Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gardening 2014 in review

2014 has probably been one of the worst gardening years I have known and many of my gardening friends agree with me.
We went through all summer (which is usually our wet season) without even one millimetre of rain and it was not until the end of March that we had a good fall. The next rain was in August, we were so lucky to get that as our tanks were virtually dry.
This water lasted until early October when we had to start using town water (dreading the bill) then just before the ‘Open Garden’ we had a small fall of 19 mills, which at least added a little bit of green for our opening.
We opened our garden on the weekend of the 22 and 23 November and it was a great success with a little over 600 people visiting.
We stopped opening with ‘Australia’s Open Gardens’ in 2013 and instead opened for a charity. We selected the ‘Lions Club’ as 100% of what is raised goes directly to the source, in our case ‘disabled children’.
In the last two openings we have raised $8292 all of which has gone to assist disabled children, we are very happy about this.
Now that ‘Australia’s Open Gardens’ are closing mid 2015 it will be up to gardeners like us to open, just hope we can get the support from the media.
Not only was 2014 hard gardening it was probably one of the most physical years I have had.
I worked on new projects in our garden and of course carted in many metres of garden soil, mulch and compost.
My eldest son who is a Paraplegic moved into a new house. It was on a corner and needed retaining walls and fences on three sides, plus fill, soil, grass ect, ect.
A big job but done in record time and now his children have a great ‘Aussie Blue’ lawn to play on.
There was no let up with gardening presentation; we travelled as far afield as Boonah and Nambour, in total I gave 17 presentations. I already have 11 bookings for next year.
We had eight bus tours through the garden, all seemed to enjoy it no matter how dry it was.
We have ended the year with some very good December rain, so far 160 mills, not all the tanks are full but it’s just so good to see everything become green again.

Judy and I wish you all happy gardening for 2015, all the best.
Here's some pictures taken in the December garden.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Garden News

After each open garden we usually take a short break up the coast usually at Mooloolaba.
This year we are looking after our youngest son’s two Jack Russell dogs as he and his family are doing a round Australia two year trip. 
The eldest one had a very badly inflamed hernia and needed an operation.
So, what did we do, we worked in the garden and looked after ‘Diggity’.
I must admit I missed my holiday as 2014 has been a hard year and I really needed a break.
The good news is that we have had some rain, in total we have had 80 mills, which was not enough to fill our empty tanks but none the less very welcome.
It’s amazing how quickly brown lawns can turn green with a bit of rain.

I was roped into giving a presentation for a local Bunnings Garden Club.
We had a drive up to Nambour to see Maureen Simons and of course returned with a car load of plants.
2014 will stand out as probably the worst gardening year I have experienced and the hardest physical year I have had.

Basically until November it had only rained twice, we went through the whole of summer without a drop of rain.
I completed a few new projects in our garden.
Probably lost more plants to drought and cold winter than any other year.
My Amorphophallus collection is looking good.

My eldest son who is a paraplegic moved into a new house and I built all the retaining walls, fences, elevated vegetable garden, turf ect, for them.
There’s still a lot to do but I will wait until the weather cools down a bit.

The open garden was a success with $8292 dollars raised from our last two openings and all that money went to the Lions Club to assist disabled children.
Australia’s Open Garden’s closes its doors next year, I wonder how many people will continue to open, I know we are going to do it again next year.

Judy and I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy gardening 2015.

My god, I am 70 this coming year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Where not to buy Garden Soil from in Brisbane

Well there was certainly no sign of Christmas spirit at Nuway landscape yard at Chandler today.
I went in with my trailer to buy a half metre of garden soil.
I do this often but usually from TLS or Colonial so I know how exactly how much is in a half metre.
The guy working the loader drove into the soil bay and proceeded to drop the load of soil into my trailer.
I had noticed that the bin of the loader was not even, there was a fairly large space at the back without soil.
Now these buckets are half metre fully loaded and level from front to back.
I complained and after a bit of to and fro he put the tiniest extra bit in my trailer.
I still felt cheated and went up to the office to complain.
What the hell happened there? I left feeling ridiculed, laughed at and being called a liar.
So much for the customer always being right.
Never again will I cross the doors of this company, the attitude of the staff was terrible especially when you compare it to other nearby landscape yards that treat you decently.
I just wonder if they short change a lot of customers who do not complain, they can make a lot of profit over time by doing this.

Yes, I am bloody angry and I am going to circulate this on my blog and websites.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

November 2014 Garden News

Well, October was the driest month on record and we thought November could not get any worse.
We were wrong, November turned out to be the hottest on record, at least we had 19 mills of rain which was more than we had in October.
The little bit of rain did manage to green up the lawn a little bit, just in time for our 12th Open Garden.

This year I made an all round effort to engage social media regarding our ‘Open Garden’, it seemed to work as we had lots of visitors from ‘Tropical Backyards’ and other Facebook groups.
I even started my own Facebook page called ‘The Giving Garden’, in just two short weeks it has received over 400 likes. I am trying to make it an informative page full of helpful hints and advise.
We had a good ‘Open Garden’ with 600 visitors, all who upon leaving said they enjoyed it and asked us to open again next year.

I often wonder if people realise just how much work it takes to open, Judy and I work for at least two months prior to opening just to get ready, then there’s a week cleaning up and getting back to normal.
On the Friday prior to opening Judy and I look at each other and say “we are not doing this again”, then on the Sunday after everyone has gone we say “yes we will do it again next year”.
We are ‘Suckers for punishment’.

We support a local Lions Club for them to raise money at our ‘Open Garden’for disabled children.
In the last two ‘Open Gardens’ we have raised $8292 all of which has all gone to buy equipment for disabled children.

We usually go for a bit of a holiday after our ‘Open Garden’ but this year we are looking after our son’s two Jack Russell dogs and the older one has some health issues so this year it’s stay at home and of course work in the garden and plan new projects for next year.

We are hoping for some December rain as all our seven tanks are empty and the lawns are brown and the trees stressed, just so dry.