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Forums / Staying well / Who else likes gardening?

Topic: Who else likes gardening?

  1. Matchy69
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    6 June 2020

    I hope if you get out in the garden today you enjoy it.Looks like it might be a nice day.Its freezing outside at the moment as the sun decides to rise.I can here crows in the distance calling out my name.That what it sounds like mark mark mark and my son is busy chatting away to himself in bed.I have to take my son into town this morning and then maby come home and do some work on my garden.

    Happy weekend gardening everyone,

    Mark.

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  2. Tommys
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    6 June 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Gardening is my health tonic. I love getting out in the sun and getting my hands in the soil and watching it thrive. As I lost my job to COVID it is my go too for relaxing and de stressing
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  3. Matchy69
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    6 June 2020
    Does anyone else still have deciduous trees still in full leaf like my Nectarine tree and others have lost all their leaves?
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  4. ecomama
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    6 June 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark, dawn is a beautifully still time in the garden with the birds waking up.

    My faraway tree has lost 99.9% of it's leaves.
    Crepe myrtles are all at different stages but the younger ones have about 50% left to fall.

    Funny how you mention your nectarine tree...… mine is just like yours. It looks like zero leaf drop.

    I wonder what's going on there? Maybe trees that keep their leaves are still needing the nutrients that leaves help get from the sun IDK.

    I only get sporadic times in the garden atm. My kids are avoiding public transport as much as possible due to covid, so I'm getting L hours up at the same time with them.
    I have lots of appts during the days.
    After hours and weekends... sporadic time.... driving lots of kids to and from part time jobs.

    So much for my grand plans for my leave time lol.

    It's okay, I was in the garden until almost 8pm but only maintenance... ho hum... lol.

    Tomorrow morning I'm biting the bullet and getting to Bunnings straight after dropping 1 child to work at 7:30am (yeah SUNDAY lol). I'm buying more work socks for the kids, 8 star pickets, a Stanley knife and maybe a few other things.
    I'm going to construct 2 leaf moulds, there are so many leaves. 1 in the top garden for my adult children's gardens when it's finished, that takes care of the driveway leaves.
    The second in the back garden WHERE I want the garden soil and earth life built up. That takes care of some of the backyard leaves lol.

    Keep me posted when your nectarine start dropping leaves Mark and I'll let you know about mine. :-))

    EM

  5. ecomama
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    7 June 2020 in reply to ecomama

    What a morning already! I popped on to BB to try to calm myself. What appeared to be a 'normal' morning, up early, taking child to work - the boss was running late... so went to get a takeaway breakfast with child, waited for boss to turn up.... first 2 things out of the ordinary.

    I drove straight to Bunnings as I promised myself, I didn't want to. I was thinking of all sorts of excuses. I remembered a friend I was supposed to text as soon as I woke up, so I sat in the carpark and texted her. I felt anxious. She said to call in 30 mins so I thought THAT will be my reward for getting Bunnings stuff.

    Then 5 mins into Bunnings I SAW her! lol she had also texted me from the carpark. But NOT good news. I know she has bad news to tell me. She said she was all right but to come over to her house tomorrow. She had open heart surgery less than 2y ago...

    So then I worried and worried. I tried to keep it in check by I think at the moment PTSD kicked in. I forgot to look at my list.

    Got the things I got lol and knew I had to be home for my brother to visit - all these people have had little contact for the past 5y.

    5mins after being home another child was called into work to start at midday. An unscheduled shift.

    So I'll have 2 working (so far) 3 more at home and just wanting to disappear into the garden LOL.

    SO I FINALLY HAVE the items - decided not to look for them on the property to save triggering - for my 2 leaf moulds. I even bought another lump hammer to save time and possibly discovering that that was also stolen, which leads to triggering etc...

    Just now I've found an awful letter from the school re: one of my children threatened with an N award. He's at work. Can't talk with him about it yet. Hopefully he can get it all done on the long weekend Monday off school tomorrow. :-(

    Time to listen to my favourite music and get these leaf moulds organized lol.

