Friday, January 30, 2009

Garden Heartbreak

It is heartbreaking to see the damage in the garden after three days with temperatures of 4o+ degrees. The back garden looks desolate, with plants and shrubs burnt and dying everywhere I look. It is not much consolation to know that we are not the only ones that are in this position, with gardens burnt beyond repair. Our back yard has been the most effected by the sun, with no tree cover at all to give shade and protection. The front yard fair better with large trees in the front to shade and protect a large part of the garden from the burning sun, the damage will not be as extensive but the hot weather is far from over. My fernery is still doing well the double layer of shade cloth seems to be enough to protect the ferns from the burning rays of the sun so far.

Photo dead Mint Bush

Photo Passionfuit sunburned and spoiled bush dying , Correa dead

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Power Blackouts

In these days of extremely high temperatures outside and when the house heats up, you need to use fans and if your lucky enough air conditioners to and keep cool. But last night while the temperature still sat around 40 degrees our power went out, yes the dreaded blackout. The power went off at around 8.30 pm and didn't go back on until 0945 am. Candles came out so we could see what we were doing. No lights, no hot water, no phones, no computers, no TV, no fans, no fridge or freezer and these were my main concerns. That if the power remained off for an extended period that food would spoil. We waited in the heat for hours in hope that the power would come back on, walking around the block at 10.30- 11.00 pm trying to find some relief from the heat in the slight breeze outside. In the end I went to bed in the hope I could get some sleep, this I soon found was a wasted effort. By four am I decide to get up and boil a pan of water to make a cup of tea, went and had a cold shower as no hot water, it was a short shower. Dressed and left early for work no point in staying at home, had breakfast when I got to work in the air conditioning. After about 13 hours with no power food spoiled in fridge and in freezer. Then tonight we received a phone call from our son he arrived home from work at 7.00pm to fined he had no power. He had worked in a building all day, in 40 degree heat all he wanted was to go and turn on his air conditioner and cool off. This has not been a fun week for anyone, lets hope for cool days to come.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Heat Continues

The temperature is rising, with no relief in sight until early next week. How the garden will fare is anybodies guess but things are not looking too good at this stage. The correas in the garden are in trouble and are not coping at all with this extreme heat and we are loosing them. Some are wilting badly and others have started to die completely, once a correa starts to brown nothing you do can bring it back.
Correas wilted, burnt unlikely to make it through the week

But on a brighter note after checking in the fernery this afternoon all plants in there today are looking quite alright. The ferns, orchids and even the baby tears that I thought might cercome to the heat, are looking good.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Heatwave In Victoria

The effort I went to yesterday, trying to sun proof my fernery seems to have pay off well, for today anyway. It remains to be seen if it will protect my ferns and plants over the next four days with temperatures predicted to be 40 degrees or higher. It is said to be the hottest period Victoria has experienced since 1908 and will be the driest it has been in 77 years. Emergency services are all on standby as Authorities have warned the public conditions are very similar to conditions of Ash Wednesday in 1983.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Summer Heat

Today Australia Day I spent outside in the garden trying to ready the garden for the expected heat over the coming days. In my fernery I put up an offcut of shade cloth that I had left over, this will give a double layer of protection to the maidenhair ferns, cyclamens, and other fine leaf ferns that normally get quite sunburned on thirty plus temperature days. My Calla lilies, seeding plants recently planted in a wheelbarrow and all potted plants have been moved into the fernery or in under cover from the hot burning sun. The tomatoes have been covered as best they can be, to try and save them being sunburned and ruined by the heat. Luckily for me it is our allotted watering day tomorrow and although I will be on my way to work by 5.45 am in the morning, I will get DH up before I leave so that he can give our gardens a little water before the sun comes up. I have done all the I can do to protect my plants, so all I can do now is hope for the best and hope my plants don't get sunburn like I did today trying to protect them.


Wheelbarrow planting

This morning I decided to plant out my old wheelbarrow with some Portulaca plants in the hope that once they grow and start to flower I will have a colourful display. Growing mostly native plants somethings leaves the garden void of colour. Hopefully this is a way to still have colour in the garden and the wheelbarrow can be replanted as required.

This is also a great way of recycling wheelbarrows, giving them new life and then of course something less in the ever growing landfill.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens

Sunday Walk In The Garden

I needed to clear my head this morning so I decide to take a walk in the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens. It was a chance to combine three of my passions together, walking, being outdoors in the fresh air and photography. Something that I'm not so passionate about is exercise but it is the one thing that I must do more of, the best thing I've been told for a bad back is to keep it moving.

My plan this morning was to walk from the Australia Gardens car park to the new Woodland Picnic Ground, I was interested to see what this new area had to offer and how long it would take me to walk there. It only took me about a ten minutes to walk the 600 metres from the visitors centre to the new picnic ground. I was impressed with the facilities at the picnic ground, covered shelters over the two free gas barbecues areas give good protection from the sun and toilets are also close by.

The children will enjoy the garden experience as much as the adults as there is a wonderful playground area designed for them, where the children can climb, swing and play in the sand, it also has a large area of grassland for ballgames or just for running off that excess energy before or after lunch. So after a picnic or BBQ lunch why not take a stroll on one the the walking track around this 363 hectare garden with it untouched healthy woodland and wetlands.

