Friday, October 8, 2010


Its always daunting coming home after some time away. Will the garden be OK?  Or has everything dried out and died?  Well the other day I returned home after a short break and was pleasantly surprised. Even though I had forgotten to put my seedling punnets in a plate of water they were still OK just slightly wilted. Thank goodness marigolds are very hardy they were as good as new after a good water.

The best thing about coming home was to find that my muraya seeds have grown into beautiful seedlings.  I had picked some seeds from a neighbours orange jessamine bush and planted them in my little seed raising house not expecting much to happen but to my joy four little plants are growing rapidly and nearly ready to plant out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


A bed of flowers to look at all year round.

Auntie Marge loves her flowers.
There's always something special about a drive in the country, especially when the destination is as pretty and peaceful as this one. I'm talking about the beautiful property of a couple lovingly known as Auntie Marge and Uncle Burt.

A view of the drive from the house.

A single rose adds some colour.

I've been noticing how beautiful the flower arrangements are each week at my church and recently found out they are grown in a garden planned to have flowers all year round. I was so curious I just had to see this garden full of flowers for all seasons.
Everyone feels welcome in this garden.

My friend and I were lucky enough to be invited out to visit Auntie Marge and had a full VIP tour of the incredible flower garden. Apart from the flowers, the property which has housed Marge, Burt and their seven children has been their home for the past forty five years and has amazing rural views as far as the eye can see.

  My friend commented that our afternoon visit to Auntie Marge's property was like going on a holiday and even though we were only there for an hour or two, I have to agree that I left feeling totally refreshed.

 After our tour of the garden and giving my camera a good workout we were treated to some good old fashioned country hospitality and a cup of tea just isn't the same with out a home made slice.  That's right, not only can Auntie Marge grow and arrange the most beautiful flowers, she also bakes a groovalicious slice.

We were lucky enough to take these ones home.
Flower power still going strong

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Beautiful Bay Window

It's been one of those epic spring days, warm sun, light breeze and the sound of lawn mowers all around.  What better day to catch up on one of those half done jobs that just seems too hard to tackle.  This particular job is like getting waxed, it's extremely difficult and painful at the time but when its all finished the results make it all worth the kicking and screaming.  Yes I'm talking about garden bed preparation, I haven't really done a lot of this before because the idea of digging and removing grass just seemed too hard but I have to say, broken up into small steps this garden bed was quite do-able and I'm glad it's all over.

I was lucky enough that my mum came to stay a few weeks ago and she is quite handy with a shovel so she had made a great start around the base of our bay window. We took cuttings from a geranium and planted them all around below the window but the ground needed work, it had been overgrown with grass and not much else in a full sun afternoon position, it needed some love.

Since then I've used a pick to dig an edge and loosen up the grass. Then I've pulled the grass out by hand, then I neatened the edge with a shovel, then I added new garden blend soil, and now its ready for more plants.  So I've started a row of blue salvia seedlings about 30cm out from geraniums and 30cm apart. I just need one more punnet of six and the planting will be complete.

For mulch I'm using sugar cane mulch because I can get it around the corner for $8 a bale and it goes a long way on the garden. After I plant, I water first then I mulch.  After all that hard work it was nice to pop around the corner and pick up a few more bales of mulch. Only a tiny bit of planting and mulching left to finish this garden bed and that's the fun part. YES I can relax, the hardest part is over and it looks soooooo much better.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where do I start?

I have talked to many people including gardening professionals who have said " I have so much to do in my garden I just don't know where to start!" Well lets make it simple, it can be overwhelming looking out at a disgusting garden of overgrown plants and weeds and barely distinguishable (if any) garden beds. When I moved into this house I loved the layout of the garden but it was so neglected and over grown I really needed to fix every thing, so here's what I did over time, a little bit here a little bit there.

I started with simple maintenance of the garden so I could at least see what needs to be changed.

No 1# Mow the lawn, trim edges

No 2# Remove all dead trees and plants. (These are ugly and depressing and don't belong in the garden.)

No 3# Go inside the house and look out of every single window you can, (I took video of all the window views) Then look out every door to the garden. Its a good idea to take reference photos so you can make before and afters then you'll know how much better it looks once you have worked your groove.

No 4# Go to any potential out door entertaining areas where you may one day put a chair or table. Turn around and look in all directions. Do yo like anything you see? Do you hate anything you see? (Take photos /video)

No 5# Go to the front gate or street and look at the front door/entrance to your house. What is the first impression people get when they walk towards the house? Can you see the house? Do you want to see the house? (Remember you want to love every view)
This process is really important to give you an idea of your over all garden and you may start thinking up ideas for each window view, yes even the laundry window.

No 6# Go to the place you spend the most time at your home, look out the window. This should be the view you see the most when you are home. What stands out? Is there an ugly unloved area waiting to be groovey? (This for me was the central garden feature, a brick edged circular garden bed with a broken bird bath in the middle, missing the bowl and the whole thing covered in peeling ugly green paint and full of every weed possible.  PERFECT!) 

No 7# By now I hope you have  found your first unloved make over spot. So get your groove on and go for it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I have a dream!!!

In that dream I can look out any window of my house and LOVE the view.  I can walk past my garden and stand at the gate and this dream garden looks great from every angle.
I am going to make this dream a reality.

Join me on my journey of "garden beautification" as I hit make over madness.