Tag Archives: boobialla

Guerilla gardening and hoping for rain

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This evening, we are coming down from several days of hot weather, and rain is predicted.  It hasn’t happened yet, so I’m hoping for rain. Because, this seems like a good time to plant! I’ve got creeping boobialla, my first snakebush successes, my first hedge saltbush cutting successes, some bladder saltbush.

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I also have some of my first successes at propagating correas, and some scrambling saltbush.

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My parents have decided this wheelbarrow is surplus to their requirements.  For now, it’s living with us.  It’s lightweight and I managed to get all my plants and some water into it, ready to go.

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The first plants went in here. I’ve planted a lot of the low growing plants on the left here, but there are still some barren patches.  Some are barren because so much heavy machinery was parked here for the two years of infrastructure development. I think that is why we’ve lost some of the big trees here.  Too much root damage, and the soil is as hard as rock.  Still, it’s improving, and there are now seedling trees coming up in among the groundcovers and shrubs.

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As I planted the bladder saltbush near the spot where some were pulled out, I was approached by the woman who lives on the other side of the street. We’ve spoken before but clearly my persistence has impressed her.  She had seen me weeding, planting and watering and came out to give me a hug.  She thought she might have pulled out some of the plantings thinking they were weeds.  So  I invited her to water them instead, and kept planting and weeding.

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This is the plant I call “scrambling saltbush”.  One day I’ll identify it properly.  But it is growing well around the neighbourhood where council have planted it, so I’ve been collecting seed and adding it into my plantings.

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Home again after collecting the rubbish that has been bugging me on my morning walk to the train station and doing some more weeding.  Now, we hope for rain!!

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Ground cover plantings

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One day this week, I went out to do some guerilla gardening before work. I still have creeping boobialla (I promise, that is what it’s called!) propagated from cuttings in autumn that need to be planted out before it gets any hotter. As I walked down the street with a bucket in one hand, steering my bike trailer with the other, I was thinking about a couple of salt bush I lost in the last week.  The grey-leaf bladder salt bush that had violas growing beside them.  One day I walked to the train and there were two holes where they had been. I hope they went to a new location where they are thriving, but the holes were small. That same week, a whole row of sheoaks that had been doing well were poisoned, and I felt if I’d weeded them out that might not have happened.  So I was feeling a bit sad about all of that, and remembering that persistence is what makes this whole business work.  And that if I’m caring for Kaurna land in the period between colonisation and the return of sovereignty, that responsibility and privilege is no less because sometimes it doesn’t go the way I hoped.

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So I planted my ground covers.  And pulled out some weeds, and collected some rubbish. And I started to cheer up.  I noticed how even though I’ve lost plants on this patch, some are thriving.  This rhagodia is the biggest, but there are pigface spreading and saltbush growing up.

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Then I realised that the ruby saltbush has begun self sowing. This blurred photograph is just so exciting! There were quite a few seedlings coming up here, where I planted ruby saltbush that were torn out or poisoned–and they had enough time to leave seed behind to sprout.

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So I went home again quite cheered up.

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And then a little later, my partner was out on the street and I went out to see what was happening: she was chatting with a council worker who was out weeding and watering in our street, in one of the places I recently put in more plants. Clearly the woman from the council had noticed all this, and she started asking if I was also the one spreading the quandong seed and such… and she turned out to be a wild food specialist outside her day job. Too good. Happiness is remembering the project is shared with many people, and noticing when the earth begins to heal itself.

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This week in guerilla gardening

As the weather begins to really start to warm, I am increasingly keen to get plants into the ground if I can. I still have weaving rushes (sedges) that need happy homes.  There tubestock pots have become less and less happy.

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Careful observation makes me think the place where they might have enough soil moisture to make it through the summer is in the culvert I have begun planting out.  I added them to edge of the channel, where there is some clay that is still quite wet. Those further up the bank were planted a few weeks ago and have grown quite visibly.  I spent some time trying to increase the water holding shaping of the bank, as you can see water just runs down it despite my efforts.

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Here is the other side of the bank, complete with mystery plants.

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I also planted this scrambling saltbush.  One of them had a stray sheoak seedling in with it.  Fingers crossed!

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A few boobialla up on the top of the banks.

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And here is the bigger picture.  You can barely see my plantings, just the mystery plants, about 30-40 cm high.

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Gnaphalium affine (jersey cudweed)?  Helichrysum luteoalbum? Pseudognaphalium luteoalbum? One source suggests the last two are are the same plant… and that the common name is Jersey cudweed. Thanks for your suggestions! I will keep looking and accepting clues.  Meanwhile, the mystery continues…

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Guerilla gardening continues in spring

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Yesterday I was out and about before work in the cool morning after some rain during the night.  In one spot, I added some tiny saltbush to continue closing the gap between established plants and a pathway.

