RTBG Thursday 5th August 2021

Dormancy over winter affects many plants and we must always wait for the weather to warm to lift them out of hibernation. During the past week or so in Hobart we have been treated to a few 15 and 16 degree days with sunshine so that the soil has started to warm – marginally – but it is happening. The result is that spring weeds are beginning to ‘green’ the soils and need some pulling or raking before they establish deep roots. For the moment, I leave mine resting on the soil in order for them to rot and let any nutrients to return to the soil. At the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) in the Food Garden, the weeds are plucked, roots and all, and thrown into the hot compost bins. Yesterday, it was such business as normal.

Thanks to Pam for her photos we can see that the ground in the orchard, near the yet to bloom pear trees and others, is being carefully denuded of those unwanted plants – what are, for this garden, weeds. In the foreground garden bed shown below, the vegetation is high enough in summer for wallabies to hide and sleep in for the day. But as winter closes, the patch is almost bare.

Over the bed containing rosemary bushes and olive trees a new nourishing layer of mulch was added.  See the rich chocolaty colour of that health giving compost in the following photo.

When I see blossom, typically I say to myself ‘Spring has sprung’ regardless of the date on the calendar. Yet I realise some of my readers are now progressing towards Autumn, or for the North American readers, to Fall.  While the colour of leaves may be turning in the northern hemisphere, lush greenness is on its way here in the southernmost part of Australia. And blossom. Glorious blossom.

When I see the last leaves on a neighbour’s late leaf dropping Liquid Amber and the fresh pink blossom on a plum tree next door at the same time, I whoop with pleasure. Despite being many months off, I feel summer is on its way: well at least winter is almost over. Elsewhere around Hobart, fresh flowers are appearing on a number of fruit and nut trees.  And spring bulbs are rioting with the yellows and whites and peach colours.

In the Food Garden at RTBG, the almond tree is blossoming.  Making a wonderful spectacle of itself.

Now, fingers and toes must be crossed. Please – send no winds to blow the flowers away before they are pollinated and the fruits start to form.

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