Monday, December 29, 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Experiments in kokedama

This is Pinterest meets crafty chick meets gardener meets too many house plants, when the only way to go is up... Or down, in this case. As in attach the plants to the ceiling in my obsession of the week: kokedama, specifically hanging kokedama. 
This is not a tutorial, but a document of my own experiments in the style. If you want to know how to make kokedama a quick whip around a few Google results will give you ample information. However, for the purposes of information, I'm using sphagnum moss, orchid mix potting media, jute twine, one of my clearance orchids, and air-dry clay. No, I'm not mixing the clay through the potting mix as I've read in tutorials (probably not suitable)  but I'm making a sphere of it for the centre to give the kokedama a shape to work to, and to act as a bit of a weight.
So, here goes nothing! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Santa Rosa and friends

Eating Santa Rosa plums (have loads)

And the Moorpark apricots (not many this year)

Here are the lotus seedlings with their 'coin leaves' in their temporary growing-on home

Small boy in a big garden  

Yellow cherry tomatoes best for throwing, apparently (variety label lost)

Three x new-ish chicken bottoms (actually four, one not in shot)

New pond from the old bath. Sorry about the green, wrong setting on the phone! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Watering and fertilising my orchids and and managed to snap off a section of the biggest, oldest, original, and only full price one. She's a yellow Oncidium orchid, 'Dancing Ladies,' and bought a few years ago to celebrate moving back into our little house after our renovation was nearly completed. 
Plenty of roots intact there, so nothing for it but to pot it up and voila, a new plant (or two, maybe!)
I note also that those wrinkled pseudo-bulbs show I let it dry out a bit too much, too often. 

Friday, December 12, 2014


Big winds; Myoporum batae down :(
Squashed the chicken fence, blocked off the compost bin as well, had to take it apart with secateurs branch by branch to get it out. 
Still, silver linings: a tripod-trellis for the piller rose out the front from the branches? And lots more light and space for the chickens now. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Growing lotus from seed.

Some time back I bought four lotus seeds from EBay with the intention of growing them into plants (or trying to, anyway). I finally got around to trying this out about a week ago. Following some online instructions, I filed a hole through the seed coat of each seed with sandpaper: these buggers are really hard! Then they were popped into a yogurt container with lukewarm water (filtered water, for what it's worth) and left them on a sunny windowsill, changing the water each day. Overnight the seeds swell up from sultana-sized, to grape sized. About three days later I was very excited to see the first green shoots peeking out. One seed, however, has not sprouted yet, and may not at all. 

I was astounded to see the shoots had grown a full inch taller by the end of the day! 

A day after this the shoots were poking out of the water, and it's time to repot them into fertilised soil and put them into the pond. It's pretty hot outside now, so the plants should love it. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Spring sessions

Salvia 'Tanzarin,' perfect. Just need a few dozen more to really make an impact. 

Volunteer sunflowers, glory be!

Fat 'black' poppies under the sunflowers. Not as dramatic as I'd hoped, but I grew them from tiny seeds, so I am ridiculously proud of them. 

Kidlets picnicking on the new lawn; the best part.

I see it now, the shape of the garden to come. It will be all I dreamed, and then some. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Two dollar clearance rose standard #2 turns out to be pink, and a nice clear pink at that. Almost no scent at all though. Is it 'Bonica'?

And, in other news, my boy built me a big A-frame trellis out of old recycled timber we've had lying around since we started renovating this place years ago. It literally took him ten minutes, and already looks like it's been there for years. 
Broadly speaking, the round section of this bed features a 'Crimson Baby' nectarine, under planted (left to right) with Nepeta 'Walkers Low,' chocolate cosmos, common thyme, Salvia nemorosa 'Lubecca' and 'Tanzarin,' Pelargonium sidioides (?) and a dwarf buddleia. 
Along the shed, mostly invisible at this stage, is rose 'Red Pierre' (at front corner), a few French roses including Dan Poncet, Paule Bocuse (both Guillot), heritage roses Devoniensis, White Wings and Gruss an Aachen, and at the far back by the shed is the climbing rose 'Black Boy.' On the new trellis is a grape, but i forget which and it's not had fruit yet anyway. Also jammed in here are another dwarf buddleia, a couple of correas, Goodia medicagiana, native indigo (name escapes me), Salvia petrovskia being completely hopeless, sweet marjoram (pretty but I can't stand the smell), Aquiligia 'Black Barlow' and even a few black hollyhocks. Wow, that's kind of a lot!
THEN, by the water tank, raspberries which fruit prolifically (taken from MIL's garden so variety unknown), 'purple' raspberries, the purple flowered shrub is Alyogyne 'Double Delight,' and it's next to the local Bursaria spinosa. On the tank itself is a banana passionfruit, and the rose 'Summer Song' and just out of shot on the right is a dwarf peach, 'Golden Queen.'  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pinks and more pinks

