Saturday, October 30, 2010

Old and New Flowers.

My two hydrangeas are blooming. They do much better under shade but the spots I have planted them in can get quite a bit of sun and they wilt and burn very easily. I have to water them a lot and put a protective white cloth over them.
Well, the blooms did not turn out blue when the they opened. I think my soil is acidic. And I really dont mind enjoying the pink blooms too. They are pretty too. I have added some garden lime to increase the pH and hopefully soon I can enjoy blue blooms too.
As usual, my beautiful french lavender never fails to make me smile. The aroma is so wonderful and watching the happy bees flying to their flowers has this soothing effect upon me.
This is one of the two Sethi Baby blue I have bought and I have them planted at the patch next to the garage. The flowers are extremely pretty in real life :
My son and my little neighbour were enjoying a fun time playing with bubbles in the midst of the lavender Avon View and white daisies :
Fewh! My Protea Pink Ice survived and is currently putting on new leaves and tiny flower buds. I am very relieved indeed. I really find the flowers very pretty and have spent quite a sum acquiring this native tree :
And this lovely Jasmine which I have planted in the back garden next to the green fence. I will let it cover up this fence and the aroma in mid-day can make me stand on the spot and just enjoy......

Carolina Black Rose, Pak Choy, Spinach & Oregano

I must admit I have been very very busy and have been neglecting my blog for a long time. Then the laziness got into me because I felt that I have so much to update and I have been procrastinating and procrastinating the many things I have to write. Anyway, I am really very excited about my Carolina black rose grape vine. It is growing mightily. Right now, it has gone up the trellis I have tied to the support of my pergola. I cannot wait for grape bunches to appear!!! Every time I look at the leaves, I feel happy. They are so healthy and large. I am even imagining using them to wrap glutinous rice!
I have harvested loads of green and purple pak choy seeds from their pods. It was an enjoyable experience.
Loads of oregano early in spring.
And fresh spinach for frying too.

Front - One Year Before & One Year After.

After one year of living on this property, the dream of a nice lawn has been fulfilled. Just look at the pictures of the before. It was horrible :
And now :
A new vege patch
And the new lawn

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Transformation!

Finally! The new lawn is up! Two words for it all - Tough Work! But it was worth it. Hubby and I have not done a huge project of this sort before and it was great! We worked well. Good training before we enter the Amazing Race... Just joking! This narrow strip above is in front of my house. We laid Buffalo Sapphire lawn on both ends of it and keep the middle for planting. We have put up green edging all around the planting area. I am also going to put in some pavers for stepping on while gardening. So far, I have planted pumpkin, squash, lady's finger, sunflowers and long bean there. I have yet to decide on the right mulch to us for the whole garden so at the moment the bare rich soil will probably receive some weed seeds floating in the neighbourhood.
This is the large area next to the path. It looks great in the picture doesnt it?
Here's another shot. I thought it looks gorgeous. Finally a brand new lawn that looks like the one in the botanic gardens! By the way, this lawn is my 10th anniversary present from Hubby...(plus a pair of Skecher shoes and a set of aquamarine pendant and earrings)...We can't wait to have a picnic on this lawn once it gets established. At the moment, I am watering intensively since last Saturday. And I look forward to tomorrow and next week where it is forecast to rain every day. That would save a lot of money on watering bills and labour every morning.
This is the lawn in the back garden. It is reserved for doggy to do his business. Hehe...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Work That Almost Killed Us.

We spent last weekend plus Monday rotary hoeing the soil, mixing in sandy loam, gypsum...etc and levelling the ground. We were almost dead on the first day but subsequently it got better. We had some wonderful friends who came over to help here and there. Finally the ground is ready for new turf. Can't wait! This strip on the front lawn is going to have a little grass on either end whereas the middle will be used for vege planting. Existing soil seems good.
The whole ground next to the path is covered with weed mat since my new turf can only arrrive next week.
This the the back garden :
Lots of top soil (sandy loam) left so I have purchased a vege bed to put it in :
Though the soil does not look a lot, it is actually a lot! I spent 5 hours shovelling it into wheelbarrow and unloading it onto the front and back yard as I could not park my car in the garage since the soil is blocking the way. Weather forecast say it may hail on Saturday and I had better get my car into the garage for shelther. Surely not interested in getting dints on my car.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tulips, Wisteria (Japanese), Lavender, Arum Lily, Kalanchoe, Protea, Sanorita

The white arum lilies are so pretty, especially when cut and placed in a tall vase on their own. Samuel counted 14 in bloom. Although they are considered a weed in many parts of Australia, they are well under control in my garden and nice to have :
I am running out of space for plants as my collection increases. The Protea (Special Pink Ice) on the right seems to be surviving its winter repotting. Its leaves were looking dry and yellow for a long while until I gave it some tender loving care of trimming and watering recently. I would be quite sad to lose it since it cost me quite many bucks and produces really gorgeous cut flowers. I have been thinking of planting this Protea and the Sanorita (left) on the front nature strip. This will free up my front patio space, allow them to grow bigger being in ground, decorate my nature strip and attract beautiful native birds. However I needed to check if they attract possums to my house because that would be a no-no...
This wisteria (below) that I bought was bare like a stick but have put on so much leaves now. I had researched on this vine and found out that it is so strong that it can uproot the tree it climbs, plus the seeds are poisonous (not good for my dog). I am so attracted to its glorious purple blooms (that attract bees). I wanted to return it to the nursery but when the leaves came, my heart relented and decided to keep it. I will keep in potted to prevent any ground issue with its invasive roots or pulling my patio support down. As for the withered blooms, Hubby had already delegated me to be the one cleaning them up when it happens!
The Avon View Lavender are blooming and attracting bees again :
My very first red tulip has opened!!! It is stout and pretty. The bloom actually opens in the day and closes in the evening, so I could snap a shot of it. Notice the conifer on its right (actually behind it) and the ivy on the left (which I planted as fence cover) :This is my first yellow tulip!
This is the small area on the right of the small gate where the tulip patch is :
And this is the area on the left of the small gate where the other patch is :
My kalanchoe trailing has been blooming gorgeously but then I realised that the succulent leaves were limp. I tried to repot it and found out that the plant was already root-bound. I repotted it anyway trimming away the sides of the root ball and giving it lots of seasol. I also took cutting and hope they will root and produce new kalanchoe trailing for me :

Gai Choy (Mustard Green), Silver Beet & Pak Choy

Weather's warming up and the leafy vegetables are doing well. The gai choy (mustard green) under the net are flourishing. I have harvested about thrice and it is time to harvest again : This large lone silver beet is forever doing well.
These two silver beets were slow to grow because of competition for sunlight and space but eversince I trimmed the lemon grass, they are taking off :
I have sown some more pak choy (green) and am now thinned and protected the seedlings that have emerged :
This pot used to be where the apricot moorpark was but now I have recycled it for pak choy.
This planter had pak choy that bolted to seeds so I removed them to replant pak choy.
"All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature...the challenge of Science is to find it." - Paracelcus, the father of Pharmcology, 1493 - 1541