Simply the best species sun hardy neoregelias & their hybrids, vrieseas, tillandsia, guzmania and MANY more .. !! 

Just click here Brom fair 0ct2015 for opening times, NOTE trading on Sunday ceases at midday :0

Gary Flemming at Collectors Plant Fair will be selling at Concord Bromeliad Fair
Gary Flemming at Collectors Plant Fair will be selling at Concord Bromeliad Fair

Mark Paul from the Greenwall Company, Peter Tristram, Gary & Angela Flemming from Melanquin Nursery and Michael Firenze are some of the best of the former NSW Bromeliad Society growers and suppliers I use for my own Paradisus designs… A rare opportunity to enrich your own home gardens from the one location over 1 & 1/2 days in Sydney. 

Concord Senior Citizens

9 – 11 Wellbank Street, Concord

For more information contact Gary on 0265 5539868 or 0413 178884 

and Peter Tristram 

Central Coast Plant Lovers Fair ’15 THIS weekend !!

CCPLF ’15 Growers

Click on the above link for good garden plants for your client designs, to expand your Growers List and diversify your own home garden towards the more interesting and resilient. 

The Fair at Kariong Mountains High School, Kariong, Central Coast NSW, is open both days of THIS weekend, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th 9am till 4pm and forecasts are both pleasantly overcast so bring plenty of boxes !

CCPLF '14 Fair action
CCPLF ’14 Fair action

All stall holders are worth considering and the following are particular faves of mine for garden making plants par excellence –

Stephen Bridge at Addictive Plants, Andrew Harvie, Keith Tollis and Colin Hunt at Andy’s Rare Plants, Ross & Chris Bolwell at Bloom’n Greenery, David Fripp at Screen Trees Australia,  Klaus Eckardt at Green e Roses, Royal Botanic Gardens Growing Friends, Donnovan & Jessica Linney at Plant Life, Robyn Bible Geraniums & Pelagoniums, Wes and Lorraine Vidler at Weslor Nursery, Don Teese at Yamina Rare Plants, Michael Dent at Aloe Aloe, Elaine Slade at Kawana Nursery and Bob & Gleness and Jamie Lanarch at Bromeliads Australia .. !!

Ipheion sellowianum
Ipheion sellowianum

You can always expect a stand out selection of very kool plants also, at Ruth & Peter Donnally’s Coachwood stall. Among so many faves across their tables just bulging with horticultural treasure, you can expect a good supply Ipheon sellowianum the golden Star Flower. Excellent ground covering companion to autumn white flowering Zephyranthes candida the Autumn Crocus.

Kalanchoe fedtchenkoi dwarf
Kalanchoe fedtchenkoi dwarf

Sometimes best contrasts to ornamental grasses with good humidity tollerance like ultra fine sage green Poa ‘Eskdale’, are found in the rubbery pink and eau de Nil green scallops of Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi dwarf forms as a nice little texture rug.

Senecio amaniensis
Senecio amaniensis

Or you might have a decent sheet of glossy but over homogenous glossy green Billbergia pyramidalis that pokes out into the sun, for a nice contrasting splodge of cochineal Senecio amaniensis. Crassula 'Springtime' Crassula ‘Springtime’

Or what could be nicer as a break from Mini Mondo Grass, to use the rich coffee shades of Crassula ‘Springtime’ between that brick or salt textured concrete paver slabs … heaven 🙂

“Sea-Changer” Shade & Dining Canopy

Summer shade & winter sun … get thee a shade hut.

There were many reasons I decided on this house at Forresters Beach on the Central Costa, chief among them was the rear garden aspect that is open to the north.  

Natureed Shade Hut Canopy
Natureed Shade Hut Canopy

A basic  request among gardening types I hear you say, maybe so but I think essential for anyone who values the benefits of a winter sun trap where sought after warmth can be got right to the back of any static shade device. Meaning no matter how brief, watery or weak the sun might be in the June – July period, any shade device facing most parts of north WILL allow precious rays at this brief but rather important time of year, to warm one’s back to toasty perfection out of the wind. 

Combining the brotherly landscaping talents of Green Elements Simon & Hayden Jones, with Jennifer Snyder’s House of Bamboo (where options in new flooring & wall panelling have reached a recent apex of sophistication and always especially in creative ways to bring shade to the garden), so the “Sea-Changer” Shade/Sun Hut & Dining Canopy have emerged. 

Natureed retractible Dining Canopy
Natureed retractible Dining Canopy

Of course, as the name suggests, its the Shade Hut function that’s supported over many more months than the brief cooler stint, when ferocious daily temp’s mean getting OUT of the sun is the difference between far less appealing air con. and a welcome breeze outside where our climate leads us so naturally. BBQ’d meals, drinks with friends & fam, its all outside for most living on East Coast Australia …  good to know that even for the brief cooler period, Natureed Canopies ARE retractible on cable driven pulleys between the gal. steel frame posts just to let in a little extra sunny goodness.

Looking forward to showing you all this and more at the exciting “Sea-Changer” Saturday, 5th March ’16 Launch so mark your planners for a fun day on the Central Costa.         

