Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Passion Fruit Begin to Flower

Plenty of re-growth and now in flower

After bring pruned back at the end of last season my passion fruit has grown back really well this year and is beginning to flower. I am taking this as a good sign that it has come to no harm after my giving it a good prune. At the beginning of spring I fertilized it with dynamic lifter and some potash to give my plant a boost and now that it is flowering I will give it some liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Tonight I decided as this plant gets all the afternoon sun that I would mulch the garden bed to help the soil retain water over our hot summers days. I am hopeful of a good yield from my passion fruit plant this year.

My healthy passion fruit plant

Monday, October 27, 2008

Alyogyne Huegelii

Another Australian native Alyogyne huegelii in flower and looking great at the moment, this medium shrub grows to 2-2.5 metres in height with a similar spread. The leaves are bright green and the flowers are large and purple to mauve, with five slightly overlapping petals. The flowers only last 1-2 days but new blooms continue to open over a long period. Alyogyne huegelii is a great plant for landscaping in drier climate, it is a fast grower and may become untidy in habit unless pruned regularly. It like a sunny position, but will tollerate some shade and will perform in a range of soils provided the drainge is good.
Propagation of this plant is from seed germiates readily, with no special pretreatment, it will also readily strike from cutting.

Summer Heat

Well summer is almost upon us and to get my garden ready I though it was time to put down some more mulch. I have a pergola down one side of my house which faces west and gets lots of afternoon sun. Although the pergola has been covered in shade cloth the ferns, orchids and cyclamen struggle with the heat when the temperature rise to 30 degrees and over. Trying to find a good quality mulch has not been easy to do, what I settled for in the end was coir. I bought 10 kg compressed block of coir once socked in water expands up to 120 litres. I am hoping by laying this mulch it will help keep in the moisture and help my plants survive the hot summer. I was quite happy with the overall effect of the mulch on the garden, it looked good when the job was complete. The colour of the coir contrasted well the the green foliage in the garden.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Plants In Containers

Only having a small suburban block we had to cull some of our native correas to extend our small vegetable patch to grow more tomatoes. With the patch full I looked at other ways to plant out several small tomato plants that we had left, I didn't have the heart to throw them in the bin. So I found some hanging pots for Tiny Tim and Red Robin and an old wheelbarrow for Lime Green Salad, Micro Tom and Totem even an old white plaster bucket for Sprite. There should be no reason for my container plants not to do well, if they get the same care and attention as the plants in the garden bed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grevillea At Their Best

© Copyright nansgarden.blogspot.com

Grevillea Moonlight, Elegance, Misty Pink

Grevillea are at their best around the Junction at the moment, a short stroll up to the botanic gardens retirement village this afternoon and I found some wonderful specimens to photograph. A wander around the gardens inside the complex found the plants growing well and healthy unlike many plants in the garden beds outside that have died over the past two years, due to below average rain fall. The inside garden beds have been well mulched and have in-ground sprinklers that must still be used. I'm not sure if the retirement village is connected to the recycle water that the Cranbourne Botanic gardens has access to. Junction village is so close to the recycle water pipe line that services the Botanic garden and the Cranbourne racecourse but the Junction has not yre been connected.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flowering At The Junction

With the milder weather we are experiencing at the moment, it is nice after a hard day at work to go for a stroll around the Junction and unwind. I do like to see what is in flower in the gardens of other residents around the Junction. Here is a small sample of what I have seen over the past two days. So much colour every where I look, native and non native alike.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tooradin Sunday Market

Photos Tomato, Zucchini, Garlic
Up early this morning and off to market again with the last of our tomato plants and peppers to sell. We were hoping to sell out early and be home in time for a lunch time birthday party for little miss Ameiliah who is turning six. And sell out early we did by 11.30 we were on our way home with every last plant sold. So the only tomatoes and peppers in our yard now are those we are growing our own needs. Our garlic is just about ready o be harvested to make way for some lettuce for healthy summer salads. Zucchini are growing well and we only kept two plants this year as we grew three last year and we grew far to many for our needs. I kept all my work colleges in zucchini last year. There is no comparison in taste of the vegetables we grow in our own patch to what we have been buying from the super markets. Our tomatoes are growing extremely well with some of the early fruiting varieties already showing small fruit. Hopefuly a sign of good things to come.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

First Roses Of The Season

©Copyright nansgarden.blogspot.com

Photo Rose Just Joey

This morning Saturday I got up at 7 o'clock to go into my garden and water before the 8 o'clock cut off time for watering the garden with a hand held hose. Only being able to water the garden twice a week from 6 am until 8 am is a real problem for me as Tuesday the only other day I can water I leave for work at 5.45. So I really only get the one day to water my garden, so I'm up before the birds and give everything a good drink.

This morning the first thing I noticed when I went out was that my roses had begun to open, my first blooms of the season. I only have a small suburban block with very sandy soil, but I could not have a garden with out some roses in it. I have five standard Just Joeys, having to pick just one rose type to have in the garden was a very hard choice as there are so many to choose from. But I final choice was Just Joey I love the colour and it has such a beautiful perfume. I had to take a photo of my first roses of the season, then I picked four roses to bring inside to enjoy. For Just Joey flowers and I have a full vase, this is another reason that I like Just Joey so much you only need a few to fill a vase.

