Although plasterboarding was on the books for this weekend, we spent much of it at the nursery and in the garden making the most of the the mild temperatures and consistent rain we've been getting - great for transplanting and establishing new plants before the hot dry weather hits.
Working around the pre-existing palm trees in the back has been a bit of a challenge - their roots are thick and mean business. Initially we considered having them pulled out, but a tropical getaway in Mission Beach last year made us keen to retain them so we've been trialing and erroring our little piece of Melbourne-Queensland fusion ever since. This weekend Tom took on the heat, humidity and palm tree roots like a champion to make way for the arrival of a strelizia nicolai or Giant Bird or Paradise which we'd been eyeing off at the nursery for some time. Here's a photo of one I simply had to share despite the copyright warnings.
Some plants such as the ornamental ginger are thriving with almost zero care while others like the rhododendron need regular root-soaking or they flop under the competition. The New Zealand 'Renga Renga' lillies have been fantastic around the base of the palm trees, are so easy to divide and are flowering in profusion right now. Slugs and snails seem to be their only enemy so I spent some time yesterday on the hunt with a bucket of soapy water to drop them into. I've had pretty good success with beer traps in the past too but will hang out until someone leaves some cheap tinnies of Melbourne Bitter or something similar in the fridge. The snails aren't fussy.
The rest of the spring garden is booming so I gave the beds are good feed with buckets or worm wee, seaweed and fish emulsion. David Austin Comte de Champagne, fashionably late, has emerged beautifully,
and the apricot foxgloves are so so pretty. Such shame they are only short-lived annuals. Should I have sown more seed or will these self-seed?
I've noticed weeding is getting harder as I start to expand around the middle. Tom installed this retractable hose to make things easier for me this summer.
I love love love it but will use it mindfully, I promise, and will be keeping my fingers crossed for all those hoping and praying for rain for their farms, animals and families in the hot months ahead.