Foliage colours and Textural contrasts …bring year round interest, especially when cold winter air falls on plants at this time of year making their winter colours show. Alcantarea odorata brings a chalky bloom over its strap leafed rosette, connecting with the sage green living sculpture of Madagascan Felt Plant (Kalanchoe beharensis). Inter-spaces of Foxtail Asparagus (Asparagus meyerii) are filled with bristly lime green tails for sense of arrival at ‘Sea-Changer’s’ garden gate. Flowers may come and go but for high focus spots as walk-bys in your garden, its best to rely on plants like these that give generously all year sans flowers.. !
Needing a winter fixer-upperer in your garden before spring rush ? Make a call and we’ll have a chat on how to make your garden even better for the coming summer.
Dombeya ianthotricha the climbing Dombeya, is a relative of hibiscus and now included into the extended Malvaceae, makes a useful if sprawling, small climber/shrub that lends itself as a kind of loose espalier here at ‘Sea-Changer’ or as a short run climber to less than 5 m wide. Delightful in combination with or alternative to camellias, in Sydney’s cool sub-tropics gardens. Makes an open twig work of arching stems bearing light as air, large fury round leaves like rice paper circles that move with the slightest July breeze. Bunches of persimmon coloured, pollen dusted bells dangle on thin strings, making this Madagascan super charming in the mixed shrub border as well.
A good find for your garden from specialist growers like Wes & Lorraine Vidler at Weslor Nursery from Plant Fairs like Plant Lovers Fair Kariong, 22nd to 23rd September ’18. If you’re looking forward to a lush high spring come October, now’s the time to get your garden in order with new planting, structural landscaping and other inclusions like led lighting and irrigation. If you’d like to chat about that, please make contact 0418 161513 and together we can make your garden even better !
Thought I would send 3 of the best this month, to help brighten your winter garden. Not that the cooler time of the year should be dull by a long shot and flowering interest for the June – July period abounds, if you know the plants that will bring a little sparkle. Especially of interest from the super floriferous Acanthaceae is a small sub-shrub
I first tried this plant thinking if could be rather cool sensitive. Contrary to my suspicions it excels in the cool sub-tropical winter of East Coast Australia and loses condition only in the worst summer heat. It seeds slightly but not enough to be thuggish and has proven itself a tried performer to less than a meter, beneath taller shrubs like iochroma, brugmansia and phymosia in lower light were few others would continue flowering.
Not unlike its close relatives of the justicia tribe, just mix in with other semi-shade lovers like the species Hippeastrum aulicum for lush appeal. If you’re facing challenges in the shade garden at home … even if its impacted upon by emerged bedrock this little sub-shrub is a star performer. Preparation now for the summer garden is perfect timing and if you’re planning to combine with other non-planted inclusions in paving, decks or shade devises please make contact so we can have a chat on how to make your changes sympathetic to your new garden.
See you in the next 2 posts of super interesting plants !!
Garden Lovers, did you know there’s another interesting near evergreen shrub to brighten the late garden that’s flowering now.. ? For an intriguing fresh chartreuse splash in the May garden, Holmskioldia sanguinea lutea or Gold Chinese Hat from the lower Himalaya & Myanmar is for you ! I’ve used it here in the ‘Sea-Changer’ garden in the Sun Trap plot that receives northern sun all year but it would also tolerate half day sun as a an upright to lax, 2m shrub with a cut after flowers to bring new canes for the following season.
Just nearby and for combined ‘pop’ at the same time of year, you could use Barlaria cristata ‘Lavander Lace’ as a really useful sub-shrub to around 1.5m with a cloud of pretty, striped, mini trumpets.
Soooooo pretty, just as the worst of the heat has passed and we look into the garden for some fresh seasonal change.
‘Planty Fierce ’18’ at the end of last month was a sparkling Autumn day, refreshed by an early shower and internet was high from all visitors, especially this young one having a closer look at the mirror Buddha on the long deck looking down to ‘Sea-Changer’s’ Shade Hut.
Nothing extinguishes interest and plenty of people arrived into brilliant sunshine in the Sun Trap plot where I spoke to many on questions around how to make their home gardens even better !
The 2pm ‘Walk & Talk’ brought forward many interesting questions, like how to make a ‘green-fence’ alternative to fence palings using Solandra longiflora over black pvc coated mesh. Thanks to all PF ’18 Helpers and Peter & Ruth Donnelly’s fabulous Coachwood sales tables loaded with new and interesting ‘must haves..’.
Cool sub-tropics gardens ‘Paradox’ and ‘Sea-Changer’ open for ‘Planty Fierce’ on the Central Coast (maps on links) … less than two weeks away !! Inspiration for your home garden or your client’s design and many plants from both gardens available for sale on the day. At ‘Paradox’ learn from Ray Henderson, the huge range of sun adaptable bromeliads that can be grown north facing when you plant them at the right time of year … Find out more about the kind of medium he uses, when to fertilise and how far apart your plants should be for best results.
So many beautiful sub-tropical offerings for your garden from Peter & Ruth Donnally’s Coachwood sales tables at ‘Sea-Changer’.
At ‘Sea-Changer’ Peter will give a 2pm designer’s ‘walk & talk’ on how easily new plants could grow for your exciting new home garden or for your designs. So get your gardening buddy, colleague horticulturist, landscaper or garden designer friend together by sharing the ‘Planty Fierce’ link. Be on the Motorway on ramp at Wahroonga by 9am for the hour or so jaunt up to the Central Coast for a fun day of garden visits either side of lunch in Holgate at Bamboo Buddha !!
