I was among those who lobbied my local councillor about street planting laws and was delighted when the BCC finally came out with their new policy allowing verge gardens in 2016. Admittedly, it could have been better. Jerry Coleby-Willliams offered valid criticism of its shortfalls and the policy could be much improved with his input. [...]

March 2017

Early March and it’s still very hot, very dry.  Promised rain seems to go around us. On the verge: Gerberas have come up for their second season and are flowering well. The soil has definitely improved. Zinnias are still flowering. A blue dot marks where the street tree will go. March 19, 2017: After yet [...]

Bought as tubestock from Kumbartcho Nursery, December 2016. Planted in south-west corner. Very shaded so plant is quite leggy. Bought a second plant Kumbartcho Nursery, December 2019 for the verge. Shrub to 0.5 Metres High by 1 Metre across Aspect: Full Sun Soil/Conditions: Adaptable / Moist to Sandy Description: Dense Prostrate Habit Evergreen Perennial Grey-Green [...]

Our street has several street trees but for some reason there are gaps – and there’s a big gap on both sides of the street in front of our house. Did little trees die from neglect?  Did someone remove them?  Where they ever there? So, I phoned the Brisbane City Council call centre 3403 8888 [...]

Holly Fuschia is a  pretty shrub with leaves that look and feel like holly leaves but red fushia-like flowers rather than berries.  If you have fond memories of holly from the Northern Hemisphere – or associate it with Christmas – this is a good substitute. But it is much more than that. The flowers suit [...]

Scaevola is suddenly fashionable. It’s a pretty plant with flowers that look like half a daisy – hence fan flowers. In the new bed between the tank and the house, I have Aussie Winners – aemula which has larger, softer leaves and larger flowers, and some slightly smaller cheaper versions from Ridgy-Didge. They have morning [...]

Dichondra repens – Kidney Weed

Creeping herb with green circular leaves. Said to have greenish-white 5 mm flowers in Spring/Summer but I have yet to see any. I find this a useful creeping groundcover in the front lawn, on the verge, on mulched paths.  It dries out quickly in hot sun but usually comes back again when it’s cooler. Mows [...]

January 2017

January 2017 was very hot, very dry. Bird baths sometimes needed topping up twice a day. On the verge: Zinnias, salvia, geranium, sedum holding up well. Gerberas have come back to life. Seems too hot for cosmos. Osteospermum struggling and a few plants have given up. Seeds planted in trays – spinach, asparagus pea, capsicum [...]

The land is public so you need to consider and manage the reactions of neighbours and others affected. Verge gardens can be, but don’t have to be, food gardens. More important than the suggestion of individual plants are the general guidelines which allows you to choose your own plants that fit your location, soil, taste, [...]

Eastern Garden I combined the two metal beds to eliminate the corner sections crushed be the digger during the pool renovation.  In the middle I put a reed avocado tree and created a mound of mixed soil and Activ8. On three sides there is a straw bale extended outwards to the border. This effectively breaks [...]

I planted this along at the bottom of the eastern fence several years ago but it became overshadowed by a more vigorous westringia. Earlier this year the Westringia went and with the new access to light and space this little shrub has grown well. It is now quite leggy but I read it responds well [...]

The 2016 Brisbane City Council election filled me with despair. For an election fought on issues of transport and development, it would have been encouraging to see constructive debate and leadership on how we should manage the increasing density of our city, how new development could be managed to have a more positive environmental impact, [...]

Herb to 10-70cm tall. Shade. A tufted perennial herb with fleshy tuberous base and mid-green soft felt-like leaves, bears non-aromatic pale blue to violet blue flowers most of the year. Tubestock from Kumbartcho Nursery Planted under Acacia fimbriata 20/12/2016 has spread in front garden

Bought as tubestock at Kumbartcho Nursery 10/12/2016 Label says: Round bushy, shrub to 1m in sun or semi-shade.  Likes well drained, moist soil. Dark green leaves to 5cm long. White/lavender flowers in spring and summer. Attracts birds, bees and butterflies. Planted at the base of a birdbath by the back tap. The little birds – [...]

