Friday, February 01, 2019

January 2019 Garden News


I did not publish a blog for December as that month turned out to be a rest from gardening as we had worked very hard to open our November ‘Open Garden’ and left us ‘gardened out’.
Also, Christmas is a family affair and we had grandchildren to look after and of course everything else that goes with a family Christmas.
Some nice orchids out which do not seem to be affected by the heat.





December was completely dry and for the most part HOT, not a good time for gardening.
January, well it has been an absolute disaster with only a small shower which dried up with the strong winds that followed with 30c plus temperatures every day with no respite for the whole month.
We did get a good bunch of bananas off our sugar banana.

It is so bad, much worse for the garden than the drought of 2009 where all the politicians panicked and built pipelines to nowhere, dams not hooked up to pipes, waste water that no one wants to use and a desalination plant that is rusting away, not to forget the travesty of Traveston Dam where the Queensland Government went ahead and bought all the land for untold millions then realized they did not have to OK from the Federal government and had to resell the land at an incredible loss.
Politicians are a useless breed, for the most part afraid to make a decision and when they do it’s usually the wrong one. 
A prime example is the $50 billion submarine program we are buying from the French, atomic subs converted to diesel by 2050, what a joke.
Sorry about my rant but sometimes I despair for this wonderful country.
The cost of all these failures can be counted in the billions and who is paying for it, you the taxpayer of course.
I bought a ‘Power Planter’, not the one advertised but from Trade Tools, much more cheaper and yes it is a good tool.

Even with the heat I have still I managed to get three projects finished, photos below.




The dry has really affected two of our Custard Apple trees and they are slowly dying, so I have had to create a shaded are for the under-story, not a job I really wanted to do but the plants are getting burnt in this long heatwave.
Every spare bit of shade cloth has been used somewhere in the garden as it is so hot that even our water hoses are melting.
We are hosting a meeting in February for ‘The International Cordyline Society’, hope we get some rain before then.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

November 2018 Garden News


What a busy month was November with our 17th consecutive ‘Open Garden’.
We really thought last year was going to be our last but Scott needed some help to get to Norway next year to compete in the ‘World Disabled Water Ski Championships’.


We let Scott keep all the gate takings plus there was a donation box.
585 people came on the weekend and as usual the plant buyers were queued up at 8am.
What a morning, we were rushed off our feet and thanks to our helpers who we could not of done without.
Will we open next year? That is the question.
Probably, it’s a heck of a lot of work and the elements are usually against us but we enjoy the weekend and we get to help someone in need. So, if our health holds up YES we will open again in November 2019.
The garden was still quite dry as we had no rain since mid-October and only a few mills since.
The Black Sapote crop was quite small compared to other years but they were quite a size.


Still the garden looked terrific and everyone who came enjoyed it and that’s what it is all about, sharing our love of plants and gardening with others.















We had good support from the local newspapers.



On the Wednesday prior to the opening I had a call for help from ‘Bayside Garden Club’ whose guest speaker was unavailable and asked if I could do it, so off I went and gave the ‘Garden Journey’ presentation.
I am now working on a new presentation ‘Fantastic flowers and Foliage’, done about 70 pictures of Aroids so far but really need a rainy day to do more.
So much time spent standing watering the garden, it’s a job I really hate but one that has to be done if I want to keep my plants alive.
My Amorphophallus collection was quite slow to come up this year, probably due to the cool spring.




Monday, October 15, 2018

Open Garden/Plant Sale 2018


The Giving Garden
5 Carlton Court, Birkdale
 After 15 years of big open gardens we decided enough was enough and we would have to find a simpler way as the workload involved in a BIG Open Garden was starting to take its strain on us.
We were thinking of not to opening our garden at all, but due to public pressure we  have decided to still do it, but do it much easier and with much less work and stress.
So the idea of having an annual plant sale came into mind with a small entry fee of $5 into the garden which will go to disabled sport.
After raising round about $60,000 for charity through our previous openings we thought this year would be a good idea to help our son who is a paraplegic compete in his last ‘Disabled World Water Ski Championships’ which are going to be held in Norway 2019.
The garden is looking great and November is probably the best month for colour and bizarre and interesting plants displayed.
If you have been previously, please come again as we have been busy in the garden.
So there you go, you can visit our beautiful garden again.
Don’t forget Judy will have some fantastic plants for sale, some of which you will not see elsewhere.
We are only home gardeners, NOT a business so we cannot accept EFPOS or credit cards and please bring your own bags.
Kaspar will be here selling fruit trees and Erica will have her cards and wonderful wildlife photos for sale.
There will be a toilet available but no catering, there will be seating so bring your own cuppa if you like.
Hopefully we will see you on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November 2018 between 8:30 and 4:30.
Happy gardening.




