This blog is about a garden located in Melbourne, Australia, where summer heat and long periods without rain can make gardening a challenge. It is the gateway to a series of blogs showing you how to deal with these conditions__________________________________John Ashworth 22/04/2017.
Latest Update 10th July 2021. Growing Ornamentals.
I used to have a fine garden full of colour and vigour, and then came a 13 year long drought which changed my mindset considerably.
I retired in 2010, and by coincidence, the drought broke in Melbourne about the same time.
For a while I focused my energies in retirement on developing a highly efficient vegetable, herb and fruit growing system which used the most advanced organic methods I could find to grow my crops.
I used wicking beds to limit water use to a minimum to grow my veggies and drip line irrigation to grow my other plants.
More recently, I turned my attention to restoring some of the beauty in the garden which I had lost during the drought starting with a new lawn.
Many organic gardeners consider lawns to be unsustainable and have replaced them with perennial plants with low nutritional and water requirements.
Lil insisted I replace her beloved small patch of lawn in the front garden, so I did. However, I decided to make it as sustainable as possible by carefully incorporating lots of homemade compost into the soil before the turf was rolled out. The roots of the pre-grown turf were sprayed with aerated compost tea, and a sub-turf drip irrigation system was installed.
This buffalo grass lawn is now mature and needs only an hour of irrigation once a week in the hottest months and only rainfall for the rest of the year. It is mowed on the longest setting, and regularly fed with about 40 litres of compost extract to maintain its vitality.
The following links take you to my blogpages which cover most of the ornamental plants in my garden (including the lawn). These pages contain a botanical name, the variety grown, its preferred growing conditions, soil preparation, propagation, growing instructions and pest control.