Top ten list of garden plants

  • Abutilons of all kinds
  • Buddlejas old and new
  • Epiphytic orchids and ferns
  • Gordonia species
  • Heliotrope, Lemon verbena, Fennel and herbs
  • Michelias of all sorts
  • Perennial Salvias large and small
  • Species Camellias
  • Tea and China Roses
  • Weigela of all types

Montville Rose

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Greetings from the Shambles

After the very welcome rain we have over flowing tanks and happy plants . I can hear the steady whirr of chain saws in every direction as the clean up continues after the storm that hit Montville a couple of weeks ago. Added to that is the need to reduce overhanging branches and to let the sun into dark corners and for these jobs we have Brent come in to help so I don't have to struggle with inadequate blunt tools and directions from Michael . Not only that but he "chips " and that is a great relief to me because I hate the chipper even though it does do a great job. It is something about the noise and the need to be so selective when feeding the thing not to mention the occasional blockages that annoy me.
On the fun side we are planting out a huge collection of cuttings grown plants in order to clear the decks as well as a few new shop bought plants that we keep buying even though we don't need more plants. The latest is Diamonds in the Dark, Lagerstroemia indica - Pure white . This gorgeous plant has deep plum coloured foliage and white flowers. I like the contrast and hope it will do well in a few places around the garden.
Sadly the Plough Inn is very damp after the rain and it is necessary to repave it and do a better job of raising the floor level . It even has a sink hole which is interesting if you don't accidentally step in it. There is something down there because Shadow is intrigued and emerges with a dirty nose.
As usual the garden is always in a state of flux and we would hate it to be a static space where all that was required was hedging. The garden is a main topic of conversation and we both have notebooks (where's the pen?)with "ideas and plans" that keep us amused. The Plough Inn for example could have french doors , be sealed properly and have a stove recess. The side verandah could become a dream bed room to look out at leaves  and a tree house could be built in the nut tree. We could have a bridge but we don't have any water!Doesn't everyone do this? Don't get too excited because nothing may happen!Ideas aren't always good.
We are looking forward to two groups doing return  visits the garden in March and April . This is lovely for us as it will show the garden in a different season but there will be other  changes to see as well. K

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Holidays and Time to redesign some areas

January 2018, our first holiday in 18 months. We travelled to Toowoomba and had a very relaxed and comfortable time. We couldn't resist a couple of plant nurserys and had a great discussion with Penny McKinlay at Pittsworth
The following are waiting to go in with our next rains.
A list of Salvias and perennials is mentioned on a previous blog.
The 'Wisteria Arch; has been stripped on Wisteria to let the lovely and are old Rose AIMEE VIBERT (1828) NOISETTE, continue to climb over this (also to add rose ADÉLAÏDE D'ORLÉANS to this structure)

The North Rose garden will be taken back from Anenome and Salvia elegans, Salvia "hot lips" etc with the red roses below to be added.
After a lovely visit and some discussion we accquired the following from Penny McKinlays nursery at Pittsworth
Penny McKinlays nursery Pittsworth
ADÉLAÏDE D'ORLÉANS Rambling Rose One of the most beautiful rambling roses. Produces great quantities of creamy white, semi-double blooms, which hang elegantly in dainty sprays. Almost evergreen. Very healthy. Ideal for shade Bred by Antoine Jacques in France 1826

KNOCK OUT The bloom cycle produces rich cherry red/hot pink blooms that will continue until the first hard frost. Black spot resistant, drought tolerant and self-cleaning, Bred by William J. Radler, USA, 1999

DOUBLE KNOCK OUT CUTTINGS GROWN This rose is much like the original 'Knock Out', but with a higher petal count (approx. 30-35 petals). The flowers are a very similar shade of glowing cherry red, the disease resistance is just as good
Rosa Double Knock Out
MR LINCOLN CUTTINGS GROWN HYBRID TEA large fragrant deep red DOUBLE blooms flowering at the end of long stems Bred by Swim & Weeks, USA, 1964 this very tall growing rose to 1.8 metres

