Monday, 28 August 2006

My disgraceful garden!

It hasn't always been an embarrassment. Before the builders came, my garden wasn't exactly a showpiece but it was tidy, colourful and weed-free. Now, it's just a mass of weeds and mud. One day it will be a joy to behold etc but, right now, it is as work in (slow) progress.

First problem is the side path. This is the only way in and out of the back garden, other than through the house. That gate is rotten and held in place by the bolt. I haven't got round to getting a new one yet. More accurately, the person who was supposed to be making it for me has disappeared off the face of the earth.

You can see that the path is concrete. The plumbers dug that up to re-do the drainage. (Must have been a real pain, because this area is pure clay.) Unfortunately, they didn't pack the clay down again. And neither have I. So the path changes from concrete to clay (isn't that a song?), which is impassable in the wet weather and undiggable in the dry. This doesn't bother the weeds as you can see. For those interested, the plants are (from front to back):
  • Swamp lily (Crinum pedunculatum)
  • Firewheel tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus)
  • Cunjevoi (Alocasia brisbanensis)
  • Tree ferns (I can never remember whether they're Dicksonia or Cyathea. I've got a complete mental block.)
  • Fan flower (Scaevola aemula)
  • Snowy mint bush (Prostanthera nivea)
There's a bunch of other stuff you can't see but I'll take more photos on a sunnier day.

This is the view from the back door. The silvereye-attracting kangaroo apple (Solanum lacinatum) is on the left. In front is part of the Casuarinaceae collection, plus a few other bits and pieces, including the stunning pink flowers of the South African Veltheimia and a couple of native conifers. The shrub with new growth is an emu bush (Eremophila maculata). The insects love it when it flowers.

Two or three paces along the weed mat and this is the view ... I've killed the couch but haven't quite got round to ripping it up. The neighbour's four cats love the mulch. They think it's a great place to shit. Rampant weeds and dead couch are the only things corralling their toilet activities at the moment. I have to be very careful where I step. The apparently moribund plant in the foreground is Grevillea nudiflora. New growth is a bilious yellow-green. That tree is a pincushion hakea (Hakea laurina).

This final shot is part of the Kennedia collection. Kennedia is a small genus of climbing or scrambling plants endemic to southern Australia. These really are worth some close ups. If the sun's out tomorrow and I get good photos, I'll do a Kennedia blog. In the meantime, we'll have to make do with a distant shot. The plant on the right is black coral vine (Kennedia nigricans). The wild form has black and yellow flowers. This one is cultivar 'Minstrel'. As you've probably worked out, the flowers are black and white. Very handsome they are too.

On the right is Kennedia retrorsa, which is a short-range endemic from New South Wales. It's covered in buds but isn't quite ready to bloom. The flowers are a startling cerise. I'm looking forward to this one bursting forth.

(Okay. I'll come clean. This is about me learning to use my digital camera. I bought it, took it home and spent too long reading the instruction manual. So by the time I felt confident enough to point and click, it was late afternoon and starting to get dark. Bear with me!)

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