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, June 30, 2014

Gardens and Websites

Our Gardening website is still up and running, but the programme we used to build it is no longer "supported", so we can't access it and update it any more.
In any case we can still get at this blog thing so will try and continue top record changes to the garden and events as they arise.
Lots happening here. It is finally winter but caring for the garden continues apace.
Michael Simpson

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New plants added June 2014 expand our registered Salvia Collection

Plants added June 2014

Camellia lutchuensis x "Tinsie"

Grevillea "Pink Surprise" Origin: Cultivar (Grevillea sp. from Mundubbera (cream flowered) x G. banksii (red flowered).
Description: Large shrub 3+ metres with finely divided grey/green leaves. The flowers are large pink/cream brush type and flowers most of the year.

Lagunaria patersonii (Lagunaria is a monotypic genus distantly related to Hibiscus. Its single species is endemic to Australia (including Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island), and is known in the vernacular as the Norfolk Island Hibiscus, and the best part of a dozen other names. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental and amenity tree in warm temperate and moist subtropical regions. The genus was introduced by Reichenbach in 1828, based on De Candolle's 1824 description of Hibiscus sect. Lagunaria. The genus as currently understood is monotypic, the single species being Lagunaria patersonia (Andrews) G. Don. This species is divided into two subspecies, patersonia from Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island, and bracteata from Queensland.The genus was named in honour of Andres de Laguna (d. 1560), a Spanish botanist (and physician to Pope Julius III), and the species in honour of a Colonel W. Paterson who first sent the seeds of the species to England.(Norfolk Island Hibiscus)

Prumnopitys ladei  (Black Pine)

Salvia hybrid "Amistad" Large dark purple flower spikes with nearly black calyx bloom constantly from early spring until winter. Fenced Rose garden

Salvia "Charles Sloan" Raised stone garden back stairs

Salvia chamaedryiodes & S.greggii "Cookie" small shrubby perennial with the most intense azure blue flowers that sit out from the foliage. These appear right through from late spring to autumn. Very hardy to heat and dry and enjoys full sun , but can take half shade if in well drained soils. Raised stone garden Back stairs

Salvia dorisiana This is a late winter-early spring flowering shrub which grows up to 2m tall. It has large velvety leaves which have a delicious scent of fruit salad, and spires of quite large hot-pink flowers. It can cope with a degree of shade. Fenced Rose garden

Salvia "Embers Wish" Bright coral flowers bloom year-round in frost-free climates, or until frost Path, Next to Salvia confertiflora

Salvia namaensis x africana "Fingrove" blue flowering. Raised staone wall garden near back stairs

Salvia microphylla (heatwave series) "Glow" Glow produces mass displays of  soft peach to apricot colored flowers. Raised stone wall garden near back stairs

Salvia holowayi  Holways sage, purple-red Guatamala, Mexico Raised stone wall neat back stairs

Salvia "Majenta Magic" A fabulous new offering producing long wands carrying deep magenta flowers above a vigorous bush some 80 cm or so tall. It flowers from summer through the aytumn into winter and is happy in sun or light shade. NE corner of back verandah next to Salvia confertifolia

Salvia "Omaha Gold" (Variegated Anise-Scented Sage) Rumpled and lance-shaped, the spectacular leaves of this sage are yellowish-lime with splotches of emerald. Rub them and you smell anise, a licorice-like scent. The bountiful, cobalt blue flowers cover the plant from summer Central Shrub garden near S. oxyphora

Salvia greggii "Pumpkin" apricot flowering , low growing shrub Fenced Rose Garden

Salvia "Superior Purple" small leaf salvia purple flowers Stone wall garden near back stairs

Salvia involucrata  "Warwick Joan" mid pink flower colour Stone wall garden near back stairs

Salvia "Wendys Wish"  fast growing variety displays vibrant magenta flowers for much of the year (warmer months). East Border gardens

Tetradenia ripera syn Iboza riperia (Nutmeg bush) 

Vinca Minor Also known as periwinkle or myrtle, vinca minor is an evergreen ground cover with glossy foliage and lavender flowers in spring.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Art in the garden

Children love our garden so it is natural that when we have art classes here on Wednesdays there is always plenty of time to run around and play as well as paint ,draw and sculpt.
Background- I have a Diploma in Fine Art , A Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching and a Post Graduate Certificate  in the  Early Phase of Learning. I see Art as an  essential and complimentary way to communicate especially for children. When children have the experience of using a variety of mediums they have access to a whole new way of seeing and expressing their world.
Art at 'the Shambles' is fun and relaxed. The children are able to experiment with clay,paint,textiles, drawing media and construction materials. The aim is for children to  become  familiar  and confident  with art materials and processes.

