OMG – I’ve just discovered gardening… and I think I’m in love!! (Is this another symptom of middle age setting in?? 😉 )
Well, actually, I’ve always looked wistfully at other people’s gardens – especially those cottage-style gardens… ooh, I’d always desperately wanted a quaint, romantic garden like that, with climbing roses and a profusion of colour & flowers…
… the problem was, I usually killed every plant I brought home (yes, including the plastic ones! 😉 ) so I thought it would always be an empty dream.
Then a few weeks ago, I made up my mind that I would learn gardening! I didn’t have to live with the ugly dry & scraggly bush garden in our house – I could try to have the cottage garden of my dreams!
So I pulled up all the existing plants so I had a “blank slate” to work with… and then I headed out to the local garden centres and spent a couple of blissful weekends shopping!!
I thought I’d start with planting in pots, as that didn’t seem as “scary” as planting things straight into the ground.
Here’s me with my very first container: sweet alyssum, bacopa and a baby blueberry bush! (this is a dwarf variety called “Bluberry Burst” which remains small but produces HUGE fruit – apparently 3 times normal size! Well, I guess we’ll see! 😉 )
Of course, Muesli did lots of “helping”! 😉
I’d only intended to start with easy things like “potted colour” – pansies and stocks and salvias and daisies – but somehow, I came home one day with an impulse-buy: a Blushing Iceberg rose! I was worried that roses were too “advanced” for a beginner gardener like me but I suppose we all have to start somewhere! 😉
Anyway, so far, the rose is doing great – the warm & sunny winters here in Perth mean that a lot of plants don’t go dormant like they do in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the rose has been blooming like crazy since arriving in our garden – and we’re supposed to be in the middle of winter!
It does have lovely faint flushes of pink painted on the white petals – really as if the rose is blushing! 😉
Oh! The other things I’m very excited about are some ornamental cabbage / kale seedlings I got. I’m told they’ll grow into huge colourful monsters… well, I’m waiting with bated breath! Here’s me planting them into the garden bed…
(with Muesli helping, of course! 😉 )
The only thing is… gosh, I didn’t realise how “physical” gardening is!
After all that digging and lifting and squatting and watering… not to mention all the fresh air and early mornings… whew, we’re exhausted!! 😀
You’re going to have a lovely cottage garden, I just know it. Beautiful roses. ( :
Thank you! 🙂 I hope so!!
I loved seeing your beautiful garden and I’m especially fond of roses. That one is truly lovely. Muesli enjoys the camera Enjoy!
Thank you, Sariella! 🙂 I’m pleased you enjoyed the photos. Yes, I’m really getting into roses now… am doing lots of online research and learning all about the different types. I have my heart set on some David Austin English roses – they look so gorgeous, with those deep, full, cupped, old-fashioned blossoms!
An internet-friend told me it is easy to grow new roses by cuttings. Then I tried the usual way: before the end of the summer and after flowering take cuttings with 2 leaf axles (and if the leafs are big then cut of the most off each leaf) into a flower pot. One axles into the soil and the upper one is where the leafs will start. Water it. Plastic bag over it and wait. After several waitings & trow away the moldy cutting, I tried her way, which is how i cut so many plants: Take a fair cutting with firm stem and several leaf axles. Big leaves are halved, big sidestems are shortened. Put each in the other flowerpots all around. Press the potting soil for good contact with the stems. It works in soft winters. Within a year they flower, but repotting is better after an extra year in the pot.
The internet-friend has a garden with fertile soil. I have flowerpots on the balcony and make compost in containers of diameter 13 cm and hight 23 cm. It is livingroom-compost, so no fruits (because of the fruit flies), only bought vegetables & herbs and dried coffee and tea (the first try of a worm bin failed), but worms are very important for the garden.
Did you know that some vegatables and herbs inbetween the flowers is a good idea? And small kitchengardens are possible: square foot gardening. For kitchengardens info on combination cultivation is useful.
Both can be mixed: some vegetables & herbs inbetween in the flower garden and some flowers in the kitchengarden.
I have grown several David Austin roses over the years and have loved them. Too old to garden now and truly miss it. I will enjoy following your progress.
Thanks, Busybee – I hope I’ll have lots of good progress to show you – haha! And yes, I LOVE the look of David Austin roses! I’m planning to get some… the hard part is deciding which one – they all look so gorgeous in the photos!