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On the other side of the path, the same process.  I gave these some little sticks in honour of the neighbour who lives nearest.  He approves of the planting and thinks sticks help.  I am never entirely sure–sometimes they just attract unwanted attention.

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A tree was felled here just recently and the predecessors of these boobiallas were taken out in the hubbub.  I have been unsure how long to wait to discover whether the trunk of this massive ironbark will be collected.  While the canopy of the tree was taken away after it was felled (over two days)… the trunk is lying there and has been for some time now.  The longer I leave it, the smaller the chance of preventing parking on this area will become for the year ahead.  meanwhile the truck is stopping bike and foot traffic through this patch, which creates an opportunity for plants to grow undisturbed.

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The tree had died, and since heavy machinery was parked on its root zone right up to the trunk for two years, I have to say parking might be part of what killed this tree and the one that used to stand beside it. Perhaps I am wrong–but this made me more inclined to plant and try to fend off more soil compaction here.

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A few more ground covers facing the road where some were lost in the flood. In case you might think there is no progress, look at the size of these ruby saltbush planted in the last year, on the same site.

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Then, some weeding.  The last thing I want is for the poisoner to take out these little plants unawares while poisoning the weeds. Then I went round to the new site by the culvert and weeded there. The unidentified plant is doing well and flowering. It is not curry plant.  That really is what my parents have in their front garden, and there are similarities.  But the smell is really distinctive, and missing here.  All clues accepted, dear readers!

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On one small saltbush, I found these little critters.  I hope they won’t take too much… I was rather charmed to find signs of life in this unpromising spot, personally.

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And then home again with weeds galore.

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Dianella planting

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You might remember this street planting.  The dianellas have grown a lot, but the grand plan of the person who envisioned this sweep of strappy leaves was disrupted when plant thieves, and/or people who had exciting alternative plans for dianellas, took 9 or 12 of them over several nights soon after they were planted.  In the end I planted ruby saltbush to fill the gaps and keep the weeds down.  But I felt for the person who pictured in their mind a thriving mass planting.  In autumn I took divisions off the side of some of these thriving clumps, and almost all of them grew.

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Out came the saltbush, looking less than great at the end of winter.  The dianella babies were enough to fill almost every gap (I seem to remember counting!)

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Fingers crossed for them to grow and thrive…

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If they don’t, the seedling saltbush on the edge of the patch stand ready to spring into the space!  Every time I looked at these seedlings as I passed them, this fabulous song celebrating the permaculture principle about making use of edges came to mind. See if you like it too.  Not sure what I am talking about?  Details on the permaculture principle here.

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As you were after that digression… Some boobiallas into the ground nearby for good measure…

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Just in time for the rain!

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Winter planting

Once I got started on the rushes, I wanted to keep planting and there have been some breaks in the rain.  Today I noticed a leak from one of our rainwater tanks.  It was near the top, from the overflow pipe, suggesting there is water up above the overflow outlet in that tank which is struggling to escape.  That has never happened before, and is evidence of HOW MUCH RAIN we have had.  You know what I’m saying: planting time is upon us.

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Here is my bike trailer load of plants bound for a bed alongside the tram stop on the nearby main road.  When I got there, there was another woman already at work cleaning up, who said she picks rubbish up there twice a week (she also cleared the paving and all manner of improvements).  She was impressed that I was doing my own planting and propagating and suggested I might want to join the adopt a station programme, which apparently provides plants.  Clearly she works up and down the pubic transport corridor, because she knew the best planted stations, where work for the dole are active and where the lavender is growing so well anyone could pick it. It was fun speaking with another close observer of these often unloved spaces.  She had noticed the reduction in rubbish and weeds from my efforts!

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This time I had rhagodias from my generous friend (this is a sandy site where I hope they will do well), creeping boobialla that has come on strong since the cuttings went in months back; some little wattles and yet more ruby saltbush.

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I put them up into the bed and climbed up after them.

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In they went!

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There are previous plantings that look dead in these beds, but perhaps they will come back… and in among them, there were some struggling knobby club rushes and…

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Can you tell?  In the foreground, a small patch of the Ngarrindjeri weaving rushes!

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In the meantime, I finished all my grey handspun in an airport a few days back and I am now creating more so I can finish! More soon… it would be so good if this jumper could be complete before the cold weather passes!

