Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I wandered around the garden again on Monday 6th October, taking more shots of what's coming out right now.
On Monday night we had a BIG WIND!! I looked out the window and there was my beautiful Winpara Gem split in two pieces, with two-thirds of it lying on the ground! I guess a gardener learns to accept the inevitable!
I knew it would happen one day but at least it happened when it had given us perhaps the greatest show of flowers it had ever achieved.

We'll leave the remaining bit to finish flowering and then, I guess, it's replacement time.
Here's a small selection of what's now beginning to flower:
Prostrate Acacia - A. maxwillii

Scarlet Banksia - still on its way!

Gevillea rosmarinifolia - Ten years old and just
keeps on flowering.

Hibbertia aspera (round leaf).
CAN be a bit aggressive but lovely.
Close up of the H. aspera flowers.
I'm still waiting for the Scarlet Banksia to really come out and there are still many different things to come.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


A shady resting place.
I realised, after I'd posted yesterday, that I'd forgotten my almost favourite place, and that is my "Bush Garden".
It's very tiny, my Bush Garden. It's straggly, unkempt and messy but it's how I like it. It's composed of Australian ground covers, small plants, shrubs, trees and mulch. The paths, such as they are, are sometimes almost enveloped by spreading vegetation - and then I have to do a bit of cutting back - and most of the mulch has now come from the natural fall of leaves, twigs, bark, etc. from the plantings.
I created it for me and for the small grandchildren. I'm happy to say that the small ones have often enjoyed getting out there and pottering about, either alone or with the occasional grandmother, uncle, or other 'grown up' who feels like joining them.
Here's a link to the Picasa Album: A wander through the Bush Garden
Try putting it on 'Slide Show'.
I hope you enjoy the experience.
Perhaps there'll be another post from me - without waiting another two years!
Till the next one - au revoir!

Saturday, September 20, 2014


No excuses - just, here I am again!
Other activities have taken over my life and I haven't felt the need to keep this blog up-to-date.
The original point of this Blogging exercise was to create the Australian Native Garden (practically done!) and keep myself and any other interested persons up to date with what's flowering when, what's flourishing and what's dying!
And one of the major aims in creating this native garden was to make it as maintenance-free as possible and THAT, I'm happy to say, has been largely achieved which is, I guess, why the lack of blogging activity. there's just enough maintenance needed for a happy gardener to potter around at a gentle pace without too much stress.
Because this spring, the garden is looking so lovely and flowering with such gay abandon that I want to share it with my family and with any other interested people who drop in - and this is the easiest way to do it.
I'll post a few pics here and then link to Picasa for a bigger selection.
Hardenbergia "Regent" - VERY dark purple. Gorgeous!

Banksia blechnifolia -planted Nov. 2010 and FIRST flowering.
This picture should be turned anti-clockwise but I don't seem
to be able to do it!

Chorizema cordatum - planted July 2013 - a great success!

Here's the link to the Picasa Album with all the extra photos:
Picasa Album for July and September, 2014.
Just click on the above and it will take you there.
It's been a voyage of discovery, remembering how all these posts work but now it's done!
Who knows when I'll be back again? I certainly don't.
Meanwhile, enjoy!
Happy gardening - and enjoy other people gardens, too!
Gillian the Gardener.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


There’s been a terrible lull in this blog for the past four-five months for which I humbly apologise.

Shouldering the blame
The reason for this was the fact that, while rushing around preparing for a very important birthday party in early April, I turned, tripped over the hose and crashed to the verandah, ending up with – disaster! – a broken shoulder. They don’t plaster these things, apparently, it just has to hang off the corner of one’s body in a sling until it gets better. NOT my idea of fun at all. I found it very painful, misery-making and energy draining, which meant that sitting in front of a computer, typing with one hand just wasn’t on my agenda for some time.

Back to work at last
Now its mid July and things are improving all round. It’s a good time to wake up, gear up the body and the brain, and re-connect with the blogosphere. Being the middle of winter, with a bit of luck the weather can only get warmer and spirits will rise with the temperature. My garden, being (almost) all Australian, is already showing signs of waking up with many winter flowers and signs of the beginning of spring.

Digital Cameras - bit of a problem.
I still managed to take a few photographs of each month although it’s a VERY difficult operation with only the left hand working. NOTE: Take a look at a digital camera and it will become clear that they’re designed to be used ONLY with the right hand. On the suggestion of a big grandson, I resorted to holding in the left hand and using it upside down so that my hand wasn’t covering the screen or the viewfinder. I then had to vertically flip the pictures 180 degrees on the computer, which worked - sort of. It was a great improvement when the right arm became strong enough to take over again.
That's my shadow, with right arm in a sling and camera in left hand.
A catch-up
So I’ll now do a quick (and brief) catch-up. To keep the blog in chronological order, you can go down to the March entry and work your way up to July.


