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

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.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Severe Dry and failure of Usual spring Display

Dead dry after a record hot dry winter and now failure of any spring rains. We have bought water for our tanks for the third time this season with no sign of relief. The pool has "split' it's fibreglass skin and requires repair for the first time in 20 years.

In spite of all this has a bus tour of 40 from Hervey Bay in the garden today and the maturity of the garden has safeguarded it from sever damage during this time.
Hippeastrum papilio  'The Shambles'

Plants added August/ September 2017

Brunfelsia latifolia variegata  Fenced Rose garden

Petraeovitex bambusitrum syn P. wolfeii ‘Curtains of Gold’ ‘Wolfes Vine’  Vigourous climber with cream coloured flower bracts, discovered by Dr E D Wolfe in 1938 Malaysia, Southern Thailand. NW Corner Garden

Anigozanthos x hydrid ‘Tenacity’  Yellow flowering  NW Corner garden

Anigozanthos x hybrid ‘Bush Ballad’ Red Flowering  NW Corner

Linaria, Allysum, Sedum, Kalanchoe, Borage all added along front path garden.  Large Pots near back stairs trialling Sage, Margoram, Mints, Lavender, Rosemary and other pot herbs.
'Tawny Frog Mouth' waiting for the pool to stop leaking 
Callistemon viminalis “Captain Cook”  Criss Cross Garden west

Callistemon viminalis “Red Accent”  East of Pool Fence

Photinea x fraseri “Red Robyn” x 4  Criss  Cross Garden west border

Raphiolepis delacourtii x indica “Apple Blossom”  East border NE corner of house

Metrosideros collina “Firecracker” Variegated or variable flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae. It is native to French Polynesia and the Cook islands. The species was first formally described by botanist Johann Reinhold Forster and his son Georg Forster in 1775. It was given the name Leptospermum collinum.

Althaea officinalis (marsh-mallow,[2] marsh mallow is a perennial species indigenous to Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, which is used as a medicinal plant and ornamental plant. Pink single flowers on an erect branching structure. A confection made from the root since ancient Egyptian time evolved into today's marshmallow treat.  Central Shrub Garden

"Shadow" waiting for rain

Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight' has been one of the most successful davidii cultivars ever released. A selection made by Ruys at the Moerheim Nursery, Dedemsvaart, Netherlands, circa 1959, it was accorded the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Central Lawn and Border Garden.

Scented Pelargoniums  ‘Pine”, ‘Rose’, ‘Ginger’ and others in raised garden box 

Rosa banksiae alba, (Single White)  Lady Banks' rose,  Banks' rose, The rose is named for Lady Banks, the wife of the botanist Sir Joseph Banks. It is a species of spring flowering, native to central and western China, in the provinces of Gansu, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Sichuan and Yunnan, at altitudes of 500–2,200 m. The species was introduced to Europe by William Kerr, who had been sent on a plant-hunting expedition by Sir Joseph Banks. He bought the first Lady Banks' Rose, subsequently named the white Lady Banks (R. banksiae var. banksiae) from the famous Fa Tee nursery in 1807

Rosa ‘RENAE’   Medium pink Floribunda, Climber. From cutting  Thornless, repeat flowering Bred 
by Ralph S. Moore (United States, 1954)

Monday, August 28, 2017

On the cusp

The garden continues to be a focus for both Michael and myself however the elusive inspiration to create art, music or  working on new places in the garden can wane. This is even more so when the weather is dry and the garden looks a bit wilted and dusty. As much as I would like to waste my precious tank water on the garden it is just not going to happen. Plants need to tough it out and amazingly they do.
In a break from the garden the clay work has come out  and for Michael the compiling of song lists for possible busking sessions in Montville. Hopefully we are on the cusp of doing something creative but for now I blame the weather.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New roses , a visit with HRIA to "Rosevale" at Samsonvale

Roses added to the garden (from Leonie Kearney)

Visited Leonie Kearney with ‘Heritage Roses in Australia’ Queensland group at ‘Rosevale’ at Samsonvale where Leonie has a large garden and propagates and sells roses from cutting and collects  seedling roses. She has many other plants in her collection.]

