Between a wall and lush place ..

Combination Green Wall & Eco Pillow runs transforms built hard surface to lush abundance

Apartment living is here to stay and as many choose the lower maintenance option this lifestyle brings, interesting challenges are being met with innovative and sustainable outcomes for the ‘garden in the sky’.

So you’ve decided to leave the expense of a high maintenance family home for apartment living. Ok, well while there are going to be some adjustments to be made now you’re ‘living in the sky’, you’ve probably noticed a big change from a garden growing on terra-firma as a ground dweller. While its lovely not having to worry about gutters and rising damp, unrelieved hard surface surrounding your every moment might be a little jarring to get get used to …. 

What to do to trade off some of that unyielding hard surface for lush green cover .. to bring back balance in a living surround.. ?

Transform hard surface visual ‘bounce back’ for lush visually absorbent green cover

Combination Greenwalls with Eco Pillow runs are the new frontier in transformation of the built environment. Super water efficient with their own irrigation system and drip trays, 2m x 1m panels cover majority vertical spaces in ‘portrait’ orientation and are extended across horizontal expanses using 800 x 400mm Eco Pillows end to end in ‘landscape’ orientation.

Once reliable water is connected, the impact of high exposure aspects from the 4th floor and much higher, can be made sustainable with a fertiliser injector for easy nutrition to a vast band width of plant selection adaptable from epiphytic and lithophytic habitats. A myriad of various bromeliads from aechaea, neoregelia, vriesea, canistropsis, canistrum and even the Giant Landscape species alcantarea. These can form a majority planting space at uppermost reaches for the most sun tolerance, with native hoya australis on grow supports to extend cover to higher horizontal hard surface. Progressively self shaded, the lower reaches are best for a  mix of foliage contrasts as understory in peperomia, plectranthus, begonias, streptocarpus, epiphyllum and ferns to take up lower position micro climates.

Eco Pillow run made into a ‘green-band’ in high exposure doing so well in its first season

Growing media comprises a majority of inorganic component parts that won’t disintegrate, leaving plants in ‘root block’ depletion and susceptible to predation with nothing to grow in after the first year. Instead available pore space is kept above an acceptable minimum, so your Greenwall has a beautifully long life expectancy. Maintenance is built into your installation contract and can be arranged after the initial grow in period.

Why live in a hard surface environment closer to the polar bear exhibit at the zoo, when you could frame the view, back the bathroom or grow a wreath of rich contrasts just where you need it most !        

Mark Paul – Greenwall Company  0418 631 351 & 9969 2682‬ inquiries@greenwall.com.au 

.. and if your Greenwall requirements are just part of your scope of work to be Project Managed together, call Garden Designer Peter Nixon or call 0418 161513           

      

How to bring interest …

Mirror at mid point across rear fence will provide ‘look-thru’ interest
 

 

Textural contrasts make year round interest without having to rely entirely on seasonal flowers … and if your only view out looks limited, its probably because the entirety is available to the eye all at once. So how to leverage textural interest you ask ..? Garden Mirrors can make interest, especially to ‘view in one’ garden space. Its just a matter of getting the mirror angle right.

I’m really taking about intrigue here and how that can transform limited looking garden space, by creating an illusion to satisfy the viewer’s eye.

Before ‘open book’ dull … how to make interest ?

 

A lot of intrigue relates directly to an effective impeller, to get Peeps to leave the floorpan of their own volition and go outside into the garden, beyond bi-fold or slides doors. A mirror carefully declined from the top and inclined from the left side, appears at first glance to belong to the rear screen planting. Viewed from the left side on approach, the corresponding planting from the right side is reflected back to the viewer.

In time the grow cable supported climber will conceal the fence

Suddenly, it’s clear the mirror’s reflection doesn’t fit with its surround planting. Rather, it now appears as another light filled, walk thru garden space featuring plants different from the rear screen. The conceit is only made convincing once all mirror edges are obscured with planting. Serving this function in the case of this wee Mosman garden, are the screen shrub (Viburnum odouritissimum ‘Quick Fence’) flanking either side of the mirror and the Grow Cable supported climbers  (Stephanotis floribunda) backing it. 

Watch out for another post on this cheeky little duckling garden and how it will further transform into a graceful swan of beguiling charm.      

Spring is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to change the course of your garden for many years to come !! (while protecting your investment at the same time).

