Top of the Rock …. last October Nurse Taylor and I travelled to exciting Cape Town and ascended Table Mountain. So many good garden plants come from South Africa and getting to see them and the gardens they are made from, was a lifetime in the making .. and did NOT disappoint.
And of course, we couldn’t have travelled so far without visiting a few rather accomplished Garden Designers and their handiwork. One of the most prominent and in the beautiful wine lands at Franschhoek Valley was the super charmed home garden and labour of love by Henk Scholtz.
The attention to detail and true whimsy that Henk makes his garden from is truely unique to him and the South African sensibility. Artistic quirk only begins to cover it, like this store mannequin covered in ceramic mosaic, complete with tin lid skirt and shell belt accompanied by wire pigs.
Rear planting space topiary ‘lawn’
Will show you more of the Capetown Great Adventure in another post
RE: Designer Peter Nixon ‘Clifton’ Masterclass
on Sydney Cool Sub-tropics Gardens 7 Woolwich Road, Hunters Hill, 10am – 11.30am Wednesday 1st May, 2019 for L’Arche 4 Sydney
Dear Garden Lovers,
Thanks hugely for the kind responses and assurances for those of you who have responded already since last week’s post to attend my Masterclass $25 @ the door for L’Arche 4 Australia. Some readers have reported difficulty in making their attendance response in the Comments field.. so I’ve fixed it ! To show you would like to attend (or even with a gardening friend as well..) use the following –
1.Simply scroll to the end of this follow up post, where the number of comments are shown. 2.Click on that comments number for the view and the view will jump to a view showing all comments so far. 3.Scroll to the end and Leave a Reply appears with a comment field & hit Post Comment
Sooooooooo easy …. and look forward to seeing all of you interested in leveraging the knowledge about your own gardens from Wednesday’s Masterclass, by also joining me here at ‘Sea-Changer’ Instagram the following Saturday, 4th May 10am – 2pm Designers ‘walk & talk’ at midday.
Seats are limited for this exciting ‘Clifton’ Masterclass on Sydney Cool Sub-tropics Gardens, so to give myself and ‘Clifton’ owner / Hunters Hill Open Gardens Convenor Felicity McCaffrey an idea on numbers … PLEASE respond today 😮
Garden Lovers, hoping you will join me at beautiful ‘Clifton’ in Hunters Hill for a Masterclass on cool subtropics planting to suit our coastal Sydney gardens.
Felicity McCaffery, owner of ‘Clifton’ and Hunters Hill Open Gardens Convenor, has agreed to host my talk to shed further light across the dazzling array of planting bandwidth that fits between our cool subtropical goal posts.
See a 40 minute keynote presentation with 20 minutes for questions, of a selection of my Sydney designs and the current home work garden ’Sea-Changer’ at Forresters Beach, Central Coast, on how to make a better garden in warm temperate, coastal, frost free growing conditions.
Find out more about what cool sub-tropics gardening is and the exciting plants you could be growing that are a fit to our brief winters and long sultry, thunder storm filled summers to make your garden great again.Part Wendy Whiteley’s garden at Lavender Bay, expanded into seasonal colour blasts, year round textural contrasts, low maintenance and next to nil predation.
The Masterclass includes a cool subtropics mini tube plant to try at home, plus free admission to my ‘Sea-Changer’ garden on Saturday 4th May 10am – 2pm, 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach.
Limited numbers for this exciting talk and something to look forward to after Easter Holidays!! To hold the event Felicity and I need to get an idea on numbers. To show your interest in attending, please click on the ‘leave a comment’ field at the bottom left of this post.
WHERE: ‘Clifton’ 7 Woolwich Road, Hunters Hill
WHO: Garden Designer Peter Nixon – Paradisus
WHEN: 10am – 11.30am, Wednesday 1st May ’19
RSVP: to show you’d like to attend Friday 1st March
Useful summer shade in Australian gardens is a must have … if we are going to enjoy them … right ? So if your Shade Hut faces north, you will also know low winter sun will shine under its roofing and to the back of the structure to make toasty winter seating for June/July when you need it. You might like to choose a hefty permanent climber, to ensure a nice cool high summer refuge, that’s spared burning sun for the greatest part of the year … no?
Enter African Whytei’s Ginger (Mondia whytei) from sub-tropical Malawi and its luxurious glossy canopy, perfect for shade. Beneath the leaves open to easy view, hang dark cherry bunches of rather ornamental December flowers. Tends semi deciduous for the first couple of winters and fairly evergreen after that, with surging ropey leaders that would easily cover a 10 m wide structure.
