Six on Saturday… December 1st. In for a scorching summer!

Hello everyone (fellow gardeners and black thumbs equally welcome).

For those that follow Mr Propagator’s Six on Saturday you know what’s coming….

For those who have yet to meet Mr P, check out his blog here and join the SOS crew (because we’re awesome).

Righto… Into the garden.

1. Jacaranda season begins ❤.

Blue skies. Weather is heating up. Single days of 35°c but not week long heat just yet. It’s coming. Purple blossoms everywhere you look. Nothing says Christmas is coming like seeing the pop of purple in every fourth yard.

2. Gailardia ‘Goblin’

I’ve never grown blanket flowers before. This one was in the shade of an Acacia and is liking it’s “hot but not baking” spot. Such a happy flower. I will grow more.

3. Honeycomb from hive one of two.

Hubby added another box to the bee hive and cleaned out a little honeycomb for the kids to suck the honey out of.

It is amazing to see the bees break these down and reclaim the wax rather than produce more from scratch.

4. Irish Strawberry Tree.

Mislead by the common name hubby dearest decided to buy this Arbutus unedo for me. I’m curious to see if the fruit is as bad as others say. Nevermind. Look at the gorgeous new growth! Worth growing anyway because it makes me happy.

5. Mulch! Tis the season to be mulching.

Given summer here means weeks of 35°c we use layers of cardboard and paper scraps from home. Then a thin layer of pea straw held down with some mushroom compost. It seems to keep most plants alive. Fingers crossed.

Carob in it’s new coat.
Flower bed in progress. Ready for the heat. Love the portaloo in the background hehe.

6. Bauhinia (orchid tree).

Flowers from our neighbor’s bauhinia tree. Seed pods over the fence are fair game once they ripen 😊. I’ve got seedlings potted on from last year’s seed ready for our block in Autumn.

Well that’s me for this week. It may be hot but the sun does good things for my mood mostly. Maybe in 3 months when I’m over Summer I’ll feel different but for now I’m enjoying the colour.

Hope to share in your gardens too.

❤ Nat

Six on Saturday… a family effort.

Hello fellow gardenistas (if that’s not a word it really should be!).

It is that time again. Time to visit the Propagator to see all the glorious sixes and add your own for viewing pleasure!

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

My six this week is partly my garden and partly my parents in law. We share cuttings and plants often so I love coming to visit and see what surprises are in store…

1. Aloe sp. I have this at the block but this is the parent plant in bloom.

2. Crassula ovata. Another parent plant. I have grown so very many plants from pups from this plant. I love the flowers.

3. Not a plant but definately in the garden. The woodfired smoker my Father in law made (he is a steelworker). Pork roasts, soaked in brine, smoked for hours and then boiled and cooled. Mmmmmmm. He made us one too for our block. Food and gardening is the best combination.

4. Lantana montevidensis (the non prohibited groundcover species) in flower. I love these even if they don’t smell very nice. Common Lantana (L. camara) is a declared weed in WA.

5. Euphorbia flanaganii (Medusa’s Head). I grew this one from a piece broken off my Mum’s plant and gave it to my Father in law. He loves it and it has just thrived in the shady spot he keeps it.

6. My little friend at the block. I was collecting coffee rock for the dry stack retaining wall this week and this little cutie was hiding under a rock. I took a photo and then replaced the scorpion and the rock. 20180629_12585120180629_125917_Burst01Well that’s my neck of the woods for this week. I look forward to checking out all of your sixes too!

A very belated Six on Saturday

Happy belated Saturday fellow garden lovers!

Today my little family of ferals were out for a bush walk. I’ll write up a post later in the week to share the views.

I heard my email pinging from my backpack and it just added to the anticipation. Six on Saturday posts to look forward to devouring this week! Excellent! I will no doubt harrass you all soon with questions about your gardens 😊.

Naturally I had to include my favourite photo as today’s number one…

1. Hovea pungens “Devil’s Pins”.

I made hubby stop the car so I could take a photo. I love Hoveas. The ones on our block are a smaller species. This one is a knockout even driving past the purple stands out to be admired.20180623_170512 2.  Acacia puchella “Prickly Moses”.

This wattle is everywhere and getting ready to flower. Can’t wait!

I cut these out from around the internal house area because the thorns will go through a shoe. I use welding gloves and rip them out. We never poison them because when they dry the needles are even harder. But the yellow blossom is worth it. Grows like a weed as it is a resurrection plant and is one of the first to grow after a fire. 20180623_155553.jpg3. Sturt Desert Peas seeds.

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Seed from https://www.nindethana.net.au

I ordered these from a rehabilitation company in Albany, WA. The seeds get soaked in boiling water for 5 mins. I’ve planted them in the sand retaining wall. They don’t like poor drainage and will drop dead unless careful about watering. Straight into the ground as they hate being transplanted too.

Last year the winter rains killed my plant (sobs). It is too early to put the seed in, but we’ve had an almost non existent winter (today was sunny at 25 degrees celcius). It’s going to be a HOT Summer this year. Hopefully that means Sturt Peas!!

