Bloomin' Garden!

This is a new series I will run occasionally about my garden. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I seem to spend an awful lot of time in it for not much reward. 
I'm hoping by focussing on my garden in my blog, I might see some progress.

I love getting outside and putting hands in the dirt, but we have a) very heavy clay soils in Canberra, b) we have a big garden, c) I have a very small amount of energy, d) we have very hot dry summers of 35-40 deg Celsius , and dry cold winters with frost, and e) we have a very energetic dog.

I had a play planting some pots up with succulent cuttings from my parent's garden this weekend. 
I seem to do better with pots. You can move them around to get the right climate, you can adjust the soil easily, no heavy digging.

I also forget about things with my Aspie brain. If I'm not obsessed with it 24 hours of the day, then it's out of sight, out of mind. 
I will look after plants for maybe a week, and then they're on their own. I also never remember when to prune and feed, and I don't spray for health reasons. 
So for all these reasons, gardens have an uphill battle with me.

To make matters worse, my sister and mother are great gardeners, and my dad's parents ran a nursery!

Flowering at the moment is a succulent. (I just noticed it has aphids while cropping the picture!)

A geranium has been trying to bud burst for weeks

some succulent cuttings I potted last weekend

Lavender is flowering (lovely lavender)

and so is rosemary

a wider shot to show all the bare ground around the plants...drives me mad!

here is a dandelion flowering happily, in amongst the few bits of grass

a snow in summer plant with dog protection

two kangaroo paw plants I received on Mother's Day
but was too scared to plant in case they died. 
I finally planted them in the ground
under dog protection, near the cat outdoor cage. 
Look at all the grass not on the lawn!

the cat cage near the bird cage
they sit and talk to each other
the animals, not the cages!

Blueberry and Jade

I love my water pot near the back door that houses 11 fish at last count. They thrive on neglect. We feed them once a week if we remember, never clean it out, and they have babies. They water plants give them oxygen and keep the water clean. That's a win in my book!

Thanks for pottering around my garden with me in the middle of Winter.
We are blessed that anything flowers or grows at this time of year.
I remember when we moved to Vancouver and asked what would grow in Winter on our balcony, they looked at us in surprise and said "nothing"!
Crazy people from Down Under!

'Til next time, keep creating!
Jazzy Jack


  1. Well I hear you on the frustration! I love the look of a flowering garden but I have no staying power or inspiration in the yard. I often feel like an odd ball because of it, especially when people go on and on about this plant or that plant. Your succelents look great and sound like a good idea in your climate and it sure sounds like you have a green thumb with those fish!

    1. Thanks Joni, I appreciate your comment! Would be terrible to put this post up and find no one else in blog land identified:-D

  2. Thanks for the tour around your world. The succulents look very happy after their trip as do Blueberry and Jade. Good on you for keeping on in you challenging climate and soil. We have reaped the benefit of these wonderful photos. Your words resonate.... we can all identify with failures too!! D&M xxxx

  3. LOL-well the people who told you nothing would grow on your balcony in a Vancouver winter were wrong but that is of no help now. I think that what you need are shrubs and ground covers, to take up space but be low maintenance. Of course it does depend on which shrubs and ground covers you get. Have a look at what sorts of plants are used in town landscaping, They will most likely plant things that are not too high maintenance. A mix of shrubs can give you flowers, nice autumn foliage, and often interesting bark or branch shapes. I would be in heaven helping you plan a garden though I am not good for the hard physical labour part and I don't know much about gardening in your climate. I do know that the best thing you can add to clay soil is compost and composted manure. It makes a great mulch to protect plants and help with both drainage and in retaining water during hot weather and it works it's way into the clay soil over time improving it's texture and aeration. You can also dig the compost or manure into the soil for quicker results in improving texture.

    Oh I could talk your ears off about gardening!

    1. Yes, it seems we are missing the navvie to do the hard physical labour.
      We have improved the soil no end since we pulled up all the impermeable black plastic the previous owners had, covered with bark chip. The soil stank! We have loaded truck loads of composted soil onto said garden, and it is muuuuch better! Still not where I'd like it. I think I drop the ball too often, forgetting to water, and when I turn around the silly things have died on me! :-) I would adore to show you around and get your advice. We'll have to do it vicariously, through the internet. You show me your water view every now and then, and I'll show you my garden. XO JJ


If a topic has special significance for you, or touches you in some way, I'd love to hear your story! I will return the favour and we will gently touch hands across the miles...or kilometres :-)