Summer in the Garden: January

January has been milder than the preceding months, with some much needed rain and cooler temperatures. Everything in the garden seems happier. But it doesn’t look startlingly different to the December photos. Except perhaps the flowers are more noticeable.

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Moroccan mint in flower.

I haven’t planted a lot of flowers yet as during the past year I’ve mostly been focussed on getting a whole heap of fruit trees into the garden. I haven’t really started planting the body of the garden in earnest.  Actually, I haven’t got the plan set out that far. However, as it goes, when I visit nurseries I can never quite resist a few things that I know I want in the garden eventually, even if I haven’t thought through their place in the overall scheme.

Colour and Heat Effects

For example, I know I want lots of blues and purples and colours which give a cooling effect, to provide some relief during our hot, dry summers. Here are a few salvias  that are flowering that I got from Diggers. I really should have written down the names…. note to self for all future plantings.

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Companion Planting

I bought a few plants for the vegie patch that are said to attract good predator bugs. Flowers that are umbelliferous  (umbels are “a flower cluster in which stalks of nearly equal length spring from a common centre and form a flat or curved surface, characteristic of the parsley family”) attract bugs with short probosces because they can reach into the shallow flower head, like ladybugs. Here are some achillleas:

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Verbena, which is one of my favourites so far:

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Predator bugs love flowers from the daisy family too. Here are some calendula growing well:

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Pest-Repellant Flowers

Other flowers are said to act as a deterrent through smell or as bait plants. Below are  tansy and nasturtium. They don’t fit in with my desired cool colour scheme, but they still make me happy with cheerful presence.

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Scent

Here is my Washing Navel orange (planted this spring) flowering. I decided I needed an orange tree after seeing a mature tree in full flower and being overwhelmed by the beautiful scent. Intoxicating, and made me think more about creating smell in the garden. Not to mention, the bees were going crazy for it.

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My potted cumquat is also flowering, and smells quite similar to the orange. I love a flowering fruit tree, signalling the possibility of fruit.

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I really need to start thinking about flowers throughout the year and get planning and planting. We have a perfect climate for bulbs so I am going to think about them next I think as they are planted in autumn I believe.

And to part, a worker at work:

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My neighbour is bringing one of her beehives to her backyard so anything I can do to contribute to the honey yield has got to have a benefit for me…..

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