We Aussies love our long weekends ... what can I say! There is, in fact, a bit of history behind the observation of the Monarch's birthday ... way back to 1788 when our first Governor declared a holiday to mark the birth of King George 111. It's an Aussie tradition that's lasted and lasted ... so thanks Liz for the lovely extra long weekend!
Anyhoo ... back to gardening. What else is there to do on a long weekend? Hubbie went off on a two-day ride with the Old Fart's Club ... sorry, the Restored Motorcycle Club (the origin of the name 'Old Fart's Club' is a whole other story!!) So I had the whole wonderful weekend to myself ... and lots of glorious winter weather out here in the bush.
So, where to start? First, the Pentas bed had a severe trim ... then, the new outdoor garden beds had a dressing of compost and fertiliser with a few plants being removed or moved (there will be some who know all about the 'l'enfant terrible' from a post on my other blog My Wilful Younger Child post.).
I don't spend much time or effort on any of the other large outdoor garden beds here ... this whole property is on a difficult site located on the side of a rocky granite hill. There is, in fact, no fertile soil anywhere around the property except for built-up beds in the courtyard and the greenhouse. Everywhere else there is only a very, very thin layer of decomposed granite soil atop granite bedrock ... the soil that was bought in many years ago to build up the large outdoor garden beds is now completely compacted. My gardening efforts only go into the two garden spaces where I can add plants and change things around ... my Courtyard Garden and my Greenhouse / Shadehouse Garden.
So it was onto the courtyard garden ... the pots are now all set ready for a great winter-spring-early summer display. Some have already started blooming ... and while they've had a late start, due to the continual rainy weather during Autumn, it's lovely to see the flowers beginning to appear at last.
It was also time to start the 'great bulb experiment'. I bought some bulbs on special a while back ... and whilst I've never ever grown these plants before, I've always wanted to try! This was the collection I got way back at the beginning of March ... sold as the 'hot climate pack' (we'll see about that!!):
So it was time to pot up. Some had already started sprouting in the fridge. I'm excited to see exactly what does grow and bloom.
I then got stuck into the Greenhouse Garden and did some trimming. The hanging pots of Impatiens which I added in January last year were getting very, very leggy as can be seen in the next photo. Look carefully at the two pots hanging off the beam at the top of the photo ... there's a pot of Impatiens to the left and a pot of Evolvulus to the right. Definitely time for a trim!
The poor Impatiens look very unattractive with their little sticks poking out of the hanging pots now, but they'll come back pretty quickly.
I also put in a few potted plants to add colours other than green to the greenhouse garden beds. These beds are completely root bound from the Giant Sword Fern now, so it's impossible to actually plant anything in the ground. Still ... adding pots seems to be working well.
I added some pots of Dragon Wing Begonia and Inky Fingers Coleus ...
as well as pots of Cordyline 'Red Wings', Calathea and variegated Alpinia vittata.
Finally, today I planted a few more things those new outdoor garden beds ... you remember, 'l'enfant terrible' beds! Still needs lots more work ... so I'll be busy throughout this Winter. Right now it's Monday arvo ... and time to plant myself on the rocking chair out on the verandah and enjoy a well-earned caffeine break!!!