Christmas Charm for all Garden Lovers

Sobralia xantholeuca – Mexican Reed Lily

Garden Lovers early summer .. and the rush up to Christmas time, always adds a special excitement to the garden. Aside from the usual suspects, lovely as they are; gardenias, agapanthus, Ceratopetalum – NSW Xmas Bush, Hydrangea and Shasta Daisies … there are some new plants to try for this time. Like the lush Mexican Reed Lily (Sobralia xantholeuca) that I can’t recommend highly enough to you for the bright shade garden. Beneath tall Gum Trees, on the south or eastern side. Mine grows as a Christmas companion to ‘Sea-Changer’s’ garden gate, beneath a Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis). Softer in appearance than cymbidium orchids, Sobralia makes a meter or so patch, with stiff bamboo-like stems and leaves with glossy parallel venation.

Looking forward to seeing many of you again here at ‘Sea-Changer’ for ‘Planty Fierce’ come Sat. 6th May ’17 when the garden will open together with ‘Living Edge’ at Peats Ridge and Ray Henderson’s ‘Paradox’ at nearby Glenning Valley. But for now, enjoy your Christmas and wishing you a fab New Year, especially in the the garden !!!

Best Wishes, Peter  



Mark Paul from the Greenwall Co. with greenwall fan Sue Barnett
Mark Paul from the Greenwall Co. with greenwall fan Sue Barnett

Cocktails in a Lush Garden

No. 12, in Greenwich for Peter Doherty & Jan Swinhoe, twenty years in the making .. 

Last Saturday fortnight on the 5th November, against a rush of high spring, a small gathering of my lovely past clients shared some tasty canapé and a drink or two while savouring the delights of No. 12  

Guest Speakers Loretta Maitland from M.E. Lighting told us about here snazzy led’s, Mark Paul from the Greenwall Co. told us about the 9 meter long, double sided greenwall featured in the rear garden. Owners Peter Doherty and Jan Swinhoe helped me Host and Jan was good enough to say a few words, on what its been like to live with all the garden changes over the past twenty years.  It doesn’t seem like twenty but time goes fast when you’re having fun in the garden .. !

Thank to all for your interest and friendly company. 

Left side owner Jan Swinhoe with Pod & Pod artist Julie Hickson
Left side owner Jan Swinhoe with Pod & Pod artist Julie Hickson


Greenwall@ No.12
Greenwall@ No.12


Plant Lovers Fair ’16 Kariong 24th & 25th September

Busy Coachwood sales tables at Plant Lovers Fair Kariong
Busy Coachwood sales tables at Plant Lovers Fair Kariong

Can’t find those special plants to make your garden ? Then PLF ’16 Kariong is for you !! Avoid the cues and get your tixs on line. More than 40 specialist growers of exciting non-general line planting & FREE Speakers Program over both days ..

You can even hear my dulcet tones on Garden “fix -ups” from grow cables to “soft” hard-surfaces, to help with your own garden ideas on the Saturday at 1.30pm, with fellow Designer Barbara Landsberg “in conversation” with Garden Drum editor Catherine Stewart.

Mark your planners now and check currency on the Fair’s planting offer by subscribing to to the new PLF Blog  

Good garden plants from PLF grower Charles Harland, like species hippeastrums have done so well at dear client Susan Trathen garden at Balgowlah and would do just as well at your garden !   

Hippeastrum striatum in Susan Trathen's Balgowlah Paradisus design
Hippeastrum striatum in Susan Trathen’s Balgowlah Paradisus design
Charles Harland's hippeastrums at PLF
Charles Harland’s hippeastrums at PLF





‘Planty Fierce’ perfect pleaser …


Coachwood's plant fever at 'Sea-Changer'
Coachwood’s Ruth Donnally, fielding her plant fever sales at ‘Sea-Changer’

Last Saturday’s ‘Planty Fierce’ at all 4 Central Coast gardens was an unqualified success … Under a brilliant sky, plant sales were brisk and event goers very pleased to see inspirational, never before opened garden spaces they could relate to, with low risk but interesting plants to take home and try in their own gardens that will thrive in similar coastal growing conditions.  

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Seeing and discussing planting at ‘Sea-Changer’

As one ‘Planty Fierce’ attendee put it –  

“Feeling privileged! Planty Fierce did not disappoint. Living Edge was breathtaking; Tabone serene; Paradox an artist’s palette; and Seachanger thrilling. Thank you to owners for opening their very special gardens.”                                                                                                  Michelle Arnebark, President, Green Point Garden Club

Peter Nixon talking with palm specialist & former Pres. Syd sub-Trop Garden Soc Fred Moody
‘Planty Fierce’ convener Peter Nixon talking with palm specialist & former Pres. Syd sub-Trop Garden Soc Fred Moody

Thank you Michelle and thanks also to Cathy & Tony Tabone at ‘Tabone Garden’, Ray Henderson at ‘Paradox’, David Fripp & Blake Jolley at ‘Living Edge’ and my very special ‘Sea-Changer’ Helpers Wendy Pritchard & Brent Wilson, Ambra Sancin and Chantelle Leenstra.     

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So appreciative, just some of the 350 strong garden public surging through ‘Sea-Changer’

Thanks to all those who came along for some or all that          

‘Planty Fierce’ had to offer. It was so good, we might just have to do it all again … !!!!

‘Planty Fierce’ Event Map

Worsleya procera -  Blue Hippeastrum
Worsleya procera – Blue Hippeastrum

Mia culpa maxima … forgot to send you a map guide to get around on Saturday !! Just click here on  ‘Planty Fierce’ to print off the reverse side that has an easy map to follow, showing all garden addresses and their map locations. 

Have the plantiest fierce day ever … !!!

Peter Nixon –                        Paradisus ‘Sea-Changer’