The back raingarden has taken a festive turn, courtesy of recycled orange bags that I’ve put over the grape bunches in the vain hope that we might score more grapes than the birds this year. We do love the rainbow lorikeets visiting, but they are much less frequent visitors/pillagers than the Indian mynahs.
The grapevine has matured nicely and makes the courtyard a lovely shady place to sit on a warm summer’s day. The Gingko has certainly got over its early shock at having wet feet and has grown almost a metre in each of the last two summers: it is even starting to pay its way by contributing to the backyard shade.
In the front raingarden this spring, we planted spinach, spring onions and chives, which have served us well. Now the spinach is going to seed, new tomato plants are taking over, self-seeded from last years crop. We have added some basil to the mix, as well as some strawberry plants transplanted from a garden in the mallee, where they were providing masses of strawberries. No such luck here yet: perhaps the raingarden is just not right for strawbs.
Over on the other side of the front garden, we have replaced the machelia, which we removed when most of its branches started looking diseased. We planted a small Eureka lemon tree in a raised bed, which seems to be happy enough. In June we planted a crop of garlic cloves under the lemon tree and have just harvested and plaited them to provide us with a garlic supply for at least a few months. It’s not really the raingarden, but it is irrigated with tank water, so contributing to keeping our stormwater on the property rather than down the drain.
The fact that this is the first raingarden diary post in a long time is a symptom of how little trouble the system has been: the tank and pump continue to go strong in their eighth year, and the tree and the grapevine in the back raingarden are making a big (summer) contribution to reducing the volume of runoff leaving the property.