Thursday, December 29, 2011

Garden News December 2011

Judy and I hope all our blog readers had a great Christmas and we wish one and all the best for the coming year.
The year 2012 looks like it’s going to be another busy year with garden presentations and bus trips already booked.

Since we opened we have bought two car loads of new plants and I have refurbished two gardens, taking out some common plants and putting in rare gingers ect.
Next year will be the last year we will open with ‘Australia’s Open Gardens’ it will be our 11th consecutive year and it’s getting very hard to find help as a lot of our friends are quite frankly getting old.
We still intend to open for bus tours and garden clubs; we do have to charge a small $2 dollar admission fee to pay for the public liability insurance that we have to take out.
I am replacing the old retaining wall in the front driveway at the moment; it’s over 20 years old and is looking its age. The hardest part of the job is getting the old upright sleepers out of the ground, it’s a crowbar job chipping away at the old cement, painful but it has to be done.

My new mower is brilliant, mows in half the time, well worth while getting.
After exhausting virtually all our rainwater prior to the open garden we have now had some good rain and the tanks are again filling.

The sweet smother turf I planted in all the shady spots has took off and it’s great to finally see green lawn in areas that have been barren for years.
Mr Possum is back for the mango crop.

All the best and happy gardening for 2012. 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

November Garden News 2011

November is of course our busiest and biggest month as we open our garden for two days to garden lovers through ‘Australia’s Open Gardens’.
This year was our 10th opening.
The weather was not kind to us this year as we have had no rain and very hot temperatures for almost four weeks leading up to the opening, in fact it has been the driest November since records began.
We just watered and watered almost using our 107,000 litre storage, amazingly the garden actually looked very good and colourful.
The highlights were the Caladium and Day Lily showing. See Caladium video.

We had some very good publicity leading up to the opening especially from the Brisbane
'Courier Mail', a three page spread, that’s unheard of.

Family and friends start to arrive early to help us during the two days, without this help we could not do it.
The Saturday of the opening was hectic with people ready to come through the gate at 8.30am, these were the plant lovers who know Judy has some rare and well looked after plants for sale.
We also had two busloads arrive, one from Bribie and another from Bundaberg.
The caterer’s did a great job and all Saturday it was hard to find an unoccupied space.
Sunday was also a good day but steady throughout the day.
Overall we received more than 1000 visitors (a record attendance), all of whom enjoyed the garden, with nothing stolen and no damage to the garden.

The caterers made almost $2000 for their Church and the raffle raised $1200 for disabled sport.
We will do it once more and then have a break as it is so much hard work getting ready, then cleaning up.
We will still take bus tours through the garden and by appointment.
After the cleanup we head up the coast for a three day break at Mooloolaba, what do we do?
We visit our garden friends and come home with a car loaded with new plants.
The hot weather continued throughout November and the garden is looking dry and stressed, hopefully it will rain soon.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Courier Mail Article

A great article in today's Courier Mail.
What a difficult lead up to this years Open Garden. No rain for a month and 30 degree heat almost every day. We have used up almost all our stored rainwater. The garden is looking good, not perfect but no-one who comes on the weekend should be disappointed. It's a real pity we did not have a bit of rain, I have had to waste so much time watering when I could be doing other gardening jobs and helping Judy prepare the 1000s of plants she has prepared for sale. If you want nice plants at very reasonable prices then you should visit us.

 For example Bromeliads that retail for $30 are here for $10 and Blood Lilys which sell for $44.00 a bulb are just $9.00, that's just a small example.
My other web sites are to be found at:
Hope you enjoy the blog, I lost a lot of photos due to a Google stuff up but am slowly putting them back on.
Happy Gardening.

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 2011 in the Garden

What a busy year it has been, I have given 17 power point presentations on 'Smart Sub Tropical Gardening' and 'A Passion for Plants' to various garden clubs in SE Queensland. We have also have hosted 12 bus tours through the garden, have I enough energy to get through an Open Garden?
October is the month when I start to plan this year’s Open Garden. I send out flyers to all Garden Clubs and leave some at local Garden Centres, libraries ect, all in all I give out over 4000 in the hope it will attract visitors for our opening, I also write to all news organisations in the hope that they may be interested, it worked last year as we appeared on Channel 7s 'Great South East' and so far this year the Courier Mail will be doing a story on 18 November, just at the right time.

Another Queensland ‘Open Garden’ Co-ordinator has resigned, they do not seem to last too long in the job, so here we are just a few weeks from opening with no-one in Queensland except me to promote our open garden,  people say I do too much promotion, well if I did not do it who would?
We welcomed the 'Cordyline Society' bus trip to our garden, it was a little wet but they enjoyed the garden we also hosted the 'Redland’s Camera Club' who spent quite some time in the garden with their cameras.
I gave a presentation to the Geranium Society at New Farm and another very special presentation to preps (five year old's) at Moreton Bay Girls College, this was a very satisfying talk, I took in some fruit and some composting worms which the girls loved. The next day I received drawings by the girls of my visit.

We have had a couple of rainy days, 17mills and 27 mills, every little bit is appreciated.
The Jaboticabas are all fruiting like crazy, so much fruit.

What a year for the Hippeastrums, I have never seen them look so good.

I bought a new ride on mower and am very pleased with it.

The Day Lily's are all coming into flower, what a great plant they are.

Someone said to me regarding so called ‘Global Warming’ that one thing about the weather that we can be sure of is that next year is going to be different from this year and so on, how true.

Monday, October 03, 2011

September 2011 Garden News

September has been a very dry month with no rain recorded.

The garden is looking very dry, thank goodness we have 107,000 litres of backup water in our tanks, and we just could not continue gardening if we did not have these, OK, it cost a lot to put in seven tanks but we think it’s been worth it.
I suppose I had better get my ‘great big gripe’ off my chest first. Mr Google has deleted all my blog photos, that’s going back about four years, this is so disappointing as a lot of people get a lot of enjoyment out of my blog. They also deleted the photos from my ‘garden products review’ site with is bad especially when I have to pay for that domain name. Anyway I will put some of the photos back on when I get a spare minute.
How did I ever go to work?
Spring has arrived and the Hippeastrums are looking magnificent and although it is dry I believe the garden will be at its very best for our opening on 19th and 20th November.

Every day I seem to do some sort of improvement to the garden, whether it’s a new pot or a new planting or even a change in the position of a plant, there’s always lots to do.

Bayside Garden Club asked me to give a presentation at very short notice, I did not mind as they are a great club, very vibrant with lots of new members, as usual first time talk is ‘Smart Sub Tropical Gardening’, then if they want me back its ‘A passion for plants’.
Our second presentation was to the ‘Jimboomba Garden Club’, this was different as it was held in the evening, again a nice club who appreciated us taking the time to come out to them.
Judy and I both have this rotten flu that’s going around, it seems to stick around forever.
In between all this I have found time to paint the lounge/dining area and rip up all the old carpet from the four bedrooms ready for new wool carpet.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lost Photos, here's some ideas what to do with Mr Google

Only joking of course, but I am very upset that all my blog photos have been deleted by Google, so much work lost and history. What a stuff up.