Tag Archive: garden
Having got out of Melbourne for a visit to an aunts 80th birthday, I headed to a little place just outside of Daylesford, down here in Victoria. A place once bustling with gold rush, but now a sleepy hollow with cows and potatoes, it was good to take a break from the big smoke.
There is another aunty who lives just down the road. Mum said to me when I left the party, call in and have a look at Marj’s garden. She was good to tell me that, because around this little miners cottage was a jewel of a garden. With no one else around, it made exploring it all the more surreal.
There are formal hedges and desolate succulents on tables. Hebes, flax, climbers, iberis and big juicy hellebores that in real life were show-stoppers. This climate is cold in winter and damn hot in summer. At its wintery moment, it is like a sleeping giant, about to come alive.
What I loved about it was all the little nooks and crannys, and the way that there are different surfaces, pots and choices of plants that somehow work. If a lesser gardener tried this, it could turn into a jumbled mess, but my aunty Marj has got a real artistic style, and this garden just inspires.
I loved it so much, there are a lot of photos. I hope you enjoy them, and get something out of them for your garden. I know I will !
We got some new bulbs in last week. These varieties are summer flowering and include the uncool gladioli. I say uncool, because of course Dame Edna Everidge used to grow them in Moonee Ponds – how uncool! Smiles come to mind remembering her cuddling a big bunch like it was a baby. My wife actually grew some last year in a terracotta bowl and did they stand proud with lipstick red flowers. We found them quite easy to grow, and most rewarding.
Other available bulbs and tubers include Canna lilies, alstromeria, bearded iris, asiatic lilies and peonies. There are also Jerusalem artichokes which are nothing like globe artichokes. They have a sunflower like flower and form a tuber, which can be harvested and cooked. They are selling well since Billy on Masterchef had to cook with them during the New York week. He had to slice them into little chips, deep fry and then poke them into the top of soup.
If you haven’t got strawberries in, now is the time. If you plant them later, you don’t get as much foliage growth which means less fruit. GardenWorld is pleased to announce that we have secured an exclusive variety from Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm in Red Hill. These will be the tastiest strawberries you have ever grown. Plant in pots or garden beds, and when they finish fruiting, next winter cut them back and they will go again for another season.
If you only do the vegie patch for the spring season, start weeding now. Dig the beds over to get oxygen into the soil, and fertilise with chicken manure. We recommend Attunga’s Organic Life, as it also contains fish meal and seaweed. Attunga are a local company based in Dandenong that also supply us the famous Humus Plus, a secret formula that will give every garden bed a lift.
Pruning fruit trees is a slow process. Don’t rush it because you can’t sticky tape the branch back on ! Go for a classic wine glass shape, cutting out any weak internal branches so as to open the middle of the plant up a bit. I also like to control height, because when harvesting, the ladder only goes so high. Even little blueberry bushes could do with a culling of the weak internal branches.
Of course this is the month to watch and enjoy the magnolia flowers literally open befrore your eyes. Towards the end of the flowering period, fertilise big trees with a bucket of Organic Life or Dynamic Lifter and this will ensure nice dark green leaves and vigorous growth. A prune after flowering will make them bushy, but you might like to leave yours tall and lanky. Thats the other beaut thing about these trees – all, the different shapes and sizes.
Camellia Dr Clifford Parks and Magnolia doltsopa
a close-up of the same Magnolia doltsopa
Also feed azaleas, camellias, daphne and trim back evergreens lightly, including box hedges, so as to ensure the new growth takes off from nice bushy plants. Sow spring seeds of petunias, marigolds, capsicums and tomatoes. GET READY, as the frenetic spring season is almost upon us.
Bulbs to plant this month: Dahlia, Gladioli, Canna lilies, Alstromeria, Asiatic Lilies and herbaceous Peonies.
Foodcrops: Asparagus, Beetroot, Broad beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Coriander, Lettuce, Leek, Parsnip, Onions, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Radish, Strawberry runners, Shallots, Snowpeas
In the aftermath of the show, it has given me time to think about my involvement and the efforts of others. This year was particularly relevent to me as we are looking at building a new garden and some retaining walls at home. You suddenly see things in a different light when they are plausible ideas you can utilise yourself.
got these plants the week before from a growers excess stock – lucky !
I used to be involved with the flower show (MIFGS) many years ago as a seedling and potted colour grower. The task was to grow the plants and have them flowering just on time. It was someone elses
Ok, so the new year is here and at the moment the shocking floods in Qld are looking pretty scary on the TV. Maybe its time for some good news. For the last 6 months, we have been trialling a pot recycling pilot system in conjunction with Garden City Plastics and Polymer Processors.
Basically there are 2 stillages stored at our nursery. As customers bring there old pots back to us, we fill up the stillages. When they are full, we call Polymer Processors and they swap over another 2 empty stillages. In the video below you will then see the process that returns the product back to Garden City Plastics who then make new black plastic pot. Its that simple.
We tried leaving the stillages in the front carpark, but people started to take the pots out after hours. You may think this is good that someone uses them, but it is unfair to the recycler who pays for the stillages to be picked up or dropped off. If any landscapers would like to do large drop-offs, they can call us, and we will arrange for them to drop directly into the stillages, without charge.
Remember, there are many council depots who also are accepting pots, but make sure they are polypropolene with the number 5 on the base of them. Pots made of other material, including biodegradable pots like those made of potato starch do not suit this process and in fact are a nuisance when mixed with the plastic pots. Please also ensure that excess dirt is removed from the pots.
It appears that little plastic sticks you often get with plants and the labels that they hold, are also made of the same plastic, so these can be added with the pots.
So finally many down to earth nursery staff can feel a little more at ease in the knowledge that it is now financially viable to recycle the pots into new pots. Plastic is a great product for growing plants as it is reduces incidence of disease and provides excellent drainage. Lets hope the potting mix industry can now provide greener options for all the plastic bags we use.
This video below shows the processes taking place to ensure a true recycling process for plastic pots:
Garden power is not to be underestimated at sale time, writes Carolyn Boyd.
Here is a few tips on selling your home. Many people forget how much difference a simple garden makeover can make in receiving a good price. There is also some great tips on the latest trends – well worth a read. JUST CLICK THE LINK ABOVE THIS TEXT.
This months photos feature some very healthy iris.
It is a bumper spring. Rain has caused the biggest and healthiest blossoms we have seen for years. From magnolias to weeping cherries to wisteria, ornamental pears, plums and crab apples – it’s been a great time to be alive. There is also a lot to do this month as it is time to prepare for the hot weather ahead and make the most of this pleasant gardening weather with the joy in knowing there is still plenty of water left in the tanks.
Staking tomatoes is a simple task that will make a big difference to yield. You see there is quite a bit of extra weight on the plant that is fruiting. If this weight is not supported, the tomato can stress and strain to hold it up. Using a soft tie that won’t cut into the plant and some trellis, stakes or a fence can make a big difference. You could also remove some of the foliage which will improve airflow and let the plant concentrate on less production but of better quality.
Furniture needs to be oiled at this time of year. It is the sun that bleaches out and can cause cracking. Simply paint oil on with a brush, and rub in any excess with a clean rag. If your timber is a bit grimy, give it a bit of a clean up first. If your furniture is made of metal, apply some Penetrol to help it resist rusting. Well maintained outdoor furniture can last many years longer.
Spring flowering bulbs that have finished flowering should have had a late feed. Now, as the foliage begins to yellow, pull them out, cut off the bulbs and store them in a brown paper bag in a cool dry place like the shed. If left in the ground, they may survive, but often get baked by the hot summer sun, never to flower again. Look out for some exciting new tulip varieties next autumn.