Posts Tagged ‘Dry Garden’

Dichelostemma Ida-Maia (Firecracker Lily) February 2017.

February 3, 2017

Bulbs For Yorke Peninsula

The firecracker lily, Dichelostemma Ida-Maia is a fantastic bulb for the Yorke Peninsula. The foliage grows from  late autumn through winter into spring before dying down then not long after that in late November or early December it starts sending up its flower spikes with many flowers at the top of each spike resembling and exploding sky rocket, where it gets its common name of Firecracker Lily from.

It is a great plant for a Christmas indoor vase display because it has all the seasonal colours; red, green and white. Flowers last in the vase for what seems ages and look beautiful throughout the Christmas-new year week.

Each spike is about 60cm long so a bunch of these make a nice centre piece.

In my garden these are in the dry garden bed which gets no extra irrigation over summer, and these don’t need any water at all. This summer…

View original post 84 more words

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 2013

April 15, 2013
2013 is a great year for the Ox-Tongue Lillies (haemanthus sp). I grew these in the Dry Garden with no extra water during summer. No rain fell during spring and summer this year and it was the hottest summer on record. I wonder if that contributed to this magnificent result?

2013 is a great year for the Ox-Tongue Lillies (haemanthus sp). I grew these in the Dry Garden with no extra water during summer. No rain fell during spring and summer this year and it was the hottest summer on record. I wonder if that contributed to this magnificent result?

Oxtongue Lillies 2013-02

No perfectly clear. I think I got the shakes admiring these beauties!

Oxtongue Lillies 2013-03

These are definitely in focus and it is easy to see why they cost $35-55 per bulb to buy. I have grown these for the last 30 years when I was given a single bulb by Rosemary Starkey at Sanderston when I was caretaker of a sheep station.

Zauschneria Californica Western Hills in the Powton Garden. Has no water during spring and summer and is flowering strongly still.

Zauschneria Californica Western Hills in the Powton Garden. Has no water during spring and summer and is flowering strongly still.

Closeup of Zauschneria Californica Western Hills. 11th April 2013.

Closeup of Zauschneria Californica Western Hills. 11th April 2013.

Sedum Munstead Dark red. 11 April 2013.

Sedum Munstead Dark red. 11 April 2013.

Salvia Meigan's Magic is now standing 1.8m tall and wide. I cut these 3 plants to the ground in winter and they have done extremely well. only watered twice during spring and summer.

Salvia Meigan’s Magic is now standing 1.8m tall and wide. I cut these 3 plants to the ground in winter and they have done extremely well. only watered twice during spring and summer.

Closeup of Salvia Meigan's Magic.

Closeup of Salvia Meigan’s Magic.

Salvia Leucantha Harry's Red. Great perfomer with not a single drop of rain from September to April and flowering magnificently! Second year of flowering.

Salvia Leucantha Harry’s Red. Great perfomer with not a single drop of rain from September to April and flowering magnificently! Second year of flowering.

Closeup of Salvia Leucantha Harry's Red. (aka Mexican Sage)

Closeup of Salvia Leucantha Harry’s Red. (aka Mexican Sage)

Salvia Greggii Ritambelle. This is one of my favourite flowers this year. Right next to the gate to the chooks and impresses me every time. Dainty and subtle yet demands attention. Looks like dancing butterflies!

Salvia Greggii Ritambelle. This is one of my favourite flowers this year. Right next to the gate to the chooks and impresses me every time. Dainty and subtle yet demands attention. Looks like dancing butterflies!

Salvia Greggii Ritambelle Closeup April 2013

Salvia Greggii Ritambelle Closeup April 2013

Salvia Anthony Parker. Second year flowering.

Salvia Anthony Parker. Second year flowering.
Closeup of Salvia Anthony Parker.

Closeup of Salvia Anthony Parker.

Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spires’. This plant has been in the garden for two years now and has done extra well. Several seedlings came up from last year's flowering. Will have to move some of them this year.

Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spires’. This plant has been in the garden for two years now and has done extra well. Several seedlings came up from last year’s flowering. Will have to move some of them this year.

Galtonia Viridiflora. First year of flowering and is very impressive indeed.

Galtonia Viridiflora. First year of flowering and is very impressive indeed.