    Life hey? Gotta press on.

    EM

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  6. Airies
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    7 June 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi folks,

    gaizing at my dwarf Lemmon packed with lemons 40+.Rewarded for my patience. Lookng forward to planting my mandarine in Spring. I was briefly thinking of planting a dwarf apple in a half barrel but no no wont fit in, brings back memories of my yard full of silver birches front and back and the leaves and seeds blowing everywhere. Glad I won't entertain that thought. It's cold here, time for a walk and admire the native flora along the trail, happy gardening ,

    cheers

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  7. Matchy69
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    7 June 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Sorry Em you had not so good morning.Hopefully you can get out in the garden and that helps.I did a little a bit of pruning this morning.
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  8. ecomama
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    7 June 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Thankyou Mark, it was one of those days that I'm now calling 'dumpers' - you know when you get dumped at the beach by dumpers? I think I can identify the cause, well I hope that's it lol.

    I persisted with my plans to build a leaf mould today. The holes in my pants are testimony to me wrangling with tightly wound chicken wire with spikes of wire sticking out lol - I have NEVER bought brand new chicken wire before, I had no idea that it was OILY! Ugh.

    A psych friend phoned during one of the dumpers and came over and helped me finish constructing leaf mould No.1. Then we swept, raked and bucketed up around 5 x 11L buckets of leaves from the front garden. I secateured and sawed dead branches in the front garden into the green bin. Now leaf mould No. 1 is around 1/4 full.

    I cheated lol and added some mushroom waste and potato peelings wrapped in newspaper instead of taking it down the back to the tyre composts. I'll add whatever I want to the leaf mould when it's low. This one will be interesting because it's under a big tree and may not get much rainwater.

    Hammering this one in was a discovery. We live very close to the water and beaches. Many decades ago - probably over 100y ago, I know that sugar cane was grown here, where our home and surrounding homes are. My ancestors wrote of it. It was SO SANDY so the star pickets needed to be hammered in very deeply, otherwise they were falling in with the tension from the chicken wire.

    I love my new lump hammer lol, It has a white head so it was easy to find amongst all the brush at twilight.

    Thanks Matchy. EM

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  9. Shelll
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    7 June 2020

    Wow your thread is moving quick like Em. It may take a bit to read back.

    Hey Mark, I did read about how you hear the crows calling out your name. They do make that sound don't they.

    I do also remember reading about someone else wanting to grow herbs. Sorry I can not remember your name. Anyway if you are reading.... Well I found oregano easy to grow. It lasted a few years before it sort of died. I used it a fair bit in cooking. So it got trimmed now and then. I also have a large terracotta pot with a rosemary growing in it. I love the scent of that. That herb plant is still alive.

    Thanks for telling me Mark about the eggplant. You wrote that a while back though.

    I am still working through this gardening course. And looking into how to make raised vegetable gardens or a no dig one. I need to buy things slowly as funds permit. I don't have enough of my own compost as yet, so I may need to get some delivered.

    Actually in this compost there are a couple of tomato plants growing from it. They are not very tall. And there is something else with a large furry leaf. Think it may be a pumpkin. Can't be sure though. I also added tiny bits of the natural looking cardboard from inside of a few toilet rolls into the compost.

    I found 2 metal picket stakes in the garage. Which I may use to help border this leaf heap. I do not have any chicken wire as yet.

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  10. Matchy69
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    8 June 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Hi Shelll my daughter just made raised garden beds at school for their vegies.I think it was for ag science.I was originally going to that for my vegie garden but just decided to dig over the ground.The vegies thst come up in the vegie garden can give yoy the best crop though its a bit late for tomatoes and pumpkins here.My egg plants are still bearing and this has been the longest i have had them croping.The frost usually has killed them by now but we havent had and frost yet.Its bern down to about 2 degrees here.

    I love the smell of Rosemary and have one growing near the gate so i can rub my hands on it when i go out and i smell of Rosemary.I just pruned mine and took some cuttings.They grow easy from cuttings.

