‘Planty Fierce’ 2017 is almost here …

This Saturday, 29th April ‘Planty Fierce’ opens 10am – 4pm $5 entry each garden, across three wildly exciting and horticulturally driven spaces made from plants. 

‘Living Edge Garden’ – Frogs Foot Coleus (Solonostemon), Lomandra ‘Little Con’, Justicea betonica backed in Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’ by David Fripp & Blake Jolley at 1483 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge

Living Edge Garden by David Fripp & Blake Jolley at 1483 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge

Ray Henderson’s ‘Paradox’ Billbergia fasciata ‘Sangria’, Aechmea sp. backed with Ensetes ventricosum – Abyssinian Banana &
Furcraea foetida mediopicta variegata

‘Paradox’ by Ray Henderson at 25 Curringa Close, Glenning Valley


‘Sea-Changer’s … Sea Monkey garden of rich contrasts

‘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!

Kalanchoe humilis – Pen Wiper Plant for the sunny plot
Begonia textures perfect for shady groundcovers
Tradescantia sp. for sun or shade as pretty wed suppresser
Keen interest from last year’s ‘Planty Fierce’ ..

Peter Nixon’s 2pm designer “walk & talk” at ‘Sea-Changer’ and weather forecast is Good !!!   

Robin Powell’s feature on ‘Sea-Changer’ for ‘Planty Fierce’ in last Saturday’s SMH Spectrum .. see you there !!!







‘Planty Fierce’ Saturday week, 29th April 2017 don’t miss it !

Peter Nixon’s ‘Sea-Changer’ for Paradisus at Forresters Beach – Dichorisandra’s Blue Ginger heads popping with Alocasia mafafa ‘Lime Zinger’ against pink puffs of Calliandra haematocephala

So much ‘Planty Fierce’ for you on Saturday week 29th April …

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

David Fripp & Blake Jolley’s ‘Living Edge’ at Peats Ridge,  with sculptural Agave sp. with A. gypsophila & Achmea bracteata
Belle guarding the ‘Paradox’ welcome garden by sun bromeliad specialist Ray Henderson with Portmea ‘Joe’ flushing into spike

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

‘Planty Fierce’ Sat 29th April 2017 just 2 weeks away !

Belle guarding the ‘Paradox’ welcome garden by Ray Henderson at Gleaning Valley
Stapelia gigantea opeing at ‘Sea-Changer’s’ Shade Hut Foresters Beach by Peter Nixon
High contrasts at ‘Living Edge’ by David Fripp & Blake Jolley at Peats Ridge

That’s right, so mark your planners now !!

Recent rain since January & February’s heat has brought all three Central Coast gardens open Sat fortnight 29th April, 10am – 4pm for ‘Planty Fierce’ $5 entry at each garden, (cash only) including my own ‘Sea-Changer’ into their best condition for this season. There’s a suggested visiting order toes these inspiring industry gardens, all created by horticulturalists shown on the above link but you could just as easily reverse the order, starting at Peats Ridge for ‘Living Edge’ coming down into Glenning Valley for Ray Henderson’s ‘Paradox’ and onto Forresters Beach for my ‘Sea-Changer’. Whichever way you do it, for the “plantiest” day out of Sydney, best to get yourself onto the Pacific Motorway by 8.30am to get plenty of visiting time, lunch at several nearby cafe’s (as listed on link) AND of course, to get the best opportunity at snapping up some of the most exciting designer planting for your own garden with plant sales at all three gardens… !!

Really hope to see you all and I’ll be giving an informal 2pm “walk & talk” here at ‘Sea-Changer’ to reveal some of the best planting here for your own garden.  

Peter Nixon ‘Sea-Changer’ – 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach www.peternixon.com.au  

David Fripp & Blake Jolley ‘Living Edge’ -1483 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge

Ray Henderson ‘Paradox’ – 25 Curringa Close, Glenning Valley     

Garden Lights & Best Sun Broms for your garden ..

M.E. Lighting for Charlie Albone’s MIFGS bronze award

Charlie Albone’s beautiful design for Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, won bronze with Andy & Loretta Maitland’s swish new led fittings. Might be right for your own garden to leverage spaces for outside living at night.

Loretta Maitland 0410 662 418 Andrew Maitland, M.E. Lighting 0400 868 083 Kingsford Showroom 02 9700 9688 & Mittagong Showroom 024872 2257     

Brom fair Apr17colour

Sat & Sun April 29th & 30th brings preferred Designer Growers Network suppliers Peter Tristram ptristr@bigpond.net.au & Gary Flemming’s 0265 539868 Concord Bromeliad Show. So if you can’t make ‘Planty Fierce’ on the Sat, think about getting along to Concord or even on the Sunday till midday !   

Su’s Neem Oil fixerupper .. !

Scale & mealy bug affected Citrus at Su’s

Get NEEM on your team …

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.

Clean citrus foliage within 9 days of application !

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 !!  


‘Planty Fierce’ 2017 is on again !!!

‘Planty Fierce’ Sat 29th April, 2017

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.


Lush abundance at ‘Sea-Changer’

‘Sea-Changer’ – 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach – for Paradisus by Designer Peter Nixon


Rich textural contrasts of ‘Paradox’

‘Paradox’ – 25 Curringa Close, Glenning Valley by specialist sun bromeliad grower Ray Henderson

Bush chic at ‘Living Edge’

‘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.. !!    


Canley Vale … high summer plant mecca

Excitement…. she’s made it to Kim Tran’s

I recently made it out to Kim & An’s delightful Canley Vale Nursery with 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.

Intriguing gesneriad from the African Violet genus, maybe a nematanthus monanthos, perfect for a hanging basket

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. 

Lush variegated Spiral Ginger (Costus speciosus variegata)

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 !

Booty headed for ‘Sea-Changer’, all now safely in ground

Canley Vale Nursery – 62/68 Canley Vale Rd, Canley Vale 7 days 9723 2688

 (between Cabramatta and Fairfield on the way to Campbeltown and its  NOT further than you go for holidays ) 




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