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Colour change

Birch gold

Right now we’re in the three-week spell that’s peak autumn. Hobart, like every other city throughout temperate Australia, has many deciduous trees planted alongside the evergreen natives. This means you get the best of both worlds: green and lively all winter, fragrant in spring and brilliantly-coloured in autumn. The days warm up briefly before retreating into evening chill. It’s such a lovely time of year.

Perennial bed, mid-autumn
Rosemary, pineapple sage + basil

The herb/perennial bed adjacent to the main veggie patch is currently in fine form. Sure, the pineapple sage constantly needs to be hacked back, but would you look at all those cerise flowers. And the perennial basil probably won’t survive winter here, despite the name, but it’s still blooming prolifically. It must be time for another pesto harvest.

The rosemary though, it’s tough as boots and will remain smothered in blue-violet flowers through till October. I’m sure we couldn’t kill it if we tried.

Purple sage, pineapple sage, basil

There’s even a purple sage hiding underneath. Pink and purple everywhere.

red grapevine

There’s a very well-established grapevine behind the carport, and for two years now it’s produced flowers and no fruits. (Whyyyy.) It might lack fruit, but one thing it does do is put on leaves like a mofo. Every summer this grapevine practically eats the carport, and once these leaves drop, it’ll be time for the secateurs. Again. Still, at least that grapevine turns into a wall of red throughout March and April. All those ruby red leaves, most of them larger than my hand. I ain’t even mad.

Rocoto and potted plants
Rocoto + pink cordyline

This collection of I-don’t-know-where-to-put-you potted plants still lives under the ivy-free carport wall. The dark-coloured wall acts as a sun trap, so I’ve set my heat-loving plants here, including the edibles that are possibly borderline for our mild-temperate climate: passionfruit, fig, rocoto.

My rocoto is looking especially happy right now. They’re a bit different than other chili plants: fuzzy leaves, purple flowers, higher cold tolerance. I’ve never successfully overwintered one, though Jamie’s currently assembling a kit greenhouse and here’s hoping the rocoto stays happy in there.

Potted fig tree

I’ve had this ‘Black Genoa’ potted fig for two years, and it’s only ever grown slowly. (I’ve noticed that fig trees around here are slow to leaf out in spring.) It keeps popping out little baby figs though! Aw, bless. Maybe once it’s bigger it’ll make full-size figs.

Cat in a tree

And as usual, I’m not the only one who likes to hang out in the backyard garden. Mishka doesn’t care about the cold, but if it’s wet outside she’ll meow at us accusingly, as if we forgot to turn the rain off.

How’s the change in seasons treating you? Got any garden plans in place? (Me, I’m looking forward to not caring for a few months.) Hopefully my family members in cold places are feeling some warmth now.

7 thoughts on “Colour change”

  1. I admit, the cooler weather just means we can get away without hand watering our veggies every day, which is brilliant as it’s one less thing to worry about. From that point of view it’s great. On the other hand, I’m starting to see weeds where they weren’t before, so maybe not so much rest for the wicked after all.

    1. Oh, absolutely. It’s nice, not having to worry so much about keeping everything watered, even if it means there’s more creeping oxalis everywhere (sigh).

  2. I think your fig needs a bigger, deeper pot or to go into the ground in order to produce full sized fruit. All the fig trees I’ve ever seen are real full-sized trees. My relatives in Greece had a fig tree shading their house. This was in southern Greece, in the Peloponnesus, which I think has a similar climate to yours (probably warmer in the summer, though)

    1. Ahhh that large fig tree sounds so nice. The climate here is more like Northern California or the PNW – mild summers and winters, sometimes dry.

      My fig tree is probably only ever going to live in a container, but you’re right, it’ll need a new pot eventually. That’s the pot I put it in two years ago, giving it room to grow at the time, and I think I can get another year or two out of it. Apparently figs fruit better when their root system stays shallow? If I can get potted figs looking like this I’ll be happy. http://www.gardenworld.net.au/2010/03/fruiting-fig-trees-in-pots.html

      1. Good luck with it. I hope it grows like that for you. BTW, you can always harvest some of the grape leaves while they’re still green and brine them for dolmades.

        1. Good idea. 🙂 We often go to this Greek-run fruit and veg market for fresh produce, and they often have huge bags of preserved grape leaves, as well as tubs of feta and olives. I’ve gotten dried stalks of Greek oregano and they smell incredible.

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