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

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  11. ecomama
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    8 June 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Hi Shelll

    You can join 'Freecycle', members give away all sorts, you can also ASK for things you need - this international organization was formed to keep usable things out of landfill. All free. I've received so many things, including gardening things; shade cloth, chicken wire, pots, horse and cow manure etc. Food plants also. It's pretty great.

    Yes! We do love our gardening lol! It's so grounding lol.

    I'm so happy you're enjoying your gardening course, that's awesome!

    Oregano is a fantastic plant for Australian gardens, I totally agree! Perfect for novice gardeners because it can grow so easily. Beginning gardeners usually kill plants with kindness lol, over watering, too much fertilizer, soil over rich etc. Oregano is almost a 'set and forget' plant. It's home is in the Mediterranean so it likes warm to hot, dry climates. It loves the sun. I moved mine from a shady area due to overgrown tree branches, to a sunny spot. I was going to turn the pot to get even growth (plants usually grow towards the sun) but as I noticed, it's now spilt over the pot and along the ground lol. So I have it growing across the ground too.

    My garden kinda does what it wants to do lol. Yesterday I found a huge vine cherry tomato plant growing all by itself in a very hot spot in my garden - it FRY in Summer there but has chosen Winter to grow and flower so all good.

    Rosemary is also from the Mediterranean so likes the same conditions but even drier - like lavender.
    I love getting stalks of rosemary and spiking them into a leg of lamb to roast. With garlic lol but that's for another thread!

    Peter Cundall's 'Patch from scratch' is an awesome view. What a hero that man is.

    EM

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  12. ecomama
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    8 June 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark

    Could you please share HOW you grow plants from cuttings?

    I have my own methods but I would love to know yours!

    Be back later. Kids and pet's racket is getting a bit much lol. (Maybe time to sneak into the garden lol).

    EM

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  13. Shelll
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    8 June 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Oh Mark your mention of your daughter growing a raised veggie garden at school (which is a great idea) reminds me of the school down from me which has a awesome veggie garden. Anyone walking or driving past can see it. May just go and really look at that more.

    I would be interested too to know how you take a cutting from a rosemary plant. Guessing it is a hardwood cutting at the moment. Maybe I should prune mine, I have never done it except for snipping some for cooking. I planted it the the pot last year. And yeah gorgeous scent, love it.

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  14. ecomama
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    8 June 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Yes please share your cuttings method Mark and also just FYI my nectarine's leaves are just starting to turn colour today. How's yours going?

    EM

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  15. Shelll
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    8 June 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hey Em

    It's pretty cute how your oregano grows toward the light. It sounds weird saying that about plants, but that is how I see it.

    I was just learning about that actually in this course. There was a scientific name for it. Was it photo something or heli, nope better go over that. But it was like you could plant a plant in a pot. And let's say it gets knocked over. The plant naturally wants the light so the stem will attapt itself and bend in such a way as to head to the light source.

    I also love how sunflowers face and track the sun. I would like to plant some of those one day, as they look like such happy plants. And I want to dwell on lovely and happy things.

    Ooh love cherry tomatoes.

    It's a good idea about the free cycle. I looked it up to see what it was. Maybe you mentioned about it before, mmm I don't know.

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  16. ecomama
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    8 June 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Hi Shelll

    Yeah it's SO COOL!

    It's called photosynthesis.... photo meaning light and synthesis meaning something like changing things to something else / bringing them together for a better product.

    So the sun shines on the green parts of the plant, the leaves USE the sun's rays to convert it into sugars I think.. anyway growth happens lol.

    It is super cool watching the oregano spilling over the huge pot and now growing along the soil IN the soil outside the pot. I LOVE eating oregano. I need to put another recipe on the other thread lol.

    SUNFLOWERS omg SOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo beautiful lol.

    For super cheap seeds and hundreds of them, I buy the sunflower bird seeds from a supermarket.

