Garden things in October 2014

messy garden wall

I'm annoyed with my garden. As expected, it went mental over winter. We completed a massive round of weeding and harvesting, and looked sweet for a while, but we're back to being a mess again.

The mint bed seems to be overgrown or half-eaten - always. That happy medium where the leaves are full, beautiful and under control lasts but half a moment. I hoped it would grow up the wall too, but it never took to a trellis, or died back when it reached half a metre in height.

patch of pruned mint, where a chilli seed has been planted

So to serve it right, I've pruned everything and planted a chilli seed. A small, manageable fruiting plant might do better in this space. Perhaps the mint will provide an undergrowth, keeping bugs away from the chilli plant itself.

Alyssum sprouts in an old tree stump

The stump is doing all right. Our alyssum (Lobularia maritima) seeds are coming up. Hit and miss with the fluctuating weather, but hopefully they'll take.

Violet creepers

A patch of creeping violet popped up just after we finished the stump. What a lucky coincidence - it's exactly what I wanted to plant there. Nature just saved me $8.49.

Violet flower head

At least, I hope it's a violet. The flowers don't look like the ones on the internet.

messy creeping fig

The creeping fig (Ficus pumila) looks a bit shit now by comparison, and I'm questioning my decision to use such dense foliage in such a small space. I'd like it if the violet took over the ground area, leaving the fig as wallpaper - that might be nice.

I'm also questioning our lone kangaroo paw. The summer/winter tag-team plants thing might not be such a great idea after all.

luxury bug house under an avocado tree

There are a variety of luxury bug villas around my garden. They're for good bugs like ladybugs, wasps, soldier flies, spiders and the like, but so far, I've not seen anyone living in them. To be fair, I've not marketed them very well. Best get to work on those airbnb listings.

tansy, tanacetum vulgare

Repotted my tansy. I'm very skeptical now, about the ant-repellant thing. When I took it out of its original pot, there was a gang of little workers hanging round having a chat. Maybe in this larger pot, with a fat-arse earthworm living in it, it'll grow strong and smelly, and keep the ants away. I'll give it one more go to see if it's not all bullshit.

bird's eye view of veggie bed

This photo perfectly captures the state of my veggie bed at the moment. Clockwise from the top:

  • Withered clover, pulled out and left on the soil as mulch.
  • Bare mound of dirt, with pumpkin seeds waiting to sprout. :)
  • Rocket - the crop just won't stop.
  • Chinese radish - you can barely see the leaf at 9 o'clock.

And in the centre are strawberry leaves. We've had tiny strawberry plants pop up all over in the last few weeks, most likely from seeds in the worm poo. I wasn't planning on planting strawberries this summer, but since these started from seed right here in our garden, they may fare better than last summer's plants.

tiny strawberry seedlings

So cute when they're little!

tiny succulent in a pot

I'm not sure what this tiny succulent is, but I got a handful of them from my mum's garden. They grow upright, with tiny finger leaves extruding on all sides. The nicer my mum's garden grows, the more interested I become in succulents. They are such funny little things.

two tiny succulents in a pot

Finally, I had my final assessment yesterday for garden school. According to the trainer, I am a competent junior level Horticulturalist - yay!!

I'm worried, though. I'm 99% certain I enrolled in 4 electives, but have only done assignments for 3. According to Open Colleges, I have no more units left in their system, so I must be all done. I will be most unimpressed if I can't graduate because of admin errors on their part, especially if they make me pay extra for a time extension. But I've checked twice to be sure, saved all the email correspondence, and passed the oral assessment for that unit without having been given the textbook. So surely there's nothing to worry about... right?