Scanning the excellent Garden Drum by Catherine Stewart this week, I came across some rather good work by artist Julie Hickson show casing her impressive Pod + Pod range inspired by Sydney’s Northern Beaches where she lives. So impressed, that I just had to take advantage of the oh so easy on line point of sale available from the web site. Perfect for coastal themed house & gardens and especially in association with “warm winter” micro climate growing conditions that allow many to cheat like hell with planting that would otherwise be at the difficult end of its range once cooler June/July nights are with us.
After an admiring glance across the Botanical & Coastal examples of Julie’s fine work, you can then join her mailing list from the bottom of the News page for Studio Open Days, markets and events like the Pittwater Artists Trail.
Fellow Designer Russell Fransham at Matapouiri Bay, just north of Whangarei in New Zealand’s north island,
…where I found myself wandering around an impressive home garden of some 20 years or so. Interesting to see a few of the cool tollerant ginger family in heliconias like H. bourgaeana (shown beneath), H. subulata cv Thaysiana and H. tortuosa ‘Red Twist’ all flowering very well. I find the easy occurance of these in Russell’s garden very encouraging for us Australia’s east coast where minimum winter overnights would rarely descend beneath 7 or 8 degrees, against the Bay of Islands cooler 2 degrees and less.
A nice smaller clumping palm in Dypsis baronii, (like a better version of Golden Cane Palm) combined well with bromeliads like Canistropsis billbergioides cv. Citron. and a lot of interesting tillandsia and vriesea aside from many spectacular flowering shrubs in Brugmansia hybrids & species like B. sanguinea.
“Sea-Changer” Stage 2 – High Summer/Low Winter garden …
Moving onto a more challenging part of the new home garden this winter here at Forresters Beach, I’ll need to pay attention to a south, south western aspect where garden space receives harsh afternoon summer heat, contrasted with shade at both ends of the day and only brief winter sun around midday for the June /July period. Add to this ocassional inundation (as have just endured during recent violent storms) over a sandy soil that usually takes a few days to recede and this patch outside my new home office could be presenting a potential nightmare ….so I would call this The Pig Garden if it weren’t for a few good plants that won’t scorch or rot !!
A shorter Cape Reed Restio festuciformisseen here earlier this month in Auckland Botanicis from Sth Africa’s Western Cape to around 40cm. It’s stolen my heart and will probably require replanting after the fourth year or so, sans its regenerating bush fires that burn the mother to make new growing space possible from seed stored in top soil. I’m willing to face this minor inconvenience, traded agianst a rusty shock of late winter awns that catch the eye like constantly moving flaxen hair in the slightest wind, (I’ve got it bad).
Might only be able to try with seed though, could be a deal breaker and most references say require year round sun … hmmm
Flowering bulbs are often associated with a cool temperate climate, did you know there are many interesting easy to grow bulbs better suited to Australian east coast growing conditions that love higher humidity and our wet summers? Hippeastrum aulicum actually grows on trees, in rock crevices or among rocks as in this Paradisus garden for John & Susan Trathen’s Balgowlah garden. Maybe there’s a sheltered spot for some of these swish Sth American flowers hippeastrum species, to add late Autumn colour to your garden too ..