As I sit here lamenting another wet day in Sydney (it has seriously felt like it has not stopped raining in Sydney for the last year!) I take solace in the fact that my plants will be happy. If you read part 1 of this series, you will know that I have removed a lot of stuff from my garden – weeds. Now I want to talk about what makes many gardener’s hearts skip with joy: the chance to create a garden through planting.
Before travelling and having children I worked as a bush regenerator. It was a job I enjoyed and the study and practice of bush regeneration made me very snooty about anything other than native plants. Not only native, but locally indigenous. At my parent’s house (I lived in an apartment) I sought to create this bush garden paradise, but my parents sold their house and I never really got to see the garden established.
Now I don’t hold such snooty ideals. When I realised that after my labour of weed removal, I would be able to treat myself to new plants, I immediately set off to a commercial nursery, rather than the community nursery I would have once shopped at. Over the last year or so, whenever I go to a nursery, I am like a child in a toy shop. I have a skip in my step and I am simply overwhelmed by all the choices. I fill my trolley with all sorts of goodies and I have to admit, a lot of flowering plants. After I lived in a desert surrounded by nothing but buildings and sand, I really felt like having colour and beautiful flowers around me. Unfortunately a lot of nurseries are a bit far for me to travel to, so a lot of my plants have been bought at the local Bunnings, where there isn’t the most amazing variety. I know that my husband always gets nervous when I tell him I’m going to Bunnings, because he knows that some hundreds of dollars will be billed onto the credit card!
I once used to scoff at gardens like mine as being ‘so typical’. Now I love these ‘typical’ features. I did try and rectify this recently by participating in my Council’s ‘Backyard Habitat’ program. I have to admit though that a lot of my native plants have been removed or not survived the 15cm mulch accidentally placed over them (more on that later).
So what have I planted? Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum), Magnolia, Cammelias, Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), some succulants, lavenders, roses, Rhododendron, kangaroo paws (Heamodoracae), Westringia, Grevillea, bottlebrush (Callistemon), some Cordylines, small ficus plants, and flowers like petunias and pansies. While this is not a comprensive list, it gives you an idea of the type of things I’ve planted.
Now that it is nearing summer, I have been able to observe the plants over the year and also the movement of the sun over the seasons. I now know where in my garden consistently gets sun and where it is always shaded. I have an idea of the type of planting I want and where.
I do admit however, that I am not so good yet at all the things I have to do to maintain the plants, but as this is the first year, I think I will learn these skills in the years to come.
Here are some photos of before and after the new plants…..now if only it would be a little sunny, so I could go out and sit to enjoy these beauties!