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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter Open garden Preparations

Cooper the Wonderdog wonders what all this Open garden fuss is about.

Following on from the heavy rain of previous weeks there has been a lot to do to sharpen the old place up for our Open garden. For the first time with our connection with Open gardens Australia we got a mention in the April "Gardening Australia" Magazine and have had good support from the local paper and local regional papers . We even scored a mention in the "ten best things to do" over Easter in the Saturday Courier mail Newspaper (24/3/2012).
Last time the sun came out I managed to spray all the roses with triforine which is probably necessary given the ceaseless wet and humid conditions. The garden throughout has had a liberal treatment with mushroom compost and a supplement of "Nitrophoska" and Sulphate of Potash.
Kyleigh and done all the edges by hand and we have been judiciously pruning and deadheading as we go.
Camellias are starting to flower all about with the earliest being Camellia sasanqua "Hiryu", "Beatrice Emily", "Edna Butler" and "Mignonne". If we are lucky the big Gordonia axillaris will be in flower showering the ground with big white flowers with yellow stamens like fried eggs.
There are many perennials flowering. plectranthus ecklonnii is just about finishing but Strobilanthes cusia (darwin Bells) in pink and Plectranthus saccatus in blue are just about to colour up the shade.
The old fashioned roses have been flowering all along. I hope at easter "White Pet", "Perl des Jardins", "Proffesseur Graniviat", "Beauty of Glenhurst", "Comptesse de labarthe", "Rosette delizy" and "Mutabilis" will have plenty left over for display.
We are still planting. We were lucky enough to replace our lost Clitoria ternatea with both vines of blue and white flowers at the Glasshouse Nursery on Steve Irwin Way. This was a real find.
Our friend Martin Leonard helped put the final Giant Clam Shell touches on our rustic fountain of coral, shell and ferns, which is a celebration of 19th century gardening fashion.
I've just come in from paintning some "Open Garden Easter" signs for the front hedge.
Hope to see you there
Michael Simpson

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Open Gardens Preparation and New Interests

Picture: Old fashioned Rose "Cousin Essie" for an Old fashion house

Heavy rain persists this week and has made us worried about the waether for our Easter open garden only 3 weeks away. We have the base for the expanded "Rustic Fountain" of coral under tarps before it can be finished and gaint clam sheels mounted.
At least new plantings of Angelonia, Dahlia, Lettuce and Parsley will take off. We added a new red cultivar Abutilon near the gatehouse and brought in yet more ferns.
Heavy rain has reminded me to think a lot more about the marvellous variety of fern genus in the garden and how little I know about them.
We have reorganized out tumble down fernery to set out different ferns although there is a wide selection throughout the garden and especially pretty around the coral "Rustic Fountain".
I have reorganized our plant inventory published in our website to include a section just for ferns and intend to learn a lot more about them before moving on to mosses, lichens and fungi. The following is an inventory of sorts.

FERNS at "The Shambles"

Ferns being neither gymnosperms nor angiosperms are a unique and ancient form of vascular plant. They do not flower or set seed but propagate by producing spores or by spreading rhizomes. Their reliance on spores also requires moist conditions and our recent wet years have encouraged new ferns to appear on many tree trunks, stone walls and other cool south facing positions. There are thousands of different ferns and many of ours have been acquired without identifications. Collecting ferns was a popular thing to do in early Queensland gardens. Our ferns are distributed throughout the garden but also collected together in our own 'Fernery and Fungery'. Pictorial references for identification,

Adiantum aesthiopicum (common maiden hair fern) this delightful low growing fern does require moisture to look its best. There are a great many species of maiden hair about 200 in fact plus Adiantum cultivars available. ? syn. Adiantum atroviride (Maiden hair fern)

Adiantum hispidulum (Rough Maidenhair) longer staight fronds Eastern Australia.

Adiantum silvaticum Eastern Australia

Adiantum peruvianum Maidenhair with much larger leaflets , new ones on red-bronze Central America

Asplenium australasicum (birds nest fern) Dramatic long leaf blades, very successful as epiphyte and in ground under trees throughout most gardens where there is adequate leaf litter and ground moisture. Australia

Blechnum gibbum (Silver lady fern) Fiji, New Caledonia

Calochaena dubia (Mountain Bracken fern) appears spontaneously in our garden in summer. North Eastern Australia

Cyathea brownii (Norfolk Island Tree fern)

Cyathea cooperi (common tree fern) An iconic tall fern of warm climate gardens.These are sensitive to drying out during hot dry weather and favaour a shady positions Australia

Cyrtomium falcatum syn. Phanerophlebia spp (Holly Fern)

Davallia fejeensis (Fijian Hares foot fern) Very finely divided leaflets on long cascading fronds. Fiji

Davallia pyxidata (hares foot fern) Epiphytic fern which produces ‘hares foot’ rhizome or stem below the crown

Doodia aspera (Prickley rasp fern) Attractive new reddish fronds. Australia

Microsorum pustulatum (Kangaroo fern) Native to Australia and New Zealand

Microsorum crocodyllus (Crocodile fern) Long fronds like Asplenium but tesselated in texture. South East Asia and New Guinea

Nephrolepis cordifolia (common fish bone fern) A common shade and dry tolerant fern. Does have weed potential. America 30 species known such as Sword fern and Boston fern. 3 distinct forms are very hardy in our garden.

Pellaea rotundifolia (Button fern) New Zealand

Phyllitis scolopendrium syn. Asplenium scolopendrium (Harts tongue)

Platycerium bifurcatum (Elkhorn) large epiphytic fern with shield which adheres to tree trunks or walls Australia

Platycerium superbum (Stag horn) Large epiphytic fern with shield which adheres to trees . Spectaular high in trees or understory fern Australia

Polypodium aurium syn. Phlebodium (75 species) Central and South America

Polystichum tsus-sinense ?Polystichum retroso (Shield fern)

Pteris cretica cultivar albo-lineata (Brake fern) attractive tall stem with fronds variegated with a cream-yellow central line of colour.

Pteris cretica cv. mayii (Brake fern) larger leaflets more crested than above

Pteris enformis cv.Victoriae (Brake fern) long narrow leaflets , longitudinal and banded with lighter-cream colour

Pyrrosia rupestris epiphytic linear leaflets on tree trucks or stone (Rock Felt fern)