Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Accommodating Variety in my Australian Garden

 Accommodating Variety in my Australian Garden

If we become gardening philosophers we can see the world in our gardens, and it would be nice to think that we can also learn how to better live in the world about us.

Some time ago I wrote something about how plants that are newcomers arrive in gardens, be they encouraged immigrants or unexpected or even unwanted arrivals. Just recently I've started thinking about the way the gardener accommodates their various plants and makes room for them.

These thoughts came after my last blog about our recent multi-cultural lunch! I began to think that a garden is very much like that dinner party with various ‘cultures’ represented in it. And then, after watching a series on TV about the place of four English Gardens in time and history, I got thinking about how I as a gardener manage to integrate plants from other places into my garden.

The sunken terrace close to the house is my 'theatre', a place that we look out on  and I decorate more dramaticly. 

Sun, Position, Water
I've realised its all about sun, position and water. In my Emerald Garden I basically place plants in places on the garden block in relation to how much sun or how little sun they’ll get as even the sunnies spot only gets 5 hours of sun. But I also note how much shelter they'll get from the strong winds, and how much water I’m able to give them in that position.

Half way down the garden is an arch, covered with clamatis, that divides the areas I water from those I don't.

My garden taps are fed from a large water tank, and the taps are close to the house. So plants that need a lot of sun, but also a lot of water (vegetables, and most flowers for picking) are in a sunny spot where they will get about 5 hours of sun, but also where my hose can reach them. 

Herbs are in a raised bed, again in very sunny spot, but though close to the tap I give them very little water. 

These are the accommodations I’ve made for plants that come from a variety of places and climates.  

These do best in my garden in Emerald if I place them where there is...

Most Sun
A. In a level and open setting close to water
Flowers for picking: Dahlias from Mexico, Irises from Greece, Carnations from the Mediterranean, Chrysanthemums from Asia, Lemons and Oranges from Australia and Asia,

My Picking Garden

Vegetable Beds

 B. In a level and open setting near the house but given little water
Herbs and other Mediterranean plants: oregano, sage, thyme, bay, rosemary, and cistus. From Africa Crocosmia, and from Europe lavender.

And Herb Garden

Morning Sun

A. In a sheltered and sloping position next to the wall of the house, and given quite a of water.
Peonies and Liriope muscari from Asia, Pineapple lilies from Ease Africa, and nasturtiums from America. And in another narrow bed, Fuchsias from the Caribbean


B With no water in a bed a long way from the house.
Acanthus from Greece, Agapanthus from South Africa, Bougainvillea from South America, daffodils from Europe, Geranium and Pelargoniums from the Mediterranean, Arum lilies from South Africa, plus a number of native Australian bushes.


Geraniums plus Arum lilies etc.

 Afternoon Sun
A.  Narrow bed next to a fence, partially shaded and given quite a lot of water.
Climbing roses from Asia, Camellias from Asia.

This was once a carport.

Hopefully soon a rose bower!

 B.  Narrow bed, next to a fence, given no water
Agapanthus from Australia. 

Never watered, agapanthus, and even some orchids

A. In the front garden under tall trees and on a slight slope, given a little water.
Tree ferns from Australia, Dogwood and Hydrangeas from America,

When this area wilts I give it a little water

B. But under tall trees at the end of the garden the plants only have water in their first year. 

Tree Ferns and Mint bushes from Australia, Japanese Maples and Japanese Anemones from China and Japan, Hart’s Tongue ferns Asia, Silver Birch from Europe.

This is not the right position for a day lily!

And I'm still finding that some are uncomfortable just there, and may need to be moved into more, or less sun, or given more water or protection. Its an interesting job keeping them all happy.

And these early irises have to be moved away from the path


While these plants are experimentally placed where I might have a sheltered fernery one day!

No comments:

Post a Comment