Tag Archives: Cyperus Gymnocaulos

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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This week in guerilla gardening

This morning there was a little outing.  Planting at a culvert beside the local train station with cyclists whizzing past and runners raising eyebrows.

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It’s interesting working so close to the train line.  I moved into this neighbourhood because of the public transport, and the lucky find of a place we could afford, discovered when I took a wrong turn on my bike coming home from work.  The place was for private sale with a handmade sign and we had given up on finding anything in this spot.  I appreciate the public transport, and rail freight too, a great deal.  But some days I also reflect on the spectacularly ugly way we do these things here. I live in hope that the future will find better ways and that these trains will be powered more sustainably soon.  I put in more weaving rushes on the banks of the channel, and some saltbush above it.  There was a whole purple towel just inside the fence for the railway, but well past the end of the path.  Curious.  It can join the dyeing towels.

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And then there was weeding.  The best way to keep the poisoners at bay!  Several of these plants have come up.  This one is in bud.  Does anyone more knowledgeable know what they are?  I think my parents have them in their garden, where I think they give off a curry (fenugreek, perhaps) kind of scent in midsummer.  Wandering about on the interwebs, Mum and Dad probably have Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum) and … this may not be the same plant, but I can’t readily identify it as [locally] native or a weed.  Identification is a work in progress. Maybe the recent flooding rains have borne seeds here, as I have seen it nowhere else nearby. The plant growing in this reveg site I am working on also comes up in the older graves on the West Tce cemetery, where they have recently been poisoned along with the sow thistles.  Poison, even in cemeteries.  Friends, let me push up weeds if needs be, when the time comes.  Weeds may be plants growing where they are unwanted but routine and repeated poisoning is not a great alternative.

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It’s one of the things I love about guerilla gardening, and thinking of it as caring for Kaurna land in some small way, that I understand more and more of the small ways of the place around me.  Both its suffering under trash and poison and the way plants grow and spread and long to live and small creatures find ways to get by or thrive.  The previous round of plantings have survived and begun to grow.

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I weeded out the things I recognise to be weeds (less fumitory, more prickly lettuce and flax-leaf fleabane this time).  I left the unnamed plant.  It may be native and is a handsome, hardy, silver leaved plant in any case.

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On the weekend I weeded on my way home from the train station and there was a broken bucket to pick up and use, into the bargain. Chicken happiness, neighbourhood weeding, and trash turned into recycling, surely the trifecta of the guerilla weeder.

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Then there were weedy poppies alongside the railway line. Beautiful.

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And shirley poppies at home in abundance.

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With bee revelry into the bargain.

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One landed on my thumbnail to inspect me.  I am not allergic but even so it gave me a start, then I blew gently on it, and off it went.  Blessed are the bees and those of us lucky enough to be able to appreciate them.

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Planting the weaving rushes

This is one of my newer planting sites. I’ve weeded it over a couple of times, collected rubbish and planted some things here to see what could make it.  Then this grille appeared and there was a flood.  So there were just a couple of plants left.

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I started out by weeding and collecting more broken glass. I’d just been to a workshop on weeds and their uses, and so I took it to be interesting that this place has pink flowering fumitory rather than the more common (but not so medicinal, evidently) white flowering fumitory.  Noted.  I continue to find it funny that when I was still in school in the early eighties I would read Mrs Grieve’s (English) Herbal and wish all these amazing plants might be growing anywhere I would ever meet the.  Well, dear reader, many of them do, but it took me a long time to realise that they were weeds!

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In the clean up I found more intriguing rusty stuff (on the left–I realise my trowel has seen a lot of use!)

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So out came weeds and in went plants.

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Even more saltbush and sea fig on the upper parts pf the site…

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And into the banks where so much water had so recently passed, I put some of the Ngarrindjeri weaving rushes that have grown up quietly since the weaving workshop. If there is a year they might make it, this year of flooding rains might be the one.

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A portrait of the gardener…

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And time to head home.

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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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Green grow the rushes…

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Remember my tiny sedge plants? They have more than doubled in size now.  So at last, out they go into the wintry weather.

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My first attempt to propagate correas from cuttings seems to have mostly succeeded (that is a correa with the almost round leaves).

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Here are some more in with saltbush, hop bush and boobialla plants.

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I have even had some success with dianellas this time!  I think it must be time to get some of these plants out into the ground…

 

 

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