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Another weekend gardening day in northern Oz - towards the end of winter.

bernieh

By bernieh

49 comments


As I’ve mentioned before winter is the middle of the driest time of our year. We do not get rain here for about 9 months – from the end of March to around the end of December. Most of the property looks bedraggled and brown for that 9 months – we do not water the grass or the long driveway garden beds as that would contribute to an enormous water bill on our rates at the end of the year. Anything growing along our driveway has to be able to survive very dry conditions!

The only spots that I do water are the courtyard garden, the greenhouse garden and one of the downstairs garden beds up against the house. But now we are about to add another area of garden beds to that list. We have decided to create new garden beds just outside the greenhouse. Up till now the area was a quite neglected, overrun mess!

This photo shows the area – notice the huge mess under the tall tree. That particular spot was completely overrun with russelia – the firecracker plant, and pedilanthus tithymaloides ‘variegata’ – the slipper plant.

Closer:

There was a bit of a garden bed close to the pathway into the greenhouse, but the wallabies ate all the portulacas and the gerberas were rather old and ugly.

Now about 3 months ago my hubbie built a new garden wall on one section under the huge duranta repens and we decided to clean up the whole area and create new garden spaces.

So first we had to remove the overgrown russelia and pedilanthus – not an easy job and I know the russelia will return but it will be more manageable. Then we started bringing in rocks from all over our property (no shortage of those!) and started building up some garden beds. We then added some lovely topsoil and:

Now some photos taken from the top to give an idea of the area of the new garden beds:

You can also see in the background just how dry the yard becomes during these months. Even though we have these lovely new beds we won’t be planting them up until well into spring. So in the meantime I’m planning what to plant – so exciting!

I have kept some ferns, some of the russelia and the pedilanthus, and my lovely medinilla magnifica that were already there:

and I now have a couple of months to make plans for what else to grow!

I have started collecting some plants for that area – and white is definitely going to be one of the main colours. So far I have: ixora ‘splash’, turnea ulmifolia, bracteantha bracteata. osterospermum ‘tradewinds’, a dwarf angelonia, scaevola, plectranthus parviflorus, buddleia davidii, dichorisandra thyrsiflora, cordyline cannifolia, a white pelargonium, some gazanias and a poinsettia.

More blog posts by bernieh

Previous post: A mid-winter gardening weekend over in northern Oz.

Next post: Planning the new garden beds (continuing on from last blog).



Comments

 

How can you stand the waiting? I can't prepare a bed until I can plant in it, or I go nuts. I love to fill all the spaces and make it pretty and aromatic. I am jealous of all the new space you have though. It is so much work to prepare, and yet so rewarding when it is finished. It is a great job, looks very professional.

1 Aug, 2009

 

It's torture actually Mamagem - but has to be done. It's just too dry for the new plants to get a good start - so until then I nurture them in the greenhouse. Can't wait to get the whole thing going in spring!

1 Aug, 2009

 

It's going to be lovely Bernieh, you have a wonderful imagination. I can see now why you were interested in the Bacopa. I'll look forward to seeing how it develops in the Spring.

1 Aug, 2009

 

We have plenty of water here if you want some .
And its supposed to be our summer..... !!!!! LOL

1 Aug, 2009

 

Its is going to look good looks like a lot of hard work love the colour of the bricks Bernieh

1 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks Junglegen - yes bacopa is on my list for one of the sections in this area. There'll be four different sections to work on - I've been soaking up lots of ideas from this site already!

1 Aug, 2009

 

Mushybanna - would love some. We'll do a trade - I'll send some sunshine and you can send the rain!! Deal!

1 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks Donnah - all the really hard work is done now. The fun stuff is coming! My hubbie is actually excited about how it's going to develop - go figure!! This is a man whose idea of gardening is either to knock it down or cut it down!!

1 Aug, 2009

 

Know what you mean, an inspirational bunch on GOY. Do you grow any herbs Bernieh, some are quite drought tolerant & decorative as well as being yummy?

