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Gardening at Brittahytta
australia, ocean
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Finally! A weekend free to garden! Well, during daylight hours at least, since once it got dark, I did also get most of my books sorted - parting with books is SO difficult for me! - and even went ruthlessly through almost all of my clothes! I have the entire guest room closet full plus about 1/4th of the floor with clothes that are going to Goodwill after my friends pick through them in case there's anything they might want. Robin, Nathania, Cyd, Lori, anyone else close enough to my size who might want to try? ;)



The prettiest part of my yard right now - Japanese Tulip Tree



Well, I didn't do as much as I'd like of course, but I did get a bunch done. Only a little bit of weeding, and the front & back were indeed mowed again, which was much easier with shorter drier grass of course! I got the patios more organized, figured out where to put my angel fountain, found at least temporary homes for my benches & wishing well, planted my penstamen I dug up from the other yard (hope it survives since that was a long time in a pot without much soil), and swept up the copious petals that have been dropping for the past month from the pretty blooming tree right next to my patio roof. A nice fringe benefit of having so many friends come over for my housewarming party last weekend was identification of some plants without me having to find my Sunset garden reference book! I had a few guesses from people early on, but during the party I had confirmation from several people that I have a loquat tree that already has fruit growing in clumps, and the one that is making such a mess but is absolutely gorgeous is a Japanese tulip tree, which is one of the earliest to bloom each winter. The petals are HUGE, and they are so heavy with moisture that I can hear them falling on the metal patio roof!


On weekends like this when I'm trying to get so many projects done, I have a tendency never to leave the house at all, which gets annoying sometimes, so I forced myself to get publicly presentable enough to get to JoAnn Fabrics for free pirate hat fabric (never found a pre-made pirate hat I liked well enough!), then by Longs for random essentials...but at Longs I checked out the plants since you never know, and they have some dormant raspberries, blackberries and seedless grapes! Score! I'm trying to root some blackberry cuttings and Concord grapes from the other place, but since I don't know if those will work, for $6 each variety for 2-3 plants each bag, I'll try these from Longs & see what happens. The packaging confirms my observation that dormant berries won't even flower let alone bear fruit until the second growth season after dormancy...exactly what happened with the native blackberries at the other yard. All the more reason to plant now so I can get my berries sooner since I have to wait so long anyway! Since I know the blackberries will stand full hot sun, I think those will go along the back fence which is the north side of my yard, but since raspberries need more shade, those can probably go behind the fountain in the little corner underneath the loquat tree and the tulip tree. In the photo I have the potted jasmine back there since I thought I'd let that grow on the fence, but that was before I bought the raspberry plants. :) I'm not sure where to put the grapes yet, since their foliage goes dormant in the winter, so I need to plan something to grow with them or the vines will look too bare in the winter. Perhaps a pot for the short term until I decide for sure where to put the grapes.


Yes, Rose Way does have roses! There are quite a few plants along the side fence by the grass/palm thing. In the corner the yellow rose has already been blooming, and the one right next to the palm thing is a paler yellow. There are at least 5 more rose bushes, but no buds on those yet, so I have no idea what they'll look like. Patience! I am happy I have found a mini daffodil almost ready to bloom on the back of the house since I love daffodils. I was sad that I missed my chance for bulb planting since everything was just so busy and it was really a bit too late to plant spring bulbs at Christmas, so I'm very happy I'll at least have one daffodil in my yard! :)

My parents have a lilac bush sprout they've been saving for me, but I need a place for it, which since it will eventually grow so large in a few years (theirs is the height of their roof!) I think it will go back by that weird grass/palm thing between the two benches. When the lilac grows, it will help block the view of the neighbors' shed. I think that grass/palm thing is going to go away, since it seems to have sticky fluffy blooms that are annoying already.


As for even grander plans, before I can do too much in-ground planting, I have to start some sketches for the yard layout. Since I like the brick chimney on the front with the brick planter, I think that having a brick path across the front yard by the house linking the driveway and the front path would be nice, then rip out the concrete walkway, keep going with the brick for the front path, continue down the side of the house into the backyard, then across the backyard by the back of the house where the brick path turns into a brick patio at the corner...then since the unscreened patio cement is so cracked due to the settling of the house foundation, I think ripping out that concrete would be good, converting that patio to brick as well to blend in with the rest. I will leave the concrete slab for the screened area since it makes more sense to use that as more of a room vs. patio anyway. The ripped screen will be going too, but I think my short-term plan will be getting or making (whichever is cheaper for the effort) canvas shades that will hang on the existing screen structure. That way I can pull up the shades for breezes when it's nice, but draw the shades otherwise, and I think canvas might be a better weather barrier than the screens. If I could paint the canvas shades with the exterior house paint, it would give the illusion of walls, making it more like a room than a patio. I am finding myself with plenty of extra tables without decent enough seating for this patio, since the white plastic chairs seem too cheap for a more permanent area, but the wooden folding chairs I'm afraid might be adversely affected by possible moisture, so more brainstorming will ensue on what furniture I can put out there that won't break my budget...hmmm...


Now if you read all that behind the cuts, hope you enjoyed it, and kudos to you for enduring my endless blather! ;)

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that japanese tulip tree is absolutely lovely! i wish we had the weather/climate to grow such a gorgeous thing up here! :-)

Wow! you had a one-woman yard party! Nicely done. I admire your determination on issues of a gardening nature. I glaze over at such things. :-)


Loquat! I was right! I have no gardening sense, but I seem to have absorbed some by osmosis from my parents... :)

Yes! You were first, then Barbara and Amy both separately confirmed it's a loquat tree, so three independent IDs is good enough for me. Maybe you're more of a gardener than you realized... ;)

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