Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The side garden continues

It was hot on Saturday. Like, really hot. I went to the markets early in the morning to buy a couple more star jasmines, but it was way too hot to plant them or be outside generally.

A cool change came through on Sunday though so I spent 3 hours digging a trench. The glamour! 

I was originally going to terrace this section of the garden, but I realised that the gas man is probably going to have to run through here to replace the gas bottles as there won't be enough space down the other side of the house once it's subdivided. So I'm continuing the timber garden edging up to the front side garden.

I did all of this by hand with a mattock and the ground was pretty hard. This entire garden has been done by hand and sometimes I wish I could just hire some machinery to make it easier. But then I think of each hire cost in terms of plants I could buy and it makes it a little more palatable. Plus it's the only exercise I really get.

I'll continue the pattern of gardenia, gardenia, magnolia, star jasmine in this garden, but this time I'm going to dig up a lot more of the garden bed and put better soil in. Some of the new gardenias have gone a bit yellow already, like the other ones, but I've given them the Seasol/epsom salts/iron chelate cocktail so hopefully they will be ok.

Bella, as usual, spent the day in her favourite, middle-of-nowhere spot.

She's such a weird dog. And she has a new rashie!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Side garden progress weekend

OK my gardenia obsession is reaching fever pitch…I may need an intervention. But these are from the markets and they're such good value! Each pot has 3 gardenias in it and these four were enough to do the side garden with one left over. The star jasmine (in the small pots) is going cover the ugly wire fence and (hopefully) drench the house in their sweet fragrance.

I made sure I mixed in some organic compost and Osmocote cause the soil is so rubbish. Weirdly, the dog started feverishly licking the compost, like it was some gourmet meal. I chased her away cause I'm pretty sure that not only is the compost bad for her, the fertiliser is worse. (Note to self, remove dog from danger before taking photo.)

How beautiful does this look? There's 11 all up, but I've left a space after every second gardenia to put a magnolia. And between each gardenia I've planted star jasmine. Hopefully next weekend I can put the stones and path down and it will look a little more complete.

I've started training the jasmine to climb the ugly fence. There's fragrant flowers on them already, but it's pretty hard to tell with the weeds in the neighbour's garden bed.

It still looks a little bare, so I'm considering some white dietes to fill up some of the spaces. The leaves are quite pointy, so it will give it a little difference in texture.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Starting on the side garden

This weekend was the first weekend for a while that we haven't had a birthday party or baby shower or  catch up with friends so I took the opportunity to make a start on the side garden.

It looks pretty easy and simple but I won't lie, it was HARD work and I'm pretty sore all over today! Digging the trench for the timber edging was hardest part cause it was all done by hand just using a mattock. Luckily a few days of rain had softened the ground so it wasn't too difficult or too hot, there was just a lot of it.

Then I shifted about 18 loads of soil. The soil was on the spare block and even though it wasn't that far, it started to pour and the track beside it got pretty muddy and I got bogged a number of times. The soil is pretty rubbish (you get what you pay for) so before I plant anything I'll boost it with a heap of compost and maybe some chicken manure.

I'll put a path in the middle with pavers and stones so that gas people can have easy access to the cylinders towards the front of the house.

Pic from Home Forum

I'm still trying to work out what to plant there. I'd like to do something different, but I'm so in love with magnolias and gardenias I'll probably just end up planting those again.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Garden on the mend

The fabulous news is that the yellowing on the gardenias has stopped. The bad news is that because I smashed them with magnesium sulfate, nitrogen and iron all at the same time (not recommended by horticulturalists), I don't actually know what fixed them or what they were originally deficient in. Frankly I don't really care, I'm happy to smash them with all three every month to keep them looking like this. 

The gardenias on the balcony are continuing to bloom with that divine smell wafting into our bedroom every morning and evening. The gardenias in the garden beds are still yet to bloom, but the buds are there and we've had a heavy dose of rain this week so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be soon.

Buuuuut….the magnolias have bloomed!! Look at this gorgeous, goblet shaped magnolia flower. It bloomed overnight and was such a beautiful surprise walking out the gate to go to work. The perfume is not as heady as gardenias but still beautiful. There's loads of other buds on there so it's only a matter of time before they all start blooming.

The phalaenopsis orchid in the guest bathroom is in full bloom, although the stalk is starting to turn brown.

What a glorious time it is in my garden. Karina is v happy :-)