1 Aug, 2009

 

I'm only growing some basil at the moment - green and purple. But we're planning a small herb and vegie garden elsewhere after this project is up and going - so I'll be looking for some ideas then.

1 Aug, 2009

 

Will look forward to seeing that one, I'm in mourning for my tea-tree that keeled over in mid January poor thing, bet it grows like a weed over there!

1 Aug, 2009

 

Leptospermum - yes Junglejen they sure do grow like weeds - had a beautiful one in my very first garden. I've grown them a few times since but don't have any in this garden. Hmmm! just might add that to the list as well.

1 Aug, 2009

 

Are you telling us about the dry weather to torture us?!

1 Aug, 2009

 

Amazing Bernieh ..9 months with no rain thanks for sharing as our summer continues to be a washout will bear that in mind .Respect to hubby for building walls in that heat me I d be under the tree thinking 4X ( beer ?) to that !

Would be nice if it stopped raining long enough to send the Aussies home without the Ashes looks like you dont really need them ..

1 Aug, 2009

 

Sorry Twiggy - we do get rain believe me. We had record monsoonal rains at the end of our summer in January-February - so I know how frustrating it gets when it won't stop raining. It's just that no rain for nine months is also so frustrating - we're just never happy!

1 Aug, 2009

 

Sorry BB - I don't mean to be mean!! Hubbie did indulge (and yes he drinks XXXX!) with the odd beer while building 'the great wall' as he dubs it! He did it while I was away visiting our kids and grandkids so I don't know just how many he had while the construction was proceeding! Hey the English have to win the Ashes sometimes don't they? I have a feeling the aussie team line-up at the moment will be forgotten very quickly.

1 Aug, 2009

 

Good blog Bernie, i love reading about your garden and plants and climate :)

(More rain here as we speak, i'm getting really fed up with it now. I love rain at night but these grey rainy summer days are just too much now)

1 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks Louise - glad you enjoyed it. I'm crossing everything for you all over there and hoping the rain eases a bit - I know all about being fed up with rain.

1 Aug, 2009

 

Not mean Bernieh ..might just stop me whingeing about the rain thinking of you ..( well probably till tomorrow at least ) so thanks.

Yes when think about the players that tormented us in the past dont think present lot will spring to mind ..that said not too many of ours household names either .

1 Aug, 2009

 

BB to be honest I've only ever heard of Freddy on your side - as for our side, I keep asking Who's that? As for the Australian women's cricket team - their test match resulted in a draw and England retained the Ashes! Hope the sun comes out for you soon!

1 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks Bernieh ..must be getting late for you ..yes our ladies team have done really well this year putting the men to shame ..cant believe I just wrote that lol but credit where its due .

1 Aug, 2009

 

Love the photographs, very cheering - it might be your winter, but what a lovely bright blue sky - not seen much of that here recently. The jetstream moved south over Britain at the beginning of July and our weather is a result of that - what worries me is that its been in that position for 3 summers running - maybe its always going to be there. So looking at your brilliantly sunny pictures, with the impression of heat and tropics, is fab.

1 Aug, 2009

 

It will look lovely with all those plants ready to go in and I wish you luck, I know you grow some very pretty and wonderful plants as is it cant wait to see them all in, miserable rainy dull days we have here to in Warwickshire county. I agree with Bamboo your sky looks nice

1 Aug, 2009

 

All that time with no rain :o(
Well I hope you enjoy the planting when the time comes :o) You've worked hard to get the beds ready. It should look lovely next year.

1 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks Bamboo - yes this is exactly our winter up here in northern Oz. Days around 25 - 27 degrees C and sunny, blue-skies. I do hope you get to see some blue sky soon!!

2 Aug, 2009

 

Morgana - I'm having quite a bit of fun just planning the new garden beds at the moment. It'll take me a while to collect the plants I want anyway - all good things come to those who wait! (or so I've heard)

2 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks Hywel - we're used to the 'dry' over here. But it is a bit depressing looking out over brown grass and bush! The weather is great however, so you just can't have everything!