Peter’s 2pm ‘walk & talk’ at ‘Sea-Changer’
‘Planty Fierce’ Saturday, 28th April 10am – 4pm, $10 gate each garden, children under 12 free, no dogs, easy parking.
Garden Lovers, see Facebook Event page for Planty Fierce details this year, bringing you two Central Coast gardens. Visit Ray Henderson’s iconic ‘Paradox’ at Glenning Valley in the morning and my ‘Sea-Changer’ after lunch at nearby Forresters Beach. Its a lovely day out of the city, to see a pair of exciting designer gardens as inspiration for your own, just an hour’s drive north on the Pacific Motorway from the on ramp at Wahroonga.
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible, I’ll be giving a ‘ Q & A walk & talk’ at 2pm
Peter Nixon’s ‘Sea-Changer’ – 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach plant sales by Coachwood’s Ruth & Peter Donnally
Ray Henderson’s ‘Paradox’ – 25 Curringa Close, Glenning Valley plants sales featuring sun tolerant bromeliads with designer companion plantings
NOTE: many of the plants you see at each garden will be for sale on the day !!
‘Paradox’ by Ray Henderson at 25 Curringa Close, Glenning Valley
‘Sea-Changer’ by Peter Nixon at 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach
See all event details, map & lunch suggestions at Facebook’s event page ‘Planty Fierce’ Expert horticultural and design ideas for your gardens, with exciting designer plants sales at each garden – bring plenty of boxes, you’ll need them!
Peter Nixon’s 2pm designer “walk & talk” at ‘Sea-Changer’ and weather forecast is Good !!!
Start at any of these three fabulous Central Coast gardens only 20 mins apart, bursting with designer inspiration made by industry horticulturists. These are their own home gardens, where they have really been able to let it rip in mining the rich vein of warm temperate coastal plant selection. As SMH gardening contributor Robin Powell covered on Easter Saturday .. for Spectrum
Address details & lunch suggestions from the ‘Planty Fierce’ FB Event page Its a great garden day out of Sydney with exciting plant sales for your own garden at every destination,so bring plenty of boxes as you’ll be sorely tempted ! Peter Nixon with give a “walk & talk” at ‘Sea-Changer’ at 2pm and $5 entry at each garden, (no doggies please). Event map shown at.. Sea Changer Map – 2017
Welcome to high summer and all its attendant pests and disease that can really spoil your gardening fun. I don’t often make product suggestions but Su Trathen has found Neem oil in her Balgowlah garden, to be an effective drench or foliar spray against sap sucking insects and maybe even those pesky Stink Bugs, that can commandeer your best citrus in a few hot weeks. Also effective against similar scaly attacks on orchids and especially patio pots like lush philodendron & spathiphyllum, susceptible to attack on dry foliage within overhanging eves or shade sails.
Its often the price we pay for a short summer holiday away, returning home to horrid plants looking a sticky mess. Try Neem as a quick and easy way to restore them to good health !!
3 Central Coast gardens within 2o mins of each other, 1 day 10am till 4pm, $5 tiny dollars entry each garden, (children free, no dogs) PLUS fabulous plant sales at every garden. How can you resist !!!
We’ve shifted the date from early March to the cooler prospect of latest April, well after Easter, to make the ‘plantiest’ day possible for you .. all 3 gardens will be at their late summer peak.
‘Sea-Changer’ – 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach – for Paradisus by Designer Peter Nixon
‘Paradox’ – 25 Curringa Close, Glenning Valley by specialist sun bromeliad grower Ray Henderson
‘Living Edge’ Garden & Nursery – 1483 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge supplied by Plantsman David Fripp designer by Blake Jolley
I (Peter Nixon) will be giving a half hour garden ‘walk & talk’ 2pm at ‘Sea-Changer’. Lunch at nearby cafe’s, see the Facebook Event ‘Planty Fierce’ for details. A pleasant hour’s drive from the Wahroonga on ramp, leave home by 8.30am for the most ‘Planty’ fun on the Central Coast you’ll have outside a Plant Fair.. !!
I recently made it out to Kim & An’s delightful Canley Vale Nurserywith Judy Taylor my partner in retail crime and essential plant sleuthing…
Around hour’s drive from Sydney CBD and far from disappointment, Kim’s in an old fashioned high street garden centre past an exception array of excellent Vietnamese & Korean cafe’s & restaurants, where you’ll find a cornucopia of “planty” treasures for your warm temperate garden.
No matter when I go, there’s always something I’ve been lusting after for years by virtue of Tran’s horticultural eye for the exceptional, interesting and or quirky. Not to mention every type of pot, hanger, stake, fertiliser your heart could desire.
This time I also saw old fashioned tall dahlias, the staking kind that I know will have huge crowns of ruby, gold and flaming orange later this month. Also heliconia the Crabs Claw Gingers both tall like H. ‘Hot Rio Night’ and the dwarf H. stricta from Jamaica. Gorgeous Poysean Hybrid Euphorbia, species hippeastrums, Fireball Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus var. katarinae), medinilla and a new lutea form Golden Umbrella Tree (Schefflera actinophylla ‘Soleil’) I even snaffled a double flowering Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica flora plan) scarce as rocking horse poo peeps !