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 www.gardenproductreviews.com and a garden blog at www.ianjudy.blogspot.com  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 https://www.facebook.com/birkdalegarden?ref=hl 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.

Monday, August 03, 2015

July 2015 Garden News

I am writing this blog today just so tired and bone weary
 The last two weeks has just been one absolute mad rush.
My youngest son and his family have been touring Australia for the past 18 months and have found their little piece of paradise at Agnes Water; they have just bought a five acre block of land.
So, down they come to get their half acre Birkdale home ready to sell.
Judy and I have been helping out with the manual labour and looking after our three and four year old Granddaughters and I can tell you that is more tiring than working all day in the garden ‘but we love them to bit’s’.

We managed to finish off the bathroom renovation by having shower screens fitted, looks fabulous.

July is always an important month on our calendar as it’s the Nambour Garden Expo, to which we go every year.
We did not buy a lot of plants, but those that we did will make great addition to the garden, it was also a chance to catch up with garden friends.

We had a bus tour from ‘Golden Downs Retirement Village’ and a trip to Boonah Garden Club to give a presentation for their friendship day. It was amazing that Boonah had over 130 people in attendance and of course great country hospitality.

I have ripped out one of the gardens in the pool area and planted two different Heliconias in place of what I took out.
I also re gravelled the driveway with red gravel, four big trailer loads did it.

The Mauritius Hemp in the front finally lost the last of its pups and I had to chop it out, I was worried what to put in its place as it was a large area to fill, I found just the thing and here’s a photo to prove it.

Very little rain during July and have started to water the garden by hose again, I really hate this as it takes so long. They say we are going to have a hot dry spell due to El Nino, I hope they are wrong.
Euphorbia fulgens
Slipper Orchids
Long Beaked Corellas
Heliconia Red Christmas
Some front garden views.

My Facebook page is going great guns with almost 900 followers.