Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Echinacea seeds, anyone?

Many of the plants in my garden are self sown.  It's a fact that gives me much joy actually.

However, a lot of it stems from the fact that I am an abject failure when it comes to dead heading.  Things that have well finished flowering are left in all their deathly glory.  Part of the problem lies in not knowing how much to chop, part of the problem is the sheer volume of dead heads that need dead heading and part of the problem is not a problem at all.  I just love to find little seedlings sprouting up in the garden which when moved and/or nurtured, become  legitimate members of the garden society.

I'm also stingy.  I buy plants that I know will multiply.  I bought one Acanthus about four years ago, I now have at least six clumps of Acanthus.  I bought one Echinacea and now have them everywhere.

Speaking of which, hmmm, yes, I'd say they have definitely finished -

a few late bloom but mostly done.  But I don't see dead flowers, I see another million Echinacea seeds waiting for me to collect.  I don't need to collect them, I have more than enough Echinacea plants in the garden already, but I just can't snip them off and bin them.  So I stand in front of them with my secateurs for a minute, then I hobble off inside and find a bag into which I pop the dead heads as I snip.  Makes for slow progress but within a short period of time, I have the makings of another million Echinacea plants.

When I don't dead head the roses, which is often, I'm sometimes rewarded with colourful rose hips.  Hey, I don't mind looking at them, maybe it's not the done thing in all the good gardens of the world but it's okay here.  The joy of this is also that eventually they dry and fall and I'm at the moment watching with interest half a dozen rose seedlings which have come up in the garden.  One I'm particularly watching has come up just in front of the DA Lucetta, which I'm sad to report is looking very sick at the moment.  It's had a small flush of blooms but nothing like previous years.  That's it behind the dead Echinacea in the photo above.  Sad . . .

I'm lucky that I recognise a lot of the seedlings that come up.  The gravel path seems to be a favourite place for sprouting, at any given time there can be a dozen lavenders, both French and English, countless violets, johnny jump ups, aquilegia and seaside daisies, not to mention butterfly bush or gaura which is fast becoming a weed in my book and is dispatched along with the other weeds.

Speaking of which, I have again made some progress with the overgrown western bed.  In a thick carpet of summer grass and kikuyu, I found my Dutch Iris have come up and I managed to careful weed around them, but wasn't so lucky with some ranunculi who were at a one leaf stage and I managed to yank quite a few out in my enthusiasm.

Autumn is definitely in the air.  I got up last Wednesday morning and put on a warm jumper.  For the first time in probably six months.  This is the best time of the year to be out in the garden, it's the best time to plant new things, when the ground is still quite warm but the sun is no longer shrivellingly hot.  The sun is moving steadily into the northern sky - a month ago our sunsets were over Bowen Mountain, now they are over Bilpin and Mountain Lagoon.  Here's yesterdays -

Today I will try to finish the weeds in the western bed.  I'll give the roses there a bit of a tidy up, a bit of a dead head (yeah right) and then I think I will empty my bag of collected Echinacea seeds around them.  It's about the only place in the garden where they aren't growing already.

Here's Graham Thomas on the corner of the verandah, looking lovely and blackspotted!

And Mary Rose showing the effects of all the rain we've had lately - but still she flowers on!

This afternoon, I'm off to an appointment, a new strategy to try and find some flexibility and stability in my ankle.  I desperately hope it works, I've got gardening to do!


  1. Graham Thomas and Mary Rose both look fantastic ! We need that sun here in the UK to warm our soil and kickstart suff into growth !

    1. Hello Jane! I'm so thrilled to meet you (bloggily speaking!) and that you are following my sad old blog. Hope I don't bore you too much! My sister rang me excitedly a few days ago to tell me that I had a new follower, I was mightily chuffed. Thank you again.

      I am busily packaging up an enormous bundle of the warmest sunshine I could find, I shall stick on some stamps and hope it gets to you as quickly as possible.

      And would you like a side serving of Echinacea seeds with that? :-)