To keep the gardens in their pristine condition visitors are asked to keep to the walking tracks and please remember to take all rubbish home with you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weather Station

Cranbourne Botanic Gardens weather station records local rainfall, temperature, wind speed, evaporation and other useful factors. The information is collected daily by garden staff and sent to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Rest In Peace

How do I say goodbye to my brother that I traveled half way around the world and back to find, then never really had the chance to get to know. A brother that never knew our father, but you never did get over never having known him. A brother who was so like his father in so many ways, you had his eyes, his charming and mischievous personality, his sense of fun and adventure, his love of motor bikes and his love for fishing, but you never knew it. I was grateful I the chance to meet and spend some time with you, to tell you about your father and kind of man he was and how hard it was for him to walk away from you, so hard he had to travel half a world away. You were loved more in life and will be remembered in death more than you will ever know. Your fight is over now, no more demons Gordon, you can now my brother rest in peace. You live on through your four amazing daughters, your greatest achievement in life. Till we meet again.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My New Calla Lilies

Calla Lilies

Dear Husband and I went to the Tooradin Village market this morning, there were quite a few plants stalls about today and I checked out each and everyone of them. I was lucky enough to find one of the stalls selling Calla Lilies in three different colours. I had been discussing Calla Lilies with a friend last weekend. I could not remember what colours my friend said she had so I decided to by one of each colour. The lilies were in 20 cm pots, they were a good size plant and were very healthy, no weeds in the pots. I have never grown them before so I will Google Calla lily and find out how I should care for them.


I don't no why it has taken e so long to discover these beautiful lilies, there are some truly stunning colours.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Garden Harvest

On the menu

There is nothing better than having Fresh Garden Salad for dinner made from the fresh garden produce picked fresh from my own vegetable garden. Tomatoes, Lebanese cucumber, Lettuce, Coriander, all made for a very delicious salad.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Missing Tomatoes


Dear husband bought in some fresh tomatoes from the garden last night and said these are good eating tomatoes and sat them on the windowsill in the kitchen. Tonight DH asks where have those tomatoes gone that I had on the windowsill?

When I told him I had eaten them because he had said that they were good eating tomatoes, he was not happy. Fried tomatoes taste so good I just love them but his idea of eating a good tomatoes is to have it on a sandwich or in a salad. So sad, too bad I got in first, fresh home grown tomatoes are just the best and I can't get enough of them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nan's Angel

A Special Little Miss

A very special little person in my life is my grand daughter Ameiliah Grace. My little miss is now six and now also little miss school girl.

I picked up her last Friday as she has been asking ever since the school holidays started to come to my place for a sleepover. This is something that we both enjoy, our one on one time together, this is our special time.

My little miss has the best imagination and it was because of her imagination that I made my a fairy garden. The new addition in the fairy garden were fairy lights just after Christmas, they come on at dusk and go off at dawn. (Solar Powered) Friday night was the first time that little miss had seen them, so after dark we had to go and sit in the garden to check out the lights and see if we could catch a glimpse of the fairies. Precious memories of my little Angel.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In The Garden

Insects in the garden

I was out in my garden this afternoon taking some photos of what is in flower at the moment, my Crowea exalata is in full bloom. While taking some closeup shots of the flowers I noticed some very busy bees and a very little green praying mantis stayed very still sitting on a flower sunning himself while I took a photo.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Garden Path

Garden Path leading to the Ornamental Gate

Today I made a start on my garden path leading up to the Ornamental Gate, I had already made the decision to plant Scaevola in this path. Scaevola is an Australian native ground cover that has a mass of fan shaped flowers for most of the year. As Scaevola grows well in sunny to partly shaded positions in a well drained soil they should do in this area as it is overshadowed by a large tree Agonis flexuosa.

We had to visit several nurseries and I had to buy a mixture of six inch pots and tube stock as I was unable to find quality plants in six inch pots. I bought one Scaevola White Carpet, one Pink Perfection and six Mauve Clusters. I planted the white and pink in the middle and three Mauve Clusters each side of them.

The soil was a little to sandy and quite hydrophobic so I dug through two bags of compost to help with water retention, once I had the in the garden I gave them a good water in with some seasol. Over the next couple of weeks I'll water them regularly until they are established and in few months I should start to see the effect of the plants in the path that I'm after.

The only other thing I will need to do is find something more permanent to edge the path to define the path from the garden itself.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rose - Just Joey

Just Joey

In my small suburban garden I have five Just Joey standard roses, that in past years have bloomed but not as well as I would have expected with the care they are given. But this year they have bloomed continually over the past few months. I wonder if the milder weather conditions and the fact that we have had some good rains over the past two months has had something to do with how well they have flowered. I only wish I had a bigger garden so that I could grow more varieties of roses, there are so many to choose from.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ornamental Gate - On Going Project

On Going Project

Youngest son Mat was the person responsible for building my ornamental gate, for which I thank him very much. Although he may have thought gee mum your crazy, he built it for me anyway and came around at the weekend to see it in the garden with the Hardenbergia now growing over it. He made the suggestion that I should think about an ornamental path leading to the gate. He said it could be done with a mass planting of a low growing plants leading up to the gate. I have still to purchase two large pots, to be placed one each side of the gate, so a path leading up to the gate will finish it off. All I have to do now is to find a plant that I think will grow well for this purpose, in the numbers I'll need.

Thanks for the suggestion Mathew