Collecting seeds

After a slow and slightly wet start to summer, it’s great to enjoy the summery weather. However this means taking some extra care of my seedlings that I’m growing for an autumn planting session at the retreat.

The challenge has been in collecting seeds and growing them up into small trees that can then be planted out. Some of the previously planted trees have succumbed to last summer’s high temperatures, the resident hare and the kangaroos.

The chestnut trees were one casualty and as my friend’s chestnuts were eaten by cockies, I bought some from the supermarket, popped them in the vegetable crisper for a couple of months and was happily surprised when they sprouted. They were potted up and a couple have already gone in the ground at the retreat.


A Jacaranda tree grown from a seed of the next door neighbour’s tree has also gone in and is doing really well. I’m still deciding whether the Magnolia trees (also grown from seed) will make an appearance up at the retreat or to leave them in here in the city.

Another mini forest in the making are some peppercorn trees from seeds of a tree in the local town. I’m thinking of arranging these in a well spaced circle (20metres apart) from the oak tree in the centre of the paddock. Much like a Medicine Wheel or a living labyrinth.

Speaking of labyrinths – both labyrinths are in great need of refurbishment. Heavy rains (one day a neighbour recorded 70mm) have washed away the little labyrinth. I’m toying with the idea of creating a raised straw bale spiral garden instead to grow herbs and other useful shrubs. The larger labyrinth is very overgrown with native grasses and the jonquils in one of the central rings did get to flower this year. The pomegranates and olives around the perimeter continue to survive and the application of some organic fertilizer has helped the remaining oak trees to finally grow some height.  The previous attempt to refurbish the outline of the rings with rocks gathered from the paddock was a good idea in theory, but has affected the water flow and now looks untidy with the grass growing up and through them.