Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September variations;

Spring seems to inspire new projects, new plans, it injects ‘une joie de vivre’ like no other season. Ts

Louisiana Iris are a beautiful addition to any garden; the flowers life 'short and sweet', but oh so worthwhile to grow.

When the sunlight glitters winter is dead; Ts

Reflection in the herb garden;

'Salvia my Love'  Salvia Fallax planted a few weeks ago shows its first flowers.

Fallax is one of the 2m evergreen Mexican shrubs of robust growth with pretty pale blue flowers late winter onwards. Its name might be more correctly roscida.It doesn’t like much frost so not a good choice for very cold areas though it can be grown in a protected area.It can be slashed around Xmas if you want to keep it smaller.It may seed a bit or can be grown from cuttings.The closest plant is polystachya, also a pale blue flower but slate blue, and autumn flowering rather than winter on a less upright plant. (from i Garden)

Salvia 'Mystic Spires' just started flowering in its second year.

The first daylily to flower; Cosmic Hummingbird,  a smallish flower, very floriferous.

A new addition to my Salvia garden; Salvia Canariensis.
Bright silvery-white, hirsute foliage and stems, makes a fabulous highlight in a sunny, dry garden. In a single season growing into a nice bush with an upright habit crowned from Summer to autumn with spikes  of rosey blooms held in rich violet-purple calyces. It’s best in well drained soil with some compost added. Cut back in winter. 
I planted mine in a pot, as I am a bit reluctant to plant it out, as we can get such a lot of rain in summer. As soon as I can make some cuttings I will plant one out and monitor its success. 

Coriander in the herb garden; it seeds itself. every spring I immensely enjoy its dainty flowers and foliage, plus its quality to add some Mexican flavour to certain dishes. Peter does not like its taste, but I enjoy it.

Spring is the time for all to empty old cupboards, shake out old dreams; turn upside down and watch the grass grow. Ts

Geraniums love spring in the subtropics, show their best behaviour at this time of year. I have made many cuttings from this one, now these softies peep out from everywhere in the garden.  I read once that planting habits like this make a garden.

This one grows since many years in the same wall pot. From spring into summer is looks brilliant, fed and watered... Later it will start to sulk and show withdrawing symptoms; which I ignore otherwise it would have found itself on the compost.

This one is a much darker pink than this picture shows.The flowers are big and double.

A new addition to the bulb garden. Ornithogalum; Ornithogalum thyrsoides 'Chesapeake Snowflake'
A fabulous spring show of large flower heads made up of clusters of small white flowers. As a cut flower, Snowflake has an incredible, extra long vase life.
Plant in a full sun or part shade position in free-draining soil with a bit of mature composted material added if necessary. Ornithogalum grow from a bulb which naturalises in the ground, so you never have to lift the bulbs.
Begin watering in autumn when first shoots appear. The plant goes dormant over summer, so there’s little need to water at that time.
Use a good quality controlled-release fertiliser but avoid applications of high nitrogen fertiliser which will encourage leafy growth at the expense of flowers.
Remove old stems by cutting off at the base. Don’t remove foliage until the plant has died back, which will occur in summer as the plant goes dormant.

Believe it or not:
Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men. ~Chinese Proverb

©Photos my garden/Text Ts Lavender & Vanilla;

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Spring is bloomin' marvelous;

The garden welcomes flowers in blazing and soft colours.

Spanish Lavender; this one does seed and it also grows from cuttings. It does as well as the French Lavender in the subtropics.

Walk between the flowers and be happy. Ts


Dendrobium Orchids are welcome spring beauties; easy to grow in the subtropics. Let them dwell on a tree in semi shade and they will flowers for you every spring

No spring without daisy flowers.

Ostespermum; African daisies.

Chicorino rosso flowers;

Heartsease; Johnny jump up; spring is their happy time. I am always looking forward to see their sweet kitten faces. These Darlings seed themselves, in the herb garden. Wherever they want to grow I applaud them.

Strong colours of Tibouchina species.
  1. Tibouchina is a genus of about 350 species of neotropical plants in the family Melastomataceae. They are trees, shrubs or subshrubs growing 0.5–25 m tall, and are known as glory bushes or glory trees. 
  2. Scientific nameTibouchina

I always adored pink and mauve together, Bougainvillea and Wisteria.

Any garden is for joy.Ts

Pretty self seeders. They are highly recommended, admired and easy to grow. Perennial Petunia.

Lovely, wonderful China rose Irene Watts. Delicious colour, delicious scent, delicious blooms. Not a tall grower, but such a fine plant. Say if I could plant one only, (I love many roses) it would be this one.

Gerbera; many years back I used to grow Gerberas in my farm garden, then somehow they went into oblivion, until I saw them in my daughter's garden. She wanted to get rid of them. I dug them out and planted them in my Butterfly garden. They are delightful. Love especially these spider blooms.

