Sunday, March 14, 2010

White in the Garden

I like colour in gardens. Some grand houses looks sofisticated in just one colour. Its is usually white. White gardens apparently equates to sofistication and wealth. I wonder why, because if I had lots of money, I would want my garden to look different to my neighbours. However, in some wealthy areas, the landscapes are the same and the colours are just white. Boring. There are so many beautiful rich and elegant species out there and all I see is white. Ice berg roses, Gardenias, vibernum and Trachelospermum jasmoides. All these species would look lovely by themselves, amongst colour.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chemicals versus Eco-alternatives.

As a gardener, we have many decisions to make. One, which, I think is very important, is whether we should or shouldn't use chemicals in place of alternative methods. For example, using chemical based pesticides/insecticides/herbicides.

Carbaryl is a very strong pesticide, which pretty much kills all that it has contact with. However, at what cost? Not only is it unsafe to our environment, it is also a poison to us. The problem with a lot of pesticides, is that after time, insects become resistant to it. What happens next? Other chemicals are then used and the viscious cycle starts again. I believe pesticides like Carbaryl should be banned. It will come to its used by date soon enough and then what happens? There are environmental alternatives we can use. Why are they not more readily used? Laziness? Cost? Society?

The one thing I believe in, is education. Whether we want our teens to stop drinking, or saving the environment; nothing can be 'fixed' until we are educated into reason. Kids are not going to stop drinking just because the Baby Boomers or Gen X say its bad, they need to be educated from a young age that alcohol is a drug - plain and simple. The environment is not suddenly going to get better. People needs to understand this.

Saving the environment is being jammed down everyone's throats at the moment due to Government change. You talk about the Government, and no one gives a crap about the environment or climate change. I am as sick of their talk as anyone and I'm a believer. Education in our schools about what will happen if we stick to the chemical fertilisers and climate change may get through.

I want my children to have the opportunity of a great life and atmosphere to grown up in. I don't want them to miss out on what I've taken for granted - fresh drinking water, fresh produce, etc. To those who says it has nothing to do with them; what about the next generation and the next? Have we turned into such a selfish entity? Its very sad.

Carbaryl or Eco oil, Eco-neem? A pesticide which is poisonous to its user or a safe alternative? Of course, its the Gardener's decision and for what ever reason they decide, I do hope they are able to live with it. And the next generation.


Seeds are the beginning of any living thing's life, if we want to be technical. For plants, they come in an arrange of different sizes and colours. Some are round, some are hairy, some need to scarified before they can be germinated. Some can only be planted in specific conditions and times.

I went to Heronswood on the weekend which is the home to Diggers ( Which if any gardener knows, its incredibly hard to go into a place like this and not leave without buying anything. I bought some seeds and planted them yesterday. I have a mini greenhouse at about 30 cm square and another one, a little larger at a metre squared. I picked up some great species. Sturt Desert's Pea, Sweet Basil, Dwarf Pea & Capsicum 'Black Pearl'. My mum and I became mesmerised with the latter plant with its deep purple foliage and fruit. We both were so enraptured with it, we both bought the seeds.

Under my 30 cm greenhouse, I have had success with lettuce, beetroot and onions. I am hoping I will have the same such success with my new conquests. My no-dig plot has become home to my seedlings propagated under the greenhouses. Most have survived after their trip. Some, alas have passed on.

Melbourne had terrific storms on the weekend and rain was plentiful. Before I went away (for the three day weekend we were blessed with), I was a little worried for my Choisya ternata, watermelon and two tomato plants. When I came back yesterday, all species were looking very vibrant after a large drink of water. Also, before I went away, I planted some geraniums and had been a little worried they had washed away. Luckily, when I returned, they were still there. I am not the biggest fan of geraniums, however, after working as a Gardener, now for three years, I've come to respect them. They suit our climate and therefore should be used more.

I have also cuttings, which I do not know will work. In the past, I have been lucky with Myoporum parvifolium however, I know that this particular plant is very easy to strike. So I will just cross my fingers and hope that my news cuttings work.