Saturday 19 September 2020

Springtime flowers one way or another

 So much is different this springtime, the ACT government in Canberra has had to change the plans for Floriade. this year for the first time. The event normally runs from the third week of September to the third week of October.

Sadly all our spring shows have been postponed and we have alternative arrangements  happening. The Floriade team have decided to share the flowers throughout town and place colourful displays in major areas sharing the floral delights. 

Personally I think all the town parks would have been a better choice, but perhaps because they are not locked at night it poses a risk of vandalism. However that could still happen in the streets too.

I just think people enjoy a walk in the park with loved ones and our town parks are big enough for social distancing anyway. Not to mention the beautiful man made lakes in each park. People don’t get the time to look at the flowers in the small beds in a suburban shopping centre or on a roadside but in a park setting they do.

People are in a hurry going about their daily business to have the time to stop and look at the flowers unlike in a park. Parks are more peaceful and make us slow down to appreciate what is there. Therefore a much better setting to do annually. The event has become way too commercial over the years and overwhelming when just held in Commonwealth park in the city.

The flower beds are amazing to look at and so beautiful. My favourite place for spring flowers displays is Tulip Tops garden, which is just outside Canberra heading towards Sydney. Sadly it is not open this year either due to the current pandemic.

So this year for me it is taking comfort in my garden, enjoying my own bulbs and planting some drought tolerant flowers to add a splash of colour. I bought some  Gazania to plant in full sun yesterday. These plants can take over if one is not vigilant. They will just about grow in concrete.

I know that I am taking a risk with them. However with the cost of watering the garden skyrocketing these days, it is a viable solution for colour. They can work in with my Osteospermum daisies and Agapanthus as they will tolerate hot dry conditions. The house across from me has a nice swarm of Gazania and Osteospermum, so it will look nice to have a colourful display opposite. 

There is nothing like the joy of gardening, it is so relaxing and rewarding. I didn’t get into gardening until 1995. It has been a mainstay in my life, to touch base with nature ever since. I would love an English county garden but in the extremely hot summers in Canberra that is a lot of water and time. So one must be creative in making a desirable equivalent that won’t shrivel up in the hot sun. So that’s where flowers such as Cosmos, Seaside daisies, Scabiosa, Agapanthus, Gazania, Osteospermum, roses and native flowers come in handy. 

Lol, there are times when a scorched earth policy has come to mind when the garden has become unruly. But it is just a case of pulling out the ones you don’t want and  careful choice of replacements. I have a massive problem with Ivy at present. I love the stuff, but it is now a banned plant in Canberra because it is so invasive and destructive. I am trying everything to kill mine off and it’s not as easy as one thinks.

Take it from me, don’t even think of putting it in the ground as a ground cover. It is also a hiding place for spiders too. The other no no is planting things like mint, that is another one that is invasive. Much easier to eradicate though. I might need a napalm strike on the Ivy to get rid of it.

I have a never ending battle with runners from Crepe Myrtle that the previous owner planted, grrr, it keeps resurfacing every few months and the roots must be everywhere in the front yard. The original was near the mailbox several meters away from my door, so heaven knows how long the runners really are. I am not a fan of that plant I can tell you 🤣🤣  

The things we learn along the way with gardening. I should write a book on how not to screw up 🤣 god only knows how much money I have spent on making a nice garden over the past twenty odd years. Now much as I love going into the garden section at the hardware store I have to restrain myself. I am trying to keep it real and not be a slave to the garden. Just enough time to enjoy my garden  and as little maintenance as possible is my dream. 

We nearly bought some more chickens but thankfully thought better of that. It would mean extra work and less garden. Much as I love chooks, they eat everything and I don’t want to go back to mucking out their house again and losing garden space. 

It would be lovely to have a garden set up like in the movie the secret garden. I just love that movie, watching the garden blossom in the hands of the children. How divine to have a garden that is so perfect and dreamy all year round. In an Australian climate that is possible, but it comes at a price, be it in time, money or water. But it is still worth the effort for the pleasure and joy that a garden brings, and not just to us humans. The birds, and insects need our gardens for survival in suburbia. Not to mention our deal beloved fur babies enjoy the delights of the garden too.

Two Rosella in the grass in the bottom photo