Monday, 31 August 2015

Hello Little Weeeeeeed

Hello there and welcome to the post where, if you don’t know me apart from blogland, I give away my age with the “Bill and Ben, Flowerpot Men” reference in the title.

You can see here with this scratchy you-tube clip that my childhood was lived in the days before colour was invented.

Actually, my age was driven home to me last week when I read a blog post talking about how ‘Mom jeans’ are back in style. Imagine my surprise when, instead of seeing well pressed jeans with centre leg creases in the photo or the comfortable sort with elastic waists, there they were, Levi 501s – but they were fashionable only last decade… wait, no… oh, 20 years ago. Dammit! 

So what’s the point of all this blithering? Oh yes, the photos. This is the well-known and oh so lovely arum lily which is a declared weed here in Western Australia. So how can a gorgeous flower, best known for church floral arrangements for goodness’ sake, be a weed?  It “thrives on sandy soil with a periodic high water table. A serious weed along creek lines and in wet areas of south western Western Australia” (from this website). Here it is thriving in the local swamp which I note I wrote about at almost exactly the same time of year last year, mainly I guess because there’s really nothing happening in my own garden, although it’s full of the promise of spring.

I was going to try and get a little closer for some better shots but I was afraid of snakes, I’m sorry to say. My dedication to this blog doesn’t stretch to risking my life from death by snake bite. This makes the perfect segue to the photo of the very dead (good cat) highly venomous young dugite snake I found on my driveway around about last April (for scale, those are my shoes in the shot).

Scary isn’t it? ‘Where’s its mother’ is my question!

May all your jeans be comfortable.


Friday, 7 August 2015

Pushing up daffodils

Back in early April I read an article about forcing spring flowering bulbs indoors accompanied by photos which made them look like the next trend in home accessories. At work I sit next to a north facing window (think south if you’re in the northern hemisphere) which seemed to me to be the perfect spot for such a project. With visions of me stunning my work colleagues with masses of flowering plants on the window sill I put in an order for some daffodil and tulip bulbs. When they arrived a couple of weeks later I put them in the fridge to chill for the allotted time frame – 8 weeks for the daffodils, and 12 for the tulips.

I’ve tried growing daffodils before with extremely limited success and only in the first season. I’ve never bothered to attempt tulips - they are nothing but a pipe dream with our warm winters. The successful bulbs that stay in the ground year round in my garden are Dutch iris (still to come) and the lovely delicate Snowflake (flowering now and strangely next to impossible to get a clear shot of).

Sometime, while the bulbs were chilling, I rethought my original plan of growing them in my office. There were a lot of bulbs for one thing. And even though I’d ordered up some miniature daffodils for the purpose of filling a pot that had been lying fallow next to my desk since the languishing plant in it had finally turned its toes up a couple of years ago, the bulbs weren’t actually smaller than normal. I resigned myself to the fact that my amazing home dec accessory was not going to happen.

Not to worry, I planted three straggling fronds of Boston fern I dug up from the garden into the planter on my desk and made fun of them before anyone else had a chance to. Fingers crossed they will thrive and prove my credentials as a gardener after all.

Traditional wisdom has that spring flowering bulbs should be planted in May. I fretted that the chill time would mean they would go in the ground too late to produce. I needn’t have worried. They grew like topsy and five weeks later they were flowering – superb!

In my daily inspection of their progress I note that these may be only a portion of the bulbs that were planted. There is actually another batch coming through now, so these are the early season varieties, the miniatures and the ‘Harbingers of Spring’, with the Langley daffodil still to come. I have only just planted the tulip bulbs but I note one has some growth poking up. Fingers crossed… although I’m not very confident of them – they were looking a little waxy by the time they were planted.

As a note: I highly recommend the miniature daffodils. They are prolific flowerers and would do really well as a part of your interior d├ęcor *wink*.

Happy gardening