5/14: zorro misses mummy

We are currently cruising around New Zealand, while Shadow and Zorro are (hopefully) being looked after by our house and cat-sitters, (my sister and brother-in-law).

Although I took this photo before I left, Zorro seems to be looking at me with those “I miss you and love you, Mummy” eyes.

Zorro sprawled across the entrance hall

If you would like to read about our cruisin’, feel free to click on Travels with Princess and Quiquinou on the princessprattles header. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

4/14: annual path weeding

At the beginning of 2013, I undertook a large job up in the top tier of making some paths through the plum trees. To utilise the huge pile of mulch from the conifer lopping, I had to cut back a plethora of english ivy first.

A year later I have finished what I am now calling the annual path weed. Fortunately it did not take as much effort to refresh it as it did to create it, and being very thorough digging up the roots of the various weeds and ivy this time, the next annual weed should be much easier.

annual path weeding

3/14: sunburnt summer

From almost sleet-like rain a few weeks ago to days of soaring temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius; this is Melbourne, Australia.

Suffering severely, the garden struggles to cope, aided by diligent watering. Some plants really show their displeasure with the heat. The hydrangea wilts sadly but sparks up after being watered. The heat has taken its toll on most of the flowers, though a few still look okay.

watering helps the hydrangea spark uphydrangea still okayshrivelled hydrangeaIt is very evident that a few plants are not in positions suitable to their needs. For example, the smaller purple rhododendron and white camellia on the eastern side of the back garden’s middle tier, are not as protected from the western hot afternoon sun since we had the conifers lopped eighteen months ago.

Sadly, before I thought to protect the leaves with painting drop sheets, the sun had already attacked the leaves, particularly of the rhododendron.

sunburnt leaves on the smaller rhododendronsunburnt leaves on the camelliaprotecting the rhododendron and camelliaAlthough not a very glamorous look, hopefully it will prevent further deterioration.

 

 

2/14: friend or foe?

This ground cover with purple flowers is pretty, but is it a plant or a weed?

purple groundcover purple groundcover (2) purple groundcover (3) purple groundcover (4)

I’ve asked at a nursery, where they suspected it may be a variety of salvia. I remember being given a bunch of salvia a couple of years ago, but I’m not sure they looked exactly like this. Can seeds from flowers revert to a different looking species? Coincidentally, I went to a community nursery where I spied the same plant growing in their grounds, but they were unable to identify it and suspected it was a weed.

Then I also recall my mother complaining about a purple weed in the garden. Was it this type? In any case, what is a weed? The Concise Macquarie dictionary defines it as:

1. a plant growing wild, esp. in cultivated ground to the exclusion of the desired crop.

2. any useless, troublesome, or noxious plant, esp. one that grows profusely.

I actually like this plant; it’s just where it has sprung up I don’t like, because it is in a slightly more formal, stylised area of the garden. In another area this plant could do very well.

Even plants that are sold as legitimate ones can be invasive. Just look at seaside daisies, Erigeron, which can become somewhat invasive, taking over entire areas.

I’ve decided that you just have to contain these plants. Ivy is known as a weed and yet it is pretty and can help suppress other worse weeds, so I have developed a system, keeping some of these plants, but limiting where they are allowed to grow. It’s fun pretending to have some control over nature.

Meanwhile, I think this purple groundcover may officially be a weed, but if I plant it in my cottage garden with the seaside daisies I think it will be rather attractive.

1/14: wishing you a rosy new year

Into the second month of summer in Melbourne as we enter the year 2014, it is ironic that I am posting photos of roses against an azure sky. The reality is somewhat different, as I am looking out the window at a bleak sky and steady rain. However, I am not too perturbed, as it is fantastic for the garden, and I have plenty of things to do inside.

The Christmas tree has been undressed and dismantled, all the other decorations put away, and my first batch of plum jam for the season has been made. I even went to Zumba; a great start to the new year. But don’t think I am over-efficient, as I started taking down the decorations a few days ago.

As the title suggests, I wish you all a Happy New Year with the hope that you can fulfill all your goals and dreams in 2014 and beyond.

peach roses offset by an azure sky these roses are just peachy white roses