"Breathe deep, fly high, seek peace"

"Breathe deep, fly high, seek peace"

-Skybax rider motto

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


What a stinker today was, & looks like another one tomorrow as well, have to get up early to water & hope nothing gets too badly burnt.
My spathyphyllum is flowering really well this year, it gets about an hour of sun at 6am & then is in full shade, which seems to agree with it.
This begonia runs rampant & I have to keep cutting it back which means I miss out on the flowers.  The flowers are so pretty, a very delicate pink.  It is in full shade, but it doesnt seem to mind the morning sun & I need to turn it frequently as it strains towards the light.  I think it should be in a much bigger pot or the ground.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Flowering cactus

My poor epiphyllum had been banished since birth to the far back corner of the garden.
I struck two different ones from Dads, approx 18mths ago & shoved both pieces together in a terracotta pot & popped it out of site not to be glanced upon since, such a glorious suprise yesterday when a flash of red caught my eye.

Pitty about the rest of the plant!

I think its trying to tell me something -
Even if you totally ignore me & let snails & slugs run rampant all over me I can still show you the love!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Heaven scent

Spring is nearly over, but these shrubs are just begining.
This hot pink carpet rose was a gift to my mum for mothers day many years ago, she had it in a hanging basket on her front patio & it rewarded her with a continuous display.  Mum & Dad have since moved to a "Lifestyle village" where only native plants are allowed.  I score the carpet rose & a gardenia, which I have repotted & I think they are all very happy.  I just love hot pink flowers!
These 3 gardenias are so happy this year & I know why!  WATER!
Im very very stingy with my watering, liking mostly drought tolerant plants, which these are definitely not.  They have always struggled, wilting, dropping their buds, and one year they lost all their leaves, I thought they had died, but no, it rained & little green shoots pushed through.  so end of spring 2010 I repotted all three into self watering pots & have made a (very) concerted effort to keep the water up and although its paid off I cannot believe how much they guzzle. They only get the morning sun, but already Im watering them every second day, wondering if its worth it, then I go out the back door & am knocked over by their intoxicating scent.  Some people arent that keen on the smell, but I sure am, so will keep with the spoiling & hope all my other plants arent feeling too neglected when the gardenia decides to showoff & force its scent upon us! 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Going, going.....

Finally we have an offer on our house, yippee! Pending finance (of course!) on the 24th November & settlement on the 6th January.
 This is the front garden, shaded fully in winter & full sun in summer, not too bad considering.
Cactus in pot, agapanthus, gerbera, lirope, scabiosa, azalea, tibouchina, bracteantha onthe very edge (yellow flower)
Electric pink cordyline, asparagus fern, thrift, vinca, trunks of cotton palm & date palm
4 sale sign on front verge along with gazanias.
CP is putting an offer on the paddock in the country that we want tomorrow!
How scary!

Friday, 21 October 2011

adding to succulent collection

 Four new succulents to add to my collection, which is fast becoming an obsession.  Im a little nervous that if we dont hurry up and get to our rural property my backyard is going to become choc a block with little pots of these things.
If anyone with succulent knowledge is looking at this post, I would love some feedback as to what they are.  The place I bought them only had succulent written on the label, thought I would be satisfied with that, but unfortunately I am finding myself trawling the internet with my little "succulent" on my lap searching for answers.

 Aeonium domestica variagata
 Aloe dorian black?
Dad's orchid - was repotted last year, this year very dissapointing, only produced one miserly flower and I had to get under the plant to take the shot, hence the roof in the background.  When it eventually does decide to flower it will be beautiful as its such a pretty colour.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A boy & his dog

At 5.30am this morning we awoke to the sound of hail & thunder, the gutters & the pool were over flowing & there was water everywhere, the hail didnt last long on the ground before melting.  I lay in bed while CP had to venture out & start the pool pump to relieve some of the flooding, it was lovely just listening to the rain & knowing it was a giving all the plants a good soaking.

