Now that the cold weather is upon us I have been planning the list of winter gardening jobs that I need to complete! It’s a bit harder to get motivated to get out into the garden these days. Some days the wind is so icy that the last thing you feel like doing is digging around in the dirt – even with gloves on! We’ve planted lots of vegetables which helps draw us out into the garden. There is nothing better than checking the garden every day to see if your seeds have sprouted/grown! This … [Read more...]
Late Autumn Leads to Butternut Pumpkins Splitting!
We have had a really funny autumn this year. It is only a little over a week till winter but many of our trees have only just properly changed colour. Normally most would have lost their leaves by now! I am pretty sure that this late autumn is to blame for some of our butternut pumpkins splitting! We had a cool spell plus quite a bit of rain early in autumn but the last few weeks have been fairly mild. It seems that might have been enough to trick the butternut pumpkins into having a growth … [Read more...]
Dainty Swallowtail Butterflies in My Garden (And My House!)
Towards the end of this summer we were lucky enough to be visited by some beautiful dainty swallowtail butterflies. Actually I’m not sure how many there were because I only ever saw one. When we first saw them we were not sure what they were called. We just knew that they were very pretty! This was the first year that we had zinnias in the garden so maybe that is what attracted them - they seemed to love our zinnias! I haven’t got a good photo of the butterflies because they just didn’t sit … [Read more...]
Sun Loving Plants Need Some Shade Too!
I have been growing vegetables for a few years now in a veggie patch that gets full sun. However I have found that during the hottest days of summer even the most sun loving plants struggle. So in today’s post I want to discuss how I provide shade for the sun loving plants in my vegetable garden over summer. Plants are often described as either needing full sun or part shade. And sources, both online and offline will tell you that vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans need full … [Read more...]
In My Garden: Hoverflies Galore!
We had a very wet winter and early spring this year and the garden is looking wonderful! Apart from all the beautiful blooms, one thing that really stands out in my garden this year is that there are lots of hoverflies around! Normally you can see quite a few hoverflies in spring but this year there are masses of them. Not that I’m complaining because hoverflies are the natural predator of the aphid. I have seen a few aphids on the roses but this year they don’t stand a chance! Hoverflies … [Read more...]
Thryptomene Shrub: An Asset to Any Garden
I am a big fan of plants that attract bees and butterflies to the garden but don’t require a lot of work! Therefore I have a few of these types of plants in my garden. I have talked about the diosma and California lilac before, so today I want to discuss our thryptomene shrub! The thryptomene plant is native to Australia and it grows well in most climates apart from the very cold or very hot regions. It flowers in winter and spring and is great for attracting butterflies, bees, and other … [Read more...]
Benefits of Using Pine Needles as Mulch
Do you have pine trees in your garden? Or maybe you know someone who has pine trees. Either way you will have access to pine needles that you can use around the garden. We have 4 pine trees along the back fence of our yard. They are not massive trees but they are big enough that they drop lots of needles. It seems a waste to let the pine needles just lay there and rot so I thought I’d use them as mulch. I know that strawberry plants like them and I have used some around my strawberries but … [Read more...]
Low Care Plants that Attract Bees
If you like to grow your own vegetables it is a given that you will want to attract bees! Yes, there are some food crops that don’t need bees, such as carrots, beetroot, and leafy greens like chard. But with most crops you need the help of bees to pollinate the flowers. In our garden the bees do the majority of the work pollinating our peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, watermelons, strawberries, and capsicums. Sometimes we hand pollinate some of the pumpkins and … [Read more...]