Friday, 24 February 2012

Lilian Fraser Garden

I was on the way back from Dural (collecting plants for my clients) and I thought I would stop at Lilian Fraser Garden on a recommendation from a client.  She had told me about the garden as her daughter had hired the garden for her daughter's birthday party.

To give you a brief history it once was a poultry farm that once stocked Sydney's eggs, citrus, apples, pears and summer fruit.  Now a lady called Dr Lilian Fraser worked for the Department of Agriculture back in the 1940's working on Citrus diseases including Phytophthora (a root diseases that is now affecting many of the Eucalyptus around the foreshores of the harbour).  Anyway she did travel lots with work both in Australia and around the world and brought plants back with her for the garden many that have grown into large trees. Having no family Dr Fraser donated her land to Hornsby council so that it could be enjoyed as a public garden.  Something I am grateful for.

So on my visit I found there was not much in colour but it was fantastic place to rest in the cool shade.  I absolutely loved the many small pathways that compelled you to take a look at what was around the corner. I imagine it would be the best place to play hide and seek.

I also loved it rambling nature that wasn't an overly trimmed and tidy garden as some of the very manicured gardens are today.  While I see a lot of work that I could do I am happy to just enjoy it for what it is.  I really must stop in during autumn and spring when this garden will really come into it's own.

I will be interested to see the wisteria in flower in spring

If you hire the garden you can also hire the hut with the basic sink and kettle

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Tour of the garden

Wow it is amazing how busy it gets with an extra 3 people in the house (and we 3 had moved out before the guests arrived!).  So haven't our South African guests been treated to some fabulous weather this week?  It has been a joy although much warmer in the garden and I have noticed the pots are getting very very dry so I must get the hose out later this afternoon.

Any how I thought I would give you a bit more of a glimpse around the garden although i have been busier this week on the clients gardens. So as you can see Mr R has finished the paving so it marries to the slab under the deck (which fingers crossed might be re-built this year). We are hoping to nail a sheet up across the posts under the deck for V's big 21st outdoor movie party spectacular.  So the garden in front has all been chopped back so people can see the actual screen from the grassed area and I have to say i really upset some of those bees that were happily buzzing through the salvia flowers.

So I was standing on the grass zone looking back at our tiny pool area (well it is big enough for the dog). we actually own a few meters behind here but it is mostly weeds.  We have cleared it out several times but the weeds come back faster than you can imagine so next time I think we will have to have some sort of plan for redesign and planting so it looks like someone cares.

I was really lucky two weeks ago when my Dad's cousin gave me a massive clump of Sydney Rock Orchid which I am thinking I might cut into the massive rock surface just at the bottom right hand corner of this picture.  I can already imagine how fantastic it is going to look.

I am sorry I didn't take a photo back around to the left beyond the shed at the vegie garden but I have to say it is looking very ordinary indeed.  So it will be a photo for another day.  Although I can happily say i just popped in some snow peas, cabbage and leek so when they get a little growth on I shall get snapping.

I had to add this photo of Mr R and Diba who looks like he is not impressed that he has stopped working.  See I told you Diba takes his supervising role very seriously indeed :o)

Talk to you soon

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A taste of the tropics

So the rain did actually stop this week which I guess is good as I got to actually get out and work.  Of course this means apart from the random weeds I pulled and mow the lawns I haven't done much my garden. Mr R is cracking on with some paving out the front.  Widening the drive and sorting out the raised areas thanks to the Liquidambar roots.

So I haven't told you that it is V's 21st coming up so there is a massive push to try and get the house and garden sorted for the (fingers crossed) outdoor movies. V's mum and 2 sisters arrive tomorrow from South Africa and his gran from the UK next week so the house will be so packed that I might have to sleep in the garden?  It might not be such a bad thing if only I could sleep walk and fill the green waste bin with all the weeds and clippings.

Anyhow I don't have many photos to post of my garden so I thought I might add a few I took last August in Cairns Botanical Gardens.  They were quite beautifully laid out and had some excellent specimens.  The top side was maintained with fabulous results (photos included).  However as a result of Cyclone Yasi the rainforest walk had been very badly hit and not as interesting as I would have hoped.  Perhaps another year on it might looking up?  If you are in Cairns needed a break from all that it offers I recommend you pop into the Botanical gardens and have a wander.  The coffee shop had really tasty things.

Jade Plant (Stronglodon Macrobotiys)
Brownea grandiceps x coctinea

Monday, 6 February 2012

Narrawallee overgrown

It's my dad's birthday is this week so I drove the 3 and a half hrs it takes to get to the lovely Narrawallee (near Ulladulla on the south coast) for the weekend.  I figured the best thing I could do for him was the garden.  He tells me he doesn't ever fancy getting out into the garden much these days (I am not really convinced he ever much liked doing it).

The weeds were up to my knees in places and the lavender was desperate for a prune as it had been swamped under the osteospermum (cape daisy).  It really is very invasive but in my defence when I put them in I hoped dad might keep them under control....  I have learnt better it was a mistake just like the plumbago and saliva 'Hot Lips'.

They live a 5min walk to the beach so the soil is almost pure sand, so the newbies needed to be tough. So dad's birthday gift includes: Kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos spp.), a red flowering gum (Corymbia ficifolia) and a couple of  white echinaceas.  It looked much more impressive than this overexposed picture.  

There is still masses to do but alas after all the rain I had to get back in the van to play catch up after last weeks rain sodden mess.  So I have mum and dad on the bench to admire my handiwork and hopefully water it in well (Don't forget the Seasol Dad)

Diba 'the beastie' loving the lagoon

Friday, 3 February 2012

So it rains

I am wondering if it is worth building an ark.  There has been a lot of rain this week which is good as it means I get to have some time off to work on things (such as V's big 21st that seems to approaching quickly). Looks like I will have to finally get on with doing the dreaded book-keeping that is far to far behind.

the last of the blueberries on the sodden table
If nothing else the lettuce are looking amazing, thanks rain

So how are you all coping with the rain?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

And the results...

So as I mentioned in the last post we are re-modelling the section that comes off the back deck to get you into the garden more comfortably.  So the pavers are up the garden out, stupid palm tree is down and terraces divided.
V and Mr Owl ensure palm falls the right way
Mr R has worked for days (weeks in fact) on bricking up the terraces.  Laying both the grass (well of course there was a lot of help there) and pavers which will be underneath the deck at some stage in the future. How smart do they look?

But wait here is how good they look with the grass

Mr R and V proud of their efforts

So the last step was a bit of a big drop back to the original grass level so have added extra top soil and a row of extra turf to soften the last step.  What do you think?