Hoya australis

commonly known as the Waxvine or Common waxflower Bought as tubestock from Kumbartcho Nursery 10/12/2016 Planted in pot with native violets at base. Wikipedia – Hoya Australis says it is an evergreen climbing vine which may reach 4–10 m (13–33 ft). It has simple opposite glabrous (shiny) leaves 3–6 cm long and 2–5 cm wide. [...]

Bought as tubestock from Kumbartcho Nursery 10/12/2016 Planted toward eastern end of back fence. Sprawling shrub, needs tying to fence. Round, dense shrub to 4m tall.  Sun/semi-shade. White flowers in spring. Attracts birds and bees. Leaves aromatic when crushed. ANPSA “Usually found in sandy or sandstone-derived soils but sometimes found in basalt soil or rocks, [...]

Hibbertia scandens

Also known as snake vine, climbing Guinea flower or golden Guinea vine Tubestock from Kumbartcho, planted in north-east corner near fence – January 2017 Strikes well from cuttings. One against eastern wall. One growing up dividing fence on western side. http://anpsa.org.au/h-sca.html a fairly vigorous climber or scrambler, growing to 2 to 5 metres long. It [...]

Where have all the flowers gone?

What are the plants or flowers you remember from your youth? I remember sunflowers in the corners of the paddocks, the yellow rose on the tankstand, and the cheery relience of some gerberas who kept popping up no matter how grim life was. What flowers do you remember?

I call the native violet my weed of choice. This is not meant in a derogatory sense. Bare soil will always be colonised by something so why not encourage this friendly little plant to out-compete less attractive weeds and be the default groundcover. Native Violets grow in all sorts of places from full shade to [...]

Okinawa spinach

I got some Okinawa spinach cuttings from Diane at BLF. They strike very easily, stand up to summer heat, and are another option for greens. And it seems it is also attracts the Blue Tiger butterfly.

Stenocarpus ‘Doreen’

Stenocarpus ‘Doreen’ – according to its tag is an attractive medium shrub with delicate mid-green foilage and large clusters of creamy flowers in summer. Full sun to part shade, 2m high and 1.5m wide. It has done well but a couple of years later it is more like 4m high and .75 m wide – [...]

Backhousia citriodora (common names lemon myrtle, lemon scented myrtle, lemon scented ironwood) is a flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae, genus Backhousia. (wikipedia) See also http://www.lemonmyrtle.com.au/ Bought at native Plant sale September 2016 Planted against the east fence – south of the pomegranate

A flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae, native to Australia from Queensland to Tasmania. It is known in Australia by the common names false sarsaparilla, purple coral pea, happy wanderer, native lilac and waraburra. (wikipedia) Hardenbergia violacea is usually a climbing plant whose branches twist around the stems of other plants. It is moderately [...]

Common Name – Swamp Mazus. A native ground cover for wet to waterlogged soils. Rosettes of tiny oak-like leaves. Unusual asymmetrical lilac/blue flowers in Spring-Summer. Grows in full sun or part shade. Low perennial herb forming rosettes connected by rhizomes. Flowering: September–April Bought Native Plant Sale: September 2016 Doesn’t like to dry out. Divides easily. [...]

Plumbago Zeylanica

Attractive, scrambling shrub to 1m. Flowers white or pale mauve from spring to autumn. Sticky fruits adhere to clothing, skins and pets and may be a minor nuisance near walkways or other high traffic locations. (ref) Grows as an understory plant in monsoon forest and vine thickets (ref) Food plant for Zebra Blue butterfly. Bought: [...]

