Wednesday, September 1, 2010

happy spring day - southern hemisphere!

It has been a huge whirlwind of a week.  Spring is upon us, August has been hot, dry and dusty and we cannot wait for the rains.  I find that people get cranky at this time of year; the weather, I think is to blame, after the first rains, everyone magically settles down.  All this dry weather does however allow us a small window of opportunity to sort out the winter garden.   The spring rains bring back the cold of winter for a while, but mostly, we are past the worst winter has to offer and appreciating the blossoms and sunshine.

I have been busy with spring garden jobs, mostly by instinct, as I have never done this before.  I have pruned just about everything; creating the shapes I want for bushes and hedges, chopping up trees like there is no tomorrow and pulling up tired biannual and harvesting the leaves from a shrub I cannot name, not even after applying my new botanical knowledge BOT101.

The shrub is woody, perennial, has grey leaves and smells like eucalyptus. (any ideas?)  I have never seen it flower, that may be due to my highly depleted sense of botanical observation until now, the BOT101 is taking care of that nicely.

This is an abandoned corner of the garden nobody ever sees, it is right next to the kitchen and so I have claimed it for a herb garden.  I have actually been working on it all winter as the soil was terribly depleted.
It is however looking quite plantable now.

I made lovely little seedling pots out of newspaper.  The idea came from a post by Urban Homestead S.A., I altered the idea slightly, and now am able to fill my pots with soil as they are made.  I simply cut the bottom off of my shampoo bottle (the sacrifices we make).  I fill the bottle with soil, wrap the newspaper around (it's about 30cm long/15cm wide),leaving at least half hanging off the edge, fold the 'hanging off' pieces over the cut-off opening of the bottle, overlapping them to form the base.  Then tip the bottle over and slide the pot off - and there you have it, ready made seedling pots which can be planted directly into the ground as the newspaper is biodegradable.  The seedlings don't suffer replant shock and shouldn't suffer climate change either, as I have them sitting happily in the sun, right where they will, be planted in about two weeks.  As a first time gardener, I must say I am very happy with the outcome.  Time will tell if I am actually doing anything right at all :)

Once I had used up all my newspaper and potting soil,
I counted up how many pots I had
........ 99!
What a lovely number!
(little tip - use a permanent marker for the labels - my labels are washing off ....blah! )

I have a lovely design layout for my garden which I created with my graphic software (ah! the fun I had).  I know exactly where each plant will live, and have researched the needs of each and located the best possible garden spot for each individual.  I am companion planting with flowers, so it should all look quite lovely, oh yes, all this work is to create a herb garden, I am studying herbology, so this is hands on study for me.

I am having a great time passionately throwing myself into the garden, perhaps that is a newbie thing ...  first love affair ... give her time, it will fade .... I hope not, I simply love the idea of encouraging life to bloom around me and hope that in the process I bloom too.

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