This week is Australia's inaugural National Gardening Week from the 8th-14th October, 2017, and to celebrate it in my part of the world, I would like to share with you a few photos of the first waxy pink, bell shaped flowers from our beautiful Fraser Island Creeper, "Tecomanthe hillii". We transplanted the plant from a pot last year to a strong trellis at the back of our property which faces North and now has a dedicated sprinkler system and it is flourishing. Location and water are everything. It is a native and quite rare plant, endemic to Fraser Island situated off the Queensland Coast, which is the largest sand Island in the world and World Heritage listed. Amazingly rainforest grows in the sand on Fraser Island and so does this spectacular woody climbing vine, which flowers along the length of the vine. The flowers are pollinated by native bees, insects and honey eaters and seem resistant to pets and diseases. It is also very suited to climbing up a well established tree. We are so thrilled that it has decided to flower, and each morning we visit it to check for more blooms.
National Gardening Week was launched at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this year, to highlight the associated environmental, social and health benefits of gardening, and the improved mental and physical well being that gardening brings. Is it a coincidence then that it coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week as well? What a wonderful synergy that these two events can bring to a lot of people.
Most people who are avid gardeners will tell you that despite the physical benefits, they feel so much more relaxed and at peace with the world when they step out into their gardens and start gardening. I know that I do.
So that we can continue to enjoy our garden, and so that it doesn't become a burden, Neil and I are starting to be mindful this Summer of the need for low maintenance plants, water wise plants, plants that attract the birds and beneficial insects, and less vegetables which require a lot of attention. However I still need to have lots of herbs growing in Summer, as these are quite easy to maintain and with all the cooking I do they save a lot of money by being easily accessible from our garden. I also gain a lot of pleasure from flowers in the garden and they are also essential for attracting the bees so that they can pollinate our Passionfruit vine and other herbs and vegetables.
My tropical orchids are a nice interest and will still survive if left to their own devices for a while, as long as they are watered in the hot months, however I try to give them lots of TLC. An automatic sprinkler system is essential in that regard. I try to fertilise them every two weeks throughout the Summer months.
Just a couple of my orchids flowering out on our patio.
|Dendrobium Farmerii Thrysiflorum "Colette"|
Lots of the very old-fashioned Lilly bulb are planted throughout our garden so the flowers just explode at this time of year. They don't last long, so I enjoy them whilst we can.
This is Blue Salvia which the Sunbirds hang from daily whilst drinking in the rich nectar. I have just pruned the bush back and because it is such a strong plant, gifted to me by a very generous former neighbour, I have taken cuttings and potted them hoping that some of them will strike. We fertilised it after pruning it, and already it is shooting.
Last but not least, this is the flower of the spring onion, or eschallot. I allow it to flower as it attracts the native bees which are so important for pollination in the garden. I hope that one day they will decide to build a hive nearby.
This is a slightly shorter post as I am finishing here because our WiFi and Internet are off and on at the moment pending the imminent installation of the NBN. I really hope it all goes smoothly as we are all so dependent on WiFi these days and if it works at a faster speed as promised that will be wonderful.
Enjoy the rest of your week everyone,