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
Ixora
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
Bromeliad
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.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Garden News 2016

My second go at writing this blog as I pressed control v instead of control c to save the document; of course I lost the lot.
After a very successful Open Garden with over 600 visitors we went for a short break at Agnes Water to see my youngest son and his family, it was a nice break at a really beautiful part of Queensland.
We arrived back to a very dry garden and as we were having a bus load of visitors that weekend were kept very busy watering and tidying up the yard.
The bus trip was from a retirement village and they stayed all morning and enjoyed the garden.

We had a great family Christmas with both ours sons and families and it actually rained on the 27th which was a great Christmas present.

My youngest son and his wife departed for Agnes Water leaving the little girls with us for two weeks, well was that a busy but beautiful time.
Much more demanding than gardening and we loved it.
I got to watch every episode of ‘Mike the Knight’ and sometimes up to three or four times.
Mum and Dad came to pick them up and it was sad to see them go.


Warrick took a lot our plants home with him and some from Lagoon View and Nursery Traders; he has a good start with his plant selection.
We had a good fall of rain in early January but that was it right to the end of the month.
The temperature has been over 30c most days with very high humidity, quite unpleasant.









Judy and I were nominated for an Australia Day Award for raising $12,523 for disabled children through three ‘Open Gardens ‘but did not get as it went to someone who had already received an Order of Australia award, we could not compete against that.










I was especially pleased with the response I had by visitors to the project I completed last year, which was an extension of the garden under the Neem tree with an inverted park bench.

I decided to replicate this down the other end of the garden and finished it within a week and very happy with the result, all that’s left to do is the planting.




Our first garden presentation for the year is a Caloundra Garden Club on Tuesday 2nd February, not that many presentations booked for this year, I have no idea why as all we charge it petrol and toll money and we give a great one of six different Power Point Presentations all about gardening.