Saturday, July 28, 2012

We're online!

It's been 2.5 months without real Internet at home, but we're back online at last and I can stop fretting that I will exceed my phone download limit (which I did last month; horrors!)

Overall, this winter seems to have been remarkably mild... or perhaps I'm just coping with the cold and damp better?

As usual, I've had masses going on out in the front garden and the nature strip. This, in particular, is starting to come along quite nicely. It's not the best photo (I promise to start using my real camera again, rather than my phone!), but I hope you'll get the idea of what's going on out there. After realising that since the conditions in the nature strip were so awful (compacted clay overlain with dolomite, blasted by the sun and the wind and passing cars) so nothing was likely to grow very big, I added in a whole lot more plants. All up so far there are just over 50 individual plants out there, all of which are native to Australia (except for the gazanias which I am slowly removing), and the majority are indigenous to my area. The major players are my grasses, which I'm hoping will grow up and spill over and blanket the area. By the way, I have finally had the large tree in the front of the garden identified: It's a large-fruited blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp megalocarpa). I'm told the other, smaller tree in the background might be the same but I remain sceptical. The best news about the nature strip? Not just that plants are alive - if not exactly thriving - but I'm finding worms out there now! Wasteland no longer.

Another project I've got going on is the greening of the driveway, or rather, the strip down the centre of the driveway between the two concrete strips we drive on. It's another tricky area: west-facing, dark in winter and blazing hot in summer, and all the water from the backyard drains through it whenever it rains. Sometimes I think I'm mad. My neighbour certainly seems to think I'm forever gardening, and I'm sure I saw his eyes glaze over when I mentioned native grasses... Natives I've planted down the driveway include Isolepis inundata (a little rush) and Microlaena stipoides ssp stipoides (a little grass). I'm also trying out lawn chamomile, and creeping thyme I grew myself from seed. It took over four months to get as big as you can see here, so it's certainly not a fast grower, at least not during the cooler months.

Onwards and upwards! Spring is coming, and I am going mad for seed sowing in preparation. Will show you that next time.

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