Welcoming In Winter

Like it or not, and I’m firmly in the “not” camp on this one, winter is here again, but I’ve been kind’ve happy to see how well Kangaeroo Corner has held up this year as the cold sets in.

This year is the second year of our garden and for the most part it has thrived.

That’s especially fantastic considering the harsh summer we went through, followed by an Indian summer that extended deeply into the autumn.

I’ve previously experienced summers in Japan as hot as those of 2023, but none as dry.

The lack of rain might have been welcome from a cycling point of view, which it was, but not for the garden.

The lawn became a dustbowl and it took large amounts of money, effort and worry to deal with.

Ultimately, it seems like patience would have been the best approach, but I’ve never had the time for patience.

The lawn I had been so immensely proud of, and which sparked such envy among the neighbors, was destroyed by the summer heat.

I’ve tried reviving it since in the cooler weather, and for the most part have done OK, but the lush turf created by the zoysia strain we initially used is gone.

I wasn’t a great fan by the spring of this year as zoysia goes dormant and leaves the lawn brown for half a year.

I’ve tried a blend of many different grasses this year and we’ll see how it goes.

I had some troubles getting the strains to germinate, but noticed the tall fescue that was unresponsive for nearly all of the autumn has not only finally taken root, it looks great.

Unfortunately, it’s only a tiny patch of less than 30 centimeters square.

But good food for thought.

Most of the Kangaeroo Corner trees thrived in the heat and even the tree fern that we had to shield from the sun for months has now bounced back with a vengeance.

The jacaranda assumed dead in the winter has soared skyward, as has the Stick, the name I give to a grevillea purchased through the Mercari online flea market site and apparently kaput by the time we planted in March 2022.

Plants grown from seeds, those that survived, have been amazing! We’ve got a dwarf wattle, several hardenbergia, including one that looks like it will form a wonderful display if it blooms, and loads of kangaroo paw, including several handed out to neighbors.

Our major failure has been the hairpin banksia, which I so desperately wanted to succeed, but it succumbed to the summer and poor care (overwatering?) once I’d transplanted it in the autumn.

I bought a new and cheap hairpin banksia from Mercari, hoping to replicate the success of the Stick. It has held on so far, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Anyway, in what has been a generally bleak year (but an improvement on 2022), the garden has been a bit of a godsend. And the birds have loved it, too!

Here’s hoping the winter won’t be too hard on it.

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