Call Garden designer Peter Nixon 0418 161513 to discuss further.

www.peternixon.com.au 

Trace Sunlounge by Tait designed by Adam Goodrum 9310 1333 Tait, 4/9 Danks Street, Waterloo

Felt & Tails Winter Textures

Madagascan Felt Plant, Giant Landscape Bromeliads with Foxtail Asparagus for wintery textures

Foliage colours and Textural contrasts …bring year round interest, especially when cold winter air falls on plants at this time of year making their winter colours show. Alcantarea odorata brings a chalky bloom over its strap leafed rosette, connecting with the sage green living sculpture of Madagascan Felt Plant (Kalanchoe beharensis). Inter-spaces of Foxtail Asparagus (Asparagus meyerii) are filled with bristly lime green tails for sense of arrival at ‘Sea-Changer’s’ garden gate. Flowers may come and go but for  high focus spots as walk-bys in your garden, its best to rely on plants like these that give generously all year sans flowers.. !

Needing a winter fixer-upperer in your garden before spring rush ? Make a call and we’ll have a chat on how to make your garden even better for the coming summer.

LOVE your garden 😮

Peter Nixon – Paradisus 0418 161513       

Climber/Shrub with winter charm ..

Dombeya ianthotricha soft orange July bells
Lax, open habit makes a good espalier

Garden Lovers,

Dombeya ianthotricha the climbing Dombeya, is a relative of hibiscus and now included into the extended Malvaceaemakes a useful if sprawling, small climber/shrub that lends itself as a kind of loose espalier here at ‘Sea-Changer’ or as a short run climber to less than 5 m wide. Delightful in combination with or alternative to camellias, in Sydney’s cool sub-tropics gardens. Makes an open twig work of arching stems bearing light as air, large fury round leaves like rice paper circles that move with the slightest July breeze. Bunches of persimmon coloured, pollen dusted bells dangle on thin strings, making this Madagascan super charming in the mixed shrub border as well. 

A good find for your garden from specialist growers like Wes & Lorraine Vidler at Weslor Nursery  from Plant Fairs like Plant Lovers Fair Kariong, 22nd to 23rd September ’18. If you’re looking forward to a lush high spring come October, now’s the time to get your garden in order with new planting, structural landscaping and other inclusions like led lighting and irrigation. If you’d like to chat about that, please make contact 0418 161513 and together we can make your garden even better !    

3 Winter Sparkles

Schaueria flavicoma – Golden Plume for the lowest level of your shade garden

Hi Garden Lovers, 

Thought I would send 3 of the best this month, to help brighten your winter garden. Not that the cooler time of the year should be dull by a long shot and flowering interest for the June – July period abounds, if you know the plants that will bring a little sparkle. Especially of interest from the super floriferous Acanthaceae  is a small sub-shrub

Schaueria flavicoma     

I first tried this plant thinking if could be rather cool sensitive. Contrary to my suspicions it excels in the cool sub-tropical winter of East Coast Australia and loses condition only in the worst summer heat. It seeds slightly but not enough to be thuggish and has proven itself a tried performer to less than a meter, beneath taller shrubs like iochroma, brugmansia and phymosia in lower light were few others would continue flowering.

Not unlike its close relatives of the justicia tribe, just mix in with other semi-shade lovers like the species Hippeastrum aulicum for lush appeal. If you’re facing challenges in the shade garden at home … even if its impacted upon by emerged bedrock this little sub-shrub is a star performer. Preparation now for the summer garden is perfect timing and if you’re planning to combine with other non-planted inclusions in paving, decks or shade devises please make contact so we can have a chat on how to make your changes sympathetic to your new garden.

See you in the next 2 posts of super interesting plants !!          

Good performers in the May garden .. for you !!

 

Holmskioldia sanguinea lutea – Chartreuse Chinese Hat

Garden Lovers, did you know there’s another interesting near evergreen shrub to brighten the late garden that’s flowering now.. ? For an intriguing fresh chartreuse splash in the May garden, Holmskioldia sanguinea lutea or Gold Chinese Hat from the lower Himalaya & Myanmar is for you ! I’ve used it here in the ‘Sea-Changer’ garden in the Sun Trap plot that receives northern sun all year but it would also tolerate half day sun as a an upright to lax, 2m shrub with a cut after flowers to bring new canes for the following season. 

Gold Chinese Hat combines well with yellow variegated flashed bromeliad (alcantarea)

Just nearby and for combined ‘pop’ at the same time of year, you could use Barlaria cristata ‘Lavander Lace’   as a really useful sub-shrub to around 1.5m with a cloud of pretty, striped, mini trumpets. 

Barleria cristata ‘Lavander Lace’

Soooooo pretty, just as the worst of the heat has passed and we look into the garden for some fresh seasonal change.     

       

‘Planty Fierce ’18’ …. was a fun day

‘Sea-Changer’ mirror deck with Bruce Buddha

‘Planty Fierce ’18’ at the end of last month was a sparkling Autumn day, refreshed by an early shower and internet was high from all visitors, especially this young one having a closer look at the mirror Buddha on the long deck looking down to ‘Sea-Changer’s’ Shade Hut.

