Monday, March 31, 2014

Flower seedlings and native parsley

Although it was over 30 C today (and it is supposed to get to 34 C tomorrow) I got in from watering early this evening as it was so humid today that the ground didn't dry out much. Surely this has to be the last of the hot days, fingers crossed.

 After reading some interesting posts from some forum friends about their adventures with growing their own bulbous flowers from seed I thought I would give it a go as the opportunities arose.

Here is a pot of seedlings of bearded iris and gladiolus. I have to admit the wait is fun and exciting to see what colours I will get. The bearded iris is stupidly easy to hand pollinate and I grabbed a pod of ripe gladdy seed as I walked past it growing through a fence.
As you will know as you have been reading my blog, I have been planning to add a lot more flowers to my blocks, both to attract pollinating insects and to make them look nice so I have been thinking of planting a lot of flowers that make great cut flowers to sell with the veg at markets. I already have a heap of hippeastrum seedlings that should start flowering next spring/summer as well as some calla lilies, bearded iris and I will buy some gladioli bulbs. That should make a fine and colourful disply.
Maybe I will add some chrisanthemums to the mix as I remember my parents growing a heap in their yard many years ago and selling them at the market for mothers day - they flew out the doors.

I just thought I would mention that Australia has a range of native herbs and spices that I am going to try growing.
Here is a native parsley. The leaves taste exactly like 'normal' parsley and it grows on sand dunes. I picked this plant as a cutting last year and when I can I will go and get some more.
As you can see it is also self pollinating and has a heap of seeds on it. As a perennial shrub I think it will make a good addition to my stuff.

I already have some native pepper plants but when I go over to the other side of Melbourne next I will try and find some native celery that grows in the cool rainforests there. It looks and tastes  like 'normal' celery but smaller and the stems grow in a rosette.

I have tried to grow some of the flavoured myrtles but they just don't go well when frosts get below -1C. I might try them again at some time because they are very useful and smell divine. The three main types are lemon myrtle(backhousia citriodora), aniseed myrtle (Syzygium anisata) and cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia).

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