From The Springs nursery Toowoomba
Lobelia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower ‘Flamingo”
This is a majestic, clump forming perennial. Spikes of scarlet red flowers on stems up to 1.8mts.
Narrow green to bronze-purple leaves make this a year round beauty.Flowers in Summer and Autumn. Height 1m.
 Kyleigh at Newtown Park, her birthday 2018
While in Toowoomba we visited the State Rose garden at Newtown Park as well. Very hot dry weather and we noted the new Heritage Roses in Australia areas.
State Rose garden Toowoomba

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A garden visit

Michael and I recently visited the garden at Pattemore House at Maleny. It was late in the afternoon and there was a lovely breeze blowing from the east as we entered through the back garden  past the privet hedge. It is the sort of place where the house nestles into its surroundings and the remnant plants such as  mature camellias , persimmons, mulberry  trees  instantly set a scene . These are the survivors  - the plants that have grown through droughts and flooding rain  and they give the gardner a clue as to what grows well .The cobble stones in the laundry area and the open verandah invites a closer look. The historical group had provided us with a detailed map so we were able to identify all of the garden  and the proposed directions for the garden.
It was lovely to see the old plants retained as so often gardens are swept aside , heritage or no heritage. As if a garden is just something that can be filled in later after the "important" hard landscaping is done. It is soft landscaping that is the ingredient for old gardens. I like the human touch where pavers are not pristine or rocks are piled as garden edges. Lets face it people in the past had a mend and make do philosophy perhaps more by economic necessity than desire.
The wind in the trees always takes me back to childhood and this home has a lot of the ingredients to become a really worthwhile garden to visit . I like the rough lawn and those deep shady places under the mulberry boughs and . There is possibly a lot you could do in the garden but perhaps paring back and keeping the garden as original as possible might be best. Adding on to garden beds and filling in hedges and basically treading lightly will be the key.
From the front there is a long drive lined with mature trees. This landscape allows visitors to wander away from the house garden and view the property from a different angle. I always imagine what it would have been like to live in particular houses. What a day would have been like and who would have been playing or working in the garden. I imagine on hot afternoons families and friends may have sat on the verandah and looked out for a sign of rain as we did today.
I imagine the children picking mulberries and being covered in juice-their mouths, hands and probably their clothes. Someone might suddenly feel a spot of rain and there would be a mad dash to get the clothes off the line. Someone might start getting attacked by mozzies and as the dusk settles it will be time to head indoors.
As we drove away we looked out across Maleny's new estates  with smaller blocks and landscaped outdoor areas . It makes it even more important to preserve and value the gardens surrounding the older buildings on the Blackall Range. I guess we took for granted the Queensland gardens we grew up with when everyone had a mango tree , a chook house  and a patch of maiden hair fern under the steps. It was normal as children
to leave the house from morning til night and quite simply be occupied in the garden or friends gardens or in our case down at the beach or on the cliffs at Shorncliffe.
Garden preservation is for the future generations and I hope that it doesn't become a rarefied treat to actually get all those wonderful feelings from gardens.

A new Year and New plants for "The Shambles"

A new year, our 26th at "The Shambles" sees warm temperatures, satisfactory rain and an effort to replace lost plants , add new ones and continue the vitality of our collections.
Livistona chinesis x 2, Coffee arabica x 2 and Duranta lorentzii x 2 all added in NW garden areas in December 2017

PLANTS ORDERED ADDED DEC 2017 JAN 2018
HERB COTTAGE   31/12/2017. Very prompt delivery with plants arriving in good condition
Salvia mexicana 'Limelight'  2       We have one good specimen but want to try it elsewhere.
Iris virginica  Iris versicolorBlue Flag Iris versicolor is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant, growing 10–80 centimetres high. This iris tends to form large clumps from thick, creeping rhizomes. The unwinged, erect stems generally have basal leaves that are more than 1 cm wide. Leaves are folded on the midribs so that they form an overlapping flat fan. The well developed blue flower has 6 petals and sepals spread out nearly flat and have two forms. The longer sepals are hairless and have a greenish-yellow blotch at their base. The inferior ovary is bluntly angled. Flowers are usually light to deep blue (purple and violet are not uncommon) and bloom during May to July. Fruit is a 3-celled, bluntly angled capsule. The large seeds can be observed floating in fall.  1. Don't know if this will work here.
Buddleja davidii white central shrub garden

