Saturday, February 08, 2020

The Giving garden

I also have a Facebook page which has almost 3000 followers.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Garden News January 2020

After a very successful Open garden with over 700 visitors it was time to clean up the garden and return all unsold plants back in their place.
This process took over a week, let no-one tell you that opening your garden is an easy task, it’s not.
Judy and I had been working for months prior to opening to get ready then more work to clean up.
Just prior to Christmas our son Warrick and his family came to stay and Just after Christmas they went To Byron Bay leaning the two girls with Judy and I.
We love it and the girls think Grandma’s cooking is just the best.
You know when you spoil your Grandchildren when they tell everyone “This is my Grand-Dad, he doesn’t know how to say no”.

Well one thing I can tell you for sure is that NO gardening was done during the School Holiday period instead I took the children to see every suitable movie, went to Bounce and even went Ice Skating.
I went to Ice Skating with the idea that It would be just like riding a pushbike and I would carry on just like I used to 55 years ago.
I soon learned my lesson with a couple of heavy falls, I think that will be the last time in my life that I put on ice skates.
During mid-January we had some great rain, enough to fill all our tanks and make the garden grow like crazy as I put four bags of Nitrophoska Blue fertilizer in and around the garden.
January has been extremely hot and humid; I am soaking wet at the end of each day and have to jump in the pool to get my body temperature down.
Had the best Mango crop for years, our tree is a Schnyder's Pride which is a cross between a Glenn and an Irwin. Great tasting Mango. Judy saving all the seeds to grow on then graft from the mother tree.

Kaspar Schnyder passed away just prior to our Open garden', we will miss him and his knowledge of fruit trees.
The end of the month has come and I am in clean up mode, so much rubbish has fallen into the garden especially from the gum trees and I am having to mow twice a week at the moment although I don’t mind that as it’s nice to see green grass after being so dry for so long.

This year has started off very slow with our garden presentations and bus trips. At the moment we only have two booked for June and a Cordyline Society meeting here in February.
A few beehive Gingers in flower and other plants.

Not forgetting the wildlife in our garden.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Open Garden November 2019

After early October’s beautiful rain, the garden looked great and as the weather started to warm up, we poured the tank water into the garden.
The result was a beautiful garden for our 716 visitors to enjoy.

Early November I had a procedure done in Hospital, 74 years old and my first ever hospital visit, doctors and nurses could not believe it.
Weeks of hard work from both Judy and I went into the preparation of the garden and the plants, resulting in the garden looking it’s best and some really beautiful plants for sale.
I did make a mistake by putting pictures of plants on the internet, the result was being inundated with requests for a Hoya ‘Kerrii’, we sold them far too cheap and learnt a valuable lesson from that and will not do that again.
Most garden related Facebook sites were fantastic by letting us post about our opening with one exception, I have since left that site. It’s their loss as I answered many questions from people.
We could not do it without our helpers, so thanks to the two Peter’s, Trevor and Erica.
Scott, Eliza and Margaret manned the gate and our Grand Children Luke and Sophie sold the Black Sapote fruit and did quite well out of that.
The day started with a big rush and many plants went out in the first hour or two.
We had a great coffee van on the front lawn which also did well, lots of scones went on the Saturday and cake on the Sunday.
The whole weekend went off without a hitch, but one of our rare plants in the garden disappeared, probably in someone’s handbag.
Absolutely bone weary at the end of the weekend and on the Monday started the cleanup, that took four days.
This year we decided not to take our usual break after the opening, just going on a few garden related day trips.
Now the heat has really started to put it on and NO rain for almost two months and all our seven tanks are almost empty.
Just really hoping we do not get a repeat of last summer where we received NO rain at all from December to late March.
Will we do it again for the 19th year?
Probably YES providing our health keeps up as we are not getting any younger.
No pictures, but you may go to Facebook 'The Giving Garden' where there's lot's of photos of the open weekend.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Garden News October 2019

I am afraid this is going to be a short blog entry this month as we are both extremely busy getting ready for our 18th “Open garden’. I wonder if that is a record?
I went to hospital for the first time in my life to have a Colonoscopy, I have to go back in November to have some polyps removed, I am not looking forward to taking the prep liquid again and all that goes with that.
I top dressed all our back lawns with a great product which I have written about in my other site

We were very fortunate to of had 103 mills of very welcome rain.
What a difference it has made to the garden.
We are in the Aroid Society and went to a meeting, we could hardly believe the prices some of aroids went at auction, some people have more money than sense.
That’s about all for this month so it’s back to work in the garden.
Please come and visit us on the 23 and 24th November.

Friday, October 04, 2019

September 2019 Garden News

We started off the month with two back to back garden presentations.
The first was ‘Caloundra Garden Club’ which is always packed with over 100 members then the following day we went to ‘Indooroopilly Garden Club’ which was much smaller than Caloundra with only about 35 members present, still they all enjoyed my presentation.
The trip to Indooroopilly took longer than to travel to Caloundra, the traffic can only be described as awful, hate to do that drive daily.
The NBN was put on but as we were already on cable it has not made a lot of difference.
We went to an Orchid Show but did not buy anything as the prices were too high, still there were some magnificent orchids on display and this one really caught our eye, I imagine it would be very difficult to get.
Lot’s to do in the garden as usual, I went around the whole garden trimming and cleaning.
We took delivery of 30 bales of Sugar Cane mulch from Andrew Currant and I have finished mulching the back yard.
I found the best top-dressing soil and have commenced top dressing all our back lawns, I have the proper wide rake and leveling rake but it’s still hard work.

