More earth hours

We did observe earth hour.

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I liked it a whole lot, even if it was a small thing to do. It didn’t change my mind about having a bigger plan for earth hours of my own.

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So I decided on some more morning saltbush planting. I headed out to a site a few blocks away where my friends and I have been revegetating under a beloved tree for some years now.  You can see the understorey we have managed to build up where before it was barren and weedy and regularly poisoned by council.  The earth here used to be hard and dry, but now it has softened and contains much more vegetable matter–I mulched it with the leaves falling in the nearby gutters to keep the soil growing. Mulch is one of my favourite forms of loving the soil. It’s extraordinary to think of that cycle of nutrients–it is so wonderfully effective and simple to support–but so biologically complex and amazing I am not sure magic could be any better.

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Here is the aerial view of the trailer as I set out, complete with full watering can!  I must say carrying that went much better than I could have hoped possible…

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I weeded and pulled out dead bushes that were once the only native plants growing under this tree.  They finally succumbed this summer.  I collected more seed. How wonderful to have plants old enough to be fruiting so well here now.

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On the way back, I had an empty watering can, dead branches, weeds and some bark for my dye pot, and I trimmed creeping boobialla that came originally from my Dad’s garden.  He grew me a few by layering the plants in his front garden. It has really taken hold here and it is helping crowd out the invasive grasses that we’re weeding out all winter each year.

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I cut the boobialla where it was growing out over the kerb and where it is most vulnerable to passersby, because I have a plan.  Now it is cutting propagating time and not really saltbush planting time, I thought I could try seeing if I can grow more boobialla over the cooler months, when it’s my experience I can’t get saltbush to germinate.  Let’s see how that goes!

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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

12 responses to “More earth hours

  1. What are the whitish balls that look like crumpled paper? Are they seed pods? It’s fun discovering all these plants I’ve never heard of! You’re doing such a wonderful thing with your plantings and tendings.


  2. Susan

    Boobialla…now that is a FUN name, something a child would love to say 🙂
    Had to look it up of course, it can even be tree. Good job!


    • Isn’t it hilarious? I think the groundcover is especially good, since the only thing that could be funnier to an English speaking child’s ear than boobialla is creeping boobialla…


  3. I much prefer your version of earth hour. Ours went by completely unmarked this year. In our own version we are currently renovating our front garden where the termites ate out our wooden path before starting in on the house. It is planted to natives and I have quite a few waiting to go in . Indeed the wait has been so long that I have been propagating little correas from the ones I bought to plant nearly two years ago.


    • Oh, termites. They are tricky company. I am glad to know you’re having success propagating correas. I’ve been wondering about trying cuttings. Fingers crossed for your plants to go in soon and for the termites to coexist peacefully with your home.


      • I’ve had mixed success with the correas. One lot pretty much all struck, but others I’ve tried recently only one has taken. I wasn’t keeping records so I’m assuming it was a different time and may also reflect the plants are now under greater stress so probably may not be the best material to propagate from. Shrug, who knows!


      • The usual mixed story for cuttings! Good to know it could work.


  4. I do miss living in your area, so Maggie and I take regular walks and actually pass your house a few times a week. This morning I saw the writing on the wall asking people to stop stealing plants by the railway, I’m so sorry this is still happening. I wanted to say how much I love the bunting and crochet work by the walk-under the tram line.


    • The crochet is by ‘Viva La Broad Bean’, a group of locals. I posted about them here when it went up. Glad you like it and the bunting! Hopefully I’ll see you and Maggie one day. We miss you!


  5. nopalito

    Fantastic work! We’re trying our first attempt at propagating saltbush from cuttings at the moment, each pot is covered with its own little plastic bag greenhouse. We’ll see how they go! We were very inspired by Sophie Thomson’s garden at Mount Barker, where she’s used saltbush (and wormwood, and other things) as hedges around her gardens and orchards, based on research from the northern Adelaide Plains that shows saltbush as the single biggest attractant of beneficial insects! Hooray!


    • That sounds your usual amazing to me! Are you growing ‘old man’ saltbush? That seems to be the one most widely propagated by cutting, but you’ve encouraged me to try and I’ve just put some grey leaved saltbush I can’t identify yet in as cuttings. That is a great tidbit of information about beneficial insects, thankyou. Our chooks love the fruits… Good luck with your propagating.


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