Buddleja davidii 'Santana'   PURPLE FLOWER VARIEGATED   2   for Stone circle, variegated plant collection.
Heliotrope – Golden  1    Front pah garden
Rose Mutabilis   2            Can never have enough of these. We have 3 healthy ones about the place.
Rosemary - Herb Cottage Rosemary  1    For fenced rose garden with other Rosemary varieties.
Salvia corrugata   1                            To replace a lost one
Salvia dorisiana 'Fruity Sage'  2        To replace lost plants
Salvia gesneriiflora 'Tequila'  2        To replace lost plants
Valerian                    1                       As a foolish experiment.
BRENLISSA ONLINE NURSERY  NSW   , trialling this source for Salvias
Salvia gesneriiflora 'Tequila' - Big mexican scarlet sage.     2
Salvia Leucantha 'Velour White' Delv from mid Dec 2017   1
Salvia mexicana 'Limelight'           2
PERENNIALLE PLANTS NURSERY  . This nursery has Phlomis and we have a new spot in the sun, where the Tabebuia chrysora was removed.
Phlomis fruticosa - Jerusalem Sage  2

Phlomis russeliana                               2
Farfugium japonicum aureomaculatum , not many golden spots in the shade but an uncommon and very hard to get specimen
Also added to the SW corner where Lady Finger Banana is establishing
Citrus limon "Eureka" lemon variety
Citrus  Tahitian Lime
Another Hardenbergia violacea
Pelargoniums 

Cuttings grown Clerodendrum bungeii,  just west of the Fenced Rose garden

Darvallia fijiensis and an erst Fern from Michael Wilson added further along this path

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Meeting people in the garden

It was lovely to talk to the visitors in the garden yesterday and very fortunate that it wasn't today as it has been rainy and cool.It certainly was a very relaxed opening for us and I am pleased that people were interested in the garden and ready to go home and work in their own gardens which is the whole idea.
Unexpectedly we had friends arrive and stay on for dinner . Luckily we have the "Lazy Rabbit' nearby so we could buy a delicious Japanese take away.
  This afternoon I have been out picking roses for the house before they get too sodden.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Open Garden this Saturday Afternoon 11/11/17

For years we have opened our garden according to a date on the calendar and often it isn't the best time . When trying to prepare a long term lead up for a garden to be ready for the public so many things come into play . The weather for a start  along with preparing plants to sell and coordinating refreshments and willing helpers . This weekend is a no frills version of an open garden and it will probably feel a bit more laid back and less frantic than the more organised opening. The preparation for this weekend began just a couple of days ago and has included nothing more than a couple of flyers, a mention on face book and word of mouth.  It doesn't matter if 5 people come along or 50. The garden itself has had a huge boost from mother nature and loads of attention from me as usual. I really love my garden and both Michael and I get great satisfaction from it as it continues to mature . We know that you have to be here all the time to really appreciate the subtle changes and the growth of plants. It can be something as transient as the fog that gives the garden a magical appearance. We are opening and sharing the garden this Saturday afternoon purely because it is looking lovely at the moment and there are several shrubs in full flower and a few areas in progress to look at.
This garden is not a show garden, it has weeds and doesn't stay inside the edges . It is a robust place where our family and friends get together and where children and dogs play . Honestly some people just go over the top with garden neatness & their outdoor eating preparation. Our kids had "picnics" that consisted of a brisk walk at the falls followed by a a drink of water and an apple. Here we have  the remnants of an impromptu  feast down the back yard. Everything tastes better outdoors! Feel free to bring along your own afternoon tea or special beverage on Saturday. We once gave a bus load of visitors a glass of wine  each and they staggered out at the end  with high praise and a smile on their faces.  Kyleigh

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Shambles Open One Afternoon, Saturday 11th November 2017, 2pm til 5pm

Just remember please,  "The Shambles" is open this weekend 11th November 2017 from 2pm to 5pm to take advantage of the dranmatic response to our recent rain and good weather.
Gold Coin entry                                           Front Path Garden
No plant stalls or food but a lovely opportunity to walk around the garden when there is so much in flower
Spiraea cantoniensis
Lilium,Hippeatrum, Neomarica caerulea 