'Rosevale' looking toward Leonies propagation house


“Lionel’s Double Pink China” A seedling, ours a cutting from the original from Woodford.  with Double pink scented blooms resembling the Tea rose Comtesse de Labarthe except that blooms are held upright without the Tea rose “weak neck”.

“Isabella Sprunt” Yellow Tea Rose, said to be a sport of ‘Safrano’. Isabella Sprunt Discovered by Rev. James M. Sprunt (United States, 1855). Introduced in United States by Isaac Buchanan in 1865 as 'Isabella Sprunt'. Introduced in Belgium by Verschaffelt in 1867 as 'Isabella Sprunt'.                       Strong fragrance.  Large, semi-double (9-16 petals) bloom form but not long lasting.  Blooms in flushes throughout the season.

Red Polyantha Low growing , crimson to red semi-double flowers

Grandma Fredericks Tall growing , fully double pink to crimson flowers . From Cutting of a seedling raised at Woodford

“Camnethan House Cherry Red”  Foundling from Camnethan House, Smeaton VIC. Tea. Cherry red, turning crimson–blue.

Camnethan House Cherry Red Tea Rose

“Gloire des Rosomanes”  Introduced in France by Jean-Pierre Vibert in before 1836 as 'Gloire des Rosomanes'. Introduced in Australia by Hazlewood Bros. Pty. Ltd. in before 1911 as 'Gloire des Rosomanes'. China / Bengale, Hybrid Bourbon. Plantier  France, 1825.

Papillon Tea rose, medium sized semi double blooms that start from pointed buds opening to a melody of pink tones being richer pink petals in the middle having a yellow base fading to creamy pink to white on the outer petals. 1881 Gilbert Nabonnand

The Shambles Rose

The Shambles Rose

Tea Rose One of our many cuttings grown roses. The flower looked white but it is probably a washed out Comtesse de Labarthe

SOUTH ROSE GARDEN, New bed inside the hedge. Agapathus transplanted to west of embankment.

Dan Poncet   Pink blend  Grafted bare rooted shrub  Carmine-pink.  Strong fragrance.  Full (26-40 petals), reflexed bloom form.  Dark green foliage.  Guillot Bred by Dominique Massad (France, 1999). 

Rosette Delizy  Yellow blend Tea. From cutting Flowers are yellow, carmine-pink edges, apricot highlights.  Tea fragrance.  Large, full (26-40 petals), reflexed bloom form.  Blooms in flushes throughout the season. Clément Nabonnand (France, 1922).

The Shambles Rose

Allys Rose Pink Multiflora

The Shambles Rose

All inter[planted with Lavender, Salvias, Abutilon, Daisies, Kalanchoe, transplanted Sedum.

Many of our cuttings grown perennials and srub which were overcrowding he propagation are were planted out, waiting for rain. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Shambles May Visitors and New plantings an developments

After a very successful visit by the Buderim Garden Club  on 26 5 2017 when we had 50 visitors in perfect autumn weather some New Plants were added May 2017

Through the garden admission tea and coffee and lant and book sales a generous amount was raised for frontier services (Longreach) Through the Montville uniting Church.

NW Corner, Rainforest Corner

Licuala ramsayii  ‘Australian Fan Palm’ A medium sized, single stemmed palm, usually up to 15 m in height, though it can reach 25 m. The stem is normally quite straight and slender and up to 20 cm in diameter. The crown consists of large fan-shaped leaves. The leaves up to 2 meters long, with feather-like fronds. Occurs in NEQ from about Cooktown, south to about Ingham. Altitudinal range from Cape Tribulation Queensland, near sea level to 1100 m. Occurs in rainforest, swamp forest, mangroves, littoral forest and in diverse riparian and riverine habitats, on various soil types. Licuala ramsayi (F. Muell.) was first described in 1874 as Livistona ramsayi by Ferdinand von Mueller. The new species was based on a collection made by Edward Pearson Ramsay from “Rockingham’s Bay,” which was a broad location name for the area around the coastal township of Cardwell and the mountainous Cardwell Ranges hinterland. Ramsay was a self taught naturalist with a special interest in ornithology. In 1876, he was appointed the first Australian-born curator of the Australian Museum. In the original publication of L. ramsayi there is no indication of when Ramsay

had made the collection at Rockingham Bay.