The park at the end of our street filled up with water, which quickly drains away, but S4 & the dog were just as quick to race down there for some fun & games.  Racing through the water & mud I managed to get a few shots before I was asked to leave (by S4 - not cool)

We ended up getting 25mls (1 inch) of rain, in about 3 hours, so hopefully a bit of run off into the dams before the long hot summer hits.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Spring 2011

My garden in spring, as I write this Im feeling rather down, we felt sure we had a buyer for our house, after 3 viewings, which leaves me exhausted as I have cleaned my self silly (or rather the house) and I absolutely hate, hate, hate housework I am dejected so thought Id take some photo's of my flowers.  I have been looking at so many wonderful gardening blogs & the spring flowers are amazing & even the "fall" ones on the other side of the world look marvellous too, so this is me in the spring of 2011, not a whole lot flowering just yet, whether WA is behind or its just my garden (too shady perhaps) Im not sure.
Convolvulus cneorum (bush morning glory), this hardy little shrub gets by on minimal water.
Well that was weird, was half way through my post last night when the internet went down, so thought I would finish this morning, didnt even realise it had been published until I read Jackie's comment on my email (thanks Jackie).  I do have a few more flowers other than the above, which I will now put   below!
Russelia equisetiformis (coral plant)
I have a love/hate relationship with this plant, I hate it for most of the year & then it flowers & I love it.  It is extremely hardy, but it tends to spread & self seed & then is extremely hard to get rid of, but the flowers on mass are gorgeous, must remind myself I do not want to plant this in my new garden!

Erigeron (seaside daisy)
This one also self seeds everywhere, but is easy to pull out & is a real little stalwart in the garden.

Genista (broom)
These plants have struggled on Perths sandy soils, they are hardy, but seem to need quite a bit to drink in the summer.
This one I call my Meckering geranium as my Dad originally struck it back in 1979 when we lived in Meckering, its a trailing geranium & I just love the hot pink blooms, hopefully I can get a piece to strike as its planted on my limestone wall & I would like to take it with me.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

potting up

A morning of potting, repotted my Mandevilla climber which hasnt climbed on anything yet, a dwarf crepe myrtle that my Dad struck in 1998, & dug out of front city garden bed my bush pearl (dwarf kangaroo paw), broke into 8 pieces and potted 5, leaving 3 to replant in garden bed.
Dad's dwarf crepe myrtle

potted mandevilla aloha red, bush pearls & bush diamond - flowering, which you can hardly see as its a white flower against the pale bricks
I had bought a small bush diamond from Trees A Green nursery, so the plan is to let these little "gems" grow on nicely in pots until next winter & then plant in new garden.  Also repotted Dad's maiden hair fern .
This flower is on a strappy leafed plant that came from Dad, The flower only lasts a day, which is a huge let down as its rather pretty, dont know what it is, but would love to.
Yesterday my S1 flew back up to Broome, we had a lovely week with him, coming & going inbetween him catching up with friends, even got to watch half of the grand final with him, he watched the first half with friends & then remembered that he had promised his Dad that they would watch it together. School holidays now, but isnt a big deal anymore as S3 & S4 dont really need my input into their lives except to drive them places, oh and hand out cash! 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Kings Park

A spring visit to the Kings Park botanical garden festival on a perfect day.  I couldnt have asked for anything else, except perhaps a few less people!  The Friends of Kings Park have four plant sales a year, where they sell the plants they grow from seed or propagation, I havent been for quite some years now, but it seemed to me a lot more people have caught on to the idea, it was so crowded.  The plants are quite cheap & a lot are rare and cant be found in nurseries. I bought two Eucalypts - E brandiana, this one is extremely rare, it was only discovered in the late 90's in the fitzgerald area south of Perth & has no lignotuber, so does not regenerate after a fire, hence the rareness.  It has been named after a curator at the park. The other is also quite rare, E crucis or silver mallee, this is a beautiful little tree, that is found in the wheatbelt, so should grow well for me.  I also bought two lechenaultia's, a banksia & a thryptomene, so look forwar to posting photo's of these ones in flower.
 This is the Giant Boab 'Gija Jumulu' that was transported to Kings Parkin July 2008, it journeyed over 3200 kilometres, from Warmun in WA's Kimberley region, to Kings Park in Perth.This iconic tree, estimated to be 750 years old, weighs 36 tonnes and stretches 14 metres high and eight metres wide (branch span). Its trunk measures 2.5 metres in diameter. The boab had to be moved as it was in the way of a highway, this was a first in Australia, transplanting such an old tree over an enormous distance. I remember the journey was followed every evening on the news, the nation held its breath & hoped that this incredible endeavour would be successful, when the first tiny shoots pushed through in spring you could almost here the collective sigh of relief.  Boabs are deciduous and the kimberly in WA is the only place in the world they are found, they are related to South Africa's baoabab's.  Now this proud giant enters its third spring in his new home & we await the first signs of life with baited breath once again.  Nature is so exciting!

