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

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51/52: red and green for the season

One little area that was overgrown with seaside daisies has had a re-vamp, just in time for Christmas. Erigeron is great for a cottage garden, spreading itself with wanton abandon. I have a number of plants in the garden that I am constantly trying to control.

Swaying between a casual, cottage garden and a more formal, trimmed and pruned look, I sometimes allow areas to become a little overgrown. Currently this garden bed has been allowed to go a little wild, and was more than ready for some timely revision.

overgrown with seaside daisiesWith that in mind, I dug up all the seaside daisies, Erigeron, and trimmed back the irises to little stalks, reminding myself to separate the bulbs and spread them across this garden bed next March, as two dozen in a clump is rather too much.

Meanwhile, I have planted mainly red bedding begonias , plus some Pratia, a small-leafed ground cover with tiny blue flowers. Hopefully this will eventually cover the entire area, and any Erigeron that sneaks through will be eradicated.

fitting for the seasonred and green makeover for ChristmasThe result is rather festive, just in time for Christmas, but will be lovely on a continuing basis, particularly when the ratio of plants to mulch is greater than at present.

48/52: breath of spring

As Spring draws to a close, I fondly remember the daffodils which heralded the arrival of the season. I have oft-repeated my love of bulbs, for their tenacity and continuous consistency, so let’s revisit a host of golden daffodils.

a host of golden daffodils

One year I splurged and bought some designer daffodil bulbs, shown below.

an unusual daffodil

Enjoy one last look at a daffodil, because before we know it, Christmas will be upon us!

daffodil close up

32/366: dad’s daffodils live on

Daffodils have always reminded me of my dear departed Dad, as he was very fond of bulbs. I think part of this stemmed from his Scottish heritage (my maiden name is Reid), as it is a very cost-effective way of having flowers, particularly compared with annuals. Not only do they come up every year, but they multiply, and that is very thrifty!

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I, too, carry this gene, and you can see it often in my recycling ways, saving money and being a creative outlet as well.

budding daffodil

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Last year I wrote about a family tradition, whereby Dad would always cut the first daffodils and place them in the blue vase on the mantelpiece. I inherited that vase, and have emulated that habit, except for last year when I couldn’t find the vase. At least I had photos of it so I didn’t mind too much, and blogging about it seemed to satisfy the urge to continue the tradition.

To my delight, while my husband and I were cleaning out and re-organising the garage earlier this year, I found the vase, so the daffodil tradition has been happily reinstated.

   the daffodil tradition 2013

26/52: the scoria project

Having already used some of the scoria given to me by a friend, in the creation of the Mothers’ Day Memorial, I set to work to do another area. This time, it was the front edge adjacent to the footpath that needed attention. Because the mulch was being dug up, probably by birds, the scoria (over some cut-up Liquorland bags for weed prevention) has hopefully done the trick.

scoria, bricks and rocks edge the footpath succulent cutting amongst the scoriaIn amongst the scoria are tiny cuttings from the succulent that resides largely in the front garden, which should spread nicely within this area.

Resourceful recycling and minimal maintenance feature strongly in my garden.

 

 

25/52: pebble mix

On the second weekend in May, my husband helped create a Mothers’ Day Memorial garden for our dear departed mothers.

Now it is complete with a variety of pebbles.  The spaces created by the angle of the bricks were a very narrow triangle (actually an arc). With many of my creative projects I need to go through various ideas before I settle on the final implementation.

One of my ideas had been to plant some mini ground covers in some of the segments, or maybe a cottage garden effect with some alyssum, but in the end I thought that would require a lot more maintenance than simply filling the gaps with pebbles.

A friend was getting rid of some scoria, and since I already had the white and black pebbles, it ended up being one of my favourite things – a recycling project! There were two advantages to cutting up some polystyrene to use as a base for the stones: firstly, it saved filling the gaps completely with pebbles, and secondly it should deter weed growth.

polystyrene wedge

different colours and textures pebble mix pebble mixture  viewed from my bedroom windowNow the view from my bedroom window is complete.

24/52: a few of my favourite photos of my garden

Since it is a bleak June day, ceaselessly raining, what better way to brighten my mood than with some of my favourite garden photos?

marvellous marigolds fuchsia pensive Zorro cropped-a-bridge-too-far-as-seen-from-bottom-tier1.jpg lovely roses after the rain the cat sat on the mat Beautiful Babiana looking towards the middle tier cats wait patiently for a changeI can’t believe I managed to blog EVERY day last year; it was an all-consuming task. This year I am actually concentrating more on indoor renovations: painting, deaccumulating, rearranging, reorganising, which is quite therapeutic, but I know come springtime I will be raring to go outside in full force.

 

15/52: japanese windflowers

A lovely sight to behold down the laundry side of the house in autumn are the japanese windflowers  Anemone x hybrida.

They have beautiful foliage, which remains attractive for months, but it is when they flower they really come into their own. In clothing I am definitely not a pink person, but various shades of pink in the garden can add another colourful dimension.

Anemone x hybrida Anemone x hybrida foliage Japanese windflowers

14/52: rocks in my head

While some people may think this is a metaphorical truth, in reality I speak of my planning process. Some days I work quite hard in the garden, and at times I wander around just looking, thinking and planning.

Many ideas go through my head while strolling about the yard, some which take me off on total flights of fancy. For example, there was the time we came back from  a trip to France and I was envisaging building a second storey just so we could have a balcony. I came to my senses fairly quickly, as that would have been very expensive. Perhaps I might just enjoy the architecture when I am actually in France.

After Thailand I came back pumped about a tropical garden, but this idea has actually come to fruition.

Currently there are rocks swirling around in my head, ready for some revision. Whereas stone walls are permanent, single rocks or groups thereof can be rearranged as required. Usually these rearrangements involve more than one area, so it takes some thinking about. Okay, if I move those rocks over there, that means this area needs something else, and so on. Weeks may pass before I actually work on that project, but it has had time to agitate about my mind and change a few times before I even tackle the task.

Rocks can be rearranged to accommodate the growth of plants as well, such as in the front garden. The large rock featuring in the second photo was obscured by plant growth.

where the marigolds were

featuring large rock

I’ve tidied up the side of the driveway and the edge of the footpath using bricks and rocks I was given, in addition to rocks I already had. The whole job only cost me time and labour, and gave me much satisfaction. I even used old weathered palings to extend the bottom edge of the fence next to the driveway.

needing a makeover   edging done and fence repaired

front corner

 

11/52: a bridge too far

Some projects take longer to get off the ground than others. Take, for example, my bridge project. A year ago a friend gave me a pre-loved wooden bridge needing a little TLC.

I had grand plans for this bridge, and was going to repair it, sand it back and re-varnish it. Meanwhile, life, conifers and rocks got in the way and the bridge project was put on the back burner.

Finally the task is complete, and the bridge is safely ensconced in the middle tier of the back yard, surrounded by an imitation river bed, which utilised many of the river pebbles I was given by some neighbours undertaking a dual occupancy of their block. Rather than see all their rocks and pebbles go to waste, they have been recycled here.

With the addition of a number of palms, the bridge has added another aspect to the tropical makeover of my garden.

halfway through the transformationa bridge too far as seen from bottom tier bridge over a dry river bed  the bridge leads to another area transformation complete