Today we are finishing our first mosaics and starting to paint some really cool Gourds that have been grown locally.

Gulag Events - Camp fire music at Hunchy

For all of those people who attended the "Year in my Gulag Book Launch" It has been encouraging to hear how some people have taken some of our essential Gulag tips and run with them. Who would have thought?
The amount of over planting,construction of garden features &  al fresco dining going on is terrific not to mention the use of the conversation starters is astounding.

We don't need much of an excuse to put on a bit of an event around here. The date is set , the bands are hard at work putting a few songs together. The camp ovens are in order and I hear that some people are scouting the op shops for great stuff to wear.
The proceeds of the night including the raffle are going to Medecins Sans Frontieres ,Doctors without borders .
A brand new Acoustic Guitar has been donated and there will be two golden guitar hampers as well for prizes.
The Hunchy School grounds will be the setting for this shin dig and special Obi Obi firewood will be keeping the fire going all afternoon and into the evening.
It all started out as a bit of an excuse for the bands to have a play in front of some real people. You know how it is they can play in my lounge room for so long and then it's time to get out there.
Cheers Kyleigh &Chris  Gulag Events

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Obi Obi Valley

Warrawee,  Obi Obi Valley
I recently had an absolutely delightful day down in the Obi Obi Valley visiting gardens. Kate ( Plant Stall fame) and I have been looking forward to discovering the valley and our hostesses for the day were neighbours Chris, Jan, Lynne and Cheryl who treated us to morning , afternoon tea and lunch as well as being able to stroll around their gardens .
The Valley is looking very beautiful at this time of the year and even with a small  amount of rain has greened up well.The first most obvious sight when you cross the bridge is the newly renovated Obi Obi Hall which is close by to Chris's gate to "Warawee". The house sits perched mid way up the hill with the old dairy at the top . The house is freshly painted and there is a mass planting of roses ,salvias and perennials across a slope at the front. The lower paddocks have cattle grazing and the whole scene is picturesque to say the least.
Sitting up on the verandah is a prime position to look back towards the Range at Mapleton and to sometimes even see the Mapleton Falls. After a cup of tea and home made biscuit we put on our hats and stroll around the back of the house where there are several mulberry trees ,camellias and roses nestled behind hedges. Two vegetable gardens lie fallow and the chook house is weighed down by a very vigorous unnamed climbing rose or two.
Beyond the house garden there is the orchard and as we walk up the hill we come to a camellia lined walkway that leads to the renovated dairy . In the garden you will see toadstool seats and ornaments hidden amongst the shrubbery. There is that slightly wild ,over grown feeling to this part of the garden and you come across flowering plants and little surprises everywhere.
Jans Garden, Obi Obi Valley
Back down to the house it is time to head to the next garden belonging to Jan. Today we are driving but this garden can be reached via a short walk across the top of the hill trough another neighbour's property. Jan's garden sits high and the house is surrounded by a mass of colour . The roses on arch ways and and hardy perennials are the picture of health . The mature old poinciana tree is under planted with ferns and the near by plant nursery holds many pots of cuttings and plants awaiting placement in the garden. The fruit trees are abundant with mandarins and other citrus having been well feed with manure. Further on there is a fenced vegie garden and two  friendly pigs. At Jan's the Noritake dinner set is set on a long table on the back verandah and we devour a delicious feast.
Contented customers at Jans property
The next garden belongs to Lynne and is a short walk or shorter drive  from Jan's along the ridge.
The first thing you see is the hilton style vegetable garden completely enclosed and bursting with produce.
This property is flanked by mature bush  with a manicured house garden around a log cabin style home.
Lynnes Garden Obi Obi Valley
The roses are abundant across the front of the house and several circular garden beds are in the lawn. An old canoe makes a very good pond and Lynne's dog 'Horse' laps water from it. Lynne has just planted a lot of salvias along a fence line which will give robust colour in the near future. The back of the garden looks down into a valley and has several sections planted up. To one side is a moss and lichen covered tunnel which is a fernery and once we check for snakes everyone is happy to walk through .
Our final stop is at Cheryl's place on the banks of the creek. The house is set on the flat swathe of land that follows the creek and feels too close until you see the height of the bank down to the water. Cheryl shows us where the water has risen during flood and suggests that we swim and explore the river in summer.Cheryl has a small raised vegetable garden and a selection of fruit trees at the rear of the house. From the wide verandah we can see the valley from a different angle . We drink coffee,solve the problems of the world and then it is time to head for home.
This beautiful ,relaxing day with lovely generous people will stay with me. Kate and I  felt so special.
Thankyou to the Obi Obi girls.

At Lynnes Garden, Obi Obi valley