Schlefflera elegentissima syn. Plerandra elegantissima, syn. Dizygotheca elegantissima “False Aralia’ It is an evergreen shrub or tree. Its leaves are thin, coppery red to dark green with toothed edges. On adult plants the leaves are much broader. In autumn it bears clusters of pale green flowers followed by black fruit. John Gould Veitch collected Schlefflera syn Aralia elegantissima, which was first introduced to the world during the London ‘Great Spring Show’ of 1873. New Caledonia

Leea coccinea ‘ Hawaiian Holly’ . The Leea is a relative of the Fatsia. The burgundy Leea, also known as Hawaiian Holly, has bronzy red foliage. Leea's are a shrubby plant bearing large leaves with each leaf divided into numerous pointed leafletsThe genus was named by Linnaeus after James Lee, the Scottish nurseryman based in Hammersmith, London who introduced many new plant discoveries to England at the end of the 18th centuryGolden Fern (not identified). Burma

Fenced Rose garden (west end of track)

Transplanted 3 x Hymenocallis x harrisiana.’Sacred Lily of the Incas’. Hymenocallis harrisiana Herb. is a deciduous species from Mexico. The strap shaped leaves are glaucous, as it comes from an arid area. The flower has a small scented corona (crown). Each flower lasts only one night. The genus Hymenocallis was created by Richard Anthony Salisbury in 1812,[5] when he separated out a number of species formerly placed in Pancratium, starting with Hymenocallis littoralis. The main reason for the separation was that the fruits have only two seeds in each locule. Salisbury explained the name as referring to the "beautiful membrane which connects the filaments.

Central Shrub garden  (North end near grouping of Holmskiodia sanguinea (Blue and Yellow)  Chinese-hat plant is a large, sprawling evergreen tropical shrub native to the lower elevations of the southern Himalayas. First growing erect, the new, young branches dart outward and weep creating a scrambling plant that is almost vine-like. The genus name commemorates Johan Theodor Holmskiold (1731-1793), a Danish botanist who wrote Beata ruris otia fungis Danicis, published in two volumes in 1790 and 1799. It is native to the Himalayas (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar) Chinese-hat plant is a large, sprawling evergreen tropical shrub native to the lower elevations of the southern Himalayas. First growing erect, the new, young branches dart outward

and weep creating a scrambling plant that is almost vine-like.

Holmskiodia sanguinea

Holmskiodia sanguinea ‘Mandarin Blue’

Holmskioldia sanguinea ‘Mandarin Rouge’ (red)

Holmskiodia sanguinea ‘Mandarin Sunrise’ (yellow-green)

Transplanted 1 x Salvia oxyphora

Central lawn and border

Adjacent 2 mature Holmskioldia sanguinea (orange) see above. One of our mature plantings

Holmskioldia sanguinea “Mandarin Rouge’ (red)

Apium graveolens var. rapaceum Celeriac. Celeriac originating in the Mediterranean Basinis a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots.

Mentha × piperita var. citrate  Eau-de-cologne mint. Mentha citrata has a strong lavender odor due to the two chemical constituents, linalyl acetate (45%) and linalool (45-50%), which makes up around 90% of the oil. The leaves and flowering plant have traditionally been claimed to have analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogic, diaphoretic, and vasodilator properties. Like other members of the genus Mentha, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause miscarriage.