Podocarpus elatus (Brown Pine)

It is a medium to large evergreen tree growing to 30–36 m tall with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter. The leaves are lanceolate, 5–15 cm long (to 25 cm long on vigorous young trees) and 6–18 mm broad. The seed cones are dark blue-purple, berry-like, with a fleshy base 2-2.5 cm diameter bearing a single oval or [...]

New plant bought Kumbartcho 5/3/2021 Bought: Nambour Garden Show July 2016 and put in pot. Planted: Against back fence to climb on wires (southfacing, gets sun in summer) Survived for 2 years Links https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pararistolochia_praevenosa http://www.saveourwaterwaysnow.com.au/01_cms/details_pop.asp?ID=291 http://richmondbirdwing.org.au/

Bought: Nambour Garden Show July 2016Planted: Against back fence to climb on wires (southfacing, gets sun in summer)Prefers full sun or part-shadePruning after flowering can restrain growth and plants respond well to hard pruning. Pandorea Jasminoides – Bower of Beautyclimbing on back fence February 2019(It’s in a large pot along the back fence.  A second [...]

The Brisbane City Council have finally given in to pressure from green-fingered residents and now has a policy to allow gardening on verges or native strips in front of houses. Their guidelines were announced in August 2016 and updated in March 2017. They can be accessed here and the Brisbane Times article with some interesting [...]

Bamboo to Block the Western Sun

There are two ways to get shade – to build it or to grow it – and I need shade on the western side of the house. When we moved here there was a mock orange hedge – horrible thing.  It was two metres high but didn’t block the sun, it billowed out and filled [...]

Free-range Worms

To save space and effort, I decided to do away with the compost bin and install more free-range worm stations instead. Worm farms need to be sealed to exclude wildlife and easy to access for regular addition of kitchen scraps. This is the latest version to try.  I bought a set of 3 Little Rotters [...]

Clivia

This pale yellow clivia is by the path to the front door. It has moved around a little but seems to have found its niche. Poor clay soil, deep shade in winter, not so deep in summer. I cut off the seed pods after the first show of flowers and sometimes get a second. Plants [...]

This stuff grows anywhere, tolerates poor and dry soil, strikes from small pieces. Small yellow flowers.  The blue tongue lizards like it. I was a bit concerned about weed potential but it seems to spread, not jump and is easy to pull out.  To kill completely, just sheet-cover or out-compete. Alyssum can beat it. August [...]

Update July 2014

Weather has been very cold, windy and dry. Days are getting longer, sun moving south. Eastern beds 13/7/2014 – Narrowed bed 2 and moved bed 1 away from the side of the pool, leaving a new path. Found ginger and a large red sweet potato. Cleared nasturiums, planted parsley seedlings. Tomatoes starting to fruit. Plan [...]

Cotton Harlequin Bug

This not so little bug – about 1.5 cm long – is enjoying the sun on the native hibiscus out the front. Cotton Harlequin Bug (Tectocoris diophthalmus) See more about them at http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_stinkbugs/Harlequin.htm  

Aloe Vera

I bought one small Aloe Vera in 2010… From that one, I now have many plants. The aloe vera is the one plant that thrives just about anywhere and can withstand the wind. I plant it anywhere there is a gap so that there is some handy for ant and wasp bites. The flowers are a [...]

There are lots of types of gardeners and many different reasons to garden. A garden can reflect your whole philosophy of life, whether you try to be in control or just go with the flow, whether you’re tidy or messy or somewhere in between, whether you tend to find your own way or are a [...]

I planted two Kangaroo Paws in a hurry on the native strip in March 2011 before I went away for 3 weeks.  They grew steadily through the winter but were doing nothing much when we went away in early September.  Six weeks later (mid-October), we returned to this… and this… It’s a west-facing wall – [...]

South-eastern Fence Garden

For me, the first role of the garden is to provide habitat for the many beneficial creatures – from the native bees and lizards to the small birds to the possums. There was a front hedge when we moved in – extremely trimmed lillypilly, now much less formal. It’s on the south border so it [...]