Monday, 6 April 2009

Autumn Gardening

Autumn is such a wonderful time to be in the garden. Although some plants are finishing up their main season and may look a bit tired, it is a great time to plant perennials. The soil is still warm enough and the weather cool enough to prevent major transplant shock. And Autumn is a great time to plant spring flowering bulbs.

This morning before class, instead of hitting the books (like I should be!), I escaped into the garden to put some plants into the ground. Quite a few of these are bee plants and many of my specimens were ones I salvaged from the sad bench at our local Bunnings store, although you wouldn't know it by looking at them.

Here's the newly planted lavender hedge. It's an Italian lavender, Avonview. The plants should grow to 80cm tall and 60cm wide. Apparently, it has a long flowering season, so I'm hoping to see lots of happy bees buzzing about the blossoms.

The lavender hedge was planted in a bed previously occupied by camellias. Although they were meant to be sun hardy, the camellias never thrived in the full sun position, so they were moved about a week ago to a partly shaded position. Although reasonably advanced, they moved very easily and look happy in their new spot. Now they're not getting so much sun, I hope they'll bush up somewhat.

This little hebe just moved into its new neighbourhood this morning and looks settled already.

The Chinese Star Jasmine was planted a couple of weeks ago and will soon be ready to zoom up the trellis.

Now, I know we're not meant to have favourites, but I just love this Gentiana scabra. The photo is quite washed out compared to the intense purplish-blue colour of the flowers. They truly are lovely.

I've listed my plantings in the side-bar. It was a very satisfying morning's planting.

Now that I've got the shrubs in place, though, the area under the trees looks like it needs some sort of ground cover. I'll have to do some research on suitable ground covers that bees like. And that will mean a trip or two to plant nurseries or at least online . . . ;)

Hope your Autumn gardening is going well.

love and light


Cheryl said...

Hi seems so strange you are talking seems only yesterday that your spring had arrived...

I love the lavender a useful plant for bees and humans....

I have never planted Camelia because the rabbits like them. There are plenty of Camelia in this area though and they are nearly all in semi shade, so perhaps the move will help your plants long term.......
Happy gardening......

River said...

Bee friendly ground cover? Thyme, Oregano, Lemon Balm. to encourage your Camellias to bush up, you need to tip prune on a regular basis. I love Chinese Star Jasmine, I have one myself in a pot.

Wendy said...

It seems strange to me too. We are just beginning Spring and you are talking about autumn.

I hope you get lots of bees. Your lavender bush looks so health and well.... bushy! I love the smell of lavender. I grow it in small pots on my back deck. I've never seen a lavender bush.

Happy gardening.

naturewitch said...

Hi Cheryl
Yes, the seasons seem to flit by very quickly these days. We've had a little rain now, so that should help the garden recover from what has been quite a trying summer. xx

Hi River
Thanks for the ideas re ground covers; I just wonder whether the herbs would get enough sun under the trees? I could try them around the edges, though, and let the plants decide about where they want to grow. Thanks for the tip about the Camellias; I trimmed them back when transplanting, but I'll try to get them a little tip prune every now and then. xx

Hi Wendy
Reading blogs from different sides of the globe is a bit weird when it comes to seasons, but I find it's also a good way to stay in touch with warmer weather when it gets cold here and vice versa.
Lavender does grow quite well here and it seems to cope with our summer heat and winter cold better than a lot of plants. Hope your spring gardening goes well. xx

Libby said...

I forget being on the otherside of the world that you are coming into autumn, whereas we are starting spring! So things are beginning to liven up here now, at long last!

naturewitch said...

Hi Libby
Spring is great to see rapid changes in the garden, but I like Autumn, too. It's a time of harvest and preparation, so there's always lots to do! xx

Weeping Sore said...

Your lavender blue flowers perfectly illustrate your autumnal theme. It's spring in my garden (Southern California) and my lavender is blooming too. I never got around to trimming it back, so it's a bit sprawling now, but I can't bear to cut it when it's in flower...

amummy said...

Hi NW, your Gentiana scabra look wonderful.
Also, do you have the rain meansurements from the weekend as I would love to know how much we got?

naturewitch said...

Hi Weeping Sore
Enjoy your lavender! You'll probably find plenty of bees buzzing around as wll. xx

Hi amummy
Yep - will put up the rainfall. xx