Friday, February 02, 2018

January 2018 Garden News

No blog last month (December) as we were just so busy with family and of course Christmas.
We had great rain in December which filled all our seven tanks.

I was mowing the grass twice a week, which is a very rare event.

We looked after Grandchildren for a couple of weeks during school holidays and I was fortunate enough to see some quite good children’s movies.

Not much done in the way of gardening except for cutting out a couple of White Sapote trees which had never borne any fruit and constructing a shade area /walk where they used to be.
I replanted this area with all the new Costus and Beehive Gingers, should look great when established.

I think I should just forget about January, just so hot without a day being under 30c in the shade and absolutely NO rain whatsoever.
Thank goodness we had our tanks full because most of our time this month has been spent watering.
I must admit spending so much time watering really annoys me when I could be doing other things, but has to be done if we want to keep our plants alive.
One Sunday we had to drive with the trailer to Centenary Landscapes at Darra.
This is the only place we can find the 15 mill pine bark needed for bromeliads.
Left a very dry Birkdale and when we reached the suburb of Rocklea it started to pour with rain, so much so that we had to switch on the car lights and slow to a crawl and this lasted for some time, the curbside gutters were overflowing.
We picked up 1 and 2/3 rds metre of bark and returned home.
Guess what, Birkdale was as dry as a bone.

Hopefully it will rain soon, cannot be as dry as last year surely.
I split up my Native Bee hives and have four hives soon to be picked up from orders taken during last years 'Open Garden'. Waited until I was sure they are settled and happy in their new home.

You know they are Ok when you walk past the hive you get a strong smell of their honey.

A couple of years ago I bought a pool pump shed from ALDI, anyway it started to corrode and over a couple of days I have built a new one.

Also had to buy a new air blower for pool spa and our old one burnt out.
I  actually found time to take my boat out and catch a feed of prawns from our local creek.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Great Product 'Rocky Point'

We have been using Rocky Point ‘Active 8’ for some time and love this product.
It has done wonders to our vegetable garden, so much so that our Hippeastrum and Day Lily gardens have also benefited from a layer of this with great results.
The biggest result was with our Caladium garden, I have never seen bigger flowers than this year.
‘Active 8’ has lots of goodies in the bag including, cow manure, blood and bone, trace elements, zeolite, seaweed, gypsum, compost, fish meal and iron.
You can actually just open the bag and plant straight into the mix if that’s what you want to do, we mix it into our existing soil.
It is not dear, Capalaba Produce sell four 30 litre bags for only $20 which is reasonable.
All in all a great product which works.

We were using a bulk potting mix from a landscaping yard but they got lazy and took things out of the mix, so that was their loss.
We then started to purchase a well-known brand of bagged potting mix but found it to be too fine and very ‘saw dusty’.
We then tried a bag of Rocky Point Premium potting mix and instantly liked it, a bit coarser than the other but that’s good as it assists drainage.  It’s all we use now.
The potting mix has nine month long life fertilizer, wetting agents, coco fibre/chip, fish and seaweed, compost and trace elements.
Judging by how the plants that Judy has potted with this mix are going we intend to keep purchasing this product.

I have not received any favours from Rocky Point for this review, just like the product and it’s local. 

Friday, December 01, 2017

November Garden News 2017

It is a big undertaking putting on an ‘Open Garden’ I wonder how many people realize just how much work is involved, I probably think not.

It has taken us three months to get to the stage where we are ready to open.

We were just so fortunate to get over 100 mills of rain in October as we were just so dry prior to that and were even thinking about cancelling our opening.
After 15 years this was last BIG ‘Open Garden’ and what a weekend we had, rained both days sometimes torrential but still the people kept on coming.
We had about 700 visitors to the garden most armed with an umbrella, must admit I have never seen such a wide variety of umbrellas.

People were even taking off their shoes and walking the garden in barefoot.

No complaints from anyone and the comments from visitors was amazing and sad that we are not doing it again.

The Black Sapote crop was big and our grandchildren made $65 each which was nice just before Christmas.

As usual Judy had an amazing variety of plants ready for sale and lots of plants walked out of the door going to new homes, so many people commented on how good previously bought plants were.
The Lions Club was happy with making almost $4000.

All in all it was a great weekend for everyone.

The Aristolochia grandifolia was in flower and visitors were amazed.

So many visitors were followers of my Facebook page (The Giving Garden) and (Open Gardens and Events Queensland) and said how much they liked it, which made me feel real good.

The only sad part other than the weather was someone picked to flower head off the beautiful Medinilla miniata which was a shame as we wanted the seed.

On the Wednesday after our opening we had a bus trip from the ‘Bayside Garden Club’ as we were still in ‘Open Garden’ mode the garden was still in great condition. 

We are going to have two plant sales a year on a much smaller scale than a fully blown 'Open Garden' but people will still be free to walk the garden and hopefully walk away with some wonderful plants. We will not have toilet or refreshments available and there will be a ‘Gold Coin’ entry donation for a charity of our choice.
We will have the first plant sale on 7 April 2018.

Judy and I want to thank all who braved the rain 'THANK YOU’ and it has been a great experience for us.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

October Garden News 2017

This month’s blog is hard to do as I am just so busy getting ready for our final ‘Open Garden’.
I really don’t think people realise just how much work has to go into an opening like ours, it’s a big garden and means a big lot of work to get ready.

Both Judy and I are 72 and this will be our 15th consecutive opening, I don’t think too many people have done that.
Over these years we usually raise about $4000 for the ‘Lion’s Club’, so that makes it close to $60,000 overall and we stipulate that the money goes to aid disabled especially children.
We were recognise on Australia Day 2017 by Redland City as ‘Local Hero’s’, it was quite an achievement.

Boonah Garden Club visited and had a nice morning in our garden and we gave presentations to Logan City Garden Club and Albany Creek Garden Club.

This year we have had 24 either bus trips or given presentations, a busy year to say the least.
All my 5000 Open Garden flyers have been distributed to garden clubs, nursery’s ect.
Letters sent to clubs, radio, television and newspapers all in the hope of getting a ‘bite’.
We had a burst in ‘The Senior News’ which was great and hoping that the ‘Redland City Bulletin’ will do the same.

I now have a new camera, it is a Canon GX3 and so far I am extremely happy with it, only gripe is that it did not come with a CD or cable.

Now for the REALLY BIG NEWS, we have had the best prior ‘Open Garden’ rain ever, a total of 150 mills and all out tanks are full, that is amazing.
The garden is looking truly beautiful and lush and everything good.

The mass planting of Caladiums is going to be spectacular and the Amorphophallus are coming through.

Lots of great and rare plants will be for sale at very reasonable prices.