Front path garden

Hibiscus acetosella ‘Voodoo’ (Cranberry or African Rosemallow) Deeply cut crenate leaves which are dark maroon to a patchy red/green appearance. Solitary flowers vary in color and are most often the dark pink to maroon that is characteristic of the foliage with darker vein-like markings. H. acetosella first recognized in 1896 by French botanists as a distinct plant and given the name it currently has. The plant was probably first found growing around African villages in the southern Congo-Angola-Zambia region.

Zepheranthes citrina (Yellow Rain Lily) A species of bulbous perennial belong to the family Amaryllidaceae.  Zephyranthes citrina was described by Baker and published in Botanical Magazine 108: pl. 6605, in 1882 Mexico

South Rose garden

Rosa ‘ MME LAMBARD’. (TEA,DOUBLE  REMONTANT from cuttings)     An excellent, tall sturdy and disease free rose. The mid-pink double flowers have a sturdier neck than Comptesse de Labarthe. Low maintenance. Lacharme, France, 1864 transplanted from below north verandah.

Apium graveolens var. rapaceum Celeriac. Celeriac originating in the Mediterranean Basinis a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots.

Cosmos atrosanguineus, (chocolate cosmos), is a species of Cosmos, native to Mexico, where it is extinct in the wild. The species was introduced into cultivation in 1902, where it survives as a single clone reproduced by vegetative propagation. Cosmos atrosanguineus is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 40–60 cm tall, with a fleshy tuberous root. Dark maroon-brown flowers.

Below North Verandah

Plectranthus scutellarioides. Syn Solenostemon  syn. Coleus blumei syn. Coleus scutellarioides

Short-lived perennial plant plant.The species is extremely variable in the colour and shape of the leaves. The leaves of the wild species may be somewhat variegated but this has been developed to an extreme degree in cultivated varieties, whose leaves may include one or more shades of green, white, cream, yellow, pink, red, maroon and dark purple. The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1763, as Ocimum scutellarioides. The genus Ocimum is best known for Ocimum basilicum, sweet basil. The species was first introduced into Europe from Java in 1851 by a Dutch horticulturalist. At this time, there were few leaf colours and shapes. A wider variety was available by 1877, when the American William Bull offered seeds at 43 US cents each. However, by selecting for seed production, early flowering was inadvertently favoured, and leaf colour also declined in intensity. Coleus breeding revived in the early 1940s, and by the 1980s, the availability of an improved range of cultivars led to coleus becoming the tenth most important bedding crop in the US.  Plectranthus scutellarioides is native to India (including the Himalayas), Sri Lanka, China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A wet march after a Record dry February and new plantings.

