Tag Archives: olearia axillaris

More winter guerilla gardening

Early one morning this week I went out with an Olearia, a ruby saltbush or two, and some bladder saltbush plants.  Really, I wanted to do some more weeding, still hoping to stay ahead of the poisoner on my culvert plantings, which are still small and therefore vulnerable.
I’ve planted out some areas in the neighbourhood with ground covers and small shrubs in an attempt to stop car drivers from perceiving the root zones of large trees as places they can freely park.  Several large eucalypts have died in our area in the wake of works that had large heavy machinery parked right up against their trunks.  I want to stop that happening again, and crowd out the places people park illegally during the Royal Show (when pressure on parking is at its peak for the year), doing lots of damage to shrubs and saplings as well as ground covers.  The Council eventually responded to calls to put in barriers that would prevent some of that parking, and I’m building on that protection and gradually reducing the zones people and dogs choose to walk through and enlarging those where plants can grow and birds, animals and insects can get on with their lives.  We have plenty of roads and paths already to my way of thinking. These saltbushes should grow to further reduce a throughway on this corner.
Then it was weeding, litter picking (gardening gloves mean I can pick up anything!) and home to breakfast and work.


Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

#MenditMay Guerilla gardening

Continuing the mending theme, I’ve been out doing a little earth repair in the way of guerilla gardening. This time I planted rhagodia (seaberry saltbush), and an olearia gifted by a friend.  These plants are native to the area she lives in, and as well as having them in her garden and the nearby scrub, she has them coming up in inconvenient places in her garden.  When that happens she pots them up for me!  Bless her heart.

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Here they are ready to go out into the wider world… in which masses of fungi had sprung up very recently. They are so pretty and delicate and so numerous!

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As I planted the shrubs, a cyclist pulled over and hailed me by name.  She turned out to be a friend of the woman who gave me these plants.  I had to love that sweet coincidence!  These plants have gone in beside the train tracks where a couple of dead trees have recently been removed and the gaps are creating openings for weeds and for travellers who don’t care for tender little plants the way I do.

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Hopefully, being planted in cool damp weather, they will grow up in time for summer heat.

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Later the same week I went out with more plants and added them into areas where plants died in summer or gaps look like they might need filling. Out they went to be planted beside fences…

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These three were pulled out by the roots next day!  Perhaps someone thought they were weeds?  Happily their neighbours were all left intact.

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Some of those planted a year ago are really large now!  It’s exciting to see these plants thriving round the neighbourhood, while I’m propagating more for the future.

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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

Coast daisy-bush

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A friend came over with a gift!  She lives beside the Aldinga Scrub conservation park and she grows endemic species at her place–and lots came up in her driveway where she felt obliged to dig them out.  She has potted them on for me to plant.  So this is Olearia axillaris–Coast daisy-bush.  A silver-leafed, tall and bushy shrub well adapted to drought.  We will see how it goes in the suburbs…

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And we won’t be waiting long, because I’ve been out planting.  We finally had rain in the driest winter I remember (and the driest since records began in some parts of the state).

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Olearia, boobialla and a few saltbush went out onto this spot where I reckon I have planted 30 plants at least… and council decided to put a recycled plastic bench.  Those are creeping boobialla in the foreground, just in case you missed them.  While I was planting, a neighbour who spends a lot of time on the street came over to keep me company.  His opening line was ‘so you’re out praying again!’ Not far from the mark, I think: this might be the closest I come to prayer.

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Olearia up near the railway barrier wall.  While I planted these I suggested to him that he could help the plants I have put in near his house to live by watering them as the weather warms up.  He said he would give it a try.  He clearly does like the fact I’m planting nearby.

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Then over to a new spot.  One of my friends suggested this place, where three beds have been created but nothing has gone into them.  To my surprise and delight there is actual soil beneath a generous layer of mulch.  I had my first sighting of a worm in all my guerilla plantings… There are worms in some of my pots that go out into a challenging world, but I haven’t found one already in situ until now.

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Two olearia over near the fence and another boobialla in the foreground.  Railway tracks in the background.

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I found two patches of these… eggs?  Intriguing.  And came home with a bumper amount of rubbish.  Happily rigid plastics are recyclable here, so at least some of this will be recycled and the broken glass, dead shoe, straws and suchlike will at least be off the street.

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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures