Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happiness is a nursery voucher

Ah, my family know me well! What better gift for this junior gardener than a garden nursery voucher? The good thing about vouchers is that they tend to make me buy things I wouldn't normally be able to justify. As I'm trying to make my garden mostly edibles, I don't get very many purely ornamental plants because I think I should be spending money on the edible stuff first, especially since I don't generally have a lot of money to spend (it's worth noting that even though I'd like some new shoes and clothes, I'm buying plants instead!)

Anyway, the other day I got to spend a very pleasant 40 minutes wandering around the nursery choosing some plants. I probably could have spent longer there, except SP was getting very bored and threw her sock away in protest (and I couldn't find it either, yet another small sock lost into the ether.)

On this visit, I bought a white creeping thyme, tansy (a new one for me, I've never grown it before), chamomile, delphiniums and the piece de resistance: a white hellebore (Helleborus niger). I love hellebores. They're a kind of unassuming plant, the flowers tend to tuck their faces down towards the ground as though they're a little shy. They're supposed to be able to cope with a lot of shade, so fingers crossed it does because I've planted it in my 'difficult' area, the one behind the new rose bed on in the front garden.

I can never leave well enough alone though, and went to another nursery the next day (no voucher this time, just a credit card!) and bought half a dozen other new plants: a few more native grasses, and a white azalea - another plant I've never grown before and I'm hoping will be happy in the south shady patch.

SP just had to check that I had bought the right plants.

I just love the way that Poa australis holds it's leaves in a spiral shape when viewed from above, although I think this is more obvious in real life than in my photo...

Here's where most of those new plants went... in my new rose bed! Yes, I've finished moving the Icebergs. I should have taken a picture after I'd put in the other small new plants as well, but of course, I forgot. The part at the back is the difficult shady/damp spot.

And last but not least, a sign I must be doing something right. An earthworm. The fattest earthworm I have ever seen. That is a full sized spade it's oozing over!

To be honest, I don't actually like worms very much. They give me the creeps, even though I know they're good critters (deep inside, under all that shiny, slippery blobbyness...eugh). But so long as I don't actually have to touch it then it's ok. When I first started putting plants in under the roses I didn't find any worms at all. The previous house owners had brought in 'garden loam' and then plonked in the roses and that was that. The soil was, well, hard to explain because it wasn't really anything. Very little organic matter, and some of it even smelled a little bad and might have been anaerobic. Every plant I've put in has gone in with a 'starter' of compost, manure, blood and bone and Seasol, and slowly but surely it's paying off. Most of my plants are happy and healthy and the worms are there, migrating from Heaven knows where, busily burrowing away and doing their earth-moving thing. So I'm happy to see even the fattest worm in Adelaide, even if he-she did send a cold finger down my spine.


Chookie said...

You might have hardpan under that plonked-in "garden loam", but it will soften eventually, once the worms breed up and start digging it over for you. Trust me, in 10 years you will love your earthworms!

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

Heehee garden nursery is the place I visit the most especially if feeling a little glum. Such lovely places to potter and plot (ha!) the garden in! I bugged and bugged Mr Bok to get me a dress I loved that was on sale mr having blown my budget on chooky things this month (yup we are trialling individual budgets! He's convinced there's no way I can stick to mine...) and when he agreed I promptly changed my mind to seeds and plants! which of course he shook his head at. So much I want to plant for spring...