Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 2015 Garden News

The unexpected happened this month. My youngest son Warrick and his family are on a two year caravanning trip around Australia. They were last heard of at Naracoorte in South Australia.
On the evening of the 8th of this month there was a knock on the door, I answered it but could not see anyone until I looked down and saw two little blond girls. My mind could not fathom what was happening, my first thought was ‘Trick or Treat’ but it’s April not November, then I wondered who they belonged two until they sang out “hello Grandpa”. Well, I almost fell over with shock when Warrick and Fabie also sang out.
They had driven all the way from South Australia to be here for my 70th Birthday and what a great surprise that was.

 Granddad's attempt at face painting

They stayed with us for two weeks before heading to Agnes Waters and Northern Australia.
We miss the girls so much and poor ‘Diggity Dog’ is missing them too.
Poor Diggity outside the children's bedroom.

 Birthday cupcakes in the den.

On the Saturday after my Birthday we got together as a family at Currumbin Creek and I had a great paddleboard. All in all it was a great birthday; in fact I think it was the best ever.

On ANZAC day I marched in Toowoomba, it was special because Scott and his two children came with us and saw me march for the first time.

Garden presentations at Albany Creek Garden Club and the Northern District Horticultural Society, both are fairly big clubs and my presentations were well received.

I have done little in the garden this month other than to prune and trim the jaboticabas, carambolas and grumichama tree's, instead we spent valuable time with our grand children and Warrick and Fabie.
As I write this a rain event is happening they are forecasting anything up to 400 mills in the next two days. That’s good it will put moisture into the subsoil and fill up all our tanks.

This year has been so much better that last year where it only rained on three occasions the entire year.
 Difformis anchomanes

 Ipomea carnea

 Costus Rubra x Erythrophyllus

 Medinilla scortechinii
Strelitza 'Mandelas Gold'
I woke up this morning not even thinking about doing this bathroom renovation but it just happened.

My Facebook page 'The Giving Garden' has almost reached 700 likes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

70 today

Two great careers of RAAF and then Probation and Parole, a happy marriage to Judy for almost 47 years, two great sons’s who both have wonderful wives and four grand children, what more could someone ask for.

I am 70 today, yes my flares are gone but Scott still has the safari suit.
In 70 years I have never spent one night in hospital or been really sick, still healthy and fit and can still bend forward and place my palms flat on the floor.
I am well into another career change, which is full time home gardener, host to Garden Clubs and presenter to garden clubs and schools.
Warrick and family surprised us the other night with a surprise visit, so today I will be surrounded by loved ones.

Life is pretty good, I am a lucky man.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

March 2015 Garden News

The month started off dry, humid and very hot. I must admit I am really looking forward to some cooler weather.
The extreme heat meant that my time was taken up watering the garden, it’s such a painful job standing watering for hours. I must admit I am very much relieved when it eventually rains and I can do other things around the garden or house.
Towards the end of the month we had some decent rain, about 75 mills in total. That’s a lot less than Brisbane received but we are thankful for what we got as we were getting quite dry.
It never ceases to amaze me why Brisbane can get so much more rain than us, see picture of Brisbane from the Birkdale dump, so not far away as the crow flies.

We had a visit from a Facebook group ‘Tropical Backyards’, not a lot of people, about 15 or so but Judy put on morning tea, I gave a power point presentation and then took our visitors for a tour of the garden. Then they were able to see the plants Judy had for sale.

They all said how much they enjoyed the garden and how good it was to take the time to see everything without pressure or rushing.
It was an enjoyable visit for them and us.
The Pecan nuts are picking and it's a race to see who can get the most between us and the Cockatoo's.

It's also going to be a big fight between us and the possums who get's to eat the Custard Apples.

Three garden presentations this month, one to Indooroopilly Garden Club another to Chermside/Rode Garden Club and one to Eagleby Garden Club.

Eagleby is a particularly friendly club and this was our third visit there.
Our Australian Native Bee's (which are stingless) are thriving, must be plenty of food in our yard for them.

The moment my wife dreads arrived when I say I am going to build a new garden or change an existing one.
I decided that the garden curving around the Neem tree was not good enough so I ripped it all out with the help of my Aldi Jackhammer and proceeded to expand it by about another 20 square metres.

It was hard work in the heat and humidity but I finished it and am very happy with the result.

It’s a really nice place to sit and relax, ha ,ha.
Some nice Orchid's out this month.

My back is not what it used to be and I am in a fair bit of pain until I warm up, I suppose that’s to be expected as I am 70 on April 15th, not like I feel it.
Some other plants that flowered this month.
 Swamp Hibiscus
 Aphelandra tetragona
 Blue Ginger

 Rondaletia odorata 'Panama Rose'
 Lime Zinger and Carphalia
Our youngest son and his family are still touring Australia and have just completed three months in Tasmania which they really enjoyed.
You can follow ‘This is our Australia’ either through their website or on Facebook.
They have taken some really stunning pictures of this great country.
My Facebook page ‘The Giving Garden’ is doing well now having over 600 likes.

Please note: you can click on any photo to enlarge it.

Some big news about this garden blog.
This garden blog has been selected by the State Library of Queensland to be archived and published.
I must admit I am rather proud of this achievement.
Here is the criteria.
Queensland content
A significant proportion of a work should:
• be about Queensland; or
• be on a subject of social, political, cultural, artistic, religious, scientific or economic significance and relevance to Queensland
Queensland authorship or editorship alone is insufficient grounds for preservation.
Authority and research value
High priority is given to authoritative publications with long term research value. Selected publications of lasting significance and generally not available in any other format will be selected for preservation
Online publications that are not considered to be authoritative or do not have reasonable research value will not be selected comprehensively. However, representative examples of online publications covering a wide range of subjects documenting Queensland society as represented on the Internet will be archived.
Factors contributing to the selection of new online publications or websites for archiving include:
• intellectual content
• historic value
• rareness or uniqueness
• cultural or associational value for Queensland
• importance for the understanding of Queensland and Queenslanders
• wide-ranging coverage of Queensland
• useful and accurate content
• information on Queensland subjects or groups that are otherwise poorly documented
• potential for enduring value in digital form
• demonstrate new and innovative uses of the internet
Personal websites
Personal websites will usually only be selected if:
• they provide information of significant research value about Queensland which is not available elsewhere
• they are original and are of exceptional quality or of particular interest
• they reflect Queensland regional, cultural and/or social diversity.