Garden things in June 2016

Confession time - I've had almost no motivation for gardening since the summer. For some reason, the fact that we're renting has weighed heavy on my mind, despite every assurance when we moved in that we could treat the place like our own.

But you know how it is. When something isn't yours, it's hard to pretend it is. I don't want to leave a legacy the owner or next tenant might not want. I don't want to add all these adornments we'll end up having to shift when we eventually get our own home.

Yet, maybe it's none of these things. Maybe this comes from being in my mid-30s and feeling the urge to nest my way. Whatever the reason for this horticultural malaise, my garden has become unkempt.

Not totally forgotten, though. Let me show you things.

nasturtiums spilling over the garden bed

The nasturtiums are going nuts, as they did this time last year. I thought they'd all died over the summer, but they seem to be a permanent seasonal fixture in this garden. Same with those arum lilies you see peeking over the top.

I see now why people say to observe your garden over a year before making drastic changes. I had intended on adding mediterranean plants over the warmer months, but now I realise they would simply be overshadowed by winter growth. To ensure our garden stays beautiful without severely upping the effort factor, I'll need to account for its natural ebbs and flows.

What I have done is expanded our no-dig bed (to the left) with kitchen waste, twigs, prunings and lawn clippings. But instead of using the space as a food producer, I've decided to make it a flowerbed. Something pretty and relatively low-touch for however long we remain in this house.

geranium in a broken pot

So far there's a Geranium Calliope (Pelargonium) in the back, decorated with a piece of broken pot we found by the side of the road. It currently looks like crap, but over time, the setup should look nice and quaint enough that it won't bother whoever lives here next.

Not sure what to plant there next, though. Maybe some flowering ground cover or pretty weeds.

rocket weeds

Speaking of pretty weeds, our rocket plants went mental and have made babies all over the yard. We now have them growing like weeds pretty much everywhere. I'm OK with this. It's been nice going outside and sitting around snacking on fresh leaves. They're super peppery and very satisfying.

radish overgrown with rocket

This (above) was my attempt to convert the rocket bed into a radish bed. Well played, nature.

white alyssums

flowers and herbs in a no-dig bed

In another part of the garden, we piled on more clippings and prunings, and planted herbs and flowers. Initially, the pile was as high as the grey brick, but eventually sank to a more reasonable level. As these plants grow and spread, this bed should become a pretty little sight in place of what was once a barren patch.

Grass and weeds are having their wicked way right now, so it'll take more attention to make beautiful, but we'll get there. Bit by bit.

wild veggie patch

Finally, my veggie bed. What can I say? It's a mess. Nasturtiums are poking through and will have to go. The basil is going nuts and we haven't the time to harvest and make pesto. It's a race against the flowers, because the plant will die back after going into full bloom.

The tomatoes are... I can't tell at this point whether they're succeeding or failing. Two tomato fruits started to grow on one of the plants, but they look like they're withering on the vine. The foliage in the back bed is looking healthy, but that end doesn't get enough sunshine to really take off.

At least we know planting basil and tomato in autumn is not a dumb idea in WA. :)

Outside the beds, grass has been growing beautifully. I think it's a type of buffalo grass, but I'm not sure. Last winter, this whole bed was a pile of thorny prunings we dumped deliberately with this exact situation in mind. It is now looking mighty lush.

So, there's a lot of green in this post. If I'm lucky (and not lazy), the next garden update should include other colours too.