Saturday, August 30, 2014

Update on Rebar

Just over a year ago, I posted about a small garden project, involving leftover concrete rebar from the house build. I wanted to see how quickly the Jasmine would cover the recycled frame we put next to the garden shed.

Here's a look back at how we left it in July 2013...

New installation

It certainly looked sparse in the beginning. Jasmine is a fast worker however, because in thirteen months, it now looks like this...

Covered in jasmine vine

It doesn't block overhead sun, but it does shade the side the "winter" sun hits, because of its lower position in the sky. When the summer sun hits the roof, this new greenery will help to a small degree, regulate the internal temperature. The other side of the shed has a metre high retaining wall next to it, so gets some shade there too.

We had to cut the jasmine quite heavily in 2013, in order to get the rebar in position. We managed to save a few tendrils which I carefully wrapped around the rebar frame...


Today in 2014, it is covered in a plethora of tendrils and filled with lashings of sweet nectar flowers...


As for our desire to attract new nesting sites inside the Jasmine, we haven't seen any yet, but I suspect it probably needs to fill out (inside) a little more, before small nesting birds find it attractive. But as a gardener, I must say it looks ever so pretty on the inside...

The secret garden

I've been working hard making changes in other parts of the garden, which I hope to post about soon. You know those plants which finally grow to full size, after years of maintaining them, but they turn out to be a problem child where they are. I'm biting the bullet with a few of those now, and making some difficult choices.

But all gardens change, its part of their evolution and kind of intoxicating for me as a gardener. Spring is just around the corner, but I think my garden can't tell its still winter because its already blooming!

That's a post for another day though.


  1. That's brilliant! Couple of questions. Does jasmine self-seed? Does it attract bees?

    If it attracts bees, I'd consider planting it. If it self-seeds, I couldn't risk it escaping into all the bush around me (including my own bush).

    1. Grow it in a pot Bev. I've been well warned by Narf that it goes all crazy like and will likely escape. I've mine in a pot although it's struggling where it is at the moment.

    2. If its gotten away on others living in your State, then caution should be used. I live in a hotter, less wet climate, so that could be why it hasn't gotten away on us.

      If you are going to grow it in a pot, consider one of your wicking tubs and put some worms in it. I've found when I grow my plants in pots, they do well for the first six months, then they stop growing and look dull because they're not getting adequate nutrition. A little regular feedings goes a long way. :)

  2. Self-seeding hasn't been a problem here, and of the material I've read, propagation tends to be through layering or tip cuttings. I've successfully propagated it via tip cutting, and relocated it to another part of the garden. Star Jasmine needs a long, hot growing season in its natural environment, in order to set viable seeds.

    This particular vine has crept around the back of the garden shed and even to the other side. When a tendril makes contact with the soil it can grow roots, and that's how it tends to move. I've been observing ours, to make sure it doesn't become a problem and escape into the bush either.

    We manage it by mowing, so it doesn't get past the garden shed. It also prefers moist spots to exploit, so it doesn't move over dry, exposed landscapes. So it can only really spread across shady, potentially moist niches.

    I've had another exotic plant which I've had to totally remove recently, because of its ability to spread. I'm writing a post about that one soon. The Star Jasmine however, has been relatively easy to maintain. We have to mow the area around the shed anyway, to discourage snakes.

    It is attractive to bees, and butterflies too apparently. :)

  3. My favorite flower! I know, I say that about all flowers but this one is special to me. I named my daughter after it for a reason.
    Its another that we can only grow as an annual or I suppose bring inside but if I did that there would be no room furniture it looks like. I didn't know it was a fast grower.
    I look forward to seeing more of your garden as our winds down. You know already but I'll say it again, your garden helps me keep my winter blues away:)

    1. They are an enticing flower indeed, and a great choice for girls names. What's not to like about them. :)

      I think the heat is possibly what makes it grow so fast here, as long as it gets adequate moisture. Being planted next to a tin shed probably helps generate more heat too, but its roots are constantly kept cool by the shade structure its growing on.

      I bet its great to slow down a little in the garden. I know after our summer, autumn is so nice because the work in the yard starts to wind down too. But winter is a different kettle of fish. Hopefully your winter won't be as long this year. :)

  4. Love both the reo mesh reuse and your gorgeous tunnel too. I adore jasmine and when its scent hits the nose. Mmmm. Yours certainly has gone crazy. I've mine in a pot to contain it somewhat but I do hope it grows more than it is at the moment. I have a window I want it to cover in Summer. :)

    1. This rebar was bent, so couldn't be used for anything involving flat concrete. The original structure for the jasmine broke, so I suppose it was always meant to be a match. :)

      Everything growing in our pots have slowed down in winter too. I think mine need a good feed. I've actually made a roo-poo liquid fertiliser, which seemed to perk them up a bit. Or you can even use diluted wee for a nitrogen hit. If you're game, that is. ;)

    2. I'm not but my eldest son is. He likes to stop and wee wherever he happens to be at the time. lol I might guide his efforts away fromt he jasmine though which is right beside our front door. Then again, it might deter unsolicited door knockers! ;)
      We've several small offcuts of reo mesh lying around we've used to similar effect - an arch over our back steps, trellis for grapes and other similar things. It's superb stuff. :)


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