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.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Garden News February 2016

Well all I can say is “thank god summer is over”, it has been one of the hottest and driest I have known.
The garden has really taken a hammering these past eight weeks and the only thing that saved us was the 90 mills we had in the beginning of January, which put quite a bit of water into our empty tanks.
The heat and the dry have not stopped me working and improving the garden.

I did find time to go prawning in Tingalpa Creek and caught a meal.

I have topped up several gardens with good quality soil and built up existing gardens with rocks then filling behind with soil and compost.

Look at what's left of the grass.

Quite a few new plantings, and with the drought quite a few plant losses also.

Our first garden presentation for 2016 was at ‘Caloundra Garden Club’. It was a very hot day 38c and we had our fingers crossed that the hall would be air conditioned; it was which made for a pleasant morning. About a 100 members attended and all enjoyed my ‘Passion for Plants’ presentation. They are planning to have a bus trip here soon.

I had two neighbours native bee boxes to split and took some photos of the process.

Now for the  really good news this month.  Early one morning we woke to the sound of chain saws, I went out to investigate as there are several trees in neighbors yards that give us a lot of grief, one especially was a Cadachi tree, absolute nightmare with leaf fall all covered in mould and bark everywhere, well, it was the Cadachi tree being cut down, that was really good news.

I was planning to hold a workshop here in March but due to lack of numbers I will have to cancel, pity as I have prepared a new and interesting and informative power point presentation and Judy was going to make fresh scones with homemade Rosella jam and Black Sapote cake, also everyone was to get a free bromeliad.

The swimming pool has had a good workout this summer especially from our Grand Children and the dogs.