Rarely is my garden a show piece; there is always some plant which decides to be unruly and spoil my aspirations to being somehow special or particularly clever in that respect. The fabulous amounts of rain that we have so recently had, despite being so very beneficial, also caused some disorderly behaviour in my garden.
One day, after particularly heavy rain, my Calothamnus quadrifidus, that pride and joy which I speak of so often, decided to split. A whole third of this 1 ½ meter, 5 years in the growing bush just snapped right off at ground level. What a shocker. I could have cried. Admittedly it was in a rather vulnerable position. It had grown so rapidly over the years that it stood out above other plants around it and so was far more susceptible to damage caused by rain followed by wind. We wired it up to a stake in the hopes that the rest will stay intact and that the plant will fill out the bare spot before too many years have passed.
Many of my shrubbery plants have enjoyed the additional water so much that they have decided to shoot soft sappy growth skywards. Next thing I know they will be leggy gangly teenagers without any substance lower down. So each day I have been patrolling the garden doing a little tip nip here and a bigger tip nip there. It is so important not to let plants grow to their full height in a gangly sort of way without bushing them up lower down (that is if you want bushy growth). This involves simply using your finger and thumb (or a sharp pair of secateurs if your really prefer) to nip out the growing tip from the end of sappy growth to promote side shoots. It depends on the plant but I tend to do this when the branch reaches a little more than a handspan in length.
In the perennial garden many of the plants have grown so unusually tall that they are now flopping around and lying about all over each other. What was a gorgeous riot of colour is now a rather bedraggled tangle which will need some stern pruning to bring it back under some semblance of control.
On my fruit trees, particularly the cherries, and the two peace roses on my pergola aphids have been feasting on the sappy new growth. The leaves which were so fresh and green are now gnarled and distorted with so many aphids they look black. The easiest fix for those infestations is to spray with soapy water (unless the ladybirds have beaten you to it…………….they eat aphids for breakfast lunch and dinner).
The grass too has taken the opportunity to run amok. The ride on lawn mower has had more outings this year already than in the last five years put together. Thank goodness for my resident bloke who enjoys trundling backwards and forwards through the garden and paddocks to keep it all in check.
But hey, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about not having a showpiece of a garden, but rather just exceptionally glad to still have full water tanks and reserves of moisture in the soil which will see the garden right for a little bit longer.