Some plants added nov 2017
Duranta Lorentzii (Vanilla scented Duranta) syn.  Duranta serratifolia lush lime green evergreen shrub! The sparkling white blooms smell of sweet vanilla and so attractive to bees and butterflies. Duranta serratifolia was already described and the name validly published by August Heinrich Rudolf Grisebach. It was Carl Ernst Otto Kuntze, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1898.Duranta serratifolia is native to Argentina. Fenced Rose garden


Coffee arabica is originally from Yemen on the Arabian peninsula, Arabica is thought to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated and many consider it to be a superior coffee type.The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. It was here in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed in a similar way to how it is now prepared. Coffee seeds were first exported from East Africa to Yemen, as the coffea arabica plant is thought to have been indigenous to the former. Yemeni traders took coffee back to their homeland and began to cultivate the seed. By the 16th century, it had reached PersiaTurkey, and North Africa. From there, it spread to Europe and the rest of the world.The word "coffee" entered the English language in 1582 via the Dutch koffie, borrowed from the Ottoman Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from the ArabicGah-wah . The Dutch East India Company (VOR) was the first to import coffee on a large scale. The Dutch later grew the crop in Jva and Ceylon The first exports of coffee from Java to the Netherlands occurred in 1711. Through the efforts of the British east India Company, coffee became popular in England as well. Oxford's Queen's Lane Coffee House, established in 1654, is still in existence today. Coffee was introduced in France in 1657, and in Austria and Poland after the 1683 Battle of Vienna when coffee was captured from supplies of the defeated Turks.  Coffee Trees are attractive with dark glossy leaves and striking red berries.  They take around seven years to mature and grow to about 5 metres but can be trimmed to two metres for easier harvest.  Coffee is relatively pest free and will grow well in rich or improved soils. Small white flowers appear two to four years after planting and produce a Jasmine-like fragrance. The flowers only last a few days then the green berries begin to appear, ripening and deepening to a bright red. Coffee grows best in semi-shade between around 15-25C 
Livistona chinensis The Chinese Fan Palm is a beautiful solitary fan palm that will eventually reach 8 -12 meters. With lush fan shaped leaves, this is an absolutely stunning Palm that produces small cream colored flowers then large bunches of attractive blue fruit! Plants available approx 30-40cm tall! Livistona chinensis; the genus is named for the baron of Livingston. There are two subspecies; Livistona chinensis var. chinensis, China Southeast, and Vietnam. And Livistona chinensis var. subglobosa, Bermuda, Florida, Hawaii, Japan, Jawa, Marianas, Mauritius, Nansei-shoto, New Caledonia, La Réunion, and Taiwan.  Livistona chinensis was first described as Latania chinensis (Jacquin, 1801), from plants cultivated and subsequently naturalised in Mauritius and brought to Schoenbrunn Gardens, Vienna in 1788. It is lectotypified by the illustration in Jacquin (1801), Tab. 11, Fig. 1. The species name was taken from that used for the palm in Mauritius, “Latanier de la Chine”. Bretschneider (1898) provided some evidence to suggest that the naturalist and traveller Pierre Poivre was responsible for introducing the palm, during the mid 1700s, to Mauritius where it soon became naturalised. Poivre had made extensive collections of plants from southeast China and Indochina during the period 1740-1767. Martius (1838) provided the transfer to Livistona, based on Brown (1810) who suggested it should correctly have been in Livistona, but without formal transfer. For NW corner rainforest.

Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum is native to southern Mexico and often cultivated. The species was originally described by Frederik Liebmann in a separate genus Hydnostachyon, which he described as having a concave (spoon-like) spathe Spatha foliacea persistens cochleariformis, from which he formed the species epithet cochlearispathum. The species was moved to the genus Spathiphyllum by Heinrich Gustav Adolf Engler  Spathiphyllum  Certain species of Spathiphyllum are commonly known as Spath or peace lilies.
They are evergreen perennials with large leaves 12–65 cm long and 3–25 cm broad. The flowers are produced in a spadix, surrounded by a 10–30 cm long, white, yellowish, or greenish spathe. The plant does not need large amounts of light or water to survive. NW Rainforest area
Also yet to be desribed
Some new Bromeliads, Palms, Begonias, Hibiscus cuttings and a Dianthus/Carnation type to be identified.