For a smaller Shade Hut less than 5 meters across but still facing north, consider gorgeously sci-fi Gold Fingers (Juanaloa aurantiaca) from tropical Mexico. Usefully winter deciduous to allow June/July sun through, the stiffly arching habit is more climber/shrub than an entirely support dependent climber. Woody stems bare terminal bunches of curiously 5 sided hoods, concealing jaffa orange flower tubes that burst through each end. The slightest tap on the hoods release puffs of pollen and I notice there must be a symbiosis with a few ants that probably defend flowers from predators in return for nectar.
And at the small evergreen twiner end is Mexican Fire Vine (Senicio confusus ) a bright, dainty light creeper that I find useful for covering one end of the laser cut panel that holds the Shade Hut’s N/W side up. Very butterfly attracting, I notice this would probably self seed a few little plants to give away to friends for its charming ultra orange summer daisies.
So if you’re finding more use would be made of the garden, if only there were somewhere comfortable to relax out of the fierce sun; I’m sure together, we could work out the perfect Shade Hut to make your dream garden even better 🙂
Select plants to suit your garden’s growing conditions and let them do most of the heavy lifting for you. That’s always been my message to you Garden Lovers and really nothing’s changed. What changes all the time is the kaleidoscopic expansion of interesting planting to make gardens from across the Designer Growers Network. These are my go to Growers to kick planting winners between the cool sub-tropics goal posts we garden in.
Micro-climate gardening of minimum winter overnight temp’s not falling beneath 5 or 6 degrees, modified by close proximity to the harbour/ocean. Cool subtropics could have a brief dry winter but these days, rain could come at any time, so plant selection that will tolerate cool and wet conditions during the June/July period is a consideration. Elevated humidity levels above 70% between Xmas and April with persistent high summer temps above 35 degrees, with a dry spring is also very likely between September and December.
And its not always flowers that bring interest. Don’t forget other parts of plants that can catch the eye just as well. One of the most conspicuous of the Giant Landscape Bromeliads, Alcantarea patriae has flower scape bracts of bright raspberry shades.
Some ‘flowers’ are really persistent bracts that surround the tiny central inflorescences. Very deserving of that unirrigated hot spot facing west, in-fact I don’t think mine have fallen out of flower since planting 4 years ago !
Probably at the edge of the cool subtropical range, Musical Note- Clerodendron incisum, has an inflorescence so eye catching its hardly possible to miss it. Useful as a front of the border sub-shrub to less than 1m, its lacy charms are a high summer delight.
There’s just a suggestion ‘Sea-Changer’ MAY open again this year for ‘Planty Fierce’. Stay tuned for more information on this and in the meantime, consider making contact if you, your bestie since primary school, your 20 years long work colleague or brother is making changes at home. Whether a new house build, major reno or simply an upgrade to the front of rear garden space, NOW is the time to make it known, so works can complete way before the Xmas deadline.
Coming into its first proper season, lush high summer growth is beginning to merge with this garden mirror. In time, viburnum foliage flanking both sides will obscure the vertical glass edges and the top edge will be wreathed in Madagascan Jasmine (Stephanotis floribunda).
Make 2019 be the year your garden transforms into the living refuge you’ve always wanted !!
Special thanks to Tansi McInerney for generously allowing Paradisus design images of her Mosman garden to be published on Garden Lovers Blog 🙂 Tansi McInerney for Prime Minister.
Have you got somewhere you have to be ? … is probably one of the most often asked questions from others or we ask of ourselves. Usually requires a quick response, wedged between appointments, paying bills and the weekly shop. When applied to our mental heath, slower consideration can bring us to a less clear idea of whether a place exists for us … just ‘to be’.
Gardens are much more than pretty infill of the step out void surrounding dwellings.I believe parts of them can be dedicated to quiet places, that let in the light of an uncluttered peace. This time of year can bring us closer to more frequent mental health breaks in the garden, when its easier to detach in the warm haze of a summer’s evening to the pulsing drone of cicadas, before the ferocity of an impending year carries us off at much faster pace.