Sat 26th & Sun 27th Sept, Central Coast Plant Lovers Fair ’15 only 2 weeks away !

Garden Lovers, Spring surge is again driving more than the odd sparkle across all our gardens and

 CCPLF 15 Growers  link shows you  quick view across good plants to help evolve your plot into the exciting dream garden you always wanted  ….

Andrew Harvey - Andy's Rare Plants
Andrew Harvey – Andy’s Rare Plants

Whether its Andrew Harvey, Keith Tollis or Colin Hunt at Andy’s Rare Plants, with a cornucopia of useful and beautiful goodies like …

Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem – Ornithogalum hybrids

… some beautiful and reliable Ornithogalum hybrids for a sun drenched, dry patch where weeks of late winter/spring jaffa orange, sunny gold or fresh white could be yours.

Amorphophallus sp.
Amorphophallus sp.

 And of course, Andy’s is the stall to go if you would like your garden to have a bit of monstrous aroid fascination by way of many deciduous species genii like Amorphophallus !

Aristolochia galeata - Dutchmans Pipe Vine
Aristolochia galeata – Dutchmans Pipe Vine

There are always a few interesting climbers as well, like this Aristolochia galeata – Dutchmans Pipe Vine perfect for a warm temperate garden in sun to semi shade. Watch this space for more posts on good grower offerings and looking forward to seeing you “fair side” & bring your boxes  ! 🙂

Kariong Mountains High School, Kariong, Central Coast

9am till 4pm Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th September, ’15    

  • Take the Sydney to Newcastle  M1 Pacific Motorway (formerly the F3), to the “Gosford, Woy Woy and Terrigal” exit.
  • Follow the Central Coast Hwy towards Gosford.
  • Look for the Plant Lovers Fair signs.
  • Turn left at The Avenue.
  • Then left onto Festival Drive.



Rooftops Planting Ideas 4 U …



Exciting low water use plants don't need irrigation
Exciting low water use plants don’t need irrigation

Maybe you are thinking about what to do with the fairly barren “hard-fest” inherited when down sizing closer into the city .. no ?  It doesn’t have to remain an un-dealt with challenge in the “too hard basket”. Exciting Rooftops are 3 spaces Better Homes & Gardens TV featured last Friday week, with the first one dedicated to my Paradisus design for lovely clients Ian & Noelene Dawes on their swish residential rooftop apartment at Cremorne..

So get your morning cuppa, click the green link above and see if these exciting low water use combinations from Designer Growers Network growers could be right for you or someone you know ..!       

Super Rooftop on Better Homes & Gardens


Garden Lovers, of all the gardens I’ve made its not often I can show you one that just seems to give more every year.

Ian & Noelene Dawes Cremorne rooftop is the exception…. and do you know, you can see Better Homes & Gardens presenter Jason Hodges show how easy this unirrigated space, made from exciting DGN succulent and water storing plants is roaring away this winter. Hope you can tune in for ideas in your own garden.

Better Homes & Gardens, 7pm Channel 7, Fri 24th July  

Winter fire 

Cremorne rooftop                                                                                                                                                    

Bromeliads Beauteous

Bromeliad gardening…. Enn Zud Style !

Maureen Green has made a living masterpiece in the charmingly tiny hamlet of Maungakaramea, north of Auckland on the way to Whangarei in New Zealand’s Northland.

Here, at the end of a long jewel encrusted driveway, is a bromeliad mother lode. But this is not an artless “pizza garden”, with taste free gobs of colour indescriminately daubed from patch to patch. Oh no, THIS comes from a master eye that sees everything, from the tiniest ruby edged margin to the full visual weight of truly magnificent hero plants.

Maureen's lateral thinking brain sees opportunity in this
Maureen’s lateral thinking brain sees opportunity in the exposed underneath surface of this fallen tree crown, transformed into a mini city of epiphytic delights
Maureen's Magic Tank
Maureen’s Magic Water Tank

Such is the creative agility of the horticultural mind; if your large tree falls with all epiphytic occupants catapulted to far flung garden parts, make the unsuspecting into a  magical Tillandsia Water Tank…… Maureen has.

Especially rich in vrisea, neoregelia, aechmea & their interspecific crosses and hybrids, together with myriad tillandsia, nidularium, billbergia and canistropsis  don’t let Greens Bromeliads unassuming street sign deceive you …. GO DOWN THAT LONG DRIVE and you will be rewarded.     

Infront of the "magical tank"
In-front of the “magical tank”

Greens Bromeliads 0011 64 9 432 3759 Tangihua Road, Maungakaramea, Whangarei

Pod + Pod

hakea 1
hakea 1

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.  

Sub-tropical New Zealand

Heliconia bourgaeana, Russell Fransham's Matapouri Bay garden New Zealand
Heliconia bourgaeana, Russell Fransham’s Matapouri Bay garden New Zealand

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.  






The Pig Garden

Restio festuciformis
Restio festuciformis

“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 festuciformis seen here earlier this month in Auckland Botanic is  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 

Watch this space.