Monday, 28 March 2016

Garden Share Collective March - Colour

After missing last months Garden Share Collective (I don't preserve anything, and wasn't feeling very inventive about how I could tie the theme in with my little patch which doesn't seem to ever produce a "glut" of anything!) I'm back with a post for Colour, the theme for this month.

If anyone wants to join in head on over to the link up either on the Rosehips and Rhubarb page or A Fresh Legacy and show us your garden.  Don't be afraid - even a straggly collection of pots and a forest of sage like my current situation is warmly welcomed as a "garden"!

I do however have to make a confession - the pictures for this post will not be current ones.  This is because as I type I have two builders in my front yard and upstairs bedroom, and we are getting out balcony (which turned out to be very rotten and not at all to the standards of correct height or no gaps for small heads to get through) replaced.  I'm very much looking forward to the completed project - but for now it means I can't see most of my garden due to the materials piled up and there seems to be a layer of sawdust over a lot of it. Hopefully it won't lead to any long term damage, although since I've been fairly lazy on the planting front lately there isn't all that much to destroy anyway!

So right now in my garden the only colour you can see are the orange pom pom marigolds which have been very hardy and have kept on flowering for quite a while.

However the colour of the garden is one of the great things about having a go.  Who doesn't love seeing some red tomatoes, green cucumbers, purple and white eggplants, and yellow lemons popping up in the garden? 

My beetroot attempt wasn't very successful either - I had mini beets!

And of course it's not just the actual fruit and veg that are colourful - the flowers can also be beautiful and perhaps not what you think of  - for example my basil plants went to seed but still looked colourful!

This month (once I get my garden back) I will be weeding and digging and preparing for some autumn/winter crops. 

I'm hoping to put in some late lettuce crops, and will be trying some carrots this year I think.

Last season the brassicas were reasonably successful, but this year I want to really grow some good cabbages, so they are on my list.

The other thing I'm hoping to do this month is to visit my local community garden.  I have contacted them about how to join in and have to attend three working days, so will be trying to get stuck into that - I'm hoping to meet some new people, learn some more about gardening and maybe get access to some different produce that I don't/can't grow here in my garden.  But I'll keep you posted!

Happy gardening and see you next month!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

A failed garden experiment

I recently attempted some propagation from cuttings.  I was visiting my grandma in her aged care facility, and as usual she had many vases of flowers from other members of the family.  From my aunt there was a lovely bunch of blue hydrangeas, with some stems of white and pink buddlejas.  They were nearing the end of their life in the vase, so Grandma said I should take them to plant.  

Of course I asked how was I supposed to do that, and Grandma just said - "put them in a pot" like it was the easiest thing in the world.

So I brought them home.  

I dug some of my best compost out of the compost heap, and filled up five pots.

Then I placed a few stems in each pot, and filled them with compost.

Three of my pots with my lovely compost.

The blue hydrangeas in the pots.

A rather droopy budleja.

Unfortunately, I ran across a few problems  - namely extreme heavy rain for a few days, followed by some of the hottest days in January (around 40 degrees).  Well, that is my excuse for why the experiment failed miserably.

However, one saving grace - from my compost some very healthy tomato plants have sprung up in my pots, so at least I will be able to salvage something!

All that is left of the experiment - rather healthy looking tomato plants but not a hydrangea to be seen!

Anyone got any tips for me for the next time I try to propagate from a single stem? Or do I just admit that I'm not such a good gardener as my Grandma?!