Raubritter (one off the original wish list!). Small blooms, very pretty. 

Radio Times (DA) still in a pot, not a final in-ground home, but oh my, she smells divine!

Just because: Small pelargonium with incredible petal veining. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014


A visit to an open garden today in Mylor, SA. Layers of roses, poppies, and other flowers. Just amazing, an inspiration! Now all I need is a few extra 1000 square meters of garden...

Friday, November 7, 2014


Soldiering on on the western wall is Pinkie, yet another clearance rose! She is a climber, though I do think she'll take a while to get to any significant height. 

I've tried a number of companion plants as neighbours here, all failed miserably, until I popped in my tried and tested Poa labilliaderi, which though lopsided, is otherwise doing well, especially since it was just a self seeded plant I dug up from the front garden. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's yellow!

More Clearance Rack plants doing well, this time it's my $2 mystery rose standards. Both have bushed out and have flower buds, and one has opened to reveal itself to be a lovely yellow. I'm so pleased! I was hoping for a yellow. The rose is still nameless, but will be something pretty common I expect (being from a giant hardware retailer). 

Now, just holding my breath while I wait for the other plant to open it's buds too, though will be another week or so before that happens, I think. 

(Other pot plants here, for those playing at home, are more practical than pretty: 'Fairytale' eggplant, my first try at cucamelons/mouse melons/ mexican sour gherkins, a very sad dragon fruit (not a plant for Adelaide conditions) and blueberry 'Vitality,' which is doing well and had green fruit, which my toddler keeps picking and eating.)

Monday, November 3, 2014


A brief update to remind myself that the new orchids were repotted today. I do not have high hopes for the smallest and finest of the three, it had barely any roots let at all. The previous potting media was very dense and wet after it's time outside, and featured a hearty crop of earthworms! I also learnt a new word: 'Keiki', which refers to the 'orchid baby' I removed from the biggest plant and put into a little pot on its own. 

Here, the largest enjoys a brief soak in a bath of Seasol and 1/2 strength orchid fertiliser. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Today I was given three orchids in need of some TLC. Challenge accepted! They came via a relative who is too elderly and frail to care for many plants anymore. 

I can only find a tag on one of these, which reads 'Dendrobium "Victorian Bride Genisis"' [sic]. A quick Google shows me it might be white with a spotty magenta border. I believe the two other orchids to be Dendrobiums as well, I'm hoping I'll turn up more name tags when I repot these little plants tomorrow. 

I am very proud of my orchids, not because they are particularly amazing, unusual, or spectacular, but because all bar one came from the clearance tables of big-box hardware stores, and not one of them has died on me yet. Must do a post on them one day. My 'new' plants stand a good chance of a reasonable recovery. 

Rose round up continues

Skylark (DA) so perfect! Tried it a couple of seasons ago and lost it (unusual for me), tried again out the back and adoring those rounded pink blossoms. 

Miscellaneous Bunnings  clearance bench rescue miniature rose. Possibly 'Apollo' (Parade) (potted at present). 

 'Gruss an Aachen'. Lovely colours, though turns out to be almost identical in shade to the 'Paul Bocuse' planted right next to it! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quick and blurry catalogue

Paul Bocuse (Guillot). Pale peachy pink.

Cramoisi Superieur
More pink than the red I expected. Lots of flowers for such a little plant. 

Graham Thomas (DA) with Poa labilliaderi. 

Jude the Obscure (DA)
Endlessly lovely

Sunny June. Fab singles, aphid magnet. 

Summer Song (DA). Favourite up the back.