The top-dressing soil is available from ‘Rocknsoil’ at Capalaba at $85 a cubic metre.

I am saving the best news for last, we actually had 32 mills of rain in September, that's fantastic as September is usually dry.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Open Garden 2019

                           The Giving Garden 2019
Ian and Judy Wintle are opening their ‘Giving garden’ for the 18th consecutive year on 23 and 24 November 2019.
Why is it called ‘The Giving Garden’? Well it gives so much pleasure to us, our family and friends and visitors.
Plant Passions, yes, Ian loves Amorphophallus, Costus and Beehive Gingers, Judy loves her Bromeliad’s and is a great propagator of plants.
The garden microclimate is provided by over 50 fruit and nut trees and the understory is full of colourful and interesting tropical plants some of which are extremely rare.
The fruit we pick is shared among family and friends and not forgetting the abundant wildlife.
Why do we open our garden? We love meeting so many gardeners who have similar interests to us and people just love the atmosphere here which is relaxing and of course interesting, we say it is a  ‘visitor friendly’ garden.
What happens if it rains? In 2017 it absolutely poured with rain both days and yet we had over 600 visitors who took their shoes and socks off and walked the garden.
Will refreshments be available? A coffee van will be situated on the front lawn with coffee, tea and homemade cakes available to purchase, there will also be a toilet available.
What is the worst thing that could happen? A repeat of 2009 where it did not rain for seven months and the garden was drought stressed.
What has the garden done for you? We have raised over $60,000 for charity mainly through a local ‘Lions Club’ and in 2017 were honored by Redland City on Australia Day as ‘Local hero’s’. We also won ‘Gardening Australia’s ‘Golden Trowel’ and have appeared on many Television programs.
What prompted you to start opening?  After finishing University our eldest son Scott went backpacking in Europe for a year. Only a couple of weeks before he was due to return home, we received news from Switzerland that he had broken his back in a motorbike accident and would never walk again.
The months that followed drew on our mental, financial, and physical strength. It was not for a further six months that he could finally return to his home. By that time not only he needed rehabilitation Mum and Dad also did.
Our garden gave us the ability to heal, it was our rehabilitation and two decades on; it has blossomed into a lush sub-tropical oasis, featuring some of the world’s most exotic unusual plants and fruit trees.
In 2001 we opened for the first time through the ‘Open garden Scheme’ (This scheme has now folded) so we now open privately.

Is our garden sustainable? Very much so, water has always been a big problem and about 10 years ago we decided to sink a bore, this was a disaster because all we found was salt water.
We now have seven rainwater tanks holding 109,000 litres of rain water, solar power, worm farms, native bee hives, large compost bins and use around 150 bales of sugar cane mulch in the garden every year.
Has the garden changed over the years? It would be unrecognizable for those early years, every year we complete garden related projects and this year has seen more work done to improve the garden. We have done all the work ourselves, with the help from our trusty wheelbarrow and shovel, everything has been done on a budget, in other words it is a true ‘Gardener’s Garden’.
It’s not been an easy garden to establish with all topsoil taken away by the developer and no underground water, but we have persevered to the point where we have a garden that is one of the best in SEQ.
Scott is now a of father of two children and a World Champion Disabled Water Skier, he recently returned from the World Championships held in Norway with a Gold, Silver and two pending world records.
We have welcomed many bus tours through our garden and have given almost 200 power point presentations to gardening and service clubs throughout Redlands and South East Queensland.
Physically we keep fit working in the garden and mentally Ian has a garden blog at over 350,000 people from over 100 countries around the world have seen our garden this way. The blog has been archived by the Queensland State Library as being of significant importance to the state of Queensland.
Ian also has a Facebook page called ‘The Giving Garden’ which has over 2600 followers and another Facebook page ‘Open Gardens and Events Queensland’ where people who intend to open their garden or have a gardening related event can post information. This was badly needed as the ‘Australia’s Open Gardens’ Scheme closed down in June 2015. He also has a web site reviewing garden products
Gardening has not quite taken over our lives as we are very family orientated and we feel blessed to have a wonderful family, two sons with four Grandchildren all of whom are close to our hearts.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Garden News August 2019

Winter is over and it was a mild one, we only had our fire on about three times.
Absolutely NO rain all winter and the place is now so dammed dry, lucky we have still got some water left in our rainwater tanks.
A big job this month was to top up established gardens with new soil as the ‘shrinkage’ problem was becoming evident. This happens as the organic material deteriorates.
Only one garden presentation this month and that was to ‘Kilcoy Garden Club’, nice but small club who always show us their country hospitality.
I managed to prune all four Carambola trees and four Custard Apples but there was a surprise lurking in one of the Custard Apple trees for me.
I had climbed the tree and cutting branches with my ‘Silky Saw’ and one of the branches felt too heavy and as I pulled it towards me I noticed a mammoth Python curled around the branch, well I soon let it go and ran to get my camera and to tell Judy about it. I then managed to get some nice photos and video before it became too close for comfort.

Good news about his years ‘Open garden’, my son has done a great flyer for us and we have a coffee van which will be selling coffee, tea, cold drinks and homemade cakes.

My new tiller has had a good workout and our Grandson loves using it.

Our friendly Magpie knows exactly when Breakfast and lunch times are.

Now it’s back to watering, hoping for some rain prior to the ‘Open garden’.
Scadoxis and Solandra in flower this month.