Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013 Garden News

What a month January has been.

                                         Costus subsessilus
                                          Costus chartaceus

                                                             White Curcuma
The first three weeks were a continuous heatwave with the temperature not falling below 30 c, and of course no rain.
All our rainwater tanks were bone dry so we had to water our plants with town water (hate to think what our water bill will be) but we have invested too much in our garden to lets the plants die.
We did lose a few plants and shrubs, the ones that just could not take the excessive heat and dry.
Then at the end of the month Cyclone Oswald came all the way down the coast and hit Brisbane with lots of rain and more wind that I have seen since Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin in 1974.
We ended up with 234 mills of rain, all our tanks full to the brim, and the grass finally turning from brown to green.

On the down side we lost a few more trees and shrubs and debris covered the whole garden, it took a few days and trailer loads to clean up.
Our temporary car port was blown away and I will not replace it, just build a structure to take its place. 

We were very lucky as many people lost everything when they were flooded, thankful that I put great drainage all around our house and that we are well above and flood levels.
I did my first garden presentation for 2013 at the Tweed Heads Garden Club.
I have been very busy since Christmas building and extension to a shade house, filling up a large garden with five metres of soil, cleaning up the debris from the wild weather, putting in a paver surround on the edge of driveway and finally putting in posts to attach shade cloth to, the rest of the time was spend mowing, cleaning ect.
I thought that retirement meant that you could take it easy, how wrong I was.
I am busier than I have ever been.
                                                       Zingiber 'Coral Blush'
                                                      Zingiber 'Coffee'
This blog is doing great at the moment with about 700 page views per day and over 50,000 visitors overall.
The garden Product Review site is also doing well 

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Garden Club Presentations and Bus Tours

The year 2012 has again been busy with garden presentations and bus trips.
I just thought I would elaborate on what we do.
With garden presentations I have a laptop, projector and large screen which I bring with me.
I now have three 'Power Point' presentations at the moment; all go for approx 45 minutes to one hour depending on questions.
The presentations are ‘Smart Sub Tropical gardening’, ‘A Passion for Plants’ and ‘Bizarre and Beautiful Botanical's , all have about 200 slides of plants from our garden. 
All my presentations have been very well recieved.

We do bring up to seven trays of plants to sell at very reasonable prices and usually donate a Bromeliad for the clubs raffle.
We have travelled as far as Tweed Heads and have been as far north as Kilcoy Garden Club.
The feedback from the presentations has always been very good.
In regard to bus trips we are more than happy to accommodate visitors on bus tours.
Visitors are charged a nominal fee of $4.00 which goes to cover the cost of rising public liability insurance.
We are happy to have the urn boiling and milk in the fridge when you arrive and have a large patio area where visitors can sit and have morning tea.
Most bus trips bring their own coffee and tea, but if that is not possible we will supply the tea and coffee at no extra cost.
We let visitors use our laundry toilet.
We have a wonderful selection of garden plants and bromeliads for sale.
We recommend at the very minimum a 1.5 hour stay.
If you would like to contact us my email address is

There is plenty to see at our one acre garden and it does not really matter if clubs visit more than once as there are different things to see each season.
Judy and I do our utmost to make visitors feel welcome, that’s why we call our garden a ‘Giving Garden’.
After they finish with us I recommend they go to ‘Lagoon View Gardens’ nursery situated at Lagoon View Road, Redland Bay.
Peter and Genya Robinson are the owners and have created a stunning display garden situated between two beautiful lagoons.

As a selector I recommended this garden open through ‘Open Gardens Australia’ but they now have a new policy that retail outlets are no longer available to open through the scheme.
I can honestly say this garden is well worth going to.
Their phone numbers are 0408181970 or 0732068169.