Friday, 28 November 2014

Open Gardens in Adelaide part 1

I’ve just come back from a holiday in my home town of Adelaide in South Australia. While I was there we visited two gardens that were participating in the Open Gardens Scheme, a scheme where private gardens are opened to the public for one or two days on a weekend for a small charge and money raised goes to their favourite charity and to keep the scheme going (when I was doing research into this I discovered that Open Gardens Australia is calling it quits at the end of this spring–autumn season so get out there now while you can). The information that was on the website about these gardens has now been taken down so I can’t confidently tell you more than that they were both in the Adelaide hills area.

These photos were taken at the first place we visited– a small farm with a few grapevines and horses.

They had some sculpture on sale and these were dotted about the garden;

a topiary bed, including a holly bush;

hedges between the sheds;

weeping trees – a silver birch on the right and mulberry on the left;

and roses and flowers everywhere

Happy Gardening

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Today I’m going to talk about the self-seeding plants I have in my garden, and since it’s November the 11th, Remembrance Day, I’m going to start with the poppies.

I have bought punnets of Flanders field poppies from time to time (usually available in the shops from late autumn) and I now get poppies coming up willy-nilly in the front yard. This year’s poppy has come up in my newly-created garden bed but often they will just pop up where they can. 

This one is from a couple of years ago. I love them!

The other punnet planted self-seeders are these coastal daisies or erigeron. The design of this bed was actually prompted by a sense of nostalgia, since I had the whole of my side garden area (not a huge area by the way) planted with it at my previous home, with narrow meandering paths weaving their way through it. I like the look – it’s always been my dream to have a meadow and this is the closest, lowest maintenance effect I could find. 

They are perennials and I have irises (in spring), trees, lavender and roses thrown in there as well. So it’s a sort of field I guess. The erigeron has a tendency to smother a lot of plants so it’s difficult to have variety on the same height level because it just gets taken over. I also prune it down in winter to keep the height down a bit. Anyway, what started as two or three punnets has quickly spread to cover the area.

When I first moved in here, faced with the prospect of designing and planting most of the yard, I went for some short-term solutions by throwing in some seeds. 

Most didn't come up or perhaps were eaten when they were too small to be noticeable. 

Nasturtiums did. And every winter they create a sea of green, and then flower in spring. Summers here are too hot for them and they have usually gone by Christmas.