4. Kangaroo paws are back woohooo!

I grew a red and green k-paw from seed last year (why only one? The kids tipped out my pots arrrgh!). Anyhow. It grew big enough to divide so I split it in three. They didn’t like that much. But now they’re in recovery. Can’t wait till I can share flowers with you all.

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Welcome back K-Paw!

5. Syzygium australe (lilly pilly).20180617_125212_HDR

This one grows to about 10m and has sour purplely pink fruit when mature. My kids love to eat them so I bought three as tubestock. We’ll see if they survive the summer out here.

6. And to end with something utterly unrelated…. my little pot of string of pearls is flowering! I broke a little piece off Mum’s plant and it is taking off.

I hadn’t seen them flower before. Isn’t it pretty! 20180616_092525_HDR

Well that’s me for this Saturday. Just scraped in to join the fun but better late than not at all.

On that note… Please head on over to the Propagator’s blog at…

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Here you’ll find links to other gardeners sharing their Six on Saturday. It is worth it.

Will you share a nursery with me?

When you feel low do you enjoy a little garden centre therapy? Me too!

There is something about getting out of the house and wandering through a nursery which makes me feel a little more alive.

Being surrounded by people who are doing something they love.

Hearing people talk about their designs for the garden.

Reading the labels. Looking at the planting displays and ideas.

Always leaving with an unexpected purchase and an idea and excited hope.

A lifetime ago I worked at a nursery. I used to enjoy watching people. All sorts of people explore nurseries. Gardens don’t judge you. You can be depressed or unable to hold a conversation and it doesn’t matter. Gardens are a good place to find solace and healing.

It led me to believe a good nursery realises sometimes people have little money to spend or need company and a gentle, happy space. It welcomes everyone regardless. Gives them time and space to wander and touch and dream and hope and talk to others about something they love.

Which brings me to my point… I wanted to share my favourite nursery with you. I was hoping you might feel inspired to write a post in return to share your favourite nursery with me too. If you would like to I’d love a link in the replies. I love seeing new places 😊.

And now….

Welcome to Zanthorrea Nursery!

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http://www.zanthorrea.com A shameless plug 😂

Even the name makes me smile. Named after our Grass trees (Xanthorrea) with a humour that realises and accepts not everyone is a plant nerd and knows how to pronounce or spell that.

It is also an Australian native plant nursery. There are gardens throughout beautifully maintained to show people how our plants can be beautiful too.

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Yellow Leschenaultia… Stunning

Enough of me waffling… The pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy.

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The Leschenaultia display. I want them ALL 😊

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Play area for the kids. Everyone is welcome!

This is my favourite place to go when I need a boost.

Will you share yours too? I can’t wait to see nurseries from around the world!

❤ Nat

Six on Saturday… A reminder that things will get better in time.

Hello fellow gardeners, black thumbs and non gardeners are always welcome too 😊.

Saturday to me is becoming the end of the week and the signal of a fresh start.

Why?

Because of The Propagator’s Six on Saturday idea (check it out and join the fun here…)

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

There is something that helps me mentally about looking forward to seeing everyone’s posts. All the colour and the plants and the joy and passion. It reminds me when my depression has me in it’s grip that there is joy to be found. I just struggle to see it.

So today my six is about hope. Hope in my garden and in my heart. A reminder that although right now my garden and mind feel dull the plants will grow in time. I just have to give them my time and effort and care. They will survive and grow and one day will be just as lovely as the local specimens that inspired me in the first place.

So here we go.

1. My cutting grown coral trees (Erythrina sykesii). Only about 50cm high.

The park in Woodbridge that made me fall in love with these trees in the first place.

2. My purchased Cassia Fistula

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We had one in the front yard up north in Wickham, WA as a teenager. One grows over the grave of a beloved k9 at Mum and Dad’s home. Youthful and hopeful. This one gets knocked back by the frost and then just grows back.

3. My seed grown Flame trees (Brachychiton acerifolius).

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So little, but there are about 10 of them

This is one down the road from our rental. I pass it on the school run most days. I love red gardens. One day we will have red everywhere. An explosion of colour and heat.

4. My cutting grown Poinsettias.

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Another local treasure in a neighbour’s front garden. I planted ours next to the sea container to radiate some warmth. They’re an experiment but seem to be surviving the winter so far.

5. Seed grown Sweet Gums (Liquidambar sp.)

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My little sweet gums 😢. Hubby burnt the grass trees nearby and knocked them right back.

No red garden is complete without a few of these. I love the spiky seed balls and the carpet of leaves of all sorts of warm colours. Just got a new lot of seed from these trees in the old Midland Railway garden.

6. Proof some things are beautiful right now. Two and half years old and finally my Grevillea olivacea flower!

Thanks for joining me in daydreaming 🌸.

A project to keep the ‘black dog’ at bay.

What is a home without a frog pond?

Well the frogs may not be here yet but the pond is waiting for them.

20180602_162535_HDRWe don’t use garden chemicals often (hubby will sometimes use White Oil) so in our old house we had frogs galore.

