Thursday, 19 November 2015

More gardening

Between our place and Jenny and John's there is much vegetation. For the front half and for a short part towards the back of the sections, there is a very tall  hedge - John calls it verbaleum (sp?) but I cannot find that on google, so will have to ask at the plant shops. The hedge used to run the full length of the boundary but has died off in places. George, the former owner of our place was extremely enamoured of lilies - arum, elephant ear et al - and planted them in the garden outside the dining room along the unhedged boundary (and behind the house and in the front by the drive and ...) The lilies have expanded like triffids - the arum bulbs have multiplied and the elephant ears have extended their long trunk-like above ground-tubers and are encroaching into our garden and on to John and Jenny's lawn. And to add insult to injury, tradescantia** (aka wandering jew) has taken up residence among the lilies too.

All lilies plus tradescantia are going to be removed summarily - but it will be a long job. I started on it a couple of Sundays ago and got about a metre of it cleared, and even that small section yielded almost a full woolsack of detritus. So there's probably about 20 more woolsacks to go ... I am going to wait till Rob is here and work with him on it, or maybe when Joe has finished painting he would be keen. We shall see.

(** I looked up wandering jew on google as it's not a name I am comfortable using in print - how PC is that? Anyway I found the name that Rob calls it by so I can stop fearing being offensive, even if I do leave myself open to charges of being PC - that's OK, I am a Mac user ...)

The filled woolsack

The gap that I created

A piece of the elephant ear (I think) tuber - rampant is the only word for it!
And then I decided to plant along the driveway the federation daisies and osteospermums that Dee and I had bought the previous week. They have some growing to do, but that should be assisted by the Osmacote and liquid Thrive that went into the holes first ...

The federation daisies and osteospermums in place - they look a bit small now but they will expand exponentially - I hope... The stick like things in the front garden are wallflowers - they have grown quite a bit since this photo was taken the day I did the planting, and the hibiscus that was looking dead has resurrected and been reprieved. The green fuzz that is just visible is the wildflower seedlings coming up - looking scruffy at the moment though.

This is the effect I am after - I drove past this place a couple of weeks ago and asked if I could photograph the pathway. See how big the osteospermums get in the Waikanae climate and soil?

I was on a roll and made executive and unilateral decisions about where other plants were going and in they went.

Since then, Rob has been for a couple of days and took me to lunch at a local garden centre - he bought lunch and I bought even more plants. Those places are a trap for me - I don't really care much for new clothes or new shoes, and now we are in a smaller house there is no more furniture required, and with living 5 months a year on the boat, I am over having every gadget for the kitchen (after all I use a wine bottle as a rolling pin on the boat - an endlessly renewable resource). Rob's task after the lunch was to complete the planting and I can now see what the garden is going to look like in a couple of months when things have added some growth. Now I just have to stay away from garden centres, but that is difficult - where shall I plant that blue hydrangea I bought yesterday ...

The wildflower seeds that I sowed in the front garden a few weeks ago have become seedlings that still look like weeds but that will change rather quickly.
Earlier this year, before we went back to the boat, Rob planted this mauve climbing rose along the south side fence where it gets sun only in the mid to late afternoon. It is growing but needs to gain more height to get more sun and warmth. It smells beautiful.
Last year this tree fuschia was a stick - there was so much vegetation crowding it out that it had to grow tall to get any sunlight. Since clearing the garden behind the bedroom, it has filled out and is now worthy of its place.
This week has been the seventh anniversary of the loss of our little granddaughter Caitlin. This is the rose that friends gave us to plant in her memory. It has been transplanted a few times now and is thriving in a lovely sunny spot outside our dining room. It has come in to flower at exactly the right time.

The aforementioned George also loved rhododendrons - now that is fine with us. The ones he planted are huge, between 8 and 15 feet tall, and they are beautiful. What is more they flower at different times so there has been a changing display since we arrived home.
This one is a pale pinky apricot. When I was standing beside it a couple of days ago, I counted six bees just on one patch of it. You can see how heavily it has bloomed given the flowers on the ground - and that is only about half of them - the rest are in the compost bin.

This is the latest and last rhodo to flower. It has thrip so will be pruned heavily once its flowers have gone - to remove thrip and to bring down the flowering crown. In the meantime it looks lovely.

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