Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Who grows herbs?  There is a myriad of ways to grow herbs.  In containers, in designated herb gardens, in the general garden, dotted through the garden.  In hanging baskets.  All of the above.  I'm smiling as I write this, because I love herbs.  I love using fresh herbs in cooking.  I love having some fresh herbs in a glass of water on my kitchen window ledge.  I would love to have a designated herb garden, but I do not.  I started to, when I first moved in, but its very shady and other than chives, rosemary, mint and oregano, nothing else grew.   I have parsley, perennial basil, mint, oregano, sage, coriander and thyme in pots.  I have oregano dotted through the garden beds as I adore the smell.  I also have a trial of thyme and parsley through out the garden beds as well.  I enjoy traditional gardens, but I also enjoy a variety of plant species in one space as it give the senses a blast.  Differing smells and sights are a visual and aromatic pleasure.  In this world of different tastes, its not suprising that there are more and more interest in the sensory gardens.  Childrens' gardens are great for this, as well as hospital gardens and places.  Spaces which are welcoming to all.  From the very young to the very old.  This can also be great for people with disabilities.  Back to my herbs, I've since come to my realisation, that thyme does not like wet feet.  Coriander, however, is water hungry.  Placing them in the same pot, was not a good idea.  The thyme has been repotted else where.  The coriander, in the self-watering pot, is going well.  Its one of my most favourite herbs, but I find it difficult to grow.  I remember seeing it grow in a crack in a footpath once and it thrived.  Mine, in a pot, fed with seasol, does struggles.  The sage has died back at the moment, but it tends to struggle too.  As with most things, I believe it it trial and error with herb planting.  
Origanum vulgare

Petroselinum crispum

Mentha sachalinensis

Rosmarinus officinalis

Sunday, July 26, 2015


This Winter has been cold.  The past few winters have seemed quite mild in comparison.  I work outside, I know how to layer, its one of those fashion statements that all gardeners/horticulturalists understand.  This year, the beanie and finger-less gloves have been mandatory.  The flannelette shirts have become a part of the seasonal uniform.  Even doubling up on socks have been needed.  Then of course, there is a frosts.  I can't remember frosts being as prevalent as this winter.  My seedlings have thankfully been protected so I haven't lost any of them.  Plectranthus is sensitive to frost.  I have three different species of this genus: Plectranthus argentatus, Plectranthus forsteri and Plectranthus "Mona Lavender".

The Mona Lavender doesn't like the winter full stop.  I have noticed that around this time each year, this Plectranthus struggles.  It is semi protected from our veranda, but it seems its not protected enough.  The Plectranthus forsteri is doing quite well.  Although, this too can be sensitive to frosts unless under-planted, these are dotted around the back yard and haven't been knocked around at all.  Plectrantus argentatus is struggling. The foliage looks like they have been sucked dry.  I do hope they come back.  I think I will have to cut them all back when it warms up a bit.  Next winter, I will them back prior to winter, to give them more of a chance.

The other plant which has been struggling is my Fuchsia 'Thalia'.  I have had it in a pot other years.  Perhaps I should have kept it in a pot.

When I worked in a native nursery, we had a frost section, which would be covered in the wintered days. Some that I remember are Lechenaultia biloba, Eutaxia cuneata  and Gastrolobium minus.
Plectranthus argententatus after and before the frosts
Fuchsia 'thalia' after and before frosts