digging a new garden bed

Every winter I plant everlasting daisies (Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea) for their pretty pink and white flowers in spring. My dad helps me dig out a patch of the weeds in the vacant block behind my house and we plant seedlings. This year I thought I’d deal with the patch of weeds once and for all and I added lawn edging around the strip we dug over. I will have to hand weed as seeds I don’t want pop up, but the really difficult grass runners should be kept at bay.

the grass and weeds before digging

The back fence with an assortment of grasses and weeds covering the vacant block. This is what we had to dig up, although I admit my dad did most of the hard work. The dog thinks he’s helping.

the newly dug bed to the right with lawn edging ready to be laid

Behind the fence is my woolly bush hedge. Grass runners come up on the other side among the woolly bushes, but they shouldn’t any more. The newly dug bed of yellow sand (right) has the beginnings of mulch of woolly bush prunings. The roll of lawn edging is ready to be laid to stop the runners.

a trench dug for the lawn edging, with the dog's shadow because he always wants to 'help'

After I dug a trench for the plastic edging the dog still wanted to help, with his shadow tongue lolling. You can see how sandy this soil is. If I wanted to plant anything other than locally endemic plants I would have to build it up with lots of organic matter.

the lawn edging laid in the trench

The plastic edging is laid out. The temporary string marked out a strait line for the trench. This is an ideal spot for winter vegetables, as I add compost over time and enlarge the weeded area I will plant edible produce.

the lawn edging buried along the new bed

The plastic edging is buried and ready for planting. The shrub at the far end is Kunzea baxteri, a red bottlebrush native to the Esperance Plains. I planted it 18 months ago and it struggled through the first summer, but is growing well now with winter’s rain.

Patersonia occidentalis in my garden

I had Purple Flag (Patersonia occidentalis) and six Grey Cottonheads (Conostylis candicans) growing in pots for a number of years and I planted them here. I watered them in with liquid worm castings, but they shouldn’t need further fertilizing because they grow naturally in these sandy soils. I watered in the everlasting daisy seedlings (Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea) with liquid worm castings too and planted seed of Blue Lace flower (Trachymene coerulea).

newly planted and mulched

The green shoots you can see next to the grey Conostylis leaves are a native orchid that was growing in the soil when I got the plants. I think it’s Mignonette Orchid (Microtis media) which grows from a tuber every winter, then dies back over summer. I’ve never managed to get a good photo of the flowers, maybe this winter I will.

Microtis media in my garden


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