a sunny winter morning


It’s mid-winter and after some rain the nature strip has gone green and purple again. A couple of the silver cushion bushes I planted have succumbed to something (wet feet I suspect) and been removed, but otherwise everything is happy out here. The westringia fruticosa are forming little green mounds dotted with white. I’m quite pleased with this result considering the single perfunctory trimming they have received since they were planted. Saliva leucantha is scattered around the nature strip and front garden, providing more colour than anything else at this time of year. It is one of the most uncomplaining plants you could grow and the blackcurrant scented purple velvet flower spikes are beautiful. It became apparent over summer that I had planted far too much poa labillardieri so some of those had to be culled. The remaining grasses shimmer pale gold in the low winter sun.

After fruiting prolifically for several weeks the feijoa hedge got a trim. It’s finally starting to look hedge-like, if you ignore those two unsightly gaps where a couple of the comfrey plants I scattered a little too liberally around the place like a good permaculture gardener, turned thuggish. I found out too late that once planted, comfrey is there to stay as any attempt to dig it out inevitably results in little pieces of broken root left in the soil, each of which makes a vigorous new plant. I have turned this problem into a solution by periodically chopping my numerous comfrey plants back to ground level and brewing comfrey tea with the leaves, an excellent foliar fertiliser when diluted in a watering can.

Behind the feijoa hedge in the front garden you can see the cabbage tree, cordyline australis, one of the only garden assets we inherited when we bought the house, the huonville crab apple – losing its leaves slower than any other deciduous tree we’ve grown, and the silvery inflorescences of calamagrostis karl foerster and miscanthus variegatus catching the winter morning light.