There is nothing like the taste and satisfaction of growing your own vegies. Not only are there the health benefits of growing your own produce for your family, you are also helping the planet by reducing your food miles. Kids love planting vegies and watching them grow, so it’s a great outdoor activity for the whole family. If you have never tried or would like a bit of a refresher this is a great place to start.
It really is an amazing season for these Magnolias. Sometimes the rain, the temperature and daylight hours all come together and some species just have a fabulous season. This year has seen the Fairy Magnolias and other hybrid Magnolias absolutely laden with flowers. I love the bold leaves of the fairy magnolias, they have a real presence in the garden, giving both gravitas and elegance. Equally good, but different, is the Magnolia ‘White Caviar’. A lighter glossy green leaf and striking flowers give it a lighter feel in the garden. All these Magnolias are versatile (full sun to part shade). Not too big, but big enough to screen or make a 2m hedge. Click through for more information.
We have a Champion and a Smyrna quince trained along the edible alley wall. The Champion is in full glorious blossom, and the Smyrna is about to burst. This photo doesn’t do the blossom justice, truly, Quince blossom must be some of the most beautiful in the world. The bees are busy, so am hoping for some fruit this year. Fingers crossed. Click through for info on this wonderful fruit.
9th September to 2nd October, 2016
The Yow Yow sisters, Sharon Edwards, Sue McCormick and Andrea Tilley, will be back in the Bolin Bolin Gallery this year with their new exhibition. Wander through their garden gate and see their Quirky Creatures, Flowers and Fruits and Things made from clay and metal.
More information about this exhibition at http://gallery.baag.com.au/?p=3066
September is a magnificent month to be out in the garden. You can smell spring in the air and the soil is starting to warm up, just like us. Spring is the turning point for planting options… the variety of plants that are happy to hit the soil in spring is huge, no matter what type of garden you like. After a cold winter there is nothing better than waking up to a sunny Saturday, throwing on a T-shirt and getting stuck into some gardening. We all have loads of jobs that have been neglected all winter, get started today!
Nothing compares to the taste of homegrown strawberries, and those monster things you buy in punnets at the shops are generally a poor (and expensive) imitation. So, why not grow some strawberries at home! Good position and good soil are the keys to successful strawberries. Strawberries are actually a European cool-climate plant, and need to be treated with a bit of love in our part of Australia. For those of you growing strawberries during the warmer periods of the year, we suggest growing under a little shade cloth cover. This is ‘slip, slop, slap’ for your strawberries to stop the sunburn… they’ll thank you for it! In the cooler months, a nice, warm, full-sun to part-shade spot is perfect… morning sun with protection from the afternoon rays.
Perfection is sitting outside with the warm sun on my face, the company of friends and family, and food on the table. To keep this image of perfection firmly in place, I need to exclude the uninvited guest – the mosquito.
I can slather on insecticide, have bottles ready for other people to use, or I can plan ahead, and create a mosquito free garden. They have lots of options, they don’t have to be in my garden, so I plan on making it as unattractive to them as I can, sort of a cultural desert for mozzies, no where to hang out, unattractive smells, nothing enticing.
We have been working on our new packaged seed signage for quite a while, and we are very excited to finally have them installed. One of the hardest things about buying seeds is that often the packets feature no picture, and very little to no information about particular varieties… especially the rarer ones. We decided to fix that with our very own full colour sign system featuring specific information about why you should be choosing each variety. We hope you find them helpful next time you are searching for that elusive seed!
An exhibition inspired by trips to Japan led by Linda de Toma and Naoko Coghlan focussing on ceramics and textiles.
5 August-4 September
This is an exhibition to demonstrate the influence a visit to Japan has had on the artwork of two groups of travellers. Linda De Toma, founder of Claydreamers studio, is a ceramic artist with a passion for Japan and Japanese ceramics. Naoko Coghlan is a potter who grew up in Japan but now has her home in Melbourne. They got together in 2014 to plan a tour designed to introduce small groups to Japanese sights and culture, as well as pottery and other arts and crafts.
Well, the last weeks of winter are finally here, with the scent of Wattle signalling the promise of spring just around the corner. The first Magnolias are in flower and the gold and purple of Acacias and Hardenbergias create a dramatic floral display. The cold, frosty mornings are a prelude to the burst of new growth that heralds the coming new season of life. We have already had our fair share of frosty mornings and more are likely, so continue on with those frost damage prevention measures for a few more weeks yet.
If you have a Lisbon Lemon, you are probably looking at a glut of lemons right now. Even Eureka and Meyer lemon trees are full of fruit, but it is the Lisbons that are just groaning with huge loads of lemons. And these are the best of lemons, super lemony, tart, strong, wonderful skin for grating – the perfect lemon.
So, what to do with this superfluity of lemons? For years my brother has been banging on about his preserved lemons, I have been nodding gently and looking impressed, but secretly wondering what on earth you actually DO with preserved lemons. Then… my niece cooked me dinner one night and it was sensational. I was tactfully asking exactly what was in the dish to take it from good to superb, when she told me how the preserved lemons she had made took it to the next level – and this was in New York, in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. I asked around, and it seems everyone is using preserved lemons, especially in Morrocan cooking (yet another culinary train that left without me).
In the depths of winter Garrya elliptica suddenly changes from a useful, but somewhat boring, grey-green evergreen shrub into a supremely elegant showstopper. Clever gardeners plant it where the long cascading tassels (catkins) are shown to advantage, sometimes against a wall, sometimes as a shrub along the front fence, always eye-catching. It flowers from mid-winter into spring, with the tassels gradually elongating and subtly changing. In some ways this is a showy plant, but the silvery grey coloured tassels, highlighted against the grey green glossy and slightly wavy foliage, give it an elegant subtlety which lends itself to many different styles of gardens. The leaves are glossy on top but soft and woolly underneath, a lovely contrast and another subtle touch.
Winter can be a challenge, but it sure puts a rosy hue in your cheeks when you rug up, brave the elements and go about doing some of those winter gardening tasks which have been beckoning from outside. Enjoy a warm drink – and the satisfaction – when you come inside.
My main use for this shrub is using it where nothing else will survive, or when everything I try just limps along, not quite dying, but certainly not thriving. I plant an Elaeagnus and it just bolts away forming a strong healthy plant and making that frustrating ‘failure to thrive’ area just disappear. Particularly useful in planting under established trees, where everything tried just struggles.