Monday, November 02, 2015

October 2015 Garden News

October is usually a very dry month and as usual it stayed very dry. Some places north and south of Brisbane received great downpours but we had about 15 mills which is far better than nothing. It’s such a shame as a good dose of rain would make the garden so much better.
We are very fortunate that the late summer rain filled up all our tanks, so we still have enough water to water all of our plants.
Of course October is the time all the Hippeastrums flower and this month has had a great shoing with some really beautiful 'doubles' in flower.

No presentations this month which is good as I am so busy getting ready for our ‘Open Garden’.
We had one bus trip here this month from ‘Springdale Garden Club’ it was only a small bus but those who came really enjoyed the morning.
I actually apologised about the state of the garden prior to them walking around, when they had finished most of the comments were that is was the best garden they had seen. Perhaps I am too critical of myself.

I have given 22 presentations to various Garden Clubs and organisations this year, not a bad effort considering you only get petrol money and sometimes sell hardly any plants, anyway I consider it to be more of a community service. We certainly will not get rich doing it.
The unusual plants Amorphophallus and related are starting to smell.

The Brisbane Garden Show was on this month and of course we went, I must admit to being disappointed as there were not many of the plants Judy and I like/collect for sale. It was nowhere as good as the Nambour show. We came home with a couple of climbers bought from Wes Vidler.
My Facebook page ‘The Giving Garden’ is creeping towards to 1000 followers which is pretty good.
I have started a new Facebook page called ‘Open Gardens Queensland’ this will be available to anyone in Queensland to promote their ‘Open Garden’, of course the first garden is ours.
I have also started a web site called ‘Open Gardens Queensland’ and the same criteria apply with that.
I have planted many new plants this month as there are always holes to be filled.

 Tecomanthe 'Shannon'
 Dendrobium Orchid
 Lorikeets waiting for a feed.
 Double white Brugmansia
I think the garden is going to look great for our opening, we have green lawns and all the plants are looking healthy and we might just get some rain prior to opening ‘fingers crossed’.
My eldest son Scott returned from Sacramento in the United States where he had been competing in the World Disabled Water Ski Championships, he came home a ‘World Champion’ winning GOLD in the jump and a silver and bronze medal. We are so very proud of his achievements.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Open Garden, Brisbane 2015

Open Gardens Queensland Web Site

 I have started a new web page for those gardeners living in Queensland who wish to open their garden to the public.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

September 2015 Garden News

It has been very much of an uneventful month in the garden.
Still very dry with only one small shower during the month, it did try and rain bt it as usual went to the north and south of us.
Lucky this year we still have rainwater in our tanks, so are able to keep our plants alive.
 Aechmea 'Red October'
 Amorphophallus coaetaneus
 Pinellia 'Green Dragon'
 Mulberry time.
 Medinilla dolichopylla
 Hippeastrum 'Jovial Joe'
 Heliconia 'Costa Flores'.
 Clivea var
 Phaius bernaysii
Tillandsia neglecta
Only one garden presentation this month and that was to the Cleveland Probus Club.
I was the only male out of about 60 club members, they enjoyed the presentation and it also gave me the opportunity to promote Novembers ‘Open Garden’.
Probably the biggest job this month was to replace the pool gazebo roof.

The thatch is very expensive, just the two ends cost over $600. I managed to save quite a bit by using extra thick brush fencing on the main part of the roof as Bunning’s had reduced a roll from $169 to $69, so all in all the roof cost me a little over $700 and it looks good.

I also oiled and refurbished the deck.
Did some work on the pool area garden as I scored a couple of really nice clay pots from the Bunning’s throw out table.

There was a Cordyline Society meeting at the end of the month which I went to, seems I was the only person who was not told about a change in venue.
School Holidays so I took Sophie and Luke fishing to a creek that runs alongside our estate.

I am really happy with the way the garden is looking at the moment, with a little bit of rain the garden will look the best ever for our opening.
I have started to do all the mail outs to garden clubs ect and am getting flyers out to nurseries ect.
People do not seem to realise just how much it costs to put on a well organised ‘Open Garden’, I estimate our costs at about $1000, this includes printing, mailing, signs, toilet hire, gas, ect.
Here is some information about our opening.

After raising $8292 for disabled children through a local Lions Club in the last two open gardens, Judy and I have decided to open our garden again on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd November to again support the ‘Lions Club’ to raise money for a worthwhile cause.
Entry will be only $7.00 and the Lions Club will be providing food and drinks.
A portable toilet will be available situated on the front lawn.
As usual Judy will be selling some amazing bromeliads and other garden plants including some rare plants that you will not get elsewhere.
We also have Genny Catlan bringing a selection of beautiful caladiums to sell.
It's on the same weekend as the 'Tropical Foliage Festival' which is held in Cleveland, so you can have a great gardening day out if you visit us both.
Stacks of great plants (including Tropical Fruit Trees) will be for sale as well as fresh 'off the tree' ‘black sapote’ (chocolate pudding fruit).
Please come and see a great garden and most importantly support a very worthwhile cause.
It’s not a walk in walk out garden; it’s one you can spend several hours in.
If you have been before please come again because there’s always something new in this garden and this year has seen a lot of new work done.
Ian has his own website and a garden blog at  almost 200,000 people from over 100 countries around the world have seen our garden this way.  The blog has been archived by the state library as being of significant importance to the state of Queensland. Ian also has a Facebook page devoted to the ‘giving garden’ found at which has over 900 followers.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

August 2015 Garden News

It’s been a very dry August with only a few mills falling during the last week of the month.
The garden is very dry and I am back to watering, I hate it as it takes such a long time to go around the garden hand watering, especially when there’s so much else to do.
So much to do that I have started to make a list of priority jobs.
Judy has found it hard with all the visitors; she is just so far behind where she wants to be.
It was nice of Warrick and family to come down for Judy’s Birthday, we miss Charlotte and Celeste so much.

They put their home up for sale and it sold in the first week so instead of travelling six minutes to see them we have to travel six hours.
Anyway they seem very happy with their five acres at Agnes Water.

Scott's son Luke is a hard worker, just loves to help out.

A couple of big jobs this month has been to cut out all the old mother Bromeliads and take them to the dump, then it was to prune six Custard Apple trees and one Mango, so I spent quite a bit of time up a tree.

We went to Sandgate Garden Club, Geranium Society and The Gap Garden Club this month for presentations.

Only one more talk and one bus tour left this year then it’s all about getting ready for the ‘Open Garden’.
I refurbished one of my water pots.

I ordered the ‘Open Garden’ flyers in a morning and they were delivered that afternoon.
I sold my boat which was hurtful as I have rarely been without some sort of watercraft, thinking of going to the boat show and looking at small tinnies, we shall see.
All of my Amorphophallus collection has now been re-potted and quite a few had made new offshoots so I will have quite a few for sale at this year’s ‘Open Garden’.

My collection of Amorphophallus is now over 60 different varieties.

With the warmth comes colour.

 We dug up all the Caladium beds, collected the bulbs, refurbished the soil and re planted them.

 The above bed is a mass planting of 'Blood Lily's and a selection of gingers.
Here we have had to place the Caladium bulbs in pots as the palms have such big roots that nothing will grow in the ground.

I picked up several raw slabs of timber from the recent Nambour Garden Expo at the amazing price of $5 each, below you can see what I have done with some of them.

Lady Slipper Vine seems early this year.
 A Vanda Orchid in flower.
 A great winter flowering plant, Red Justicica.
 A couple of Slipper Orchids.