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

Friday, September 14, 2018

House and garden

It seems a long time since writing a blog which means I have just been more occupied in the garden and doing the routine maintenance such as painting the house. Not the whole house though it sometimes feels like,why stop now?Painting lattice has been a pain but it looks heaps better now and Shadow's ( border collie) bedroom (aka verandah ) has been made over in a colour named Tendril that is paint that needed to be used up.  All he needs now is a statement piece ,perhaps a good sized picture of a bone .The paint tins are actually rusting so like many things they don't make tins like they used to.Another big job that has been completed today is the relaying of pavers around they pool which was done by Rick a professional . Naturally it had all been laid wrong the first time 20 years ago but they have to say that ! It looks great .
A lot of work has been happening in the garden  including the addition of new plants due to a diversion to Sunray Garden Centre and a brief visit to Manawee and Bunnings. Not to mention a fairly constant stream  of cuttings from friends and  road sides.It has also been the biannual repotting of the anthiriums which is a a pleasant thing to do. Cuttings of rosemary and lavender are in the nursery and I will soon do some rose cuttings too. The composting area has been reorganised with the mulcher now nearby for quick use. No  garden waste is removed from the property and who cares about a few discrete ( cubic metre ) piles in the corners?
I can be occupied out in the garden most days until dark  as there is always a new idea or something to be done.  Having groups of visitors to your garden does make you focus so I suggest that anyone who has some jobs to do around the garden just call a local club and arrange for them to visit you in a months time and see how you get into action. It doesn't matter which club , the local tennis club, canoers, darts group or machine knitters. I find that groups are often looking for a place to come and sit down and to have a nice morning tea. Write a few lists and get on with it. 
I got heaps done , painted the gate house, trimmed, mowed, raked, cleaned and I think we all felt better for it especially after the glass of midday merlot .

Finally it is time to revisit the coral fountain and to actually finish it. In preparation we are gathering shells and I am making a clam shell from clay as a real one is $1000. 
One more thing that is on the go is the re painted signage for the plants in the garden .Buckets of signs are everywhere and yet not all the plants have been named! So I will say happy Christmas now as I may not emerge for some time. Kyleigh

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Midwinter at The Shambles 2018

Midwinter rain has guaranteed success for a lot of garden reorganizatuion and transplanting and planting.
A new garden 'The Magnolia Garden' near back stairs around Magnolia liliiflora 'Vulcan. Agapanthus , large clumps transplantedto Eastern boundary beyond the pool fence. New garden has Haemerocallis (Day Lilys) transplanted from front path garden, Violas and already has little Rosas from cutting,'Eyes for You', '10000 lights', 'Mutabilis' a Cream tea , 'Victora pride' and has places for 'Blue for You' and 'Blushing Knockout' which arenot ready yet as cuttings. Violas and possibly Bellis perrennis make up the look
Newly painted Plough Inn and large Macadamia just before complete removal
Plough Inn repaved and repainted June 2018
Large Macadamia removed from SW corner Plough Inn.
North end Central Shrub garden
Roses from cutting transplanted to North Rosa Garden along with Lilium yankonensis from front ath garden. Rhododendron vireya from cutting also doing well in garden behin North Rosa Garden

Gordonia axillaris flowering well into July
Into North end central Shrub garden were transplanted large Callicarpa bodineri, Salvia 'Follets Folly', Cuphea salvadorensis and Brunfelsia americana
Behind Plough Inn cleared
Overall the process of reorganization and garden development will help us look forward to a wonderful spring display from many new specimens

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Art Exhibition SEED
Kyleigh Simpson

Reflections Gallery, Montville Uniting Church
Main Street Montville
Open Daily, Free Admission
All of June 2018


This exhibition started with a seed. From a seed the work evolved and took on a life of its own.
Embedded in the theme is a love of nature and gardening.
As a gardener seeds are familiar and fascinating to me. I observe natures constant cycle in my garden. The symbolism of seeds is of hope, faith, resilience, reliability, strength, patience & renewal. Each piece of work makes use of collected and found objects including wooden drawers, old furniture, off cuts of timber, plaster, fabric, paper, buttons, seeds, miniature bits and pieces, wire, paint &glue.
I have lived on the Blackall Range in Montville for the past 26years.I am passionate about my garden “The Shambles” and have enjoyed creating new gardens around the Church here.     Kyleigh Simpson  
Reflections Gallery Montville Uniting Church

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

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

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