COVID gardening

I’ve been pottering in my garden. A combination of having time as I am not able to fill my days with other things (like the gym and theatre and hairdresser visits and massages and visiting friends) and much better weather have wooed me out to the garden.

Autumn is so much more conducive to garden in Sydney. Spring seems to brief. It’s cold and then, wait a minute, it’s HOT! And when you plant something in spring, you’re likely to lose it in summer. The heat just desiccates plants. And with water restrictions and work commitments, it’s hard to keep new plants alive. With autumn planting, plants have time to establish themselves before they face the intensity of summer sun.

Gardening is a form of mindfulness in these crazy times. With our political leaders changing their approach to schools every two weeks, I’ve been on a continuous loop of planning, admin and emails. My mind just hasn’t felt like reading or watching movies; can’t sustain the concentration. But gardening let’s my mind switch off.

And gardening is addictive. Once you do a bit of a garden, you have to do the next bit.

Firstly I planted some sweet peas. Oh, and while in the hardware store where I picked up the seedlings, I also bought a rosemary plant. It can go in where one of the poor lavenders that got fried last summer needs to be pulled out. A bit lot of weeding. Oh may as well move a couple of agapanthus that having been madly reproducing into the other spot where a lavender fried.

Then I thought I’d try and propagate some cutting from a jade money plant I have. And while on a walk, I snaffled a few cuttings from a cute succulent growing outside Mr S’s school.

“Well,” said friend, “if you’re propagating, do you want some pups from my bromeliads and a couple of aloe vera plants?” Yes please! I potted up a couple.

But then I needed new potting mix so I went to the garden centre. I needed some pots to do all the repotting. Who can go into a garden centre and not buy other things? Not I. I picked up a camellia to fill a spot that is missing one. And a very pretty plant to cover the fence.

On the way home, I dropped in bromeliad friend’s home and collected some more plants.

All up, I potted eleven bromeliads and quite a few aloe veras and a few other things. Do you know how much they’d cost if I bought all these plants!!! Thanks, Bromeliad Friend.

Oh while I’m on a roll, may as well move another agapanthus from where it grew (with no human planting it there) that is blocking my access to the tap.

Then I engaged in some mattock swinging to grub out two unidentified plants – I think they may be small leaf privat. Who needs a gym!

Planted another plant. Cut back and sprayed some bamboo and plumbago. If they were not so rampant and were more desirable, one could have a very green and leafy garden in Sydney with these two.

Now, I have to return to the garden centre. Need another plant to fill the spot of one of the grubbed out plants.

As well as being soothing and having an end result to be pleased with, gardening in the front yard is a great way to interact with the neighbours. So many stop for a chat or make a comment by way of greeting as they pass. See you garden invites interaction that doesn’t happen if I were, say, reading.

I have spent time nearly every weekend pottering in my smallish front garden, slowly extending the bits under control and looking more like a garden than a yard.

Then I bought a vegepod. I am loving it, and will write about it more.

I wish I could give you more photos, but my iPhone lens is damaged. So I can’t. Until I buy a new phone or get my act together and use one of my cameras.

Striking cuttings and bromeliad pups

$32 for a large aloe vera! I’ve saved heaps.

8 thoughts on “COVID gardening

  1. I’ve been gardening more than usual as well. It’s spring here (U.S.), but not too hot yet and this weekend it was extremely nice and mild. It’s planting season and I’ve been planting quite a bit, things I bought and some seedlings I grew. It feels good to bring some beauty into the world with things being so messed up.

  2. I ordered some ceanthus at the garden shop ages ago and it finally came in last week. I asked the local expert if it would be okay for me to plant it now with the weather so cold. He said that now is a better time to plant rather than in spring as it lets the plant put down good roots over the winter, then grow well above ground over spring, rather than trying to do all of its growth in spring and wearing itself out!

  3. Look at you, green thumb person! I love, love those bromeliads. Absolutely gorgeous. And the pink one! Aloe vera propagates so enthusiastically and is so useful. I have a leaf of mine next to me right now and i keep squeezing it onto my hand where i burnt it on the wood fire. Keep having fun in the garden!

    • Don’t be too hasty with the green thumb accolade. The cuttings may not take. But fingers crossed. And thank you. Slowly I’m taking my yard and loving it. And Mr S is jealous of my vegepod. He wants his own.

  4. Entering summer here–like yours–usually hot and humid, but like everything else this year it has been weird, disastrous, whatever, and we’ve had actually had a cold, wet spring. First hot day (32c) due tomorrow, but then, back to cooler temps (20c–as it is today) again next week. Also, fell down the gardening rabbit hole–figuratively. While we have about an acre, I’m too old (not to mention hate heat and humidity) to do the full garden thing and never had time for one when working. Now retired. However, DH bought me a 1.2m raised cedar garden stand for our deck (right off the kitchen)–mostly filled with herbs, but got carried away so now also surrounded with umpteen large containers of tomato plants, pepper plants, lemon balm, lavender, dahlias, gerbera daisies, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention all the plants I put in the front of the house. Hardly enough room left on the deck for DH’s hammock and table/chairs. But it was fun to step out of kitchen while cooking this past week for cuttings of parsley and basil and pop them in the pot after washing them. Let’s just see if the rest survive.
    Best of luck with your plants. Vegpod is very clever.

  5. Imagine living in a climate where one can grow bromeliads and aloes – impressive! I have been busily trying to contain wild violets and daisies – although pretty, they will take over everywhere. I know that doesn’t sound so bad but. I planted a new shrub (salix integra) and a perennial foamflower (tiarella), and a couple of herbs (cilantro and basil). I have never seen so many people working in their gardens. Iso has the side effect of creating a city beautification strategy! Your vegpod is brilliant – did not know about them.

    • Lots of people gardening here too. I imagine living in a climate that allows soft English cottage garden plants!!! I think you can get the vegepod in Canada too. Such a clever invention. I shall look up your plants.

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