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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Camellia Project

It's not as if we don't have enough to do. Kate Stock and I have now embarked on a camellia project.
For those of you who have been to Montville you may have noticed the many mature camellia shrubs around the town and in private properties. We have decided to record them ,identify them and hopefully strike cuttings from them.
Already we have been scouring the local area and peering over fences or wandering through properties to discover some beautiful but neglected camellias.
It is hard not to notice the camellias in the area at this time of year as the flowers are really beautiful. Montville Anglican Church holds an annual Camellia show that attracts many locals who display their showy blooms.
I prefer Japonica's and even though they are slower to establish they are definitely worth the wait.
I guess the motivation for this project is to record them as significant plants in the historical sense but also because it is important to preserve plants that may not be so easy to obtain in Nurseries.
Sadly it is also too easy for mature shrubs to be cleared when property changes hands or when changes happen to public spaces and the plants could be lost forever.

Enjoy the camellias.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Camellia time at 'The Shambles'

Camellia crapnelliana one of our successful species Camellias currently in flower.
At last wintery weather has turned up and autumnal colour such as the golden Persimmon and the red and gold virginia creeper makes a brief appearence. There are still plenty of flowering shrubs and perennials to make the garden colourful and Camellia japonica cultivars are starting to flower, taking over from various Camellia sasanqua types which are finishing from now. Favourites are 'Aspasia MacArthur', 'Takanini', 'Brushfields Yellow', 'Donna Herziliada etc' and 'Commander Mullroy'. Species Camellias such as Camellia crapnelliana, Camellia rosiflora and Camellia lutchuensis add colour and botanical interest.
Holmskioldia sanguinea has flowered and continues wonderfully after years of disappointment. Maybe it's just maturity? Likewise our long awaited Justicia aurea, Barleria micans and Browallias (blue and white) are in flower.
Winter Salvias including Salvia iodanthe, various cultivars of Salvia leucantha and Salvia involucrata are doing well as usual to brighten gardens in both sun and shade. Of course many salvias such as Salvia microphylla types, Salvia coccinea cultivars and the indomitable 'Meigans Magic' never seem to stop flowering.
Roses, even those with the best positions started to have sights of botrytis with affected buds probably due to relentless rain and prolific new growth.he worst affected were 'Perl des Jardins'. There has been a pretty comprehensive cut back, buds disposed of and spray with triforine, but also wetable sulphur. Hopefully the cool dry windy weather at the moment will help the problem not recur.
Our poppy seeds have been disappointing so far but will attempt a late re-sowing
All in all over 100 pots with cuttings of many plants were prepared yesterday for a planned December plant stall. Wish us luck.
Michael Simpson

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Super Cute!

Leo and Austin ,our grand babies came to visit a few days ago and yet again it was raining in Montville.
Poor Leo would love to swim in the pool but I don't think we have had a sunny day for him this year.
Anyway there is always lots to do at grannies garden. Leo loves running around the garden and following all the pathways. Leo likes to help and we divided some orchids and tied them to trees in the 'Orchid Walk' .
Michael has been wanting a small wagon for ages and he managed to find this one in Crows Nest ,'Waynes World' would you believe. I wasn't sure why he wanted it but apparently it will come in handy.
Here is Leo taking it for a spin.

Yates Seeds

We have just harvested our first vegetables from the Yates Commemorative Seed Tin. This is a miracle because I often do not have success with seeds.
The English spinach ,radishes and carrots are all doing well.The beetroots are just emerging too.
As we have limited sun most of my edible plants are  in pots on a sunny paved area at the front of our house.
My latest acquisition has been a camp oven and last night we dined on a delicious roast and vegetables along with fresh spinach.Just as well I have so much firewood as I think I will be using my camp oven a lot.
I'll be able to work outside while dinner is cooking on the fire! Kyleigh

Just one more plant to add.

In South East Queensland the jumpers are just coming out. There may be a nip in the air but showery weather and broken sunlight still encourage new planting.
Poor old Abutilon are a bit savaged by insects at the moment but still have lovely form and easy care colour.
We have added Barleria micans the yellow Barleria in a position where it will support Justicia aurea with its yellow flower plumes and drifts of the golden orange Clivea miniata. Behind this lot is a healthy shrub of Tagetes lucida (Mexican tarragon). It all might make chromatic sense but for the wonderful Stachytarpheta mutabilis (pink) and the beautiful pink rose 'Le Vesuve' in the same spot.
Moving on to an area with a drift of dusky pink day lilies Hemerocallis spp. we added a specimen  of Plumbago indica (pink-red flowers). This is a moist semishaded spot for the latter part of the day and will be better for the new plumbago than the hot embankment where Plumbago capensis is established.

A cool shady spot, east of the house has had gaps treated to ever reliable Michelia 'Coco' and Viburnum suspensum. Always planting, planting and transplanting.

The garden at the Montville Uniting Church has been given an autumn clean. Passing visitors love the drifts of  Lavender Lavandula stoechas, rosemary, salvias and old fashioned rose varieties. Cleomes, abutilon, cuphea, alternanthera, stobilanthes and dahlias also make a contribution to this low maintenance public access garden. Currently starring are mature Camellias especially 'Julia France' and 'Donna Herziliada'
Michael Simpson