There is nothing like sitting outside in the evening and hearing the frogs calling.

Plus frogs eat a lot of garden pests so it is a win for the garden too.

We may not have a house yet but we decided making a pond was a necessity.

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Inexperience meant I’ve put the overflow pipe too low at one end, so on the opposite side the pond liner shows when the pond is filled. Arrgh.

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The water drains from the overflow pipe before it fills enough. Ah well. Needs more plants 😊

I dug the pond and lined with chicken wire to act as a support to hold the concrete in place. Hubby mixed and I poured and smoothed. Paper mache at it’s finest.

Once cured we lined the concrete with white sand and then a pond liner sheet. People said this was overkill but we thought we may as well go all out the first time.

Then we began rock patrol. It took three small trailer loads of coffee rock to hold the liner down and in place (I folded it under on the edges). Plus a few wheelbarrows full of gravel to fill in the gaps in the rocks.

And finally some reeds in pots and submerged rocks to give the tadpoles (hope hope) somewhere to hide.

And now…. We wait.   🐸

Six on Saturday

Hooray it is Saturday!

Time to head on over to The Propagator’s blog and scour through the many beautiful gardens and sixes on offer. It is becoming something I really look forward to.

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

My six this week…

1. Pincushion Hakea at my son’s school. I’ve never really been a fan… Now I’ll have to pop over to Zanthorrea Nursery and get some for the block.

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2. The Sundews are growing again! Only about the size of a thumbnail right now but by spring they will be flowering and even more lovely.

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3. Acacia iteaphylla beginning to flower. This is the first year we have had flowers. They are 2 years old now.

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4. Best wishes for survival to my mulberry which had to be transplanted (was growing where the new water tank is going). Hubby wants to hack it back but it was from a cutting so I’m not too worried. It will either live or it won’t.

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5. Woohoo new leaves on the Macadamia. It seems to be settling in well here.

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6. Mmmm 😊. Nothing says winter is here like the clover cover crop starting to grow. This is a mix of ‘dalkeith’ and ‘bindoon’ both subterranean clovers.

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That’s my six. Thanks for checking them out. I can’t wait to see what others post.

My ‘Escape to the Country’ is no longer just a dream!

I must admit one show guaranteed to make me feel good regardless of how rough my mental state is “Escape to the Country”.

The plot is always the same… Busy stressed city dwellers search for a change and connection to the environment and community lacking in the ‘big smoke’ (city).

It feels like a lifetime I’ve been waiting for our turn to come. We have the block. 5 acres of rocky hillside in the Wheatbelt.

The community.

The gorgeous little school Mr 4 adores and Miss 3 is itching to begin next year.

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You know a good school when it encourages kids to get their hands dirty

And now it is finally starting. We got our fire assessment. BAL 19 woooohooooooo! No more clearing required thank goodness. So in a week or so we begin the long process of new home building.

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The plan for our little house. A 3×1 with a huge patio.

Today at the gate chatting to some Jehovah’s Witnesses I realised I’ve had more locals stop for a chat here than in the many many lonely years I’ve lived in the city.

One current thought doing the rounds about depression is a lack of connection being a factor. I find myself agreeing.

One of the biggest connections I have been missing is a sense of place. A piece of earth that is mine to set my roots. The more our block takes shape the more calm I feel.

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The first and only rose. A climber called “Tiffany” hubby gave me for Valentine’s Day.

Something as simple as stacking rocks for a dry retaining wall makes me feel relaxed in a way my medication doesn’t. Every bit of work gives me a sense of building a home. Somewhere safe.

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Start of a dry stack retaining wall

A connection to the land is something I’m sure other garden lovers relate to.

Do you ever think without your garden you would feel lost?

Six on Saturday

Hello fellow garden lovers!

I’ve been following The Propagator’s “Six on Saturday” for a little while now and have been loving seeing all of your photos.

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

So here are my 6… fresh from Western Australia.

1. New recycled ‘seats’. I almost cried when I saw these cut up for garden waste clean up in the city. Who in their right mind cuts down an old Moreton Bay Fig?! No way were these babies getting chipped. Three trailers later and help lifting and I have new seating for the garden.

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2. My Goji berry bush has SURVIVED 😊. grown from Aussie organic berries from a health food shop (means they weren’t irradiated and would grow, Biosecurity treat a lot of imported foods).

I had lots of plants but the kangaroos and rabbits loved them to death. But this one is coming back! Hooray!

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3. The experiment that wasn’t supposed to live. Black Sapote. Still living in above 40 degree celcius summers and frosty winters. Huh. That’s cool. Would be twice the size but my kids snapped it in half.

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4. The second time the paintbrush lily has flowered at the block. So pretty.

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5. The pineapple collection. I love as it gets cool the leaves turn a gorgeous red. Not the right climate for fruit but they have survived frost here and are pretty anyway. All grown from the tops after my kids demolish the fruit.

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6. A WA bush block is never complete without grasstrees. This one is my favourite because when you walk close you can smell the honey in the beehive.

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Thank you for reading my 6. I look forward to reading and gardening vicariously through yours.

Nat