Gardening Magazine

May Sunshine

By Gardenamateur

May Day on a Sunday, and the sun is shining! Contrary to Australia's usual reputation for being a warm and sunny place, this autumn has been horribly wet and miserable here in Sydney. In the last week alone there has been rain every day, and more than five inches of rain (135mm) has well and truly drenched my backyard. But it hasn't just been raining this week – it has been raining like mad for the last two months. Records have been set, plants have drowned and gardeners have spent a lot of time indoors, when what they really would rather be doing is enjoying autumn, which is usually my favourite time of year here in Sydney.

Anyway, the sun is out and when I ventured out into the garden with a long, long list of jobs to do, I discovered that some plants were loving all the sogginess and had been merrily growing while they swam.

May sunshineLast time I looked at my little pot of chervil, I think it was about a week ago, it was just a couple of scrawny seedlings, and most of what I saw was bare, brown potting mix. Not any more. Last year's Herb of the Year here in Amateur Land is putting in an early bid for back-to-back championships.
May sunshineIt's pretty much the same story with the coriander, also grown from seed. A week ago it was sparse but green and healthy. Now it's thickening up nicely.
May sunshineIf potted cumquats could groan this one would be doing just that, so weighed down is it with fruit. But the news here is that the fruit is now changing colour, leaving behind the greenness of youth and starting to show a bit of yellow. It'll be another month before Marmalade Sunday is upon us, though.
May sunshineThis is hardly the best news, but it is a sign of health and happiness on the part of my potted curry tree: it's trying to make babies. Ever since I saw the leaf colour on Indira's curry leaf tree I realised that I had been underfeeding mine, and since then I have upped the amount of nitrogen-rich organic foods I give it, and its foliage looks much better. What's wrong with the berries? Birds eat them then 'drop' them into bushland, and it seems that this is yet another weedy worry in some, but not all, areas of Australia.
May sunshineI did a bit of planting today (cinerarias to brighten up a winter-shade spot, plus lettuce, carrots and English spinach for a sunny bed) and as usual I added several good scoops of compost to the soil in the vegie patch to give it a gentle boost. As I scooped out the compost it literally wriggled before my eyes, so densely was it packed with worms.
May sunshineFinally, a little pic of the grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' that I posted about last week. Helen from Patient Gardener wanted to see how the grevillea looks as a bush covered in those two-toned blooms, so this one's for you, Helen!



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