Meander Valley Gazette

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In the Garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne EisemannComment
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AUGUST 2018 | Nell Carr

IT IS odd to be talking about drought resistant plants in a month when rivers are running “bankers” and average rainfall to the third week in July at the Western end of the Valley, has already exceeded the historical average.

At time of writing 147mm of rain has been recorded, and more is predicted. The dwarf geraniums, or Cranesbills, as distinct from the larger and more showy frost tender Pelagoniums, are tolerant of frost and many have deliciously scented foliage.

The Meadow Cranesbill, G Pratense, has single flowers of purest white or pale blue, and G maculatum, the American Geranium, is reputed to have medicinal properties.

Passers by will have noticed in the beds of the Commonwealth Bank in Deloraine, the bright red, deeply cut winter foliage of Geranium sanguineum, the Bloody Cranesbill, in the lower bed, while in the upper bed in the same bank the mauve flowers and green foliage of the same species are still evident.

Possibly the lower bed gets more winter sunshine than the upper one, but in any case all stages of this useful ornamental plant are attractive.

In the vegie garden:

If the soil tends to be acid, beds destined for green peas should have been limed already. It is not advisable to sow if the soil is still very wet.

Make rows 40 to 50cms. apart in loose, moist soil. Spread some seed raising mix in the bottom and press seeds into dark, damp soil 3 or 4 cms. apart. Some experts recommend sowing in cold districts in June and July, however, if there is a late frost when peas are flowering, the crop will be ruined.