    I live in a semi-tropical climate - switches to Mediterranean also lol.
    But I can plant all Spring crops in August no problems.

    You need a very sunny spot for happy sunflowers. I've never had to prepare the soil, they can go straight in ANY soil IME. BUT if you have lots of birds around, make sure you bury the seeds well. Sunflowers do deplete the soil so it's best to prep the soil for any different foods you may wish to grow there afterwards.

    Sunflowers are SO HAPPY, my favourite part is when they are huge and in bloom and then the cockatoos and lorikeets come and chew the stem through, catch the flower with their feet and carry it in flight to a flat part of the garden to share! They eat it for hours and sometimes days. omg so cute watching them sharing and squabbling a bit then settling down to share again.

    Ofcourse you can eat some sunflower seeds yourself. You can Google how to SAVE the seeds for next year too.

    They are a great plant to grow for so many reasons.

    EM

  17. Matchy69
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    12 June 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi Em growing cuttings very for me.The rosemary were probably semi hardwood and i put them in a soil mixture In a pot.I dip the cutting in cutting powder.I have had success with this method with rosemary.

    My profile photo is of my grandmothers green rose.

    Happy Gardening everyone.

    Mark.

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  18. Matchy69
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    12 June 2020
    Em my nectarine still has it leaves but the colour is just changing.
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  19. ecomama
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    12 June 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    OOhhhhhhhhhh that rose is SPECTACULAR Mark! How extra special is that flower?

    Okay so your nectarine is catching up lol. Yesterday mine had lost 2/3 of it's leaves completely but in the weirdest way. One whole branch still has most of it's leaves and the other 2 big branches have none. No idea why?
    My gardener gave all my fruit trees a huge pruning about 2 months ago, this one included. Don't know if this has anything to do with it.

    It's been freezing and quite rainy here lately. How's your weather been?

    I've only been sweeping leaves every 2-3 days from the LONG driveway lol. Takes almost 2 hours ugh. It all fills 2-4 11 litre buckets of squashed down leaves.
    I put these in the leaf mould I made last weekend and it is melting down before my eyes. I even added compost things from the kitchen and it's still just the same height as last weekend. At this rate I might have to get leaves from the neighbours nature strips - they'd love me for that lol.
    I'm thinking to put thin twiggy branches in there now.
    Ideally it needs to be 1sq metre, I'll see how I feel lol.

    This weekend I was going to make a second leaf mould structure in my back yard with my grandson. There are MANY more leaves in the back yard. Being on quite a steep slope I don't want to barrow the leaves from the back yard up to the front yard. That would drive me crazy lol.

    Plus I want the compost mainly for the back yard. The front yard CREATES huge amounts of black soil since the chickens and brush turkeys eat out there and we get leaf litter from the bush nearby washing down in the rains and mostly settling in the front garden.

    I take barrows of that to the back yard where the erosion is more of a problem - root exposure. UGH.

    After researching how to deal with exposed roots, I'm going to do some experiments in different areas when I get all the materials. If I do the work all at the same time then I'll get better measures of what works best.
    Plus we want to video it all in prep for our Vlog.

    EM

  20. ecomama
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    12 June 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Propagating from cuttings:

    Matchy has told us how easily he makes new plants out of established ones above.

    This is a fantastic free / cheap way to get loads of new plants.

    My technique is to get as many pots as I want cuttings for and put soil in each.

    Using the end of a pencil, dab into each pot to make a hole or more than one hole in each pot.

    When you cut from the established plant, make sure to cut getting some OLD growth and some NEW growth in each one.

    Remove all leaves from the cutting that will sit below the soil.

    Cut the top off leaving some new growth on and some leaves. Not many. With soft leafed plants like gardenias some recommend cutting each leaf you leave on in half. This promotes root growth.

    I dip the soil end of the cutting into honey. About 1-2cm deep.

    Poke cutting into soil. Squash soil around it gently.

    I always like to prep about 3x more plants than I need. Then put clusters of these pots in 3 different areas of my garden. This way you have a higher chance that the cuttings will like at least one area you chose.

