Now those of you who know me, will know that I cannot abide crudeness. It is not that I am a prude, but it just seems wrong and an abuse of language. The problem started when I told Cruella I was worried because my balls were misshapen. No sooner were the words out of my mouth before she launched into a full blue comedian routine starting with, she wondered why I walked that way etc. When I explained that I was talking about my Olive balls, this only made her worse. She has now written up a complete comedy routine around my innocent statement; and I’m not talking to her. On with the gardening.
25th May 2021. Things I have been doing lately:
🍈 Reshaping my Olive balls. Don’t you start! – As regulars readers of this blog will know I cloud pruned my Olive tree a few years back into a series of balls. This is relatively easy to do and adds structure and shape to your garden. Most people have Olive trees which are large amorphous lumps sitting in their garden, and they never even process the Olives. If this is you then it is time to cloud prune your tree. Olives are easy to prune to shape and you can shape it to boxes, stars or balls which ever you prefer.
Once you have chosen you design just get stuck in using hedge trimmers and make you basic shape. You will need to trim it up twice a year but this doesn’t take long. The first photo below shows my misshapen balls – stop it! Whilst the second and third shows my newly pruned balls, right that enough I’m leaving this topic. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🌸 Cutting back Daisies. By now the first flush of flowers on all types of Daises, Margarites, Oesteospermum etc should be finished. Now is the time when you should prune off the seed heads and reshape them so that they will keep flowering. If you have a lot of these it can be a time consuming process. So whilst you have your hedge trimmer out reshaping your you know whats, then just run it over the Daisies. This looks brutal at first, but I promise you they will grow back as good as ever.
The first photo below shows a bed of Oesteospermums that are more or less spent. The second photo shows them brutally cut back. In the words of Arnie “They’ll be back”. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🍽 Feeding plants. Now that summer is about to get into its stride, don’t forget to feed your plants. And just as people don’t all like the same food, the same is true for plants. Your citrus trees need a weekly feed at the moment with specialist citrus food. Similarly your non citrus fruiting trees and plants need a different type of food. Your lawn, if you have one needs to be fed at least three times over the growing season. You will also need a good all round universal plant food for everything else, especially potted plants. In addition to the various types of plant food, I also mix up a big container of iron and put a glug of this into most waterings (but not succulents).
The first photo below shows some of my different types of plant food, together with mixed iron feed. The second photo shows my trusty feed spreader ready to give the lawn a snack. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🪚 Cutting back some Iris. If you have heeded my advice in previous posts, you will have deadheaded your Iris and left the stems there to feed the bulbs for next year. I know this can look a little untidy, but you get your rewards next year. By now some of your Iris stands should be ready for cutting back, but not all of them. Cut the stems right back to the ground, and don’t forget to thank them for their beautiful flowers. Always say goodnight and I either say a prayer or sometimes we sing a hymn or song. Favourites at the moment are “Abide with me” or “We’ll meet again”. Don’t be tempted to crack jokes, or make attempts at gallows humour, I assure you it is not appreciated and a tad insensitive.
The first photo below shows a stand that is ready for cutting back. The second photo shows one that is not ready. The final photo shows the use of a trailing Lantana to cover the bare area where the Iris has been. Click on each photo for a larger view.
👌 Some updates. For those of you interested, and that includes all of you I am sure. I thought you might like to see how my Loofah experiment is going and get a look at how my mighty Agave Americana flower spike is going; Cruella has just sniggered when I told her I was going to show you this. The first two photos show the progress of one of my Loofahs, including the start of a new baby Loofah. The final photo shows the Agave spike, it is now about 15 foot tall. Click on each photo for a larger view.