In Our Winter Garden

August 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Posted in Australia, Gardens, Mental Health, Nature, Ways of Living | 9 Comments
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Our Garden sign

It was a lovely sunny August day, winter here in Australia. I had been picking up the small dead branches that occasionally fall from the eucalypts in the wind. I break up the branches, and either put them in the green waste bin to be mulched by the Council, or give them to a neighbour who has a wood burning heater.

Before that, I had helped the MOTH (Man of the House) to fix part of a wire side fence that had been threatening to fall over. Our yard is mostly open, as we don’t like to feel enclosed – just a paling fence up the back, and an open wire fence along one side to keep the neighbour’s dog in. Most of it is hidden by bushes and trees. The other two sides are not fenced at all.

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Our yard is almost all Australian native species of trees and shrubs, a habitat we are preserving for local wildlife such as birds, lizards and any other species that care to make their home here. Yes, even spiders, centipedes and snakes!

I love walking around it to see how everything is progressing. That day, I took a few photos as well.

This ‘Happy Wanderer’ self-sowed at the base of a Spotted Gum, and is growing up into another self-sown native sapling. It is a variety of Hardenbergia, like the one above, which we bought from a nursery.

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Our Cootamundra wattle (Acacia baileyana) has grown well since we put it in as a small sapling three years ago. It is three times my height now.

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The group of plants below really took off last summer. On the left is one of two cycads we planted some years ago. They are an ancient variety of plant, but I don’t know which species it is.

Behind it are ponytail palms (Beaucarnea species). I have only just discovered that they are native to Mexico! In the right front is a Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthus), native to S-W Western Australia. Behind that is a Banksia, and on the far right is a Christmas Bush. Two Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) once called Blackboys, have been overtaken by the cycads in front of them. They are pretty slow growing.

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Part of our garden has seen an invasion by a foreigner. This plant was probably introduced as an exotic ‘air plant’, but has recently escaped and can be found in many local yards. What we call ‘Old Man’s Beard’, comes from the U.S. Pacific Coast. Because it only hangs from trees and is not a parasite, it has been allowed to grow everywhere.

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From one small piece that blew into our garden 3-4 years ago, it is now well established. It makes this part of the front garden seem very eerie, especially on a dull day of misty rain. The ‘beard’ hangs from the branches of a Pepper tree, two Bottlebrush (Callistamon), and a Tibouchina.

I love our garden. It is a place I can go to when I am stressed and need to feel the soothing power of nature.

The wattle among the Spotted Gums

The wattle among the Spotted Gums

Do you have a garden? What does a garden mean to you? If you don’t have one, would you like to?

© Linda Visman

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9 Comments »

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  1. Linda, I think what you have been doing there is absolutely magnificent. I really admire you for that. Thanks for the tour. Beautiful. 🙂

  2. You have a wonderful garden and I love all the Australian natives you have planted. Wattle trees are one of my favourite trees. We have quite a few around where I live. I love to spend time relaxing and working in my garden, and I get a lot of enjoyment from growing my own food. Although it is only a small garden, it is my sanctuary, a place to unwind and relax.

    • Gardens sure are wonderful!
      I don’t have a vegie garden, as all our trees give great shade – fabulous in summer.
      We are fortunate to have a double block with those trees because my husband managed to persuade the chap who owned the block next door to sell us the land and to build his house elsewhere.
      If he had built here, all the trees would have been cut down and we would have had a huge monstrosity on our north side, taking away all our winter sun.
      We had to pay top price, but the extra mortgage has definitely been worth it! 🙂

  3. What a delightful garden! Perfect for attracting parrots and others. You must be so proud of it 🙂

  4. What you all call Old Man’s Beard, we (East Coast, USA) call Spanish Moss. Here, it grows in the coastal and swampy areas. I think it is absolutely gorgeous!


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