Archive for August, 2014

First sign of warmth

Prunus don’t normally flower well in Brisbane since our average chilling hours/units is only about 300. I have bought a couple of Prunus Mume (Ume, or Chinese/Japanese apricots/plum) seedlings about 4 or 5 years ago, but they have not yet flowered. Although I must admit they’re grown in pots and are severely neglected… just like everything else in my garden really…

However, a few seedlings I pricked off the lawn under flowering peach trees at a public park three years ago has been in flower every year since August 2012. Yes, they flowered in later July/early August, just like my peach tree at my parents’ place. They flower every year at the first sign of warmth, it’s not long now till the wisteria will follow ~

All of them really need to be repotted before they start leafing out. I just hope I can get around to it this year ^^

Peach Flowers 2014
The peach flowers in my garden this year

PeachFlowerRomaSt2014
The peach flowers at a public park this year

Starting over

I have virtually stopped all my Internet activities on gardening websites since my son was born in December 2012, and have been gradually getting back into it over the last six months. However, only really the site I visited most pre-2013, which was the Brisbane Local Food. My son is now a toddler, although not ready to be involved in gardening activities other than watering, I would like to get back into more browsing, so in order to help me to remember other websites I frequented, I’m re-tracing my cyper-footsteps!

I remember when I first started growing food, most of the information I found are catered for the Northern hemisphere, and since I was reading English, naturally more specifically, the English speaking part of Northern hemisphere, which means temperate climates. Particularly in books. Which have totally different growing conditions to our subtropical-tropical sunny state in Queensland. So I turned to look for Australian online forums. There were a few good forums I frequented, namely Aussies Living Simply, and the now closed “Ausgarden”, but many posters came from the southern states where it is in the temperate climates as well. I also came across seed companies’ websites with a wealth of information on them, such as Diggers Club, and Green Harvest. The latter was particularly helpful since they’re based in Queensland. I also discovered Annette McFarlane, and Brisbane Organic Growers‘ websites, the former have a number of useful factsheets with relevant information for warm climates (naturally I bought her books, and attended her Council library’s seminars too), and the latter had a very useful growing calendar, and a seasonal task list specific to Brisbane.

I then found Brisbane Local Food, a forum with its members based in Brisbane and surrounds, founded by an ex-horticulturist. What puts this site above the rest other than the relevant content was that the forum was active, questions were answered promptly by its members or the founder at the time, and more importantlay a member started organising regularly garden visits to members’ home gardens, so that we actually get to meet face-to-face, admire and learn from each other’s gardens. That was a few years ago now, this forum have grown and lots have change, but it remains a good source of information and ideas. Another group was later created by one of the members for the Logan area have also developed really well, which I didn’t get around to actively participate before my son came along. Although that might change as I’m trying to get back to Online Garden surfing, and some of their garden visits are actually closer to me than the Brisbane ones ^^

Over the last few years, it appears that growing food has become more common, with more and more books published, and more websites popping up. (I really like the Organic gardener website with its blogs) and maybe even trendy judging from harvest photos posted on Facebook from people whom I’ve never thought would be out there gardening, and also the new food garden at South bank.

This post is getting long, and I’m rambling on now, and yet I haven’t listed all the websites yet! Nevertheless, this list will keep me entertained for a while ~