    Have fun!

    Soon I'm going to my brother's house and taking a garbage full of gardenia cuttings (he has about 100 gardenias). I want to have swathes of gardenias in the front garden.
    I LOVE white flowers at dusk as they luminate and create a glow for pathways and look so pretty.
    I also LOVE the fragrance of gardenias. Their shiny dark green leaves are gorgeous too.
    They grow best in very warm situations in the garden and our front garden gets scorched lol.

    Happy gardening everyone!
    EM

  21. Shelll
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    13 June 2020 in reply to ecomama

    So about the cuttings....

    Does the honey do the same thing as the cutting powder?

    And would you know about catmint. Would that grow from a cutting. I have a plant of that. Its is pretty when it flowers.

    I have honey and some pots, so I will be able to take some cuttings. I am up to try that.

    And I have noticed below these trees that grow along our driveway.... well there is a few tree seedlings under these trees now, I was thinking of digging them out and planting them somewhere else.

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  22. Matchy69
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    13 June 2020 in reply to Shelll
    Cutting powder has plant hormones in it thst promote root growth.I have never used honey but have heard of people using it.My mother never used anything and had great success with her cuttings and propagation though my mum could grow a dead stick if she wanted to.
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  23. ecomama
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    13 June 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Wow Shelll you're a natural green thumb lol!

    1. As Mark said above the powder has a growth hormone in it so it promotes root growth immediately. It's great stuff! Honey has a natural antiseptic so I guess it can kill off any yuckies and could even be providing some of the sugars that plants need and usually get through photosynthesis. We can only hope to become like Mark's mum lol! I wish!

    I've never tried to propagate soft plants but try it and see how you go, why not!
    I've instinctively gone for woody stemmed plants like lavender, rosemary, fig trees, gardenias, geranium - can't remember any others I've done atm. So while you have all the things you'll need, you may see a neighbor has one of these harder stemmed plants and maybe you could ask them? Every single time I've asked a neighbor if I could possibly take cuttings, they've LOVED that connection and you can learn heaps from older gardeners too.

    2. omg you Green Warrior you... awesome idea digging up the seedlings and repotting them for somewhere else! yay! I do this all the time lol. I have a HUGE lilly pilly that drops it's fruit and then they sprout into gorgeous little seedlings. My tree is about 50ft tall so I DON'T want them growing everywhere here. If you can't give them away to people you know, you can deliver them to a Community Garden even when no one's there with a little note from the Green Warrior Princess lol.

    The GREAT reasons why spreading all these trees around is fantastic is because more green is cleaner air. Also many groups have planted swathes of mono cultures of eucalypts in our bush. This is not the natural way our bush was when our First Nation peoples were here without the rest of us. It was always extremely diverse. Plus eucalypts are prolific, they're doing okay lol. The OTHER plants are in far smaller numbers and not as oily and don't burn as fiercely - eucalypts can be accelerants. I love them too ofcourse but we need more diversity.

    I've been known to do some Guerilla Gardening and planted my lilly pilly's babies in parks lol. Schools have taken them too ;-) Many schools have had to remove their eucalypts because of the gum spears (branches) that fall and injure people. My lilly pilly has berries which are bush foods for our native animals.

    Love your work
    EM

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  24. Matchy69
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    14 June 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi Em i also do grape cuttings and roses and Geraniums,they are the easist things to get growing.My next door neighbour said help myself to taking cuttings from her garden so have taken rose cuttings and geranium ones.All growing well.I took a cutting from my ex's garden of a ground creeper that gets pretty little pink flowers on it and is growing very well.I planted one in my new garden yesterday and it great root system on it.I haven't had much problems with growing soft cuttings.Just dont give them to much water.

    Lilly pillly fruit makes a great jam.Their is many varieties of them and the birds love them.My mum had one in her front yard and it made a really nice jam.

    Happy Gardening,

    Mark.

