Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Ginger Festival

Today we went to the Ginger Factory at Yandina - about an hours drive up the road. It was their annual Flower and Food Festival. Ginger plants, ginger recipes, cooking demonstrations and gardening talks.

I did not buy one ginger plant.

As we walked into the main cafeteria we were greeted by this enormous floral arrangement featuring beehive and torch gingers as well as various heliconia and other flowers. (This is just the lower half)

Heliconias (my favourite flower) made up the upper half

To get an idea of scale, you can see it was twice the height of a person.

There's an extensive garden shaded by large trees. The ideal growing conditions for gingers and other tropical plants.

Love this combination

This was the view from where we sat to eat lunch.
They sell all manner of ginger products - cosmetics, candles, etc, jams and sauces and chocolate coated ginger (some of that came home with us)
I didn't buy any ginger plants because they need more shelter than we can provide yet. Heliconias, on the other hand, don't mind full sun and when they grow tall will help provide shade for the ginger plants I might buy next year.
I did buy a few heliconias

they're already in the ground.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A new shade house

John and I decided that we would give each other something for the garden for Christmas this year.
He erected my present over the weekend and it's already been put to use. Stay tuned for John's present.... It's next on the list.
Eventually a lot of the bromeliads will live around the garden, but until there's enough shade to protect them, they have a new home. There's a few other assorted plants in there as well - a few orchids and crab cactus, but mostly broms that we brought with us. They will get a little morning sun, but shade for the rest of the day.

Our other little project last weekend was to create a more permanent area for the succulents. When we moved I poked small pieces of various succulents into bonsai pots and other small pots, often 4 or 5 types in the one pot. They've been sitting on the ground near the laundry door and have grown and multiplied. I hope they do as well in their new home. It's actually the same area but we made steps from leftover bricks so the area looks neater.

All of those flapjacks (Kalanchoe luciae) at the front came from the one plant producing multiple babies.

I still have a couple of mixed pots to separate, though I actually like the look of the mixed plantings.
Originally, I bought the bonsai pots thinking I might try to learn the art of bonsai, but I'm starting to think that they may be better used as pots for mixed succulent plantings.

I can see this area expanding as our succulent collection expands. Maybe we'll even create a succulent wall.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Welcome 2016, may you be a great one.

A little late I know, but Happy New Year everyone!

We've had a busy time lately, including a trip to South Australia with my brother to visit an uncle who has been ill, as well as the usual Christmas festivities.
It's back  to work and the usual routine again now.... and time to catch up with blogging.

Meanwhile the garden is slowly developing.

I added a few annuals to the front garden to fill in the spaces while the permanent plants get going.

At the top of the stairs we created a courtyard effect with a water feature (goldfish included, of course). Recognise the bowl. We brought it with us.

Welcome rain is helping the plants along the back fence

Can you pick the colour scheme ?

Have you guessed yet?

What? Need more clues?

John has built two wooden screens which not only make great vertical gardens but provide a windbreak and some additional privacy. At the moment we've planted them with annuals for a quick burst of colour, but I'm still deciding on permanent plants for them.

Living near the ocean is wonderful in so many ways, but can also have some issues. Sometimes we get a lovely sea breeze much appreciated on a summers day. Sometimes we get an annoying wind that dries out the pots very quickly and has even snapped a couple of plants off at ground level.

The plants along the side fence were chosen mainly for screening. It will take some time, but eventually they will be higher than the fence. They're coming along well.

The next job on our list is to plant some grass.

It will be interesting, I think, to look back at the garden at the end of this year.