Recently, two plants gifted by an anonymous donor have appeared in the Millman Street garden, and it was while she was tending these earlier today that this reporter surprised the camera-shy Rema, quizzing her about this and other news from the Oasis Project. In retaliation, she gave this ignoramus Latin names for various plants, prompting a rare bout of research into spellings and meanings.
It was gloriously hot at the time, but later turned a little nippy. Perhaps sensing the inevitable, Rema was already working in preparation for the autumn. “It’s coming to the end of the flowering season for quite a few of the plants,” she said. “Although we still have glorious geraniums in flower. The hydrangea has gone into its autumn colours of green and brown. The cerastigma (leadwort) has got pretty blue flowers on it.”
The Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) has putty balls in its plant pot to act as mulch, so it’s not so prone to drying out. The second pictured plant is a Dragon Tree (Dracaeno draco).
Ably assisted today by Fred and Olive, Rema also plans to do some autumn pruning to get the garden ready for winter, such as non-hardy perennials such as geraniums.
The team have also been tending the strawberry tree or Arbutus unedo. Alas, caterpillars (little blighters or parum blighters) have run amok, and have got at the cauliflower and one of the broccoli plants, but under Rema’s leadership, the gardening team will continue to feed and protect the brussel sprouts and remaining broccoli.
Rema is also contemplating the removal of certain plants such as flax (Phormium), yukka and/or privet in favour of soft fruit plants, possibly a crabapple tree (Malus) or raspberries (Rubus idaeus) or strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) on the terrace, the better to bring more colour to the garden next spring, to provide healthy home-grown produce for our members, and also for sound ecological reasons concerned with the soil, which gardeners understand but baffle laymen.
Badly-taken Photos and Report by Notes Smudger