Cool Sub-trops Sydney Gardens Talk tomorrow (Tues) night on Zoom..!

Aloe ‘Fairy Pink’ a frothy April player for any sunny cool subtrop’s garden

Join me tomorrow night, Tuesday 27th October from 7.30pm when I’ll be narrating the Cool Subtropics story, for garden making in frost free Sydney for Tropical Garden Society of Sydney .

Click here https://www.facebook.com/events/3356306861103388/ from 7.30pm, then click on blue field saying ‘Join Meeting’ from my FB page … soooo easy !

Looking forward to ‘seeing’ you then and don’t forget, we can use the Chat option to answer your burning questions. Put it in your planner now Peeps!!!

‘Sea-Changer’ Shade Hut refuge from a hot day ..

Give Netflix a rest tomorrow night and learn something new to make your garden even better 🙂

Winter Sparkles …

Aloe ‘Venus’ a winter happy mound
to around 80cm tall

Garden Lovers, winter may be cool but never dull, when you know some hard working star performers to bring easy charm to your garden.

Cymbidium ‘Ice Cascade’ hybrid plant also excellent for baskets

Who would have thought we’d be imagining a cool, wet winter back in the bush fires of March Garden Lovers ? Anyway, here we are savouring the delights of planting that favours wintertime in the cool sub-tropics. Lower temps are the trigger for many of these to come into flower, or simply have such late flowering periods they can extend into the winter.

Aechmea wilkleri like little orange Christmas Trees tilted over ..

Many make excellent planting for containers like the bromeliads & cymbidium orchids that you may like to bring inside to enjoy their flowers as part of the house interior ..

Hibiscus mutabilis – Rose of Sharon

Others burst into seasonal interest like Hibiscus mutabilis and Tibouchina ‘David Bowen’ for the mixed shrub border. Cut to shape after flowers to ensure a good spring flush to support flowers that can extend into the June garden …

Tibouchina ‘David Bowen’ a late white flowering hybrid into early winter

And don’t forget cool weather warm bulbs like the species hippeastrums H. aulicum & H. psittacinum for stained glass colour sparkles in the semi-shade garden.

Hippeastrum psitticinum a sparkling Brazilian jewel that grows as an epiphyte on ‘Sea-Changer’s’ mirror deck greenwalls
Hippeastrum aulicum clumping forward of the mixed shrub border – and thanks to Susan Trathen for these seedlings she raised me from her own
Balgowlah Heights garden

The element of surprise is often forgotten in cool subtrops gardens, easily remedied with summer humidity hardy South African bulbs from the Fynbos.

Sparaxis grandiflora ssp. acutiloba an easy fynbos bulb for our winter gardens

Cool Subtrops Talk for Sydney Gardens

Don’t forget I’ll be giving a talk at the re-scheduled springtime dates for Collectors Plant Fair ’20 – 1pm Saturday, 26th September, Hawkesbury Race Course expressly on my Sydney cool subtropics gardens, to help you make a better garden with planting that’s a fit to the growing conditions you have in your own home garden. Mark your planners & buy your tix online now to avoid the cue !!

Native Intense

Mid October each year finds me scrutinising the Kurrajong’s (Brachchiton bidwillii ‘Little Ripper’) near bare branches, looking for tiny signs of secrete flowers to come ..

See more at Paradisus

This one has the slightly more pink coral flowers of the B. bidwillii type, in a hybrid called ‘Little Ripper’ by Brent Vieritze at Colours of Eden. He’s actually ingeniously grafted the hybrid flowering B. bidwillii ‘Little Ripper’ onto a B. rupestrus – QLD Bottle Tree trunk. A little ripper it is !!

B. rupestrus to B. bibwillii ‘Little Ripper’ graft line

My tree is now around 4 years old here at ‘Sea-Changer’ and I’m guessing will reach around 4m tall, so it fits the small space garden well for a norther aspect. Brent doesn’t know if the trunk beneath the graft, will swell out to become the characteristically ‘bottle’ shape. Time will tell and if it does I’m imagining a hero tree with a rather interesting silhouette, like a barrel with a small domed canopy on top.

Last year’s seed pods add another ornamental feature
Flower encrusted stems attach nectar feeders also ..

I noticed northern beaches artist Julie Hickson’s very beautiful Pod &Pod display of all native, woodblock inspired freshness at The Other Art Fair by Saatchi at Barangaroo last weekend. Among so many beauties, there was also a new work featuring Brachychiton bidwillii a perfect Xmas gift for garden loving friends & fam.