If you’re thinking of making changes in the garden, are grappling with a renovation or even a new build, don’t forget consideration of a meditation space. For you to sit and let go, without the need for planning it. A sort of drop in spot, for a minute or ten or longer … And if this is something you would like to bring into the existing garden now, (well, why not ?), I’d love to help you ! … Enjoy your summer 🙂
Shady relief from high summer heat.. to enter a place that’s visually cool is what this inner city court garden is all about. Uses Madagascan Felt Plant (Kalanchoe beharensis) with bromeliads (Aechmea comata foreground & Vriesea fillipo-cobergi ‘L’il Phil’ background) with Iresine herbstii left side.
Hot reflective surfaces and harsh visual ‘bounce back’ from the built environment of the inner city, can make such places hard to find. That’s why we must make our own.
Open to the northern from the street end, it’s good to get shady relief from a tree canopy for twin step out spaces from respective Living & Kitchen.
Beware though, to match vigour to available space or the welcome dappled shade you had in mind might turn into a monstrous maintenance burden that will swamp your small space ! Brachychiton or Kurrajongs are a beautiful tribe of natives adapted to the wet or dry sub-tropics. Vibrant early summer flowers cover almost leafless branches, followed by a lush canopy just in time for summer shade. Even though a relatively small grower compared to other species, B. bidwillii is made even more compact by grafting its ‘Little Ripper’ or ‘Tangerine Bells’ hybrid onto a QLD Bottle Tree (B. rupestrus) trunk.. 😮 Being winter deciduous, bare stems then also allow weaker, low angled sun to warm your back on days when that’s that’s really appreciated with your Saturday morning cuppa.
Provide a ‘green-back’ for all to read against with a cascading cover of Grow cable supported Costa Rican Bow Tie Vine, that will soon be speckled with rosy mauve metallic flower bracts and your inner city heat refuge is complete.
Perhaps your sister, friend you went to primary school with or twenty years long work colleague is facing the exciting but sometimes daunting prospect of home renovation, a new build or just wants to transform a section of the garden that’s been on their ‘to do list’ for longer than they can remember .. ?
Late December & a beachside Xmas are things that go together for a lot of Australians. A salty marine breeze with the drowsy drone of cicadas, bring on the great exhale. A chance for most of us to turn an undivided attention to beach umbrellas and a glassy clear wave to wash away the years that’s been.
Of course, some are lucky enough to live year round, close to the seductive charms of coastal living. This doesn’t mean a sea side garden has to be located close to the ocean to make a marine theme convincing. If a coastal combination pings hard on the must have qualities for a garden you’re thinking about, its just a matter of the right planting to suggest a coastal location to come home to every day.
Heat sink winter growing conditions facing north, store warmth and can incline minimum overnight temps higher to above 10 degrees, to encourage a micro climate that can allow for planting from the warmest sub-tropics to excel.
Make this summer the time you chose to make lasting changes in your garden, to your new build or reno. It could be a ‘sea-side’ garden with plants that will be a pleasure to come home to every day.
Special thanks to my dear client Tania Wilson, who kindly allowed these pix of her MacMasters Beach Paradisus design to be published in Garden Lovers Blog.
Summer days are upon us and as increasing warmth draws us poolside, you might be thinking of the best combination for your setting. Least obstruction to this enticing Balmoral outlook uses frameless glass, with the beauty of plantation hardwood decking and large limestone pave units for the least joins and greatest cohesion across a handsome combination of finishes.
And if every deck meter is precious entertaining space for you, why not consider a greenwall in a ‘Green-band’ horizontal orientation. Can be independently supported behind and above a glass balustrade, bringing soft-cover balance to the built environment without space consuming pots or the high maintenance that comes with them.
Leverage a foliage colour blast green-band, with deck up-lights for nocturnal glamour while your greenwall does double duty, providing visual buffer to give the deck experience more enclosure without reducing a desirable open sky aspect.
Simple textural contrasts in poolside planting can give the greatest impact year round without having to rely on fleeting flowers. Maybe the perfect radial of a Giant Landscape Bromeliad (Alcantarea imperialis ‘Sugar Plum’), against the ultra fine of Ice Sticks (Senecio cylindricus) and backed with a ‘living of fence’ of glossy leaved Viburnum ‘Quick Fence’ (that stays non-transparent unlike the basic V. odouritissimum it come from ..).
One end of your pools in need of focus ? Enter unframed laser cut panels, that merge and contrast with feature planting, without a harsh frame that would emphasise the panel rather that the planting.
Don’t forget to include an outside shower at the poolside, allows you to make the most of garden life so you can stay longer in your little piece of paradise.