Replanting the drive
The old Acacias that used to greet us down the drive are being replaced with flowering gums and various smaller Australian shrubs such as Bottle Brushes, Tea Trees, etc. It’s a great opportunity to establish a whole new area of Australiana.
Of course the roots of the old Acacias have an enormous network underground so we have had to paint the stumps with poison and cover with black plastic which (I hope) will eventually kill the roots so that the new plants can grow properly.

Another problem with that root network is the digging of the holes. What to do? A farmer friend produced a brilliant solution for us which does away with all back-breaking digging, avoids damaging any underground telephone, water, electrical or sewage pipes and makes a clear, unobstructed hole for planting. It’s called high pressure water – and it works brilliantly!

When I think of the time and energy I have expended over the years digging into hard, unyielding ground, hitting unexpected roots or rocks just to plant one small tree, I ask myself, “Why didn’t somebody tell me about this before?”

Once the hole is dug, there is the occasional root that needs to be cut out with Farmer Friend’s long handled secateurs but, in general, the hole is quite clear enough and the plants can be put straight in. A bit of compost or potting mix is added to provide a some nourishment to start them off and, presto! The easiest planting I’ve done in years.

Alpaca preparation.
Geoff has been working hard and has put in a gate between the house garden and the paddock in readiness for our Alpacas in September.

I was a bit worried about some weeds in the paddock – I suspected they were hemlock which, of course, would have been deadly poison for the Alpacas but I’m told by all the farmers around that it’s not. No one can tell me what it actually is yet so a bit more research is needed.
This is the weed. It's very flat and has a small dark pink flower.
Wattles and Wanderers.
This view from the verandah is what I look forward to every year since I planted them both in May 2007. What a picture they make.

Pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens)
I pinched a couple of pieces from a nature strip in Point Cook and stuck it in the ground about 12 months ago. It has grown so well and is smothering grass and weeds so efficiently, I’ve put some more cuttings in along the fence. While they’re new, I’m protecting them from the digging blackbirds with sections on mineral water bottles.

More morning glory
Another beautiful sunrise on the 8th July will end this entry on a positive and glorious note. 


Flowers, flowers, flowers!
Lots of different shrubs began blooming and did soooo much to cheer me up! The three different Hakeas (“Burrundong Beauty”, “Pincushion Hakea” and H. drupacea) , Alyogyne, Erica, a prostrate Thryptomene, Grevilleas, Native Violets, Plectranthus, Lavatera, Hibbertia, ‘Eucy Baby’ and a tiny Goodenia. The Hardenbergia “Happy Wanderer” and many Acacias were filled with buds, all of which cheered me up like anything and encouraged me to get outside – even if the weather was freezing!
Hakea laurina

Hakea drupacea

Hakea - 'Burrundong Beauty'


Erica "Darley Heath"

Prostrate Thryptomene

Grevillea rosemarinifolia


Native Violets

Another Grevillea rosemarinifolia


Hibbertia procumbens

"Eucy Baby"

Bent Goodenia

Who says cottage gardens are more beautiful than Australian?

Back to work – at last!
It was early in June that I decided I just HAD to do something positive outside, so I embarked upon setting up my seed pots – quite possible to do with one hand.  I found some small fibre pots in the local nursery so set up two trays on the old BBQ trolley parked on the north side of the house. It’s protected from the south-west winds and ready for any sun that might possibly shine. I still have my home-made mini hothouses to keep them warm and I decided to experiment with overnight soaking in hot water with some Australian Native Seed Starter Granules.

I also organised a collection of larger pots with cuttings of various shrubs, etc. I’m hoping to produce lots of new plants for filling up the side of the now very empty driveway.

Sunsets – wow!!
June brought a few of those that made my heart and spirits rise. To open the lounge room curtains in the morning and see this is quite enough to make life worth living.

We’ve decided to buy a couple – very exciting. Geoff’s getting a bit overwhelmed by the amount of mowing so, after some investigation online and discussions with local owners and breeders, it all began to look like a good idea and something we could handle. Some friends nearby have owned two wethers for over twelve months and were so enthusiastic about the lack of problems and their value both as grass-cutters and friendly animals to have around, that off we went to visit a couple of breeders.

We now expect to be the proud owners of two six-month old wethers by the end of September. This means we have time to get our fences and gates all prepared, protect a couple of small trees that we don’t want eaten and learn all we need to know about feeding, etc.

We finished the month of June with a big bonfire of fallen branches and prunings that had been collecting for about twelve months. A very pleasant way to get warm in the middle of winter.


Time for books and crosswords

A very inactive time in the garden for me for obvious reasons. Fortunately it really didn’t need any work as it had been beautifully tidied up in late March and being winter, hardly noticed my absence.

Friends and neighbours who wanted firewood called in with their own chainsaws and slowly took the wood away in utes, trucks and trailers. In no time it was all cleaned up and everyone was happy. This is a wonderful place to live!