Monday, July 04, 2016

Garden News June 2016

Early in the month we had a big bus load of visitors from Caloundra Garden Club. Even though it was winter and a lot of plants were in their dormant phase everyone said how much they enjoyed the garden. They were a nice bunch of gardeners and we enjoyed hosting them.

One garden presentation this month and that was a return visit to Logan City Garden Club where I gave my ‘Bizarre and Beautiful Botanicals’ presentation.

Judy had a scare when she went into hospital for her second operation on her Rheumatoid Arthritis, the found an irregularity with her heart and she had to see a heart specialist, result being she now has a heart pacemaker inserted. Then she had a fall and broke her top rib, not a good month for Judy.
We went to see Marie Jones garden ‘Lindmar’ situated at Morayfield, it was a nice garden and worth the trip out there.
Finally some good rain it was badly needed as most of our seven tanks were empty.
Still not enough to fill all of our tanks with three still empty I am not complaining as any bit of rain is welcome to fall in our garden.
Still working hard in the garden with another garden refurbished with new soil and plants, I really think the garden is going to look magnificent for November’s opening.
 Forest Lily
 Abutilon three colours
 Begonia Angel Wings
 Cattleya Orchid

 Cattleya Orchid

 Amorphophallus Konjak

I had promised my son Scott that I would build him garden beds this year and after finding a great looking border block that would compliment his home I started, my main aim was colour and flowers  for the children plus easy maintenance as Scott is in a wheelchair.
I think I achieved that with borders of miniature agapanthus then a selection of croton’s and cordylines behind.

Our Carambola’s are into their second crop this year and are absolutely loaded with fruit, usually I have trimmed them by now but will have to wait until the crop has finished.

Looking forward to next month’s Garden Expo at Nambour, we go every year and really enjoy it, get to buy some plants and meet a lot of gardening friends and acquaintances.

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.