Saturday, 26 August 2017

Plumbago, orchids and blackberry

Last week was such fine weather for gardening but now the weather has turned to drizzle so time to update Rambling Garden Diary. I have now found a perfect climber for my little alcove to grow on the north facing side, I had tried various plants there and each time they never seemed to fare well - star jasmine (too slow, and the sap is sticky like chewing gum when pruned), hibiscus (gets frost), dwarf apple (my stick doesn't espalier) choko vine (who knows, perhaps, it's still there). I can't put wisteria there as it will grow too vigorous and hardenbergia needs to twine, muhlenbeckia does not flower so I have come up with Plumbago, a shrubby semi climber with beautiful blue flowers that look like phlox in spring. I have put three in and managed to find them for $9.95 each from Mitre 10  as opposed to $25.99 from Kings Plant Barn. It is Royal Cape variety said to be hardy.

On Saturday I popped round to the Orchid Show held at Kelston Community Centre and came away with two baby cattelya orchids one is called 'Cherry Sundae' and the other is a 'Love Angel x Purpuratea'. Orchids are stunning plants when in bloom and to see them all massed together is something. I have got some books about them so must read up on them. Surprisingly they don't require much water as they grow in bark and in the tropical rainforests in the nooks of trees so would be perfect for hanging baskets indoors or trailing down stairwells.

We also had working bee on Saturday down at Woodside where Monique, Nicole and I attacked the blackberry bush.  We hacked it back halfway and filled three sacks full of brambles. We will have to come back for another round as the fence has to go there and this time we are going to train it properly.

I mulched my raised bed with bran and straw after finding my winter greens starting to get attacked by slugs and snails. It's looking much better although once I think I've finished one bed I look around and the other one beckons as it looks terrible. This is the long border at the back and it's not going to be easy to plant in but I have attempted some semblance of order, shifting some astelias under the loquat, making room for tree dahlia, and am thinking perhaps a climbing rose will be good there if I can get to dig the soil. Perhaps I will just cover the back fence with chokos but at the moment because I've cut back all the dietes and peppermints it kind of looks like a dumping ground for dying plants, especially with the tatty looking rengas (note to self - my garden gets frost, so I cannot grow everything! especially taros, nasturtiums, cannas and any fleshy, bendy leafy plant) so will definitely have to rethink my options there.

I'm looking for a dwarf apple tree or two that does not cost $50. Anyone know where I can find them?  I think Crimson Spire needs some friends, but I was remiss and was not buying plants in threes and fives last year, something I now know to do.

Well I have rambled enough so have to prune this entry short I could go on all afternoon. I do not really want to end up like Christopher Lloyd who spent every week writing about his garden that people thought he was quite mad but in the end he didn't care what anyone thought and just grew anything and everything even naming his dogs Canna, Dahlia and Yucca. But then he was English and the English are quite a mad lot. I saw a tv program about his garden at Great Dixter and he would invite people over for dinner parties at his place and then lambast them for not carrying notebooks and noting down everything he said, because he loved to give his opinions and styled himself as this great garden guru. Well I'm not like that! Fancy naming your dog Yucca.