First it was much too hot, then I was too busy with deadlines, and before I knew it half a year had gone and I’d barely looked at the garden, let lone spent any time maintaining it. But all you can really do in summer here is water, water, water and hope not too many plants die. Winter, however, is a time for pruning and to attack weeds.
The cat run needed the most work. There’s a strappy-leaved ‘spider plant’ there that had grown out in a big matted mess over the pavers. It was here when Paul bought the house, and I’m kind of regretting keeping it as it’s so invasive. I ripped out so many problem plants when I first moved in that to rip these out would have left the garden really bare.
The spider plant had got into the bay tree’s pot, too, and the only way I could remove it was to repot. The roots were all tangled in with the bay’s. You could almost hear the tree sigh as I removed them.
The washing line needed replacing. I use a simple pulley system my Dad came up with that lets you drop the line to shoulder height while pegging things on.
I’ve removed the manky old shade cloth in the cat run, too. I have all the materials ready to replace it.
We attacked the compost, too, spreading the contents of the ‘old’ compost bin around so we could put the fresher compost from the ‘new’ bin into it to sit and rot down fully. That gave us more room in the ‘new’ bin, which works better when there’s space for mixing.
In the rest of the garden…
We have a huge citrus gall wasp problem here in Melbourne. There are traps you can buy but the analysis on gardening websites is that they catch everything but the actual wasp. The lemon suffers badly, and it has never produced more than a few lemons in the ten years or so since I bought it. I’m tempted to replace it. However, my lime seems more resistant to the wasp so I’ve decided to regard our lemon tree as a kind of sacrificial trap crop – hopefully it attracts the wasp away from the lime, and once it’s infested I cut out the galls.
I moved the succulents into what I hope is a position protected from frost.
We’ve been mulching and mulching and mulching. After a few neighbours had some eucalypts trimmed the tree loppers offered us the mulch for free. We’ve been spreading it around the garden ten barrow-loads at a time to be careful not to wear our backs out. Of course, there’s not much point putting mulch on top of weeds, so they have to be cleared out first.
As this is the right time to buy bare-rooted roses I bought a couple to replace the freebies that didn’t survive transplanting.
Of course, while at the garden nursery I grabbed some rose food and a few plants to fill a few bare spots – a geranium and some succulents. I’m going to take cuttings from when the weather warms up.
We also finally got around to culling and rearranging the contents of the gardening shed so that everything is easier to get to. Which led to me finding a box of old herb and vege seeds, and planting out the winter ones to see if anything comes up.
As for the rest… when the weather warms up I’ll give them a try, which means buying more potting and seed raising mix, etc…
Ah, gardening. The tasks have a way of multiplying, don’t they?