My herb garden is always a delight to me.

Queensland Rainforest tree; 

Thaleropia Queenslandica (or Metrosideros Queenslandica)
Endemic to North East Queensland this small tree grows to about 6m in height. It is evergreen and upright in habit with new growth being apricot/red on stems. Leaves are shiney dark green on top and paler below. Flowering in late October to December, a spectacular display of yellow to orange flowers borne on terminal growth can cover the entire tree. Flowers have five spreading petals and five protuding anthems.

Little sun;

Hippeastrums play a big part in my spring garden.  I admire the single ones, and use them to make new cross breeds.To me, the double or triple ones have lost their typical Hippeastrum appeal; that is just my opinion. 

Salvia Love and Wishes; I grow Salvia, small and tall all over my garden. 

Did you know,  to touch a plant, smell a flower, hug a tree is the best therapy!Ts

Not to forget the fine Grevillias which bring oodles of nectar sipping birds.

Your garden may be your heaven on earth. Every morning I can not wait to go out into the garden, nothing on earth is as good as to have your own garden. Ts

Believe it or not;
I have so many plants I have stopped counting, I can show only a few, each one is special, each one is different.

©Photos my garden ; Text and quotes Ts

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Winter "blues" in the subtropics.

In the nature of things;

Never get tired of admiring the simply, lovely Nasturtium. appearing in the garden in winter like  clockwork.

Days do not need to be filled with excitement all the time, simple pleasure can be found every day…Ts

Wonderful Pyrostegia filling winter days with their brillint colour.

Royal Purple for a splendid Salvia; I think "Black Knight"

Lime green geranium leaves are starting to get some colour; in time the leaves will be beautifully marked dark brown and dark red.

My chooks are cute and loved, enjoy tidbits, that's why they are following me as soon as they see me.
They have a big run  and a good, shelter to be safe.

From late autumn into early spring we can harvest many different citrus fruit.

Growing in the 'wild garden' trunk of a young eucalyptus tree  show attractive markings on its  bark.

“The greatest wealth is to live content with little.” 

The old orchard has become the wild garden. Tree ferns and  other ferns are making a comeback. some of the orchard trees are still bearing fruit for us and for the wildlife.

'Rosebud' Salvia grows up to 2m long arching canes; the flowers last a long time  and  leave attractive calyces.

A look into the wild garden.

Life itself is simple...we make it complicated; Ts

Many years ago I planted a Peach stone far down at the entrance. A little tree grew with these attractive double flowers. Peter saw it struggling down there and dug it out, planted it in the house garden's small orchard.. Looked after, it promptly  flowered and had some peaches last year.
Now it is flowering, hoping for some peaches again.

Red and orange for winter cheer.
double Poinsettia and Crucifix Orchid.

Flowering Casuarina in the wild garden.


Attractive cork like bark of  a weeping Casuarina.

Monsieur Tillier, a fine rose growing  in the herb garden. Old French- and  old China Roses do so well in the subtropics; flowering nearly all year round with a few short rests in between.

Love geraniums, this one is called Lady of Spain', don't know why!

Favoured beauties, Abutilon.

Usually the simple things one learns first and forgets last. Ts

Along the drive way; Sculpture of  Platypus made by Lilli.

Loquat tree in the old orchard, beautiful bark; the fruit is delicious. Most of the time we miss out birds and  possums love them too.

Relocated the shell ginger into the wild garden; It grew along a pathway in the house garden and was getting to large, now it can grow as much as it likes.

No garden without Camellias.

Mountain soursop tree in the wild garden.

Weeping foliage of Casuarina species.


European chestnut tree losing its leaves now. It does not perform well. Many of the chestnuts are not fertilized. Nonetheless it is a beautiful tree.

This old Callistemon plays host to many different ferns.

A very big huntsman spider; isn't it beautiful. It plays its part in life's comedy.

Banksia flower on its way to make seed. Banksia robur in the wild garden.

Pawpaw; Papaya;

Camellia Drama Girl;

“GOOD MORNING," said the little prince. 

"Good Morning," said the salesclerk. This was a salesclerk who sold pills invented to quench thirst. Swallow one a week and you no longer feel any need to drink.

"Why do you sell these pills?"

"They save so much time," the salesclerk said. "Experts have calculated that you can save fifty-three minutes a week."

"And what do you do with those fifty-three minutes?"

"Whatever you like."

"If I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked," the little prince said to himself, "I'd walk very slowly toward a water fountain...” 
 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince 

scented Geranium in the herb garden;


Believe it or not:
The simplest thing in ones life is kindness, words of encouragement at the right moment. Ts

©Photos mygarden/some Text Ts Lavender & Vanilla