Thursday, October 18, 2012


Cape Daisy (Osteospermum)
          Yesterday I was doing some gardening and discovered this lovely Osteospermum blooming. There are plenty of blooms to come, as well! While planting out things I've been sheltering in the greenhouse I put in another one, up at the west edge of the big shrub border to the west of the house.     
            But, now I've read up on them, I discover that they are "half-hardy" perennials, meaning they won't survive our winter. So, I am going to dig up the little'un again, and take cuttings of this beauty, and hope that I can get them through the winter. I'm pretty cocky about my propagation skills, but my biggest successes were in the spring, when the sap was rising strongly and almost anything I stuck in made roots quickly. I just hope that we have a bit of frost-free so I can see more of these glorious blooms! Of course you can see some of the regeneration of the Tanacetum parthenium (White Bonnet I think). They have had a great year as well. When they finished their first bloom period I cut them right back, and some of them are blooming for the THIRD time. But of course they are fully hardy perennials.
            There's a big pot of turkey soup on - I'm trying it with rice and curry, rather than potatoes, this time. And there will be plenty of baby zucchini and perhaps some green beans, for colour. The beans have been producing again, since the rains came. Today I also have to plant some garlic, provided last night at dance class by Lloyd. I think he actually dug them out of his own garden - they are rooted already, so they must go in right away. I am going to put them in at the top of Bed #5 - a new spot for onions, so I hope they do well. It wasn't planted this year, so it should be pretty fertile. 
              My Actaea has been doing really well, in the new shade bed under the snowballs that Anne made - in fact, it is covered with seeds. Anne suggested that I bag the seed head, with one of those organza gift bags from the $$ store... because they let air through so the seeds won't rot, but I don't lose any. Brilliant! But *where* are those bags? I know I have some.

Cosmos seashell
               It is certainly time for seed-collection. My seashell cosmos have done really well, so I must check and see if there are any mature seed heads I could bring in. And of course the Cleome are finished blooming, and their seeds are ready for collection too. The cosmos fell over quite badly, I must remember to put them in the BACK of the border _ or some other spot with support - next year. I had forgotten how much I love them, though - I must look for some shorter varieties as well, since the starting-from-seed worked so well.
             We gathered some acorns from a couple of fastigiate English oak trees (Quercus robur ver. Fastigiata) last weekend - they are on the Brackley Point Road, and must have been in someone's garden before the whole area went commercial. I just think that, if you want oaks, fastigiate ones are the sort to go for! So, more propagation. I am going to take over the east window of the office (all that paperwork has got to GO into the archives [closet]). It's the best spot to nurture all my babies!
       I finally decided that I HAVE to have the book "Making Bentwood Trellises, Arbors, Gates and Fences" by Jim Long. So I ordered it from Amazon and it came the other day. I am going to make *many* of the lovely things in this book. But it is a bit discouraging (though not surprising) that these structures don't have a very long life-span. However! The section on making wattle fences to retain raised beds is a winner for sure. This could be my answer for the remaining beds in the vegetable garden. And the passage from the "pretty" garden in the front to the "productive" garden in the back could really use an arbour with something nice climbing up. I have to source some small, but long, cedar trees for the posts. This can be a winter pastime.

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