Thursday, October 21, 2010

Controlled Burn Off

There was a controlled burn off today in the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. You have to love it when they say controlled burn off in The Botanic Gardens!!! The fire sirens and fire trucks let us know that the controlled burn off is out of control yet again.... So close to our home, showering us in embers and heavy ash and thick smoke.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Clivia miniata

Clivia (Bush lily, Fire Lily) is a beautiful and said to be indestructible plant with deep green, strap-like leaves. It flowers in early spring, but flowering times do vary, depending on the species. The lily shaped blooms on strong stems and last for several weeks and flowers come in vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange and are an ideal indoor plant. Clivia will thrive indoors and require very little care, growing larger and more impressive with age.

I grow my Clivia outdoors in the fernery with a westerly aspect, it gets filtered sunlight in summer and is well protected the direct summer sun and from the cold and frosts. It receives very little water in winter and is watered sparingly in summer. The blooms of the Clivia never fail to impress!! I love this plant....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Before After
I was given a pot full of  Aechmea that were in need of some TLC, after a long hot summer they had been badly burnt and looked rather neglected. I had not had anything to do with these plants before so I searched the net for a facts sheet to help me decide what I needed to do.

After my search I am sure that the variety of these bromeliads is Aechmea going by the description of the leaves. "The stately plants generally have wide, strappy green leaves that sometimes appear to be lightly powdered."

After a close inspection of these plants I found some of the original Aechmea had thrown off several pups. Once again back to the net for a fact sheet to find the best way to separate the pups and re-pot them all.
The fact sheet stated mature bromeliads should not be re-potted, the pups can be removed and potted up individually into small containers/pots until they are established, or left to form a new clump of plants. So everything came out of the pot and all the old soil was discarded and new potting soil replaced it. Very carefully I separated the new pups and potted them up, some of the older bromeliads I cut off sunburn effected leaves and re-potted them too. Nothing to loose by trying to safe as many of the older plants as I could. Some went back into the original pot, some in other pots I had and some I put into the garden in the fernery. I am happy to say that I lost none of the Aechmea and they all all looking very happy and healthy today...

Pups growing well
In the ground - In a pot

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bird Bath Restoration

My Freecycle Bird Bath

Before After
With the hot summer two years ago we put a message on freecycle for an unwanted birdbath so that we could help our bird life make it through the very hot days. Within a day or so we picked up a very old unused bird bath in need of some TLC. Now it has taken me some time but at the weekend the restoration of the bird bath took place. The inside of the dish was well worn and very dirty so I decided to soak it first with hot water and bleach, which I did for several hours.

After the bleach treatment

Then with a scrubbing brush and a wire brush all old chipped and cracked paint was removed from both dish and pedestal, it was ready for it's makeover. Because the dish was in such poor condition I decided to re-seal it, which I hoped would make it look better and also make it easier to clean and keep clean. To seal the bowl I used Bondall- Pond Tite "Sandstone" as it is fish and bird friendly, for the pedestal I chose Wattyl Solargard Stone Finish "Organic Touch".

This project was completed over the weekend and I am very happy with the end result, all the hard work and effort were worth it to see the bird bath in my front garden...