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October 2017

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Monday, September 18th, 2017 08:11 am
There's lots of things I could be talking about here. I'm going to talk about the plants I've purchased for the garden.

Yesterday, after completing my obligatory job search (I have to look for work in order to continue receiving the dole) I decided it was a nice sunny day, I was tired of being cooped up in the house all the time, and I wanted to do something more about the deplorable state of the garden. So I grabbed Steve, and got him to take me to the local Waldecks in Bentley (I think it's right on the border between Bentley and Cannington), and had a bit of a look around at what was available by way of plants and such.

I wound up buying a grevillea which is supposed to be good for attracting Wattlebirds, a Geraldton Wax plant in a nice dark purple shade, a Meyer lemon tree which is hopefully not on a dwarfing rootstock, a gardenia, a nice pale pink azalea, some verbena seedlings, some stock seedlings, and some seeds for Cosmos, sunflowers, and a cottage garden assortment. Now I just have to plant them all out. I also bought six 36L bags of mulching compost.

The grevillea and the Geraldton Wax are going to be put into an area of the back yard which used to have an above-ground swimming pool in it (there's still four metal supports from the old pool standing there). This bit of ground has a few wild freesias growing in it, but they keep getting chopped down by the obligatory whipper-snipping of the area as done by the local guy from Jims every few months prior to our rental inspections. I'm hoping by turning the area into a bit of a jungle-y area with lots of native shrubs and such, it'll gradually turn into an area where the weeds won't grow as thickly, and we can start skipping the need to trim them down there - thus allowing the freesias to grow and spread a bit more readily without as much competition.

The lemon tree is going out the front of the house, on the uphill side of the garden, so it gets good drainage. I'm living in East Vic Park - I'm pretty sure there's a by-law or something which says places this old have to have a frangipani and a lemon tree growing there, so I figure putting one in is going to at least show willing. Might move the existing frangipani from its current (very shady) location down by the front verandah to a more sunny spot, too.

The gardenia and the azalea are going to go into the existing "formal" flower beds in front of the front verandah. The area they're in is in full shade pretty much all of the year, which means it's very hard to get anything established properly in the space (this is where the frangipani is currently located). Given both gardenias and azaleas are supposed to like shady locations, I think they'll probably do better there than anything else. Especially since the big Cape Lilac out the front is coming into leaf now, and starting to fill up the space with shade.

The seedlings are going to go into the new flower bed I'm establishing down by the front walk, near the letterbox. At present, it's gradually filling up with alyssum, Livingstone daisies (mesembryanthemum) and nasturtiums (my go-to filler for garden spaces these days - hardy as all get-out, capable of surviving just about every known pest, and self-seeding to boot). I sowed the seeds for those back in about early August, and they're finally starting to really have a growth spurt now. I'll put the stocks in close to the fence-line, where they can form a bit of a hedge, and the verbenas can be chucked into any open space. I'm also going to scatter the cosmos and cottage garden mixtures into this bed - the aim is to have as much as possible growing in there, and hopefully having it all self-seeding everywhere too.

The sunflower seeds are going to get scattered around the more easterly aspect of the vegetable garden, on the grounds that this will mean they'll have a better chance of getting some sun. I'm not looking to get a huge crop out of them, more to just have stuff which will fill in the spaces and give me something to continue to work around.

The mulching compost is going to go around everything as I plant it all out, and anything left over is going onto the vegetable garden, starting with the area around the passionfruit vine. I might also put a good helping of it around the grape vine canes our neighbour gave us, which I'm trying to get started along the fence between our place and theirs.

I have to see about getting hold of some more sprinklers for the various garden areas, and getting started on the whole business of running the sprinklers twice a week again. But hopefully I'll be able to get everything established well and solidly, and get the garden really going well before the worst of the summer sun comes crashing in and I don't want to head outside all that often.


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