Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day out to Cloud Hill Gardens 2017

 Over Easter we paid another visit to Cloud Hill Gardens, which is nestled in the Dandenong Ranges just near Olinda in Victoria Australia. Here is a small slideshow of some of the photos I took this time around.  I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did taking them.

Slideshow created in Apple slideshow, music called Lazy Sunday, created by Helen and Garage Band. 


Friday, April 21, 2017

Don't Forget The Bees!

Photograph by Helen
If you're heading into summer this coming season, then don't forget the Bees please. Provide them with plenty of bee friendly food. (You can find my post on Come on  Bee Friendly - HERE ) and be organic, don't use insecticides, they kill more than pests, they kill pollinators too!

Give the Bees some thought, remember they need all the help they can get, and the Bees in your garden will have something to dance about! 


Video made in Snap Chat.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Let's Pot Up! Container Planting

No matter how big or small your garden is there's always room for a pot or two. Pots can act as features in your garden or to brighten up a balcony.  I have a fairly big garden but I always have a variety of potted plants as well.  

Growing in containers is easy, you can choose almost anything from an old tin kettle or even an old boot or a nice terracotta pot. The only thing you need to remember is that your container must have drainage holes.

When I grow in my various pots, I like to add a broken crock to the bottom of the container. How many I use depends on the size of the pot I have chosen. If it's small, then one piece just over the hole will do and few more if the container is much larger. Placing bits of old broken pots etc. into your container will help with the drainage and stop the holes getting clogged up. The only other rule is to use a good potting mix, one that will give your plant all the nutrients it needs. I've said it before and I'll say it again,  why spend time and money on a plant if you're then going to pot it in cheap soil that has nothing in it. I always use premium potting mix and I advise you to do the same.

You can grow all sorts in pots and when placed around your garden or balcony, they will certainly brighten up your space.

Larger containers placed in the garden can act as a focal point and draw the eye in and over to an area of interest, or placed either side of some steps provides a great accent. 

There is no limit to what you can do with containers in and around your garden. But they don't always have to be planted up with flowers. If you don't have room to grow any veggies, there are plenty you can grow in pots.  Not only are they decorative like these chillies, but they also are edible.  Small fruit trees can be grown in large pots, and I have a dwarf mandarin in one myself, which is bearing its first fruit crop.

If you haven't got room for something like my mandarin tree, why not go in for a smaller crop like strawberries.  They work well in hanging baskets or from pots you can hook over a railing. I have a variety up on my deck called Bubblegum, (it does actually taste a bit like bubblegum!)  

Whether you are going to grow flowers or edibles, you must remember to water them regularly. If you use premium potting mix, it will contain enough food to feed the plant for 3 months, but you can always help it along with a liquid feed every now and again.

So you see, growing in containers is easy. Why not have a go for yourself. Let's Pot Up!

Happy Gardening!

All photos are by Helen

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Photo by Helen 

Who doesn't love the taste of organically grown just pulled from the garden carrots? When you've grown you own, you really get to see what a carrot should taste like. There are many varieties to choose from and whether you prefer baby ones or fully grown, why not get planting some for yourself!

Growing carrots is very easy and there are just a couple of rules to follow. Now I have heard that you should plant seed where they are to crop as they don't like transplanting. However, I rarely do this, preferring to grow my seed in a punnet and then transplant to their growing position. I have never had any trouble doing it this way. So, as far as I'm concerned, both methods work. There is one advantage to growing in a punnet and that is you can space out when transplanting, thus avoiding thinning out and attracting the dreaded carrot fly. Carrot flies, I believe, are attached to the smell when you thin out. Anyway I have never had a problem with these pests.

Now carrots do like a friable soil, so you should dig your ground over well and remove any stones that might get in the way of the roots.  Also freshly manured ground doesn't seem to suit carrots causing them to form those funny roots we all have a laugh about. It might be better to prepare your ground a couple of months before, or wait until your seedlings are well established and then introduce a liquid fertiliser. Also a regular feed will benefit your crop. 

The other good thing about growing carrots is that you can leave them in the ground until you want them, harvesting as you go.  Of course though, the longer you leave them the bigger they grow.

So why not have a go at growing your own.  If you don't have a space in your garden, you can always try one of the smaller varieties, such as 'Little Fingers,' in a pot filled with good potting mix and placed in a sunny position.  

Carrots are not only delicious to eat but are also very healthy for you as they contain beta-carotene and a supply of antioxidants - there's another reason to grow your own.

Go on have a go!  Happy Gardening this autumn.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Seawinds National Park & Cape Schanck Australia

We're right in the midst of summer here in Australia and the weather is perfect for day tripping. This was a day trip we took last Sunday.  I hope you enjoy viewing some of our sunny country.

Slideshow created in Apple slideshow. Music, Lazy Sunday created in Garage Band by Helen.