A buzz

Along with all the work we are doing in the vegetable garden there has been some major weeding happening in our front yard. It has been hard to see the garden plants out here from the weeds that sprang up while we were overseas for two months. Thankfully our chickens find the weeds pretty palatable so disposal is easy.

garden-mess
Bulbine Lilies, the yellow flowers in the foreground , struggle to be seen against sappy weeds and unwanted grasses

At least after the weeding we can now see our ‘grassland’ again. It has also been fantastic to see just how many butterflies, bees, hover flies and other pollinators are feeding on the flowers in this part of the garden.

front-summer
The white paper daisies are attracting masses of pollinators at this time of the year

Having ripped out the weeds it was clear that there was plenty of space for some new plants. I couldn’t resist trying some Mulla Mulla (Ptilotus exaltatus ‘Joey’) that I found at the local nursery. I’m not completely convinced about just how frost hardy they will prove to be in our garden (they are rated to withstand light frosts). I can only hope that they  will get sufficient protection from our nearby gum tree.

replanted
The newly planted Mulla Mulla, with the pink flowers

I was in the process of cutting back the flower spikes, to help the plants get over the transplant shock, when I had to stop. I could hardly believe my eyes. The Blue Banded bees, an Australian species, had appeared out of nowhere to feed on the flowers.

bbbee
A Blue Banded bee getting into the flowers of the Mulla Mulla

I left them to it.

 

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A little piece of somewhere else

Our garden has some fairly clear distinctions when it comes to planting. The front is almost all Australian plants (except for two small veggie beds) and the back garden is for vegetables, chickens and other utilitarian purposes.

Despite of my intense love for Australian plants I have to admit that there areĀ  non-Australian ring-ins in my ornamental garden. So I have been trying to work out how I could combine some ornamental plants from elsewhere into my garden without it looking too odd.

A little bit of somewhere else in the garden
A little bit of somewhere else in the garden

What I came up with is a small area that is focused around a Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) which was an early purchase for my garden and has grown into a lovely small tree. One of my neighbours and another friend have gifted me hellebores, which seem to be getting their roots into the ground under the tree, after an uncertain start. Last but not least I bought some miniature cyclamens from the hardware store that dare nor mention its name. Bowls of seasonal bulbs are also added to the mix.

Some early morning sun on my latest garden feature.
Some early morning sun on my latest garden feature.

A recent visit to Bowral and a stay at a house with a lovely European-style garden encouraged me to look for another feature for this little spot. I found what I was looking for in the garden section of Dirty Jane’s Emporium and Antiques Market. It is a lovely stone trough!

The trough has some layers of paint on the outside but I’m hoping that they will genteelly wear away given time and some Canberra frosts. Speaking of frosts, the day after I heaved this weighty treasure into pace we had one of our -5 degree nights, so you can see the solid block of ice that formed below.

A very small ice skating rink!
A very small ice skating rink!