New member, an introduction to me and my garden.

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Jamus

  • Jr. Member
New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« on: July 15, 2013, 04:27:23 AM »
Hi MGS members, I'm using this post, my first on the forum as an introduction. I garden in the Adelaide Hills, close to the city of Adelaide in South Australia. I'm building a garden at the moment, pretty much from scratch at the same time as working full time and looking after a young family, two children aged five and ten months. As you can imagine this doesn't leave as much time for gardening as I would like, but we make the most of what little time we have and the garden is coming along nicely! I have to be patient and not get too discouraged by the shortage of time.

We moved into our house in June (winter) of 2010 and we waited before doing anything major, to see what there was hiding beneath the soil. We were rewarded with a a mass of bulbs, bluebells, jonquils, hyacinths, snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) and some dutch irises. Another nice suprise was a nice little Laburnum tree (Laburnum x watereri 'Vossii') which was unidentifiable in winter.

So there were some things of value in the garden but in general the beds were poorly constructed, sloping, badly maintained and overrun with weeds, especially that curse of mediterranean gardeners World wide, Oxalis pes-caprae.

In 2011 we undertook some major landscaping to terrace the sloping front garden. A small tractor was used to excavate and level the lower section and then we bought some very nice (and very expensive) limestone blocks, to construct retaining walls giving us beds with good access and better conditions for growing plants. In 2011-2012 we did some planting in the new front garden and managed to keep everything alive through the blistering summer and extended autumn drought. Now I am concentrating on sourcing and propagating plants which I like and which I think will do well for me in our harsh environment.

This winter I've prepared a new area, gently sloping and with good soil, about 16m square. I am planning to plant this out in a kind of Piet Oudolf inspired style, with patch plantings of perennials and perennial grasses. I'm currently raising plants from seed for this project and having quite a bit of success.

I shall post some more pictures tonight once the kids are asleep.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 04:31:42 AM by Jamus »
Long hot summers, mild wet winters. Rainfall approx. 600mm pa.
Summer maximums over 40 degrees, winter minimums occasionally below freezing.
Gardening on neutral clay loam and sandy loam.

Joanna Savage

  • Sr. Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 06:30:02 AM »
Congratulations, you are off to an excellent start. You will be amazed at how quickly you reach the stage  of heavy pruning of the more enthusiatic plants.

Umbrian

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Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 06:32:11 AM »
Welcome Jamus and thank-you for a most interesting post - we shall look forward to seeing how your garden develops. How good that you are finding time to create a garden whilst raising a young family, they will surely benefit in many ways as they grow up.  :)
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Jamus

  • Jr. Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 07:22:44 AM »

Thanks for the warm welcome. I'm looking forward to chatting about plants which suit my climate.

I work in plant science and have accumulated some skills in plant propagation, so I'm applying that to the new garden and raising a lot of my garden plants from seed. In that way I can choose more obscure and interesting plants and raise larger numbers for less cost. This is my second season of growing plants for the garden from seed and I've got some interesting things coming along in the glasshouse, waiting for the weather to warm up enough to take them home.

Long hot summers, mild wet winters. Rainfall approx. 600mm pa.
Summer maximums over 40 degrees, winter minimums occasionally below freezing.
Gardening on neutral clay loam and sandy loam.

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Alisdair

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 08:24:59 AM »
It's great to have such a detailed introduction, Jamus; thanks!
As you say, those limestone blocks look super. And it looks as if things are growing so well that soon you'll have a really luxurious oasis there.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Daisy

  • Sr. Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 09:01:02 AM »
You have made a lovely garden Jamus.
It is the sort of garden that makes me want to explore it.
When you plant your new area with the grasses, you might want to try Miscanthus Cosmopolitan and Miscanthus Morning Light. I grow both in all day full sun here on Crete, and they love it.
I also grow Stipa tenuissima which also does well. But it does tend to seed around a bit. But only a little bit.
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

Jamus

  • Jr. Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 11:51:39 AM »
Thanks for the recommendations Daisy, I've been looking around for grasses that I like but I don't know much about them yet. I like Miscanthus Morning Light, I think I'll try to source a few of those.

Long hot summers, mild wet winters. Rainfall approx. 600mm pa.
Summer maximums over 40 degrees, winter minimums occasionally below freezing.
Gardening on neutral clay loam and sandy loam.

Trevor Australis

  • Sr. Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 07:22:36 AM »
 :) Hi Jamus, welcome neighbour. Your garden looks great and filling it with plants will be huge fun especially as you are growing your own from seed. Be sure to check out the MGS seed exchange. Chantal has a fine selection on offer. Hope you will be able to make it to the local branch mtgs sometime. tn
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

Jamus

  • Jr. Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 08:13:21 AM »

Thanks Trevor, I'd love to sit in the back and learn from those with more experience than myself.

Seed I'm growing this year are as follows;

Verbascum bombyciferum 'Silver Lining'
Echinacea purpurea
Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan'
Echinacea paradoxa
Digitalis ferruginea
Digitalis lanata
Lobelia tupa
Eryngium leavenworthii
Eryngium giganteum 'Miss Willmott's Ghost'
Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'
Papaver orientale 'Royal Wedding'
Penstemon whippleanus
Centaurea montana
Centaurea jacea
Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee'
Trigidia pavonia

Here's a few pictures! I got a bit carried away this year but last year was so successful, infectious you could say...
Long hot summers, mild wet winters. Rainfall approx. 600mm pa.
Summer maximums over 40 degrees, winter minimums occasionally below freezing.
Gardening on neutral clay loam and sandy loam.

Alice

  • Hero Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 10:30:27 AM »
Reading your original text, Jamus, I thought you had a bare patch. But the photos reveal a different story, almost an established garden. And very nice it is, too.
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

Umbrian

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Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 05:43:19 AM »
Filling your garden with plants grown from seed will be hugely satisfying and I feel nothing but admiration for your long sighted, patient approach. Raising plants from seed has always been my weak spot although I am good at cuttings. This year I tried Nicotiana sylvestris and, mainly due to our unusually wet and cold spring and early summer, they are still not big enough to do anything with. Knowing from past experience they are not the easiest of plants to raise from seed, despite being prolific self seeders in my garden in England ,I was delighted with the germination I got but now am despairing at the lack of progress. ???
Good luck with everything and keep posting.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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Alisdair

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Re: Growing from seed
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 09:31:10 AM »
Jamus, It would be great to run a separate posting on seed propagation in the General Cultivation section! I could split off your last post to start it off, if you liked.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Jamus

  • Jr. Member
Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 10:46:13 AM »
Yes please Alisdair, thanks for that.
Long hot summers, mild wet winters. Rainfall approx. 600mm pa.
Summer maximums over 40 degrees, winter minimums occasionally below freezing.
Gardening on neutral clay loam and sandy loam.

*

Alisdair

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Re: New member, an introduction to me and my garden.
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2013, 04:16:18 PM »
With Jamus's agreement, I have split off his helpful notes on getting strong seedlings, and added them to the thread on Seed Germination, in the General Cultivation section; thanks, Jamus!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society