at beautiful Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula  - a seven and a half hour drive away.

In South Australia we enjoy a moderate Mediterranean type climate with hot dry summers and cool winters during which we recieve most of our rainfall. South Australia is famous for being 'the driest state in the driest continent on Earth'. This, naturally, brings a range of challenges to the home gardener.

In my retirement it is my aim to produce and use as much home grown fruit, vegetables and herbs as we can so that we

  • are able to live a more sustainable lifestyle
  • have an abundance of fresh seasonable produce to support a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • enjoy the many benefits of exercise while gardening
  • top up important Vitamin D levels by enjoy some regular sunshine in the great outdoors
  • are able to share our garden and its produce with family and friends.

Please join me in my adventures 'watching my garden grow'!

I'm off now to smell the roses. Oh, and check for aphids!



PS: I'd be thrilled should you share with me how your garden is growing - no matter where it is
      in the world!