Tag Archives: boobialla

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.


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!


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.


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


In they went!


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…


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!




Filed under Knitting, Neighbourhood pleasures, Spinning


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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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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

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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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

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.


Filed under Eucalypts, Neighbourhood pleasures

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!








Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

More local planting

It was another beautiful pre-work morning…

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So I chose fine-leaved creeping boobialla and headed out into the neighbourhood.

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I was accompanied by a neighbour who spends a lot of time on the street and he talked a lot about what he thinks needs to happen about the place.  I kept planting.  He appreciates the plants, though he has a lot of grievances.  I guess we both think things could go better and we have different ways of trying to achieve improvement!

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I weeded out some of these patches, as it looks to me as though the plants that have died have been lost to poison and not natural causes. Those that were larger and further from the kerb have mostly made it.  The Olearias are bushing out.

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My earlier boobialla plantings are mostly doing well.

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Some of the rhagodias look good too.  I gave this one some company.

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It’s pleasing to see the places where my friends and I have been at work on this project for longer and there is now a leafy understorey.  The E Scoparias we have planted have all lived thus far too!

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Home again after some weeding and litter removal.

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I even scored some local lemons on my way home.  Extra good!

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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

Guerilla gardening of the day

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In another pre-work bout of guerilla gardening, I stepped out with three fine leaved creeping boobialla and 17 ruby saltbush plants.

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The saltbush went in to a bank where weeds thrive in the cooler months.  It was only after I had them all in the ground and was pondering whether to invite the person whose driveway adjoins this patch to water them…  that I remembered there was a reason I hadn’t planted here before.  Occasionally a car parks here.  Hopefully that won’t be an issue until next year’s royal show, when perhaps by then these plants will be bushes big enough to fend off stray vehicles.

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The boobiallas went in beside some plantings that are barely managing to survive.  They may fare no better, but I gave all the little stragglers a drink.  Maybe one day they will be understory for these ironbarks.  As I watered in the last of them, the umpteenth cyclist pedalled past and this one called out ‘thanks!’ so I called back ‘thank you!’  It was a pleasingly cheering exchange.

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Home again empty!  I have so many little seedlings pushing up I will need all the pots I can empty.  I realise that on Game of Thrones the chilling call is ‘winter is coming’ but in this part of Australia, the killing time is summer, and it’s coming faster and harder than usual, I think.  The more plants I can get in the ground in this relatively cool week, the better.  I planted lettuce and beetroot and dill this morning too.  The chickens were made happy by poppies and parsley and kale and calendula and assorted weeds plus a few flax plants that had gone to seed.  Even the plants they don’t enjoy eating are full of delectable caterpillars and other passengers, so it’s sure to be a happy day in the henhouse.

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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

In guerilla gardening this week…

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It was another big day in local guerilla planting!  😉

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I planted a Eucalyptus Nicholii for the sheer nerve of it.  If it grows it will shade a bench council have installed.  It’s a big ‘if’.  But evidently I can dream.

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Fine leaved creeping boobialla propagated in autumn.

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Needless to say, plenty of ruby saltbush.

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These plants are being added to a place where I have already planted boobialla, olearia and several varieties of saltbush.  Some are coming along very nicely in this spot, and while a few are struggling, very few have been killed.

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On the homeward trip, very little rubbish and a bucket full of weeds.  The last round by the council poisoner resulted in several plants being killed elsewhere nearby (those I planted and some of Council’s plantings too).  I have drawn the conclusion that I should target weeds growing among plants I would like to see live, for early weeding.  And… I am still enjoying weeding and revegetating the neighbourhood, and the sooner I plant before the height of summer, the better the chances these plants will make it through high summer.  Time to plant seeds!

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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

Beloved trees

My very local tree loving friends and I have had a plan for a little while to plant more trees around here, and we decided to plant E Scoparia.  An opportunity came to buy some, so my friends bought some, and they were on special for $1 each!

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We took them, and some saltbush and boobialla… and even parsley.

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While we were out planting, and singing the tree planting blessing, this little banner went back onto its tree.

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It had been home for a wash and reapplication of string. It had fallen down or been pulled down.

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It is a huge tree!

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One of us had to climb it.

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When it was all over there was another shared lunch (I am blessed with generous friends!) and chicken happiness, and bit less rubbish in the neighbourhood.

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Filed under Craftivism, Eucalypts, Neighbourhood pleasures

Make way for the seedlings!

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In the spirit of experimentation, I have been planting seeds and seeing what happens.  There are resources available on propagating native plants, but they are not so detailed that it is possible for me to draw on other people’s experiences of propagating bladder saltbush in my area (for example)… and I have been trying things out in order to learn.  A couple of weeks ago I planted seed of 4 different types and to my surprise, ruby saltbush (top left) and bladder saltbush (bottom right) are coming up in numbers!

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It is a sign.  It’s time to keep planting out!  The little patches of disturbed soil in the picture below are the places I have added to plantings made by a contractor.  My trowel tells me that the contractors are not planting where there is too much rock or bluemetal below.  We will see how the saltbush take to it.

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Next stop, the park, where we planted quandong trees some years ago.  The quandongs didn’t take to it, but the fine leaved boobialla we planted to be their host (quandongs are parasitic, to simplify, and need a host plant)–have gone really well.  So here I am coming home with lots of rubbish, empty pots, and cuttings.

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On the way home, I stopped to admire one of the beloved neighbourhood trees and listen to the birds that were there at the same time.

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I am still not sure whether putting the cut ends in honey helps them take or not.  But I have lovely honey from friends who run a bee centred beekeeping operation and are such sweethearts… so honey it was.

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So many cuttings! Oh.  I forgot I needed to make way for the seedlings!  I guess I have to keep planting….

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And also, that I need to face that the time has come to mend the fingertips of my favourite gloves.   The dirt is gettting into my fingernails in a very big way!  I mended one gappy fingertip by hand and that was so hard I put a thin layer of cloth beneath the other one to catch remaining soil and stitched it on my machine.

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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures