Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Progress report

The PhD is going through another hectic but very exciting stage as I start recruiting my first participants, set up some Brand Spanking New Test Equipment and get my experiment protocols in order.

Karate is also busy, but is keeping me sane. I've come to realise that I'm not really built for entirely office based work, so by the end of a long day in the office, I am busting to get to the dojo. Now that it's not so cold outside I have been running more, and going for a run really helps clear my head and approach problems with a fresh perspective.

But in amongst all that, Gib and I have been going for a few walks and tidying up the garden a bit.
Here's a picture of the backyard now. The bare-looking patch on the bottom right is what we cleared from the noxious, blue periwinkle. It has taken 2-3 rounds of weeding and I think it is finally gone in that area. It's horribly tenacious stuff, so I hope we've finally got rid of it. It has now been planted out with a Christmas bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum), Darwinia citriodora and a Kangaroo Island spyridium (Spyridium coactilifolium), which should take up most of the space where the periwinkle was. I look forward to seeing how they over spring. Apparently we're not the only ones who hate weeding out blue periwinkle. It was mentioned on Gardening Australia on Saturday night that Greening Australia are clearing it from near the Maribyrnong River and "five and a half thousand were put in a couple of years ago to replace the weedy Blue Periwinkle".

We've found a patch in the front yard which kangaroo paws seem to love. So we're now trying our hand with a conostylis, a somewhat fussier relative of the kangaroo paw. The two conostylis that I got last year for my birthday are still going very well in pots at my parents' place, so we thought we'd try planting one.

My indestructible ptilotus spathulatus. We have two of them now, and I decided to move them from the pot to the ground. It was a smart move: they love it! I think we have a baby one popping up in the pot which the other one was in originally. We're letting it grow to see if it's a weed or the real thing.

So finally, here's the progression of our garden over the past 9 months. There's been some pretty radical changes. It's gone from being almost entirely mint, to not much at all thanks to the drought, and then finally having happy little ptilotus, asterolasia and kangaroo paws. The bare and scraggly looking area behind the kangaroo paws has been planted out with some correas, which will grow to about 1-1.5 m high and wide (they're about 10-15 cm tall at the moment). We're not trying to get rid of the mint altogether, but just keep it in a semi-controlled area.

Front yard: November 2008

Front yard: March 2009 (see the two tiny little kangaroo paws in front of the stump?)

Front yard: August 2009 (now look at the size of 'em!)


Lynne S of Oz said...

Y'know that mint came out of a forestry tube from Kuranga. And the yard looked great when we first planted it out with grasses and strawflowers and all sorts of stuff. But a few brutal drought years later....

njh said...

I doubt the conostylus will survive, I tried planting a few many years back in that same location, but they either die of drought, or they rot in the clay soil. However, they grow _really_ well at my house:
Conostylis candicans at the top end of the log, with yellow flowers on stalks.

My soil is of course sandy loam + tip mulch in mounds, which seems necessary for these wonderful WA species. (You can also see an as yet unnamed petrophile and a chorizema in glorious flower.

The garden is looking amazing, I'm glad you're making it happen. Do I see water in the bottom pond?

You might also like to see what the front lawn looked like in 2001.

pharmacy said...


Domain in India said...

What a garden re? You have done a good job. I am expecting more work on it. Keep on doing...