2 Aug, 2009

 

That is true Bernieh hope you get all what you want you have a lovely garden and deserve it too.

2 Aug, 2009

 

Thanks for your kind thoughts Morgana - same wishes straight back to you!

2 Aug, 2009

 

With our weather I doubt it lol

2 Aug, 2009

 

We've just been told we have had the wettest July since records began.

2 Aug, 2009

 

Nothing surprises me

2 Aug, 2009

 

Transformed! Lovely colour brickwork. And the best pat of all, I think, planning what to plant!
Nice blog Bernieh

3 Aug, 2009

 

Enjoyed your blog Bernieh. I like to see red brick retaining walls. They seem to show the plant colours off well.

3 Aug, 2009

 

Yes Paulthegardener - the planning bit is definitely the best part and plans are well under way.

3 Aug, 2009

 

The bricks were all hubbie's choice Homebird. He had originally chosen them when he was re-building the nursery - I was away at the time and didn't know about it at all. Same thing this time - I was away and had no idea he was planning to build another area for garden beds!

3 Aug, 2009

 

Looks like he was having fun & now you can have fun as well!
The bricks do look good & I imagine that when you get the plants in everything will look fantastic!

4 Aug, 2009

 

Balcony - I'm imagining alright! Plans underway.

4 Aug, 2009

 

Brilliant blog Bernieh well done to your hubby and I am sure those beers were well enjoyed. What is this with the ashes in cricket? I don't watch the game and only live about a mile and a bit from Old Trafford, but the other day I saw someone holding the ashes trophy and I was gobsmacked at the size of it, I thought it was a huge trophy something the size of the F.A. cup but no its tiny.
We are thinking of living in Scotland are you still up for the swap? :o))))

11 Aug, 2009

 

Definitely up for the swap. Love Scotland, magnificent scenery and great scotch!! The ashes - the great battle between the hemispheres! Yes you would think the trophy would be something monstrous and magnificent - nah!! It's a little terracotta thing about 6 inches high! The Ashes cricket match is a big deal over here - we've won more matches than England and our great players are rather irreverently worshipped!

11 Aug, 2009

 

This Ashes trophy... be big enough to put a plant in then? x

11 Aug, 2009

 

Love your idea Junglejen!!! Would certainly look a whole lot better!

11 Aug, 2009

 

Make a great rose vase and with all that potash in it too:o)))
What is the exact story behind the ashes? I know it has something to do with stumps and bails but thats only half the story is'nt it?

11 Aug, 2009

 

Bobg - there's a bit of controversy about just what exactly is in the little urn! Supposedly it's the burnt remains of the bail and stumps from one of the matches during the 1882 tour! A group of women from Melbourne apparently presented it to the English cricket team captain because it had been reported in an English newspaper that "English cricket had died!" - Australia had won! Anyways - there's a whole lot on info on this on the Wikipedia site, if you're interested!

I've also found a fun video clip made back in 2006 that I thought you might enjoy - here's the address:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYtJD-GrRZ4

12 Aug, 2009

 

I'm still catching up ..... Engand have won !!! haha

Another lovely blog Bernieh and looking forward to seeing the site when you have 'worked your magic' !!

30 Aug, 2009

 

Yes, yes ... don't rub it in. Our beloved captain has lost the ashes for the second time - that's a record for any of our Ozzie cricket captains!!! Will definitely keep you posted with this new garden bed's progress. At the moment I'm having trouble keeping the wallabies out - they've munched their way through a few plants already.

30 Aug, 2009

 

But such beautiful little munchers! haha

30 Aug, 2009

 

Yes true ... I find it hard to get too cranky with them, especially the mums with their joeys looking at me with those faces!!

30 Aug, 2009

 

Bless xx

30 Aug, 2009

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