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Propagating

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It is time to get cuttings in or miss the season completely… so I was out again before work looking for likely prospects.  As I mentioned last time I was writing about guerilla gardening, there is some severe pruning when plants try to take over roads in my neighbourhood, and here is myoporum parvifolium trimmed back off the kerb to prove the point.

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I collected seed while I was out.  This bluebush is still fruiting but not ripe.  I collected from one near the tram where the seeds have turned black (indicating ripeness), much to the interest of one commuter.  The rest seemed blessedly uninterested and one was sleeping while almost upright.

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I collected seed from the bladder saltbush.

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I admired the spread of some myoporum I planted at least a year ago.

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This one was so big I took cuttings from it! So far, it has been overlooked in the pruning regime and is happily out onto the road.

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So, now I have all manner of cuttings hopefully sending out roots as I write…

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As well as seedlings still waiting their turn to go out into the big wide world now it has started to rain.  Ah, blessed rain.

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More autumn plantings and some plants in progress!

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On a cool, autumn morning I set out with yet more ruby saltbush plants and water to help them settle in.

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Some went in here replacing those who didn’t make it through the summer.

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The truly surprising thing is that many did make it through summer.  Some have held on with the tiniest of plant toenails.  But others have grown a good deal.  Even one boobialla (myoporum) made it in this inhospitable spot!

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Here are some of the many survivors.

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I also planted some more on the border of this space, which was bare earth when I started in on it.  It is so settled now I am considering putting some trees in quietly, among the ground covers and shrubs.

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After that, I headed off with secateurs to start some cuttings. These plants are thriving in local public plantings and they are regularly trimmed off the street by council workers or passing cars.  So I took cuttings from the street side and went home to put them in! Fingers crossed for spring planting…

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This week in guerilla gardening

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This morning, I went out with some saltbush I’ve grown from seed and some other plants a friend has grown and given me for guerilla gardening.  She comes from a coastal area and is growing plants well adapted (and mostly endemic) to her local sandy soils.  They are thriving in sandy areas of our suburb.  So the saltbush went in under a large river red gum in our neighbourhood, the better to protect the root zone of this giant tree.  Then I trundled around to a spot in the neighbourhood where the pattern of what will grow is very different to the rest of the patches I’m working, partly because the new beds created here in the wake of major infrastructure works are very sandy.

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In went several of these native hibiscus, an olearia, a kangaroo apple and a rhagodia (seaberry saltbush).  Out came weeds, alive and dead, and feral tree seedlings.

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The tiny E Scoparias that my friends and I planted months ago are thriving here but still small.  The council has planted a random eucalypt and a Manchurian Pear since we put them in, and they were much bigger–but they left the E Scoparias to live, bless them.  Let’s see how it goes.

Where previously nothing grew, now there are a lot of boobiallas (myoporum), some good sized olearias, a few saltbush and a couple of feijoas as well as the trees.  One saltbush is loving it here and has set fruit.

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As I finished watering the new plants in and set off to weed invasive grass out of a very successful patch nearby, one of the cyclists whizzing past called out ‘good work!’  It was a good way to start the day: kneeling in the earth and planting things that might help it heal.

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Guerilla gardening resumes

It was a modest week in guerilla gardening, some weeks ago.  Action on one of my patches that was barren for years and then suddenly mulched and given a watering system seems to have stopped.  So I decided it might be safe to do some more planting.  Bladder saltbush, which has a lovely silver leaf, was the plant of choice, and I decided to try another creeping boobialla.  All those previously planted here were lost in the mulching.

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They look small in this big space right now.

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However, the weather is warm and this is growing season.  Some of the plants I put in during the cooler months are now a lot larger.

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Someone else seems to have planted a few things in this patch too!  This is all I took home.

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Then–a weekend planting spree after a long break.  We have already had out first day over 40C and there are more coming.  These little plants need to get into the ground.  So, there was pricking out of nitraria billardiera and dianella seedlings.

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I gathered up ‘old man’ saltbush, creeping boobialla, seaberry saltbush, water, and headed out.

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Baby seaberry saltbush went in in front of some I planted about a year ago. Thanks to the council for putting in a watering system, and connecting it to water (hence that brown pipe you can see)!

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Creeping boobialla went in beside a tall fence where some ruby saltbush are coming along.  Here is the close up:

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And here is the fence!

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You can see the new ‘old man’ saltbush in the darker patches near top right.  I have planted everything you can see growing in this patch.  An elderly man leaning on a walker came past, doing what must feel like a marathon through the neighborhood to him.  He congratulated me on my cleverness, bless him.

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With the summer weather, these plants are visibly growing despite the council not having connected the new watering system they put in here to any water source.  Three cheers for the hardiness of native plants!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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