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Posts Tagged ‘verge’

Treat ’em mean…and they flower…

It seems the 3 sections of thyme I planted on the front verge really like it out there. They have been flowering and growing profusely.

They are putting the fourth section of thyme  to shame – that’s the one that got planted back in the pot. It’s growing well but nowhere near as profusely and it is certainly not flowering in line with its buddies even though it gets more care and attention than the other three.

I weeded my verge last weekend (tiny patch of land = 6 large shopping bags full of weeds), so it is looking presentable again:

On the verge of progress

It’s going to get hot soon, so I probably won’t plant anything more out there this year. Will wait till winter next year so whatever I plant has months of winter rain to establish itself.

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Thyme After Thyme

I moved the thyme out the front about 6-8 months ago. At the time I had potted it on from a weedy little plant in a ~12cm wide pot into a 20+cm wide pot.

In that thyme time it has gone absolutely bonkers and completely filled the larger pot:

From 12cm wide and weedy, to 20+cm wide and thriving in 6-8 months

Not bad for a second attempt at growing thyme in this house. The move to the front garden appears to have been a good one.

It needed to be potted on, so I decided to section it into 4 and use 3 on my verge to start off my verge project. The remaining quarter went back into the large pot to grow plentifully as before.

When I took it tout of the pot, I found that it was pretty much root bound:

Innovative solution to root mass problem

I could have pulled it apart, but I wanted 4 pieces that were of a similar size. Plus I was worried that in pulling it apart I’d rip apart the top of the plant unevenly – both top and bottom were like tangled balls of wool and I didn’t want to end up with a section that had all root but none of the greenery that was feeding into the root.

So I decided to use a serated bread knife to section the plant evenly and to cut through the roots (Tip #1):

Like cutting bread

It worked really well to cut through the roots and a month on the sections are still alive so I didn’t do too much damage to the plant compared to the havoc and mess I would have wreaked trying to pull it apart:

Perfectly sliced

Before planting, I roughed up the other edges of each section to stimulate the roots so they would grow beyond the pot shape (Tip #2) – they are still holding their shape as you can see in the pic above, so roots and plant were pretty tightly packed in.

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Now that the verge has been mulched (using free mulch), I’ve started the next phase of my verge project: to populate it with plants.

It begins…

I have a couple of ideas about what I want to do, the only thing in common is what whatever I do shall cost less that $50.0o. Ideally I would like to not spend any money on plantings for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s council land not mine, so it could get dug up
  • It will occasionally be used for parking, so some of the plantings need to be hardy enough to be driven on
  • I don’t have retic out there and it gets pretty hot in summer, so there may be casualties in the green population.

Plus it’s a challenge: do up your verge to make it a productive garden, for no money (or next to no money).

In terms of my ideas about plantings, I have been rolling around 4 mainthemes. The end result will probably be a combination of them:

  • Mostly native, preferably WA plants (coastal rosemary, leschnaultia)
  • Bush tucker plants (dianella, quandong et al)
  • Pollinators/ Flowering plants – the rest of my garden is more productively focused with only the native wisteria, bamboo, liriope and bulbs in the planters around my patio not food producing plants, so some bee attractors would be good
  • Purple and/or toning with purple – the non-food producing plants in my garden pretty much all have purple flowers and there is a jacaranda on the verge so something that ties in with that would be nice…(either deep purple flowers or deep green or silver foliage should work)

I pretty much have only 3 rules about gardening: no conifers, no pigface or Disphyma Australe, and no sun jewels (ground cover:Aptenia: Cordifloria & Haeckeliana Cordifloria… (red flower)). DIY Dad started planting these at our beachhouse (acceptable location for them as it’s coastal and I don’t have to see them so often) and given their success up there, he now plants any spare piece of soil with them. Spare pieces of soil include pots, verges and hanging baskets…so he has been told: not.on.my.land.ever.

(NB – DIY Dad also paints the inside of houses yellow, so it’s best not to leave him in your house with a paint brush unsupervised unless you really want to feel like you are living inside a hens’s egg: white ceiling, yellow walls…think about it).

Before I started, I wandered around bunnings to get some ideas and decided I might aim for some of the foll0wing:

  • Native rosemary
  • Erigeron (seaside daisy) – flowering groundcover
  • Lomandra – green spikey grass, will give some height
  • Westringia Jervis Gem
  • Blue Leschnaultia
  • Green kangaroo paw (con: apparently you have to treat most varieties of kangaroo paws like annuals…I want perennials).

Plus there is the grass/reed plant that will need to be eventually moved from the planters around the patio. I could dig it up, section it and then give it a new home on the verge.

My first planting was actually some thyme as a groundcover in the middle of the verge. It had hit critical mass in its pot on the patio, so was time to section it into new homes:

Population explosion

I started by section out a pot of thyme on my patio into 4, replanting 1 of the sections back in the pot and the other three onto the verge:

The verge repopulation project commences phase 2

They are in line with the jacaranda and are low growing plants, so they should sit between the wheels of any cars parking on my verge.

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Woman on the verge

All holidays are good but my recent week off from work was also quite satisfying in terms of household achievements as I managed to do alot around the house. From simple things like potting on plants, to cleaning out my garage, to touch up painting on cornices and in my lounge room…I managed to get everything I had on my list done. Booyah!

This included making a definitive start on one of my more longer term jobs: converting my front verge from a weed ridden patch of sand to a productive small garden that includes native plants and pollen attractors.

The first step on that journey was to dig up the top soil, remove all the weeds and mulch it. Luckily there are heaps of piles of free mulch nearby, so the only thing achieving Phase 1: Multchdown actually cost me was my time and the petrol I used to collect the mulch.

It took a Friday afternoon to dig up the verge, a Saturday afternoon to collect and spread 4 loads of mulch and then the next Saturday morning to finish the job with another 3 loads of mulch, et voila:

Phase One of Verge Reinvigoration: Mulchdown

To all the men in muscle cars who helpfully beeped as they drove past, thank you one and all for celebrating the awesomeness of seeing a woman wielding a spade on the verge as you drive by…but frankly I would prefer you celebrate my awesomeness by stopping and wielding the spade instead of me. Picky, I know but I am very pragmatic like that…

The final results:

I call phase one DONE, dudes.

 

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