Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Christmas garden overhaul: bulbs, beds and box

I was fortunate enough this Christmas to have my parents visit Tasmania, or more specifically, help me in the garden.  We spent 2 out of the 5 days, digging up bulbs (with surprising results), weeding, de-claying soil, uprooting the evil roses, and most importantly, eating a christmas vegie feast. 

The Christmas Day vegies from the garden: artichokes, red cabbage, beetroot, silverbeet, broad beans

My Green Globe Artichokes, pre-cutting. 

Pip enjoying some cabbage company.  The purple cabbage behind her later became lunch

broadbeans, hiding behind the beautiful flowering chives

Mum's interpretation of 'dead heading' the daisies. 
Dad with his 'shovel' (apparently a shovel is different to a spade - he had to buy his own shovel for the job)

Dad's amazing digging job in the two top garden beds.  The nearest patch was the 'bulb patch' (see below)
the bulbs extracted from the 3msq patch
I decided to move the bulbs from a 3 square meter patch near the clothes line, and turn it into an extension of the lawn for now.  The patch had a revolving show of bulbs most of the year, and while it was beautiful, the patch was quite weed-ridden, and not exactly in the most convenient location.  I've not had much to do with bulbs in the past, however, the previous owners obviously loved them, as they magically spring up all over the garden.  The small patch in the back was completely overcrowded with them, and after a quick google search I found out that I should actually be lifiting and dividing bulbs occasionally (depending on their variety), so it was quite fortuitous that I decided to move the patch.  Apart from the daffodils, which mostly have their yellowing stems still attached, I'm not really sure which bulb is which - they all look very similar.  So I think I'm going to dry them all out and plant them around Easter. 

Some of the websites that I consulted had some very involved instructions: dig the bulbs up every year, store them in boxes lined with sand or peat moss, put them in the freezer, plant them in specific areas etc etc.  I think I'm going to stick to the more simple instructions: plant them, leave them in the soil, dividing them occasionally, and if they seem upset, readdress the issue then. The KISS rule...

Box hedging, which we planted around my greengage/golden drop plum tree.

Agapanthas have replaced the evil roses
 My mum helped dig up the evil miniature roses, which I've loathed since I moved in: they have tiny thorns which spike through gloves and clothes, they were always weed-infested and impossible to weed because of the thorns, they were various shades of pink, and, well, they were 'suburban' roses (not my kind of aesthetic).  Unfortunately, when we dropped the roses off at the tip to be recycled into mulch, my mum spotted someone emptying a heap of agapanthus plants into the pile too.  She grabbed them for my garden, despite my pleas otherwise.  Evidently, she's still 'boss', even though it's my house. I'm a little confused about the weed status of agapanthus - in the weeds of Tasmania booklet I have, they're listed as a weed, yet they're beautiful plants which are sold at nurseries around Hobart and planted by Hobart City Council.  I think if I'm vigilant about cutting the stems off before the flowers go to seed, it'll be okay.

The dog supervising the rose bush removal
 Mum also removed the daisy-like bushes that were responsible for my really bad hayfever last month, which turned into an infection - not a good infliction for a gardener...

My leeks in flower.  I'm glad I left some of them to satisfy my curiosity.  Such stunning flowers!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I love how Pip appears to be staring down the cabbage. You've really made me want to do something a little more interesting this year.