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  25. ecomama
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    14 June 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark

    Lilly pilly fruit DO make great jam, the most unused fruit in Australia I think! I made marmalade out of cumquats once and it was beautiful.

    Yes grapes are super easy to grow from cuttings too. I forgot but had propagated an Isabella Grape and they're so sweet to eat (if I can get some before the birds lol).

    You have a greener thumb than I do Mark, I haven't had success with soft cuttings. When things are re-set up here then maybe I'll give them another try ;-)

    EM

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  26. Shelll
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    14 June 2020

    Thankyou for explaining about the cutting powder and honey Mark and Em. And about how to take cuttings. You are both awesome.

    About the photosynthesis Em.. (You wrote something a while back about it) Yes we did go over that in this course. I remembered some from school as well. The word I was thinking of was phototropism. Like the plants ability to change its growth and head in the direction of the light. Something like that.

    Maybe like what your oregano was doing in the pot. And I guess the reason they do that is so they can photosynthesis. Survival.

    Then there was heliotropism, like sun tracking... the plants ability to change itself to follow the sun. Like the sun flower. Which I love the idea of those. Such beautiful happy flowers. Thankyou for the tip about planting the sunflower seeds. Is it a good idea then to attract bird life into your garden like the birds that eat the seeds. Reason I am asking is that mum has white cockatoos I think eating their green passionfruit. I have a passionfruit growing, so now I am wondering whether the sun flower loving birds will eat the passionfruit. Suppose I could put some of that netting over it.

    You guys are really inspiring me to get out there into it all.

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  27. Matchy69
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    14 June 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Em where i use to live i lived near a creek that had native fruits growing like Lillypillys and Burdekin Plum and sandpaper figs and strangler figs and i use to make jam out of them all when they were in season.
  28. Matchy69
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    14 June 2020
    Yesterday i started planting my new garden up with geraniums roses,Dianthus,pansys and marrigolds.Today we had heaps of rain so it was good timing.My son wants me to plant sunflowers but wont be able to plant them to spring.
  29. ecomama
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    14 June 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Hi Shelll!

    Your Scientific and horticultural knowledge is amazing :-)

    Yes sunflowers are so beautiful.

    You could trial sunflowers in your garden and see what happens?

    It's a tricky one balancing enough for the birds and animals and enough for us too.

    Jackie French has written all sorts of great books on gardening. I like her philosophy - growing a canopy of food plants so the birds & animals can have the highest ones and we get the rest. Great in theory but I know the animals around me have their habitat so heavily encroached upon and I'm part to blame too.

    Plus Autumn is a rough time in the bush with little food. The Brush Turkeys are even eating my oranges atm. That's ok.

    I tried netting half my fruit trees ONCE then took it straight down after beautiful mama bats and their babies got stuck in it. Seriously I was crying my eyes out as I was ripping it down trying to save them. I had to call Wildlife ARC etc.

    I needed the very tightly woven netting and to tie it down TIGHTLY. My mistake. But I don't net at all now lol.

    But my philosophy is "The animals can't go to Coles". I can.
    I get what I can early in the season then leave the rest.

    Love your work Shelll
    EM

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  30. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    3888 posts
    14 June 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Dear Mark

    Where you lived near the creek sounds like PARADISE! How wonderful to have all those beautiful bush foods growing right there. Have you seen how expensive those plants are to buy??? ugh.

    Your new garden will be so pretty. Kids are fun to garden with.

    Have you got a Community Garden nearby Mark?
    Also have you heard about the Permaculture groups?

    They SHARE so much. Both usually have talks and people share their plants and produce. They're both great groups full of quirky people like me lol. I love how the farmers beg you to come take their manure away for free lol.

    I was in these groups (and more) so much before stacks of horrible stuff happened here. I stay home as much as possible now for the safety and wellbeing of my children. They used to come with me when they were little but now they are older, they don't want to. Plus I'm too tired to do anything at night even if I could right now.

    Anyway I have plenty to do at home and in the garden.

    EM

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