Plants added end of March 2017
A record dry February 2017 has transformed to some wet days with over 200MM rain in the first 3 weeks of March. Days remain hot and humid and often cloudy with persisting showers.
Justicia brandegeana Front Path garden
Mussaenda phillipica .Mussaenda ‘Queen Sirikit’ (Mussaenda ‘Dona Hilaria x Dona Aurora’) is named for Queen Consort of Thailand, the longest reigning head of state in the world. It is possibly the most widely grown Mussaenda in the world. It has multiple pale pink sepals which have a distinct darker edge. Flowers are bright yellow. Following heavy rain, the weight of the flower heads has been known to break branches. Mussaenda philippica (Tropical Dogwood) is native to the Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea. The flowers have white sepals and orangy-yellow flowers. It grows in cultivation to a a shrub 1.8 to 2.5 metres (6 to 7 feet) high by 1.2 to 1.8 metres (4 to 6 feet) wide. This species is less widely seen than its well known cultivar Mussaenda philippica ‘Dona Aurora’ (Dona Aurora, Buddha’s Lamp). This was a chance sport first collected in 1915 by Calixto Mabesa on Mt Makiling and then recollected by Hugh Curran and Mamerto Sulit at the College of Forestry grounds at the University of the Philippines Los Banos in 1930. This cultivar has multiple floral sepals (often 5 per flower) instead of just one. This was propagated and dedicated in 1930 to Mrs Aurora Quezon, wife of the Philippines President. This plant is the parent of almost all hybrids. Criss Cross garden west border
Mussaenda phillipica  “Dona Luz” Mussaenda ‘Dona Luz’ (M. ‘Dona Hilaria x Dona Aurora’) is named after Philippines First lady Luz Banzon-Magsaysay. It has multiple shrimp pink sepals which are inclined to turn under at their tips. Criss Cross garden west border
Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum  ‘Purple Riot” shooting star. This is a well-branched herbaceous perennial to small shrub with opposite leaves and purple flowers held singly or in small groups near branch tips. This plant is native to Polynesia Fiji Islands   Central Shrub garden
Ipomoea horsfalliae Cardinal Creeper. This is a winter bloomer. The ruby red to magenta-violet flowers, 4 – 7 cm in diameter. Tropical vine is named for Charles Horsfall (1776-1846), an avid botanist who was Lord Mayor of Liverpool, and whose wife, Dorothy, was a noted botanical artist. This spectacular plant is a native of South America (Brazil, Guyana, Surinam and Venezuela), and has also become naturalized in the humid forests of the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica. It is also very common, and now naturalized, in Hawaii, where it was introduced by Prince Kuhio (1871-1922). In its native range the plant is almost solely fertilized by hummingbirds, and where these are lacking or scarce, fruiting seldom occurs. Most parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. Arch East Border garden. SE Corner Car garage.
Sparaxis (Harlequin lower) Sparaxis tricolor has bright red flowers with yellow and black centres. Many named hybrid cultivars were bred from S. bulbifera and S. tricolor. endemic to Cape Province, South Africa. NW Corner garden
Narcissus jonquila (Jonquil) “Paperwhite” Jonquil: This term actually refers to a specific type of daffodil known as Narcissus jonquilla, although the name is often used as a more general term for daffodils in certain parts of the country. They are most easily identified by their dark green, tube-shaped leaves as compared to other types of daffodils which have flat leaves. Jonquils also tend to have clusters of several flowers, instead of just one bloom, along with a strong scent. NW corner garden

 Camellia sasanqua "Hiryu" . Camellias starting to flower already here.
Freesia refracta alba Freesia alba is an herbaceous perennial growing from a corm and producing an erect, often branched stem up to 40 cm (16 in) centimeters tall with several leaves up to about 15 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a spike of several fragrant flowers with usually white tepals marked with yellow and purple. The genus Freesia is named after F.H.T. Freese (died 1876), a German physician from Kiel and a pupil of Ecklon. Freesia has a rather complicated and confusing history with lots of wrong names, misapplication of names and synonymy-for the full version see the 1982 revision by Peter Goldblatt. The first two species that were cultivated in Europe in 1766, were both placed in different genera viz. F. corymbosa was thought to be a Gladiolus and F. caryophyllacea was thought to be an Ixia. Freesia refracta arrived there in 1795 and was also thought to be a Gladiolus. Freesia sparrmannii was collected in 1770 and described in 1814, also as a Gladiolus, and the fifth species was called Gladiolus xanthospila but this one has never been related to any wild plant and is thought to be a form of F. caryophyllacea. Ecklon, Zeyher and Drege, all active in the early 1800s, sent back several species including F. sparrmannii, F. refracta, F. corymbosa, F. leichtlinii and F. andersoniae. It was only in 1866 that Freesia was described as a distinct genus. Freesia alba was first described in 1878 by G.L.Meyer, and became well known in Europe, as F. refracta var. alba. Gumbleton recognized Freesia alba as a distinct species in 1896. There is no record of how it got there, but Freesia alba first appeared in the English nursery trade in 1878 and quickly spread to Europe and North America. It appears to have caused quite a sensation, Cape province South Africa. NW corner garden

Allium sphaerocephalon “Drumsticks” Ornamental onions have small vibrant flower heads that change from green to a red-purple. Front path garden where hopefully they won't rot in present wet days.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What is a garden?

