Thursday, November 24, 2011

Spring rain

It's only a hop, skip and jump away from summer, but when the spring rains arrived this made me hop, skip and jump through some rather wet puddles in our yard too! I was hoping it would rain soon as many of my citrus trees needed a healthy drink. But with the rain, came some rather sharp memory-pegs from last storm season. I found myself pacing the house this morning, looking out the window - looking, looking, looking.

Well I decided I probably needed some new memories, ones associated to fun and beauty. This is my walk through the yard in thongs (or flip-flops) and a camera I tried protecting from the drizzle. With all it's sophisticated appeal, here is our makeshift bridge we use to cross the spoon drain. Nothing but the best at Gully Grove!

Okay, so it's not much to look at, but the design is absolutely faultless. Whenever a surge of water comes through, we simply remove the planks until it passes. Here is part of the spoon drain which ends up channeling water to the bridge - I mean, planks.

It could well be a swale too (spoon drain for trade talk) complete with rogue pumpkins which always take advantage of good water supply. These guys survived last years flood, and are already setting new fruit. Pumpkins are as tough as old gumboots - which I clearly needed today. Trudging on with my heavy-duty thongs instead, I arrived at our upper swale in full action...

We've worked on these since the last storm season, but they still need more tweaking. The improved design however, has already helped prevent large sheets of water flowing down to the lower sections of the garden. Not far from this swale though, I noticed some Canna Lilies flowering.

It's hard to feel the rainy day blues, with such beauty to observe through the drizzle. I love flowers in spring and especially when they pop up regardless of the weather! A lovely treasure to stumble upon, it made me smile. And those weren't the only petals prepared to venture into the wet this morning. Take this Luffa vine which has defied drought, flood and a broken trellis...

You can just see the snapped branch (of the trellis) at the bottom of the picture - but vines have ways of clinging on and just hanging around any old place. Thank you Luffa for hanging around our place, and just giving this growing season one more hurrah! I'm glad we didn't pull you out because you didn't look your best. How you've aged beautifully though.

And globe artichokes galore! What a bizarre looking flower and now that it's blooming, I'm going to have to look for recipes. Thank you Emily from Little Farm in the City, for giving us this plant. After contemplating if it would die last year, it suddenly decided to come back with a vengeance! I still can't get over how bizarre (yet quaintly enchanting) these flowers are. They're leaning towards their absent neighbour, Charlie the banana plant. He didn't die, we just relocated him on the weekend.

Charlie is already unfurling new leafs and at a quicker rate, than when he was next to the metal garden shed. He now has a lovely pigeon pea tree and sweet potatoes as neighbours. I've also mulched him with some casuarina leafs, which should add some potash as they break down. Wonderful healthy new leafs, compared to the poor shriveled old ones. Way to go Charlie! You'll be standing tall in no time. Not too far away though...

When they said Dwarf Ducasse, was a vigorous grower, I had no idea! The size difference is astronomical, compared to photos taken last week. With such a healthy dose of spring rain too, I'll be dunking banana's in my coffee in no time. I spotted another fruit tree in the distance on my way back to the house.

Our mango is getting bigger with it's Canna Lily minions, standing tall in front. I planted these here so I could directly mulch the mango once a year. It's been such a good system that apart from the initial watering period after planting our mango, I haven't had to water much (if at all) since. With many of these garden delights however, it involves a lot of waiting. Nature won't be rushed and it's probably a good thing too.

Taking the time to observe your garden, has to be one of the joys of planting one. You may not be eating delicious sweet fruit straight away, but that doesn't mean nature is standing idle or there isn't joy to be found in a young garden. In terms of heavy feeding annuals, our track record is pretty poor. We kill those like plastic toys from China. We don't mean to, they just don't like the conditions we have. Fruit trees, vines and perennials however, well they seem to be finding their place with enough time. Slow gardeners with a slow garden, that's what we are. And it's probably a good thing too.

One more image from my garden before I go - I was really excited about the leafs emerging from this one. Does anybody recognise the plant?

It's a pecan tree and I thought I'd killed it. We purchased it last Spring with the intention of finding a place to plant it. Only the rain didn't stop long enough to give us a chance to. Between repairing retaining walls washed away by the flood and relocating all that silt, the poor pecan just sat in it's black plastic pot. In winter it lost it's leafs, being deciduous and all, but I wasn't quite sure if I killed it either. A new flush of leafs came with the warmer weather, which inexplicably led to losing them promptly too. I thought that was that - he'd carked it. Could I blame the poor pecan, when we gave it the most inhospitable conditions possible?

True to the wonders of nature however, it didn't take long to recover once I finally put it in the ground. This new flush of leafs say there is always time to recover, even when life provides some pretty inhospitable conditions. I walked around my garden today, and I saw some impressive signs of life.

I hope the spring rains are welcoming your gardens to life too, and if not, I can only hope nature shows you her good side when the challenges pass. There is so much to be had from a garden. I am so lucky to have one.


  1. Rain looks lovely! Hoping we get some here soon. So far it seems to be just missing us!

  2. 80mm up here in Toowoomba, just lovin it.

  3. If you're slow gardeners I don't know where that leaves me, lol.
    Thank God it's raining, I only hope it reached as far as pierce creek.
    It's been pretty weak in Brisbane only 3mm yesterday.

  4. Thanks for sharing these photos! I was feeling a little blue that my garden has to wait until April for me to get back to work on it! Your photos will help and inspire me.

  5. I admire your enthusiasm, it's rained ALL week here and I am a bit over it. Thank goodness all our vege beds are raised or I would only be growing water plants.

    At least the tank will be full for the time when (if) it stops raining.

  6. It's amazing how we all have different things going on in our backyards. Rinelle and gullygunyah, I hope the rain reaches you soon. We had a long wait for our Spring rain too.

    I think Crows Nest got some rain pass through, gullygunyah - is that where pierce creek is? The cloud cover pretty much covered this whole region, but everyone received different amounts. I don't think we got as heavy rainfalls as Toowoomba did.

    80mm, Stewart, that's amazing! I think poor NSW has been copping that (plus some) over the past few days too. Bet your garden is thriving. Without the sun and evaporation, but plenty of warmth and water, everything is booming out the ground!

    Greenfumb, I've been thinking about you guys in NSW...the non-stop rain reminded me of what happened in Qld last storm season. You get sick of it when it's ALL the time for weeks on end. Fingers crossed it doesn't get too much heavier, and the clouds receed soon.

    The good part is, it will pass. Probably never feels soon enough though, LOL. LindaM is settling in for her Northern Hemisphere snows now, where winter and combined Spring thaw, can last up to 6 months.

    I don't envy that part of your season Linda, but your growing season would be phenomenal, as all those nutrients are pushed up to your plants. I was a little worried I was putting too many photos up of my garden (such as it is, LOL) but now I'll have to consider taking more.

    I actually purchased a few special plants today, they've already been put in the ground. They serve a unique purpose, which we're trying out for the first time in our garden. I look forward to sharing more soon.

    Thanks for all sharing your gardening thoughts. :)

  7. Finally finally rain! The tanks were empty.
    Yes the rains have stirred memories, especially in the children.

    I agree new memories sound good. For my boys dancing in your undies in the rain after a steamy hot day.

  8. That's so cute Emily. :)

    Living in the heat of Darwin as a wee vegemite, I remember doing everything in my undies, LOL. Okay, that reads kinda bad, but you know what I mean. ;)

    Tanks are full here too. :)


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