Desert flowers

silver princess

                                                        black kangaroo paw with hibbertia
                                                      lechenaultia, my fav!
                                                         Qualup bells
                                                           smoke bush
                                                       swan river daisy
                                                         feather flowers
                            kangaroo paws and wax plants

These plants are all indigenous to Western Australia

Thursday, 22 September 2011


This Bella, she is S4's dog (skybax number 4) & is a retreiver/labrador cross. Bella is 2 & 1/2 years old & has the most endearing personality, although she does annoy me while I garden. She is a talker, never stops, she grumbles, growls, whines, whimpers & yaps all in the never ending quest for attention. When I have my head down, bum up gardening she is forever trying to get her head under mine, I growl & send her away, this lasts until I move or look up & this is her signal to have another go. When my sons bring girls home, she will lie on her back with a ball between her feet balancing it. I think she's jealous & trying to get the attention back on her, but S4 just says she loves to perform for anyone who will watch. The relationship Bella & S4 have is astounding, they are completely besotted with each other & when he is in the garden I am unceremoniously dumped! As she is getting older she has the typical labrador trait of putting on weight & S1 has taken to calling her "chubbsy", so S4 is flat with the excercise, I think he takes it personally! Saturday is the big day for us S1 is flying a Cessna 210 down to Perth from Broome for servicing, he is a pilot up there, & he gets to stay at home until Wednesday, its quite a journey as Broome is at the other end of WA to Perth & he is leaving at 2am sat. morning to get in some instrument flying. He has been in Broome for over a year now & is building his hours & experience up in order to apply for airline jobs. At 23 he is having some wonderful experiences in the outback & learning so much, it has been just the best thing for him.
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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Native trees

E ucalytus luecoxylon rosea - Pink flowered yellow gum, yellow gum
found in open forest and woodland in western Victoria, South Australia and south-western New South Wales.
 a medium-sized tree which reaches 10-30 metres in height. The bark is retained on the lower trunk but the upper trunk and branches are smooth-barked and cream to grey in colour.  The flowers are usually seen in autumn and winter and may be white, cream, pink or red.
 It performs best in well-drained, moist soils but, once established is tolerant of extended dry conditions.
E.leucoxylon is regularly planted for windbreaks, shade, honey production and for ornamental purposes and it grows well in alkaline soils.

These two E luecoxylon were bought as tube stock, I have replanted them in 1L milk cartons as Im going to attempt to plant them in the paddock next autumn using Bill Hicks long stem planting method.  In order to do this I need the roots to grow down to the bottom of the carton & the stems to grow taller than they are.  Using the long stem planting method a 1 metre hole is dug & the tree is planted deeply with soil up its stem, it then grows roots from its stem making it more stable & stronger. 
Casuarina cunninghamiana - River She-oak
Tall pine-like tree, usually straight, 35m high, with dark rough bark.  Initially their shape is narrow pyramidal becoming more rounded in maturity. Dark green foliage with predominantly fine branchlets with leaves reduced to tiny scales or leaf teeth occurring in whorls or rings around the stems.  These rings are 4-9 mm apart.  River she-oak is the largest of Australia’s she-oaks. Trees have either male or female flowers.  Male flower spikes are about 2 cm long: female flowers develop into woody fruits or cones, globular to 1 cm. long with hard, projecting valves which open to release winged seed.
Naturally occurring in Victoria, NSW, Qld and NT on freshwater streams and watercourses. 

Hakea laurina - pincushion hakea
found in the south west of Western Australia, a small tree to 6m with rounded reddish flower heads, that look like pincushions in autumn to winter. Drought tolerant.
A rather boring post, but I want to record these little beauties right through, maybe I might even see them fully grown?  It will also be interesting to see how the long stem planting goes, I will need all of my trees to be drought tolerant as they will be hand watered for their first two summers only, then they will need to survive on approx. 300mm of rainfall a year.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

City back yard

These photos are of my city suburban back yard, west facing wall, very sandy soil. Growing plants here has been a continual struggle as the water will not stay in the soil, just leaches as soon as you put it there, we are only allowed 2 watering days a week in summer, 3 if you have a bore & total ban over winter.  Although I like the look of the garden at the moment, I know by the middle of summer I will not be enjoying it at all as it will take all me efforts just to keep it alive Had I started this garden from scratch I would have planted only indigenous species as I think they are the only ones to survive without a mammoth effort.  The asparagas fern and ponytail palms always do well, but the cordyline electric pink is no longer there, sorching sun & lack of water killed it off.
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