Have people forgotten what a garden is ?
I imagine that in many cases some people would have no idea of the sensory delight of a full blown garden that relies on plants, design and maturity. I was really looking forward to the latest tv show about garden design but yet again there is so much focus on start from scratch creation of a designed space. Scary amounts of money are spent and major earth moving is often the norm.
Horses for courses .
People who visit our garden so often say they would like to have a garden like ours.A garden is never finished and even at 25 years in our care The Shambles will always be changing purely because plants grow, some die and we just get design ideas that will only make it more interesting.
It is the layers of maturity which is really only achievable by staying in one place and not selling up every couple of years.
I have been burnt in the past by people who ask for plants which I am always happy to give only to find out that they are selling the property just when things are taking off. Prorogation takes time and in the case of roses it is often by the second year that they are ready to plant out.
Often I am asked to visit a garden and to make suggestions of how to make it more manageable or to redesign it. It is so essential to get a good understanding of what the owner wants and their level of commitment because most gardens take work. It is also essential to value what is already in the garden and what past gardeners have done. The remnant plants will inform me of what grows well on the site. Taking note of the hard landscaping that has already been imposed on a site is also necessary and can either help or hinder a project. Rediscovering focal points and views or simply reducing tree branches can change the whole feeling of a garden letting in sunlight even into the interiors of the house.
I think that  some garden designers have lost the plot . I think that so many suburban gardens are being treated so heavily with hard landscaping and a very small range of plants that not even bees and butterflies will want to visit. I'm not sure but if the next housing estate held back on the concrete driveways and 6ft high fences and loosened up the planting maybe there could be somewhere for the kids to play .There is a difference between garden landscapers , garden designers and gardeners and if you want a garden that is one thing but if you want an outdoor room that is something quite different.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Doctors wife

I happened to see a  sweaty lycra clad lady emerging from a gym when it occurred to me that any exercise that doesn't involve dirt and minor injury is not my thing. As for lycra or having to go and purchase the stuff -I don't think so. My gardening attire is strictly rags with pockets.My clothes actually wear out to the stage of compost when I finally discard them. There are so many benefits to using your garden as an exercise space. The over  loaded wheel barrows require speed and balance as they are pushed around the garden down to the mulch pile or fire pit. Plenty of deep bends can be achieved just picking stuff up , lugging pots along with wrestling the dog for the palm fronds or the mower. Upper body stretches and toning is all part of reaching those dead branches and  bringing shrubs down in height .Cleaning out gutters and climbing up on the shed roof is another one for balance.  It is all about the struggle and not being arsed to go and get a ladder or wait for help.
Then there are the rocks. There is so often a need to move rocks around and the trusty furniture remover is ideal for this -there will often be several attempts at making the rock stay on but that is all part of the exercise  routine. Digging is great for the arms and the therapeutic  buzz you get from an open fire is rarely done at an indoor gym. Our dog "Shadow " is so fond of palm fronds that he will attempt to drag them off the fire in full blaze - that is when your  sprint comes in.

The thing about exercise in the garden is that you don't have to drive anywhere and it can take all day so there has to be some positive out come for all that physical activity.  The worst thing is discovering that you have run out of milk or something and need to do the quick dash out in the real world where real people are . That is when I or others notice my state of attire -OMG is that the Doctors wife?

New Paths, New plantings at The Shambles February 2017

The newly paved paths around the old house and north to the Plough Inn are finished and after a record hot, dry february a little rain and some showers have encouraged some transplanting, planting from our own stock and buying new plants.

