I thought I might do some garden posts since, well, it cheers me up. Today I am making my second ever contribution to Six on Saturday, a weekly gardening get-together hosted by The Propagator. It has been a long time since my first post in May!

My new verge garden is looking a mess at the moment. Attractive features include rubble we dug out of the mud, mud splattered plants, and the bird cage and plastic containers protecting the vanilla lilies (Arthropodium milleflorum) from the marauding cockatoos. I understand that the tuber of the vanilla lily is a traditional bushtucker food. Aha! This got me thinking that perhaps I should go foraging for onion weed (Asphodelus fistulosus) which is another favourite of the cockatoos. They seem to know what is good eating. I discovered that yes, onion weed is edible. But I digress.


More pleasingly, the billy buttons (Craspedia variabilis) and the bulbine lilies (Bulbine glauca) are flowering ever so cheerily despite the spring rain.


Next we have the egg and bacon plant (Eutaxia obovata) and tucked in along side it is Craspedia variabilis once again. The former is a West Australian shrub but doing quite well in sunny (just joking) Canberra on the opposite side of the country. The colours are best described as garish but the insects like them.


I have also included hoary sunray (Leucochrysum albicans) seedlings in the verge plantings. All are recent plantings except for two that I nursed through winter trying not to OVER WATER them! They are water-wise plants and don’t like to be waterlogged. The hoary sunray is a threatened grassland species local to our area. They look spectacular en masse but even a single plant is enough to brighten your day. Aussies, do make sure you get seedlings from a reputable plant nursery. All native plants on public land in Canberra are protected.


Come with me while I nip into the backyard. Our Tumut grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) is flowering. The Eastern spinebills have already been into it despite it being a tad mouldy. Apparently, the flowers smell like mice urine. The geographic distribution of this species is restricted to a few small populations near Tumut in the western foothills of the Snowy Mountains, and unsurprisingly, it too is an endangered species. It is now being cultivated commercially and it does well in Canberra which has a not too dissimilar climate to Tumut. Anyway, I thought it deserved a photo just in case it doesn’t survive this extended wet spell.


Finally, let’s take a brief stroll to the local park. Because it is normally much drier, we don’t often get to see common woodruff (Asperula conferta) spreading in such delightful abandon. A small area of ecological significance has been fenced off and we are excited to see what else might pop up in that area over time.


You have probably guessed that it has been wet, wet, wet here in Canberra, Australia. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, we need a song because it is just that sweet little mystery that makes us try, try, try, try. Sing it with me, ladies and gentlemen.


Happy gardening, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

39 thoughts on “Gardening SoS – 8/10/2022

    1. You are too kind, Anne. The plants are really struggling. We are expecting another wet spring. Wish I could send some rain your way. A lot of eastern Australia is under water at the moment so crops may fail again. How ghastly it has been for our farmers all over the world.

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    1. Lou, it is a real adventure. Hopefully I will be able to show some more pictures of the park as some of the local species start to re-emerge. It is nice to see growing things when you are hibernating.
      PS. I picture a Little Women wonderland of wet, tall green forests when I think of New England. And snow.

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  1. Enjoyed the tour of your garden and local park. Hopefully you’ll get a balance of sun and rain as you move towards your summer. We are having a warm, dry fall. I still have tomatoes on the vine, but not sure they will ripen.

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    1. Prediction is for more spring rain, Heather. That probably means more dry weather for Europe and the west coast of the Americas.
      You could pull your tomato bush out and hang it in a sunny window to ripen the remaining tomatoes. I won’t be planting tomatoes this year. I reserve the right to change my mind though.

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  2. Love the grevillea – the color is gorgeous. So fun to see natives from around the world and learn about the species they support. Thanks!

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    1. Very different plants but yours still look shady and lush. This feels likes the most sustained wet period that we have had since I have lived in this area, about 45 years. It’s a real challenge for the plants to cope with the constant change.

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  3. Why the heck not, Tracy and especially so if it cheers you up. I too enjoy viewing your garden via your images and descriptive words. Gardening is very therapeutic. The aching body after a day in the garden takes your mind off other things ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. It gets damp in our backyard in winter, Liz, but that is mostly a function of frosts and overnight dew in our cold temperatures, rather than this endless precipitation. The grass dies off and it gets icky. But no regular mud season. The soil profile is completely sodden. Everything is squishy and the weeds are getting away. I think it is going to be another big year for mozzies.

      We’ve got frogs at the park! Exciting.

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  4. Vanilla, onion, eggs and bacon…I had to stop and eat before I read any more of this post. ๐Ÿ˜† Wait until your garden fills out, Tracy. It is going to be beautiful. MORE beautiful!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do like the mosaic and the bird cage, though. I like ‘things’ in the garden beside the plants.

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    1. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿฅ„ All I need is dessert now, Lois.
      I like the garden to be comfy for the wild life but there is irony in using a bird cage to keep the birds out. I’ll put some more branches in when some break off to make it look suitably dishevelled.

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  5. It’s been more than a little wet down here in Melbourne too, Tracy. I’m not sure which is worse drought or floods for the farmers.

    A lovely array of plants you’ve chosen to share. I’m not that knowledgeable about gardening but wonder if a thick layer of pine bark or other mulch might help.

    Because my balcony garden has always been in plastic pots, I’ve never really experienced excess water or dryness.

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    1. Hello there. I think I know who this is. I suspect the comment function is not playing nice. I’m not that knowledgeable about gardening either. Mulch might work but I think the soil is full of weeds that have been waiting 10 years for the right conditions to burst forth. So we are giving it a season to see what comes through. Hopefully we will have a living mulch soon.
      I hope we all get a few days break from this rain. If I was a farmer, I’m not sure that I would plant a summer crop.

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  6. You are doing better with your Bulbines than I am as almost all of mine, planted along a fence, have rotted with the excess water and have had to be pulled out. They looked great for a couple of years after I first planted them.
    I like your Tumut Grevillea very much. And thanks for the song!

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    1. I don’t think we have had quite as much rain as you, Jane. I didn’t realise I had the glauca sub-type until just a few days ago when we uncovered an old plant label. They seem to quite happy to self-seed just about anywhere.
      The Tumut grevillea is very pretty and doesn’t smell nearly as bad as some make out.

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  7. Your photos are amazing, Tracy! And why is it that we always seem to have either too much rain or too little rain? It does seem as if we go from one extreme to the other, which probably has to do with climate change.

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  8. We have wet feet up here in Queensland too. But hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow. If it does the new flush of growth that accompanied the rain will slowly diminish. I do like the rain but feel sorry for the folks who are getting way too much.

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    1. Hopefully you are getting some sun now, Amanda. In Canberra, we seemed to have missed the worst of it both last and this year. Definitely much wetter here this year though. Very unpleasant. It is heartbreaing what is happening elsewhere.

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