Photo Just Joey 3 or 4 fill a vase

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fumaria Capreolata

Fumaria Capreolata - White Ramping Fumitory

©Copyright nansgarden.blogspot.com

While strolling around the Junction I came upon this unusual flower the likes I had never seen before. So I decided to take a photo of it and try to have it identified on the garden forum of which I'm a member. There are many knowledgeable members, that are only too willing to help out others where ever possible. Within a very short time of posting my request to have the plant identified I had the answer, Fumaria Capreolata annual herbaceous weed, it is rare and found predominantly in non-agricultural areas.

Mature plant:
Semi-erect to sprawling with a climbing habit, slender, herbaceous, freely branching and between 30-70cm tall.

Spear shaped with a pointed apex and hairless.

Triangular and deeply lobed, soft, hairless, green or blue-green in colour, arranged alternately.

Unevenly five-angled, green, smooth, succulent and weak.

Inflorescence Flowers:
Occur in clusters of 10 to 40 flowers, 6-12mm long, flowers usually white or cream with purplish tips, gradually turning pink following pollination.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stroll Around The Village

© Copyright nansgarden.blogspot.com

Photos Grevillea Winpara Gem, Rosy Posy, Aspleniifolia
My afternoon stroll around the Junction for my exercise found me at the Botanic Gardens Retirement Village, with my camera. There have been some nice native plants used in the garden in the village and surrounding area. Some of the plants that were there last year have cercumed to the dryer than normal conditions that we have been experenceing over the past few years. The only water these plants get is from the rain and we have had very little of the latley. Most of the plants that have been planted in the gardens out side the village are natives, but even some of these have died in the past twelves months.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Telopea Waratah

©Copyright nansgarden.blogspot.com

Waratahs are spectacular plants use in Native garden across Australia. These plants are in the genus Telopea which is in the Protective family. They produce bright red flowers in spring, (although some plants selected or bred in cultivation produce white, pink or yellow flowers). It is a slender, erect shrub, to 3 metres tall and about 1.5 metres across. It has stiff, wedge-shaped and usually coarsely toothed, dark green, leathery leaves to 15cm long. But in cultivations they can grow to much larger size.

It is well known as a bird-attracting plant, providing large quantities of nectar for a variety of birds. Magnificent as cut flowers and last very well in water. It is grown in some areas as a commercial crop for cut flowers. The increasing exploitation has led tho the Waratah being declared a protected plant.

New South Wales on 24. October 1962 proclaimed the Waratah as it's official floral emblem.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mr Kristopher Photographer

©Copyright nansgarden.blogspot.com

Photos Mr Kristopher (different angle)

Mr Kristopher the budding Photographer!

After taking photos at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Junction Village Mr Kristopher and I came to download our photos to see how successful we had been in our efforts. Mr Kristopher has a good eye for taking photos and seems to had a knack of taking some more unusual photos. As we sat and looked through his photos I was amazed at some of the shots he had taken. They were certainly from a different angle and gave a different view of a simple shot.

Photos Mr Kristopher Big Paws, Through the Trees, Gum Tree

I told Mr Kristopher that I thought he had taken some good shots by looking for different angles to take his photos. He then tells me that he is good at thinking outside the box. He also said that he enjoyed taking photos. And thought is was a cool thing to do because it was something that anybody could do, young or old, male or female. You could go and take photos with anybody, or mum or dad, nan or pop, or even with your friends.

Royal Botanic Garden Cranbourne

©Copyright nansgarden.blogspot.com

Photos Bush Infurno, Bush Emerald, Big Red (Kangaroo Paws)

On Sunday Mr Kristopher and I went for a walk up to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Junction Village with cameras in hand hoping to take some photos. Just inside the front gate there are mass planting of different varieties of Anigozanthos common name (Kangaroo Paws.) Some of them are in full flower and just look amazing, striking orange colour, and the Bush Emerald with it's deep green and maroon also striking. Big Red is just now coming into flower so in about a weeks time I will again go for a walk to the gardens to take a photo of Big Red in full flower.

The Kangaroo paws comprise of a small group of 11 species genus Anigozanthso and a single species in the genus Maropidia. They are perennial herbs consisting of strap like leaves arising from underground rhizomes. The flowers occur in clusters on storks that emerge from the base of the stork. The plant is adaptable to a variety of soils including poorly drained soils. For the best results in flowering it is best that they are grown in a sunny position and to be kept well watered. Regular fertilizing after flowering with a general purpose mix may be helpful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Australian Native Gardens

©Copyright nansgarden.blogspot.com

Correa Reflexa Clearview Giant, Reflexa Portland peach, Reflexa Gormandale Form

Most people these days are growing Australian Native Plants because of the varity in form, foliage and also colour, and because of their water saving potential. Creating a garden with Australian Natives can be a lot of fun and also very rewarding too. Growing and maintaining natives is essentially very simple, but plant and forget is a horticultural myth. Pruning is the most important maintenance activity, without regular pruning, plants tend to become lanky and often go woody. Another important maintenance activity is mulching. Why do we mulch native plants? To try to simulate the growing conditions in the bush, as leaf litter forms a natural and effective layer over the soil. Up to 73% of water can evaporate from the soil on a hot day if you do not have a protective layer of mulch. Mulch as well has many beneficial effects, not only does it help prevent water loss but but many mulches add nutrients to the soil as they break down and can also suppress weed growth.