 New Paths  front path garden.
From our own stock   Aloysia triphylla (Lemon Verbena)
                                       Clerodendron ugandense (Blue Butterfly bush)
                                       Lavandula spp (Lavender from cuttings at Montville School)
                                       Chrysantheum frutescens cultivar)
Transplanted               Clivea miniata  (Orange and Yellow)
                                      Liriope cultivar
                                      Justicia brandegeana (yellow shrimp plant)
New plant from Leighanne Gerbera cultivars x 2
New paths   South Rose garden
New plants                  Coreopsis grandiflora 'Calypso' is a clump forming herbaceous perennial with cream and yellow variegated foliage and golden yellow flowers with a ring of red around large yellow centres in summer. Garden edge South Rose Garden
                                      Tulbaghia violacea 'Variegata'. Variegated society garlic garden edge
                                      South rose garden
                                      Dianthus chinenesis Pinks from throw out bin Sunray Nursery
New paths  Azalea garden South Rose garden (Northern side)
                                      Azalea, Rhododendron indica “Dr Arnold” A small single Azalea, bears cherry        pink flowers tinged with mauve flowers. Apparently hybridizd by Camellia Lodge Nursery, or possibly the Netherlands.
                                      Azalea, Rhododendron rutherfordiana indica “Firelight” Rutherford Indica. Semi-double frilly red flowers on strong bush
                     Stone Circle Garden
New plants                 Abelia gradiflora variegata "Variegated Abelia". It has a natural rounded habit and produces masses of small white flowers in Spring, Summer and Autumn. The leaves are green and broadly edged with white with new pink growth.
                                       Euphorbia hypericifolia “Diamond Frost” grows to a 50cm cushion and is spangled almost all year round with tiny, white flowers. Africa  
From our own cuttings Weigela alba
New paths  South East Corner, East border garden
                                           Strobilanthus dyerianus  (Persian shield) Soft stemmed shrub with thick, quilted purple leaves to 6 inches long splashed with iridescent pewter or silver. In autumn, it bears delicate funnel-shaped violet flowers in an eye-catching spike formation
                                           Scutellaria costaricana  (Scarlet skullcap) Tender perennial native to Costa Rica, where it grows in the mountain forests at elevations as high as 2,000 m (6,500 ft). It is grown as a house plant for its orange- red flowers which are borne in rich terminal clusters. It is a member of the mint family
Transplanted to path edges Chlorophytum comosum, (Variegated spider plant syn. airplane plant, St. Bernard's lily, spider ivy, ribbon plant, hen and chickens) is a flowering perennial herb. It is native to tropical and southern Africa, but has become naturalized in other parts of the world, including Australia
New paths east border gardens
From our own stock       Pycnostachys urticifolia evergreen shrub produces vivid blue flowers shaped like a witches hat in autumn and winter. Growing at the tips of the branches
                                           Salvia pallida Pale Sage. Tall, Oval leaves scalloped edges, pale blue flowers
                                           Justicia aurea Yellow Justicia
                                           Begonia fuchsioides Begonia with bright red Fuchsia like flower clusters
                                           Stachytarpheta mutabilis
                                           Chrysanthemum frutescens hydrid ith low growth white flowers
From Rowena Cavanagh  Tecomanthe hillii ? Tecomanthe speciosa Yellow fast growing climber which flowers profusely in spring. Dense green foliage with bunches of soft yellow tubular flowers which fade to a pale pink as they fall off the vine. Full sun to part shade. On new arch East border garden.
Added                                  Festuca glauca Blue Fescue clump-forming ornamental grass noted for its glaucous, finely-textured, blue-gray foliage
                                              Hemigraphis exotica “Polywaffle” compact, prostrate, evergreen tropical perennial with small, dark green and burgundy leaves and tiny white flowers. The oval leaves are crinkled with curled edges and look rough and rigid but feel soft to the touch
Transplanted                       Ophiopogon      Mondo grass

New paths  Fenced Rose garden
Removed then replanted   Tetradenia riparia syn. Iboza riparia
From our stock                     Neomarica caerulea
                                                Neomarica longifolia
                                                Liorope cultivar
Added                                    Cordylline Australis “Red sensation” deep red foliage all year round. It has thin, long hardy leaves that branch off the main stem
Behind pool Fence              Banksia ericifolia x collina “Giant Candles”

