Saturday, 13 June 2015

Swingin' in the Rain

My plants are now singin' (and swingin') in the rain thanks to being moved to their new positions. It has been wet and windy and I've only been able to move them in the sunny spells in between. Now is a good time before they start their spring growth spurts.

I have divided some lambs ears and they are now gracing the back corner bed as edging.
The only thing left to move is maybe the manuka tea tree to the front, but I've put in English Lavender there with plenty of sand for the time being. If she takes root, she will stay but if like last time the lavender curls up its roots and dies, manuka can go in her place.

My poor gardenias look a bit yellow and I've read that vinegar can remedy this. I've tried epsom salts but no joy. The directions are to dilute a cup of white vinegar in a bucket of water and water each week for three weeks to raise the acidity of the soil so the gardenias can get their iron.

I watched more of Gardens of the World, with Audrey presenting flower gardens (my favourite), Japanese gardens and tropical gardens. I have also been looking up the Auckland Botanical Gardens website for their advice on what plants grows best in Auckland.

Where I am is close to the creek so tends to be boggy and damp, so that is why there's mangroves in the creek, and lots of flax and cabbage trees, swampy plants that thrive in lowlands.  Now there's nothing wrong with flax and cabbage trees, but they aren't very 'gardeny' in my humble opinion! Plus the cabbage trees drop their sharp leaves everywhere, although, cats love to climb them. And I'm certain they don't look at all like cabbage or taste like them either. But they are very popular in my area and every second house seems to have one. The other plant many neighbours have is Chinese Toon, which is more colourful and graceful in my opinion. Our street is also planted with olive trees, but our grass verge doesn't have one as a car crashed into it and it never recovered. I'm thinking would I be allowed to plant a non-council sanctioned tree there instead? I'm thinking of a nice juicy plum tree.  I'm keeping my own olive tree close to the house in it's tub. I don't want another casualty.

Feijoas and citrus trees are also dime a dozen, but I do really wish people would get rid of their privets. In summertime, I'm as bad as Sneezy the dwarf and have to go round with handkerchief all the time.

Each time the wind blows my angels sound their chimes. I wonder what the land looked like before human habitation. Was it swampy tussocks and toe toe, before it became an orchard and then houses?
Were there native birds before the ducks and sparrows claimed their space? Were there kauri gum fields nearby and pioneers floating their logs down the stream from Don Buck Hill and the mill at Henderson Creek? Did people ever eat the  fresh grapes grown in the vineyards or was it all fermented into wine?  Who knows?