Saturday, October 06, 2018

Garden News for September 2018


We were lucky enough to have had 42 mills of rain early on in the month but that was followed by a couple of weeks of very windy weather which dried the garden out.
We had no other rain during September.
So, my main job for the month was watering the garden which I do by hand as we cannot allow any water to waste.
As usual plenty of wildlife in the 'Giving Garden'.






I am keeping the plants alive and the garden is looking good.
I had no garden presentations but we had one group from Springwood Probus Club visit.
Then it was School Holiday's so it was minding Grand Children.
ow for the BIG news
After 15 years of big open gardens we decided enough was enough and we would have to find a simpler way as the workload involved in a BIG Open Garden was starting to take its strain on Judy and me.
We were thinking of not to opening our garden at all, but due to public pressure we  have decided to still do it but do it much easier and with much less work and stress.
So the idea of having an annual plant sale came into mind with a small entry fee into the garden.
We tried this in April and only put the word out through Facebook and emails.
It turned out to be a great success with many 100s of people coming.
After raising round about $60,000 for charity through our previous openings we thought it would be a good idea to help our son who is a paraplegic compete in the next ‘Disabled World Water Ski Championships’ which are going to be held in Norway 2019.
This will be his last World Championship as he is going to retire from competition water skiing and sponsorship for this sport is very poor and is mostly self-funded.

I am not worried about the work getting the garden ready as it pretty well looks good all the time and November is probably the best month for colour and bizarre and interesting plants displayed.
So there you go, you can visit our beautiful garden again.
Don’t forget Judy will have some fantastic plants for sale, some of which you will not see elsewhere.
We are only home gardeners, NOT a business so we cannot accept EFPOS or credit cards and please bring your own bags.
Kaspar will be here selling fruit trees and Erica will have her cards and wonderful wildlife photos for sale.
There will be no catering or a toilet available but there is a servo just a short distance from us which has a toilet.
Hopefully we will see you on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November 2018 between 8:30 and 4:30.
I will publish more information as time get’s closer.

A big job was to repot all my Amorphophallus collection.


Amorphophallus dunnii

Hopefully we will have a big crop of Mango's this year.
The first Zingiber flowerd this month 'Early Yellow'


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Garden News August 2018.


Our first event was to give a presentation to Caloundra Garden Club, a very active club with over 100 members present. They enjoyed the ‘Clever Gardening’ presentation.


Our second event was a short trip to Thornlands to give the ‘Victoria Point Garden Club’ the ‘Clever Gardening’ presentation, a much smaller club with about 40 members present.
Then it was onto work in the garden.
A very dry month without any rain, so it was hand watering the whole garden.
I must admit it is a job I hate but one that has to be done if we want to keep our plants alive.
I broke my Fiskars Pole Pruner but with the 25 year warranty I was able to get another one sent to me by Fiskars, what a great company and great products.


Andrew came and delivered 25 bales of Sugar Cane mulch, we go through about 150 of these every year. I find it great mulch and never find weeds in it.


A really big job was to empty and clean out two ponds, this was really hard on my back and I still have not recovered.



Trouble was I filled the pond up with rainwater and killed most of my fish, I should of realized that was wrong and I should use tap water with a chlorine neutralizer, so I had to do it all over again.
The second smaller pond was the same only on the first refill  the water went off and I found chicken bones in the bottom, so I had to empty and refill, then the water went off again, this time I found lumps of cake in the bottom, so again empty and refill. I then put wire across to stop the birds dumping food into it.
Another BIG job was to re-pot all my Amorphophallus, this time in a better draining mix as I lost a few to the dreaded rot.


I built a new trellis in the garden.


Some really nice orchids out this month.




Other than that we are busy in the house painting and putting new carpet down.