Friday, June 03, 2016

May 2016 Garden News

This month after a long absence we went to 'Aspley Garden Club' to give a presentation, I must admit I was a tad worried how we would be received as I wrote in this blog several years ago how disappointed we were that when they visited our garden on a bus trip they only stayed for half an hour.

Anyway my worries were unfounded as we were well received and the presentation went very well with lots of questions after.
Another presentation this month was to the ‘Ipswich Horticultural Society’ it was only a small group in a very cramped area but it went well as all enjoyed the presentation.
Judy and I had been looking forward to the inaugural ‘Plant Collectors Fair’ held this month in the Botanical Gardens. Well what a turn out, glad we were early as there must have been several hundred in the queue and one inside it was crowded.
Still we bought some nice plants and enjoyed meeting some garden friends and fellow plant collectors.
A person I was standing next to in the queue was a follower of this blog and my Facebook page ‘The Giving Garden’.
Judy had to have a heart pacemaker inserted as when she went for her last rheumatoid operation they were worried about her low blood pressure. Hopefully when she recovers she will be back to her old self. It certainly came as a shock to us all.
I have completed two jobs in the garden this month, one was an extension to the Tecomanthe 'Shannon' climbing frame and the other was to tidy up a small garden.

This meant we had to cancel our trip to Agnes Water to see our son and family.
What can I say about May’s weather, DRY, DRY, Dry and more DRY, not a drop of rain again.  I think this is worse than the drought of 2007-2009.
All our tanks are empty, the garden is parched, lawns are brown and yet I am still buying more plants.
Am I mad?
Two of our Grand Children came and did some work in the garden for pocket money and had a good play in my pile of dirt

Second crop of Carambloas.

Some of the plants that have flowered this month.
Crinum Big Brad
Red Riot.
Haemantus albaflos
Hankerchief tree.
Late flowering Agapantus.
Costus cross 'Yellow Belieze x Rubra'.
Triplaris tree.

I have a huge problem with my Heliconias as they are rotting from inside and no one seems to know the cause. I have treated the surrounding soil with Phos Acid and Molasses without any success.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Garden News April 2016

Well, it is unfortunately the usual situation in our part of the world. In one word ‘DRY’.
April has been completely dry, not a drop of rain has fallen, and it is now a real worry with our tanks almost empty and going in to our supposed dry season with empty tanks.
It would be just so nice to have a downpour that would fill our tanks and water the garden.
I must admit I really hate standing around with hose in hand watering every individual plant in our garden, not only does it take forever but I am always thinking of other more productive things I could be doing.
Still it does not stop me working in the garden and buying more and more plants.
For my Birthday we drove up to the Nambour to see our friend Maureen Simons who has a great Tropical Nursery there and of course we came back with a car full of Heliconias, Gingers and Costus.

We also have a Nursery Traders card and that is real temptation.

My Garden related Facebook pages are doing really well, Open Gardens and Events Queensland has 400 likes and The Giving Garden has over 1500.

As for working in the garden, well I have been going nonstop with several alterations and enlargements to existing gardens.

A new bench for Judy.
 Extending this garden.

 Another refurbishment.

Old Broms out and Heliconias and Gingers to go in.

One of the biggest jobs was to dig all the Day Lilys out of the front garden as they were strangled with invasive tree roots; we have now planted a selection of nice Agapanthus in their place and the Day Lilys will be planted elsewhere in the garden.
 Repointing between rocks.

Another big job was to transfer all the material out of the large composting area and take it to the back compost bins, it took 50 wheelbarrow loads to complete but at least I now have space for new compost.
 All transferred to back bins.
 As you can see it was full.

We went to our friend Rod Paterson’s ‘Open Garden’ in early April and as usual enjoyed the garden and bought a few plants.
Caladium 'Thai Beauty'.

No presentations this month only a bus of visitors from Caloundra African Violet and Indoor Plant Society, they stayed for about 2.5 hours and enjoyed the garden.

I have made an amazing difference to the garden in the last two years so if you have been to our garden before you can come again because it has changed quite dramatically.
Some of the plants flowering in April.
 Hoffmannia ghiesbreghtii.
 Fiery Costus.
 Yellow Crinum xanthophyllum.
Costus wanisai.

I have been lucky enough to acquire a few more Amorphophallus tubers, so that gives me almost 70 different; you just have to be a bit lucky to get them for the right price when purchasing them on eBay.
So all in all it has been a big moth of physical work and I am always happy when I look at the garden and see that I have made a difference.

Friday, April 01, 2016

March 2016 Garden News

Finally had a bit of on off rain, not a lot, not enough to fill our tanks but enough to turn the brown lawns green. Every small bit is welcome.
It has been a very hot March with the temperature not falling below 30c all month, both Judy and I will be so glad to see some cooler weather.
Aphelandra tetragona
Brazil Cloak
Cat's Whiskers
Blue Ginger

I have been working hard in the garden doing lots of little jobs that overall make a difference.
Last month's project is really looking good now it's finished.

I bought this Medinilla teysmannii from Cairns a couple of years ago, very excited to see it in flower.

We have had to dig out all the Day Lilys and pot them as the ground they were in was completely infested with tree roots; it was a hell of a job, hard on my almost 71 year old back.
My Facebook page ‘The Giving Garden’ is going very well with over 1500 followers and steadily rising every week.

We had two gardening presentations this month; the first was ‘The Society for Potted Plants’ and the second was for ‘Kilcoy Garden Club’.

Kilcoy is only a small club of 30 members but their hospitality is typical of country Queensland, we have been there five times.
Andrew Current delivered 30 bales of sugar cane mulch, we go through about 150 bales a year.

My new presentation ‘Clever Gardening’ received very good reviews from the audience.
We could not get to the Ipswich Garden Expo again this year as each year it coincides with something else more important, never mind have the Nambour Garden Expo to look forward to in July.
Brugmansia double white
Fire Spike
Vanda Orchid
Medinilla scortechinii
Hard Cane Dendrobium
Costus ';Red Tower'

My poor Brugmansia ‘Bucks Fizz’, the weather has just been too hot and dry for it and it died, such a shame as it was such a spectacular looking tree when in flower. I have now planted a Brugmansia ‘Clementine’ in its place, but it will be a few years before it looks really good.

We really need some good rain as we head into winter, our seven tanks are almost empty and as winter is usually our dry season it is a bit of a worry.