There is nothing quite so satisfying as getting down in the dirt, and helping things grow. My entire adult life every place I have lived I have had at least one rose bush. Having Musli’s help just adds to the pleasure. One small caution, since you are just starting out, try not to be too ambitious. It is so satisfying that it is easy to let our passion carry us away, and then it can become a chore instead of a love. You have made a beautiful start, and I am sure it is easier to grow things where you live, than it is in my dry Arizona desert where we average 10″ of rain a year and right now our temperatures are around 110f, with a 15% humidity. Lukey and I wish you luck!
Oh, Elaine – you’re so right!! I’m already guilty of being too ambitious – haha! I keep going to the local garden centre to buy one small thing, like a watering can – and then I see all the beautiful new shipments of plants and flowers and I can’t resist!!
And actually, I think I might be struggling with the same challenges as you – at least when summer rolls around. Perth can get very hot and dry in the summer, with killer sun, and instead of being “frost-hardy” – most plants have to be “sun-hardy” to survive. I hope I won’t lose too many (assuming I can keep them alive till them – haha!)
Take care for a covered tear layer to keep to moist for the vegetation. Cover it by means of soil covers and mulch. Cut the pruning wast smaller and drop it as mulch. Use the water twice: save the washing water of the vegetables and other “grey waters” for the garden. Use the raw kitchen scraps: try the worm bin for composting, which is easier then composting heaps. Chose some “weaving” plant spaces to filter the sun.
Put things in the garden to spent shadow: create sitting areas with small tables, statues, beach umbrella’s or beach/sun & wind screens.
On my balcony I created shadowed places by means of tables and higher/bigger plant species and drying racks for vertical gardening, which spends shadows to the lower planters.
Enjoy your gardening, but can you write faster so we have more tea shop books?
Have fun! Roses are really very easy to grow!
Ha! Ha! HA! You’re making me laugh, Mary – although it’s wonderful to have readers so enthusiastic for my books! 🙂
I’ll try my best to write faster – and I hope you’re right about growing roses!
Your garden is looking great. I have lots of roses. For me they are the easiest to grow the heat of our summers kills a lot of my Spring plantingIf you are going to plant Plumaria my would not bloom in a container but once we put them in the ground they started blooming like crazy
Thanks, Janet – I think I will have the same problem as you because the summers in Perth are horribly hot and dry too. It’s funny, I keep reading the information on plants and people discussing if they’re “frost-hardy” – when my problem is going to be keeping them alive through our long, hot, dry summer!
Whaou, it’s awesome !! The jasmin fragrance is one of my favorite too. As soon as I’ll be back home (near Toulon), I planed to dig some fruits trees and jasmin flowers. I really like the smell 🙂 And I still have some citrus and orange trees that I like very much too.
Anyway, I’m not sure I had told you. Finally, the Australians changed their mind and my internship is in Germany. Bayern is a very lovelly place, and not that far from France so my husband can come and visit me sometimes. We had great time last week end, visiting the Neuschwanstein castle.
Oh, I’m sorry the internship in Australia didn’t work out but I’m pleased you’re enjoying Germany and yes, the bonus is that you get to see your husband more often! 🙂
I’m sure you must grow wonderful flowers & plants in your home – I’ve seen the photos and the weather looks fantastic!
I love the pink roses. Wow! It looks great! Muesli looks very content.
Thanks, Patricia – yes, the roses were a nice surprise! I wasn’t expecting it to bloom until Spring (which is Sep/Oct for us in Australia) – but we’re having such a warm & sunny winter so far, I think the rose is a bit confused – haha!
Gardening is such a lovely pastime! I love feeling the soil and breathing in the purified air that the plants provide…. have fun!
Oh, and you look about as middle-aged as my 30 year old niece 🙂
Hah, thank you, Sherry – I think all Chinese people look young for their age! 😉
And yes, you’re so right about gardening. I’ve come to it late – but I’m really loving it!!
Missed you. Outlook delets e-mail and I don’t know why & when.
So you are gardening? Healthy activity. But please find out which plants are toxic for cats.
Gardening is a nice adventure.
Hm, tag blueberry bush. That’s for acid soils. If your garden isn’t, then put it in big planters and put the planters a bit in the shades. They live in the woods under conifer trees and so do the mushrooms which are red with white dots, the fly agaric.