Mirror Back.. who knew & Collector’s dates

View through to expand your space

Hello Springtime Garden Lovers,

hope your garden is showing signs of the new season with this very welcome gentle rain just now.

Garden spaces are becoming tighter and this doesn’t mean we can’t make them appear more expansive. The pool surround shown was planted across it’s narrower end with a combination that failed to entice the viewer for a closer look… In this Paradisus design, replace with a row of standard Magnolia ‘Teddy Bear’ and position a mirror band so it’s top edge is concealed beneath the canopy. Create more depth by obscuring the bottom edge with an epiphytic wreath of bromeliads (Neoregelia leavis & Aechmea cylindrata) for instant ‘view thru’ to what appears to be another light filled garden space to make the whole look less limited.

Cremorne rooftop of mysterious cool subtropics textural contrasts

Collectors Plant Fair new April ’21 dates .. for my Cool Subtrops Gardens Talk

Look we tried to go on Garden Lovers but NSW Health has again deemed mass gatherings like Plant Fairs to be Covid non-compliant for dates planned at the end of this month.

So new dates have just been announced today from CPF’21 Convenor the redoubtable Linda Ross and are now Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th April just after Easter. Mark your planners now to save the dates !!! Especially mark Saturday 10th April to join me after your spree among the stalls at 1pm, when I’ll be presenting many Paradisus gardens of my design over the years, that speak directly to the growing conditions of your own Sydney home garden.

I’ll be showing you gardens made from exciting non-general line plants that thrive in warm temperate, coastal & frost free conditions; to make it easier for you to pick plants that match realistic micro-climates around your garden, so you can make your garden even better ! Stay tuned for a tix link soon, to beat the cues & all ticket previously purchased will be honoured for the 2021 dates 🙂

Collectors Plant Fair, Hawkesbury Racecourse, 1 Racecourse Road Clarendon

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th April ’21

Greenwalls from detailed to heroic !!!

Happy Winter Garden Lovers and I thought would show you just a brief to the Greenwall evolution, since they tick so many boxes for many clients in terms of space saving and maximum impact.. !

Grow Bands give precise feature to otherwise blank walls by bringing the luxuriance of rich textural contrasts for year round interest, to meet all converging sight lines from inside & outside.

Facing north, this combination is resilient to harsh high summer scorch and reduces visual glare and ‘push-back’ from the built environment, with welcome relief that only living plants can bring. It’s courtyard setting now leverages egress to it’s adjacent kitchen by doubling entertainment space, bringing the outside in and the inside out.

Measuring 9 x 3.5m this double sided greenwall in the great divide between private step out space on the house side and an impressive sense of arrival to the drive side.

Give us privacy and feature without taking up useful space, that was the brief for this split level design with a higher point of access off the rear lane. So a super sized double sided Greenwall was borne from necessity, to bring an intimate scale shielded on the house side from tall office buildings AND an impressive welcome to this drive side in approach.

So many apartment step out spaces requiring a ‘soft down’ to bring foliage relief to a hard-fest of built environment surfaces.

‘I would go out there more often but there’s really nothing to entice.’

A very common part of the apartment living experience, especially when all views are equally experienced from inside … no ? Enter a swish end wall greenwall, a slimmer counterpoint from the B/room slides and a free standing part rail Grow Band and all is lush and inviting. All are self irrigated and combine with cac & succ combinations for the built in planters suited to the N/W aspect. Bring on the cocktails !!!!

Greenwall Company by Mark Paul for Paradisus www.peternixon.com.au

Winter Sparkles …

Aloe ‘Venus’ a winter happy mound
to around 80cm tall

Garden Lovers, winter may be cool but never dull, when you know some hard working star performers to bring easy charm to your garden.

Cymbidium ‘Ice Cascade’ hybrid plant also excellent for baskets

Who would have thought we’d be imagining a cool, wet winter back in the bush fires of March Garden Lovers ? Anyway, here we are savouring the delights of planting that favours wintertime in the cool sub-tropics. Lower temps are the trigger for many of these to come into flower, or simply have such late flowering periods they can extend into the winter.

Aechmea wilkleri like little orange Christmas Trees tilted over ..

Many make excellent planting for containers like the bromeliads & cymbidium orchids that you may like to bring inside to enjoy their flowers as part of the house interior ..

Hibiscus mutabilis – Rose of Sharon

Others burst into seasonal interest like Hibiscus mutabilis and Tibouchina ‘David Bowen’ for the mixed shrub border. Cut to shape after flowers to ensure a good spring flush to support flowers that can extend into the June garden …

Tibouchina ‘David Bowen’ a late white flowering hybrid into early winter

And don’t forget cool weather warm bulbs like the species hippeastrums H. aulicum & H. psittacinum for stained glass colour sparkles in the semi-shade garden.

Hippeastrum psitticinum a sparkling Brazilian jewel that grows as an epiphyte on ‘Sea-Changer’s’ mirror deck greenwalls
Hippeastrum aulicum clumping forward of the mixed shrub border – and thanks to Susan Trathen for these seedlings she raised me from her own
Balgowlah Heights garden

The element of surprise is often forgotten in cool subtrops gardens, easily remedied with summer humidity hardy South African bulbs from the Fynbos.

Sparaxis grandiflora ssp. acutiloba an easy fynbos bulb for our winter gardens

Cool Subtrops Talk for Sydney Gardens

Don’t forget I’ll be giving a talk at the re-scheduled springtime dates for Collectors Plant Fair ’20 – 1pm Saturday, 26th September, Hawkesbury Race Course expressly on my Sydney cool subtropics gardens, to help you make a better garden with planting that’s a fit to the growing conditions you have in your own home garden. Mark your planners & buy your tix online now to avoid the cue !!

Collectors Plant Fair Clarendon, my Cool Subtrops Talk postponed..

Well by now, I’m sure most of you realise ALL events planned to attract more than 500 people are cancelled.. Booo… so I shan’t be able to present the super interesting talk for you on Sydney gardens of my design this Sunday 29th March.

Aloe ‘Fairy Pink’ has popped at my ‘Sea-Changer’ garden

So instead of the usual plant fair on the ground, Convenor Linda Ross has been busy transferring the CPF ’20 offering to an on line market. See here for details for details where you might be able to find some exciting fairside treasures !

Exciting modified greenwall grow barrel

In the meantime, some of you may remember a few images showing new plantings from before Xmas in the last post by Mark Paul and his visionary work at the Greenwall Company; now gracing a special harbourside garden I’ve been keeping an eye on for many years.

Flanking both sides of the terrace step out, two more grow barrels bring lush sophistication to this terrace high above it’s harbourside view

Self irrigated, so with the advantage of easy care, each ‘barrel’ can also use all sides as a planting surface. Once planting closes over all exposed fabric & mesh, the effect is one of lush abundance that never competes with the view.

Rich textural & foliage colour contrasts make for year round interest in these conjoined rectangular Grow Bales
Most planting was repurposed from many small pots formerly on the same terrace, now unified into ‘Grow Barrels’

Hope you enjoyed and love your garden !!!