Talking to Ross & Chris Bolwell from ‘Bloom’n Greenery’ nursery

Nothing extinguishes interest and plenty of people arrived into brilliant sunshine in the Sun Trap plot where I spoke to many on questions around how to make their home gardens even better !

The unirrigated “L” shaped, west facing, wrap around garden surrounding ‘Sea-Changer’

The 2pm ‘Walk & Talk’ brought forward many interesting questions, like how to make a ‘green-fence’ alternative to fence palings using Solandra longiflora over black pvc coated mesh. Thanks to all PF ’18 Helpers and Peter & Ruth Donnelly’s fabulous Coachwood sales tables loaded with new and interesting ‘must haves..’.  

‘Planty Fierce’ Saturday week, 28th April 2018 10am – 4pm

Rich textures & foliage colours at Ray Henderson’s ‘Paradox’

Cool sub-tropics gardens ‘Paradox’ and ‘Sea-Changer’ open for ‘Planty Fierce’ on the Central Coast (maps on links) … less than two weeks away !! Inspiration for your home garden or your client’s design and many plants from both gardens available for sale on the day. At ‘Paradox’ learn from Ray Henderson, the huge range of sun adaptable bromeliads that can be grown north facing when you plant them at the right time of year … Find out more about the kind of medium he uses, when to fertilise and how far apart your plants should be for best results.

Bruce Buddha on Peter Nixon’s Mirror Deck in greenwall surround at ‘Sea-Changer’

So many beautiful sub-tropical offerings for your garden from Peter & Ruth Donnally’s Coachwood sales tables at ‘Sea-Changer’.

Bellaperone – big red
Opuntia ‘Burbank’s Spineless’
Ipomea quamoclit – Cypress Vine
Ruellia elegans – Brazilian Petunia

At ‘Sea-Changer’ Peter will give a 2pm designer’s ‘walk & talk’ on how easily new plants could grow for your exciting new home garden or for your designs. So get your gardening buddy, colleague horticulturist, landscaper or garden designer friend together by sharing the       ‘Planty Fierce’ link. Be on the Motorway on ramp at Wahroonga by 9am for the hour or so jaunt up to the Central Coast for a fun day of garden visits either side of lunch in Holgate at Bamboo Buddha !!   

Peter’s 2pm ‘walk & talk’ at ‘Sea-Changer’ 

‘Planty Fierce’ Saturday, 28th April 10am – 4pm, $10 gate each garden, children under 12 free, no dogs, easy parking.

‘Paradox’ 25 Curringa Close, Glenning ValleyRay Henderson Horticulture 0490 263 416‬

‘Sea-Changer’ 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach – Peter Nixon, Paradisus Garden Design     

0418 161513         

‘Planty Fierce’ Saturday, 28th April 2018 10am – 4pm $10 gate at each garden

Manettia cordifolia – Brazilian Firecracker Vine at ‘Sea-Changer’ shade hut, a thick, high summer rug of tiny scarlet bells

Garden Lovers, see Facebook Event page for Planty Fierce details this year, bringing you two Central Coast gardens. Visit Ray Henderson’s iconic ‘Paradox’ at Glenning Valley in the morning and my ‘Sea-Changer’  after lunch at nearby Forresters Beach. Its a lovely day out of the city, to see a pair of exciting designer gardens as inspiration for your own, just an hour’s drive north on the Pacific Motorway from the on ramp at Wahroonga. 

‘Paradox’ vibrant textures and exciting plants sales

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible, I’ll be giving a ‘ Q & A walk & talk’ at 2pm 

Peter Nixon’s ‘Sea-Changer’ – 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach plant sales by Coachwood’s Ruth & Peter Donnally  

Ray Henderson’s ‘Paradox’ – 25 Curringa Close, Glenning Valley plants sales featuring sun tolerant bromeliads with designer companion plantings

NOTE: many of the plants you see at each garden will be for sale on the day !!  

 

‘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

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 ) 

 

 

      

‘Tabu’ by Mark Vowles in Cairns

 

 

 

Delicate copper water lily leaves at ‘Tabu’Garden Lovers, May last year brought the chance to revisit Cairns

Garden Lovers, May last year brought the chance to revisit Cairns and a long time colleague and friend Mark Vowles and his partner and interior designer Fairlie Kerr.  

‘Tabu’, I would say, is the distillation of all Mark has learnt about wet tropics garden making and the  planting combinations that excel in the monsoon driven rainforest. 

Inviting descent to the cleverly designed pool ‘fence free’ pool

Aside from the  impressive garden, ‘Tabu’ is also a swish Bed & Breakfast I can highly recommend for that next visit you’re planning to FNQ… !!