More guerilla gardening…

I like gardening before work.  Especially at the moment, when the early morning is the coolest time of the waking day.  So this morning I was out weeding and fertilising and examining the state of the patch. Then it was time to plant.

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Here are my seedlings soaking in preparation.  I have been propagating native plants alongside my vegetable, flower and herb seedlings.  It’s a bit more random because it’s harder to get good advice about when and what to plant.  I am gathering seed of plants that look plausible and happen to be seeding or fruiting and seeing what sprouts.  The simplest thing for me to grow  is ruby saltbush .  I am not sure if it is objectively easy to sprout, or if it is just that I run my propagating system in a way that favours it.  Here’s a full grown one in our back yard.  It has magenta berries about the size of a currant.  Currently, almost none are ripe.

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These ruby saltbush were planted only a week or so ago!

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These little ones are sea-berry saltbush (Rhagodia candolleana).  I harvested a lot of seed last summer, which is good–because so far these are not ripe anywhere I have seen them growing.  The cool summer has slowed down the fruiting cycle.

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This morning I also planted a couple of little low-growing daisy plants. Here are some I planted months back that have begun to spread.  They have tiny flowers (yes, these plants are in flower) and they are seeding already.  Some Australian plants are opportunists–these ones have been regularly watered and clearly they are making seeds while conditions are right.  Judging by the ones in our garden, they can flower and seed for months of the year.  I think they are Woolly New Holland Daisy (Vittadinia gracilis).

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I also planted something that looked suspiciously like New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragoniodes)–I didn’t try to sprout it but I am growing it in the vegie patch and a good part of my potting mix is sieved soil from the chicken run, so seed sharing happens… and it is a very hardy ground cover!  I seem to have a volunteer indigofera australis in my propagating system too, no doubt because the indigoferas are growing beside my pots!  Then it was back to the garden at home…

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In the last few days I finally discovered why this plant is called ‘strawberry spinach’.  I bought it at the local community garden but had been wondering about the name for quite a while!  These fruits went from green to red very quickly indeed.  So spectacular!

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And… a little harvesting before breakfast to finish.  I do love rhubarb!

11 Comments

Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

11 responses to “More guerilla gardening…

  1. Submarine Bells

    Is ruby saltbush the one with small red berries that grow *under* the plant as it sprawls over the ground? Tiny, sweet, juicy, yummy berries? If so, then yummm! I was introduced to them by Bev once a long time ago, and I still recall their surprising pleasant tastiness with fondness.

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    • I don’t know! The berries grow on the stem and they do fall readily when they are ripe, but I can’t imagine thinking of them as growing under the plant, except that they sprout readily under the plant–if that’s what you meant. We used to eat them when I was a kid. They grow all round Port Augusta, the site of many a school holiday… I’d offer you some to try but I planted every one I could find yesterday!

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      • Submarine Bells

        The plant I’m thinking of has berries that grow on the underside of the (sprawling, prostrate) branches, such that they aren’t terribly visible unless you lift the branch up and check its underside. I *think* it’s the same thing, but recollection is fuzzy, so who knows? Not to worry. 🙂

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      • I think it is not the same plant. These berries are visible from above (and doubtless from below, too). It seems like there are multiple families of plants called ‘saltbush’… (atriplex, rhagodia…) and then lots of members in some families. The one I’m talking about is Enchylaena tomentosa (I believe!) and I look forward to meeting the one you are talking about. Might bring the new book to Guild just for fun…

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      • PS, that Bev is such a fount of knowledge!

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  2. rhubarb and tomatoes at the same time?! Is that usual there?

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    • Well… I don’t think it is peak season for rhubarb. Two of my plants have been trying to flower (and therefore the stems and leaves are small) but two are going along very well, and when the weather is as hot as it has been, it’s no kindness to have lots of big leaves to support. I picked this time in part because some of the leaves were sun scalded from our recent 40C day. Can you tell I am not sure what to answer?? 🙂

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  3. Susan

    Many interesting plants, the strawberry spinach is my favourite!! How pretty. Must check with my neighbors to see if they grow it…..they grow EVERYTHING 🙂

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