Wet weather relieves the pressure

APRIL showers continue to fall and on Saturday some even came as storms.

The rainfall is keeping our gardens lush and green. Light rain makes feeding the garden rather easy. Our water usage should be well within allowed limits.

Gympie does have water restrictions.

The April meeting of the Horticultural Society will be this Saturday at 21 Stockden Road (The Palms), the Baumgatner garden, at 1.30pm. Stockden Road is off Glastonbury Road after Palm Drive and Jimbour Road.

Bring a hat, a chair and a small plate of afternoon tea to share. Have your entry in the Gnome competition at the May 1 and 2 Garden Expo organised at home ready for the April 30 journey to The Pavilion. There are two classes: traditional and decorated. Raylene Kross is working hard on her entry.

In my collection I have a “lady gnome” and a tiny charm garden gnome. I love my charm given to me by my family. It is as small as my fingernail, but is a traditional gnome. It reminds me of 22 years as “Garden Gnome” in this paper.

During the years I have loved palms, bougainvilleas, bromeliads, native orchids and more and have visited incredible gardens featuring these. Now my love is an Environmental Park with its tiny treasures like Thyme Honey Myrtle in bloom now. On the dunes blue fan flowers are in flower much to the joy of yellow grass butterflies.

April 22 is World Earth Day.

We celebrate all that is good with our earth (or our own garden) and resolve to care for it better in an environmentally sound way. That is one of the changes in 22 years.

Now we think about garden care and do not immediately reach for a spray.

Lawn grubs for example will go and the grass grow again. Sprays kill good bugs as well as lawn grubs.

We think about water, saving it, conserving it and in our area the building of dams. I still collect rainwater and we use a bore. It is pouring rain again on our garden as I write.

Dams are at 98% in South-East Queensland. It is a nice feeling.

Native orchids love rain; indeed a beautiful orchid show is a part of the Garden Expo.

There is also an orchid show at Caloundra on April 23 and 24. Gympie enthusiasts will be showing.

A bromeliad show at Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens in Brisbane is on April 24 and 25.

Here the orchids against the brick wall are flowering well.

This includes my Tiger orchid, named for great-grandson Taiga. It is an amazing flower in sunlight as it glows. Taiga also glows as he loves sweet potato mash. Sweet potatoes have been grown by five generations of my family. Cranes grew wonderful sweet potatoes in the copper (laundry) ash at Tin Can Bay in the 50s and each holiday some would be dug and enjoyed.

During this damp time you can enjoy the growing tips of your sweet potato vines as a green vegetable. They need only minutes of cooking and are best added to a stirfry. Plant a few lettuces every week especially the “pick a leaf” ones.

Take care with wet lawn clippings, add them to compost rather than directly onto garden beds in wet weather. Add shredded newspaper to prevent soggy compost. Leaves are good even chopped twigs for the right mix in compost.

Vegetable beds love compost. Here I am lucky to be able to add seagrass to my mulch at times.

Passionfruit vines will be loving the extra moisture. Pick the fruit regularly.

Tomatoes are bearing well. Plant the new small vine tomatoes for good results.

Plant strawberries in very well drained beds.

Add lime to any beds that will be growing peas, beans or sweet peas. With cooler nights bulbs can also be planted now. Good drainage is necessary.

It is a damp April enjoy this autumn season. Remove weeds in the damp conditions especially asparagus fern ready to seed now.

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