Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Last Day of Spring

Tomorrow is the last calendar day of spring, and it has been a day of beautiful rain here - two inches, or 50mm, depending on which way you measure it.

My Christmas lilies are about to come out, so is the lavender. And the Smoke Bush is in full bloom. Here are some snaps just before the rain arrived. All are in the Kitchen Garden.


The mint is escaping between the loose bricks.


Self-sewn pink Larkspur and Poor Man's (or Russian) Garlic

Carthusian Pinks

Carthusian Pinks, with Tree Onions in the background. This pink was the one used in the 15th Century by the Carthusian Monks to flavour whatever alcoholic drink it was that they were famous for.


My Artichokes coming out in flower - how anyone could pick and eat these, rather than let them flower, I will never know.

Friday, November 25, 2005


Remember those deadlines keeping me away from the garden, and away from the computer????

They are all around, going GOTCHA!!!!!!

But I do just have to post the picture below. And I know they are yellow. But they are ripe.

Well, the one on the right is, anyway.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Whatever happened to Mary Queen of Scots

I have been out looking at the roses growing along my fenceline. There is no fence, and I just mow them to keep them in place.

The Chestnut Rose is there, flowering its little heart out:

Chestnut Rose

This is a spiny little bush, with an odd, three-part hairy/furry bud.

And Mary Queen of Scots was supposed to be beside her. But she is not there. Surely I wouldn't have totally mown her to death would I? In mistake for a bit more of the out-of-control Jamieson rose.


That cutting came from a wonderful old historic church in another state. And I loved her dearly.

Here, although it is no compensation, is another view do the Apothecary's Rose:

Apothecary's Rose2

I must move some of this to the fenceline, too. It is currently only in a bed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is this Rambling Rector????

Okey Dokey, you growers out there of Rambling Rector. Is this it????


I do know what the one below is - it is the 14th Century Apothecary's Rose, used for making rosewater, attar of roses and all similar concoctions. Including the rosewater for the Taj Mahal. Its scent is pure bliss, but it only flowers once.

Apothecary's Rose

I have it growing everywhere through a garden bed, as mine is a struck cutting. So, wherever I dig and cut roots, the cut off section comes up as a new plants.

And it is beetle season. Those pesky little brown and black beetles that dig into the rose flowers, especially the lighter colours. And cluster all over white sheets on the clothes line.

Monday, November 14, 2005

It is Albuca canadensis

Just quickly - the Lily is Albuca canadensis - common name Sentry in the Box. And it is from South Africa, not South America. Well, close - maybe.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

First Zucchinis

First Zucchinis picked today. Small, but nice for a salad.

And almost all my tomatoes staked. All except the fifteen I don't have stakes for. Surely I couldn't have that many more in than last year. Well, twelve more, maybe, as three stakes have made a tripod for the second lot of cucumbers.

No-one would steal tomato stakes, would they. I must have more tomatoes.

Pictures???? No point in what I now believe is Rambling Rector - the rain has ruined that, and the rest of the roses for the minute.

How about this??? It is in the Lily family, and must find its name again - something obscure, from South America, from memory.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Good Fun

It is bucketing down beautiful rain here, and despite the umbrella (Ken Done patchwork, since you ask), I am sopping wet.


I have been out in the garden, at 10pm, stomping on snails.

Wonder what the torchlight does to the umbrella??? Do I look like a strange, rainy UFO????

Isn't it lucky the neighbours understand me!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bulb Distribution starting

Bulb lifting and sorting has started, so the barrow is about to go out on the nature strip – any locals wanting them, please feel free to take them away. There is a bottle there where you can throw in a few coins for the Community House if you wish. Only the whiteish Sparaxias going out at the minute, but not long to some other stuff.

Non Locals??? If anyone wants some, which will be a shandy of whatever is coming out, I am happy to send them to anyone who wants. You just need to mail me prepaid 500gm or 3kg plastic mailing envelope, and I will fill it up and send it back. It will be mainly sparaxias, tritonia, ixias (lots of them) and daffodils – but I am not prepared to take the responsibility if something else gets in there as well. I think the snowdrops might be about to get thinned as well.

This applies to Australia only, unfortunately – and please check if I am allowed to mail plants to your state from Victoria. And if you don’t know where to send an envelope to – e-mail me at kapana[at]netspace.net.au and I will let you know.

More Twisted/Tortured Wasonias


I spotted these the other day – a huge clump of them in a driveway. Alice was asking if they are supposed to be that way – they are, but only come in the one colour, the candy pink. I think there are three main Watsonia colours – the candy pink, the salmon pink and the white. I must get myself some of the white, I have the other two.

I don't think these look as good en masse - I like them in just small clumps in a garden, where you can really see the twisting.

Pruning Tree Dahlias

My tree dahlias are coming along quite nicely – I took the first tips out of the stems today, and will do that three of four times more, and get heaps more flowers on stems that are much less likely to blow over.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Is Gardening in your Genes????

I often wonder if Gardening is something you inherit. My mother enjoys plants, but isn't someone who lives for the garden. My father did. His obituary in the paper when he died was "Local Gardener dies". So I grew up saving seed, and all that sort of stuff. I still have my first hoe (but with a longer handle now). It is actually the tallest bit in the bucket in the photo below. Great for reaching into the veggie garden.

So, what has made me think of that????

It is time to come clean. Googs and I are related. Somewhere, a long way back, we have the same slightly unusual surname in our family tree. Just we need to find the exact link.

And today, when I went over to her blog, she has the same Garden Chair as me. This is mine:


Have a look at hers.

Life is Busy II

Life is Busy. So here are just a couple of views from Life in the Garden

Side garden

Looking from the back out towards the front. The view through the arch is bleached out, but you look through to the Dainty Maid rose in flower. I knew I knew what one of her "children" is something famous. Then I remembered - she is one parent of "Constance Spry", the very first Austin rose. The other half of the cross is "Belle Isis".

This is an old photo I have of her - must take another.

Dainty Maid

And here is some more from my garden:


Delphiniums and white Kiss-Me-Quick

Sparaxis barrow

The first barrow-load of Sparaxis are out and drying, ready to be passed along. There are going to be a lot more!



I spy another Australian gardener blogging.

Pop over and say Hello to Stuart - this is the first bloke I have found in a garden. There must be heaps more out there.

His current question - what are the ten tools you could not live without (in your garden???).

Okay - in order:

1. Secateurs (my good Felcos. Second pair. I composted the first)

2. Garden fork (a good, forged not cast steel one, with sharp points)

3. Is a barrow a tool??? (I have three)

4. Spade

5. Three prong scarifier

6. Hoe

7. Prunning saw

8. Adze (yep, I do actually have one, I use it more like a mallet)

9. The long handled shovel (DH gave it to me one Christmas, gift-wrapped, and said "Guess What"? He is a gardener too.)

10. The pick (also given at the same time, gift-wrapped)