Gerbera hybrida  is a garden hybrid from the genus of plants Asteraceae (daisy family). It was named in honour of German botanist and medical doctor Traugott Gerber (1710-1743) who travelled extensively in Russia and was a friend of Carl Linnaeus. Gerbera is native to tropical regions of South America, Africa and Asia. The first scientific description of a Gerbera was made by J.D. Hooker in Curtis's Botanical Magazine in 1889 when he described Gerbera jamesonii, a South African species also known as Transvaal daisy or Barberton Daisy. Gerbera is also commonly known as the African Daisy. The domesticated cultivars are mostly a result of a cross between Gerbera jamesonii and another South African species Gerbera viridifolia. The cross is known as Gerbera hybrida. Thousands of cultivars exist.             Front Path garden Gift from LeighAnne Lawrence

Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Paths at The Shambles

Today we are having some heavy rain that is ideal for settling our new paths and the latest plantings.
These paths were put in by Custom Asphalt Driveways - Mark and his team of fantastic workers have done a great job.
These paths are an asset to the garden because they allow for Michael to walk more safely as well as civilising places that have become well worn tracks over the last 25 years. For us the expense of the paths is offset by the fact they we will always live here and the garden will always be such an important part in our day to day lives. People who visit the garden who have mobility limitations will get the benefit and Shadow our dog is really enjoying doing laps. Our garden is well set up with garden seating and Michael will often station himself somewhere in the garden and really take time to look at plants in detail.
Often this will inspire an "idea", and we all know what happens then.
I guess I have spent a fair bit of time putting  Michael's
ideas into action but generally the garden is a combination of both of us.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The wrong shoes

With all the dry weather certain plants have really thinned out to reveal trellises and archways that are in need of replacement.
As usual the first thing to do is to scout around for materials that can be reused. I even managed to obtain some throw out lattice strips from a friend in a fetching shade of bluey teal that we decided would be perfect for a new trellis for the quissquallis. Rangoon creeper - I just love the perfume of this vine-the smell of summer and Christmas and I love the clusters of star shaped pink and red flowers.
Unfortunately after two days of struggle buggle in the heat and dust with post mix ,zip ties, wire ,the wrong sized screws and lots of swearing the effect was more like debris that had come to roost after a major weather event. A fly away kids trampoline may have been better.
Anyway we kidded ourselves that in no time the vine would grow and cover the thing but I am a bit impatient so had another plan.Michael was probably just too scared to actually say it was shit due to the amount of blood and sweat that had been shed.
For the last 20 years plus we have had ownership of the" Wolff's Gate" a heavy piece of fencing that has been part of an outside laundry, trellising for various plants and lately ended up stored down the back in a tangle of weeds. Perfect!! 
As usual I have to wait for help and this time in the form of our son John who somehow manages to turn up with the "wrong shoes". It is an unconscious ploy to get out of working I just know it. Anyway not this time . John in thongs got to do the forward walk while we lugged the gate up to it's new position. We flipped and shoved it into it's position and set about dismantling the attractive lattice which has now been tossed aside but not too far. ( It could come in handy ) All we need now is some restorative rain so that the plant can cover the trellis asap.
I just feel a bit sorry for the neighbours. The gate had previously had other functions and has a cat hole  for when we had a cat and an assortment of white plastic hooks for something to hang on. Of course the the hooks are now facing the neighbours a perfect place for a dream catcher  or a pair of underpants don't you think ?
This photo show the area under construction with the Leonard Complex in the centre . Note newly cemented in coppers logs around tank at jaunty angles .

Record prolonged Heat and no rain

It is a testament to a gardens maturity and the plant selection within it, as much to the gardeners that "The Shambles" remain lush and full of flowers in spite of very testing conditions.
In 2016/ early 2017 there has a been a succession of heat waves and a failure of the pattern of summer storms or any monsoon. Tanks are dry and no break has been forecast as of early February.

We have taken advantage of this time to organize extension of our paved asphalt paths to connect all the way around the house, through the South Rose garden and the eastern border Gardens. Also to connect down the western edge of the lawns, along the fringe of the treed areas, through the previous fenced rose gardens to the North West Corner gardens to the Plough Inn.

Kyleigh has built a path along the side of the coral fountain.

Hopefully rain will come and restore our normal expected wet summer before it finishes.

                                               Michael Simpson        The Shambles