Eryngium Planum Norgate's Form 130411

Eryngium Planum Norgate’s Form 130411

Eryngium Planum Norgate's Form Closeup. 130411

Eryngium Planum Norgate’s Form Closeup. 130411

Ornithogalum Saundersae. Purchased as a bulbs from Lambley Nursery in June 2012. This is the only one flowering.

Ornithogalum Saundersae. Purchased as a bulbs from Lambley Nursery in June 2012. This is the only one flowering.

Agastache Aurantiaca has been impressive this year, particularly in late summer and autumn. Originally a seedling from Lambley Nursery.

Agastache Aurantiaca has been impressive this year, particularly in late summer and autumn. Originally a seedling from Lambley Nursery.

Close up view of Agastache Aurantiaca. Has not attracted the birds as the do in Ballarat.

Close up view of Agastache Aurantiaca. Has not attracted the birds as the do in Ballarat.

First flowering of this plant which has been in my shadehouse for 2 years. I am a bit underwhelmed by some of the bromeliads.

First flowering of this plant which has been in my shadehouse for 2 years. I am a bit underwhelmed by some of the bromeliads.

Chrysanthemum Buninyong Bronze in North Perennial Bed April 2013.

Chrysanthemum Buninyong Bronze in North Perennial Bed April 2013.

Chrysanthemum Buninyong Bronze Closeup April 2013

Chrysanthemum Buninyong Bronze Closeup April 2013

Tulbaghia Violacea opposite the Avocado Garden. No water since August. April 2013.

Tulbaghia Violacea opposite the Avocado Garden. No water since August. April 2013.

Miscanthus Transmorrisonenis in the Banana Garden. April 2013.

Miscanthus Transmorrisonenis in the Banana Garden. April 2013.

Geranium Unnamed Variety. April 2013 near front gate.

Geranium Unnamed Variety. April 2013 near front gate.

Alstroemeria. Dwarf variety in North Pernnial Garden. April 2013.

Alstroemeria. Dwarf variety in North Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Bougainvillea Magnifica covers the entire fence of the tennis courts and Kiosk Yard. April 2013.

Bougainvillea Magnifica covers the entire fence of the tennis courts and Kiosk Yard. April 2013.

Bougainvillea Magnifica Closeup. April 2013.

Bougainvillea Magnifica Closeup. April 2013.

Canna Lily in the South Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Canna Lily in the South Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Clivia in the North Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Clivia in the North Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Hollyhock Maroon in the South Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Hollyhock Maroon in the South Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Hollyhock Pink in the North Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Hollyhock Pink in the North Perennial Garden. April 2013.

Salvia Royal Bumble in the South Deciduous Garden. April 2013.

Salvia Royal Bumble in the South Deciduous Garden. April 2013.

Daylily Cranberry Baby was a plant I bought from Lambley Nursery this year. It has out performed the standard orange variety in that it has repeat flowered many times over summer and autumn. It grows to about 30cm tall in the regularly watered North Perennial Garden.

Daylily (Hemerocallis) Cranberry Baby was a plant I bought from Lambley Nursery this year. It has out performed the standard orange variety in that it has repeat flowered many times over summer and autumn. It grows to about 30cm tall in the regularly watered North Perennial Garden.

Kalanchoe closeup.

Kalanchoe April 2013.

Kalanchoe in a very hot spot all summer. Originally purchased at a garage sale for $5. Has flowered now for the past few months but has never looked better than it is now.

Kalanchoe in a very hot spot all summer. Originally purchased at a garage sale for $5. Has flowered now for the past few months but has never looked better than it is now.

Dry Garden Update January 2013

April 12, 2013
Dry Garden January 2013

Dry Garden January 2013

This is just one for the records. The Dry Garden is looking very nice at present and deserves a photo. Notice the early arrival of the Easter Lilies. We call them that but they aren’t actually as they always flower a long time before Easter here.

Echiums Flowering Majestically in the Dry Garden 2012

October 4, 2012

 

My echium simplex have begun flowering in the dry garden and look spectacular at the moment. Echium Wildpretti not far away eaither as is Echium Cobalt Towers.

The Dry Garden in October 2012, early morning shot. Echium Simplex towering at 2 metres high.

The Dry Climate Garden gets no more than threee waterings throughout the year, usually January, February and March. Less if it rains more than 25mm in any of those months. The entire garden is heavily mulched with cereal straw I obtain from a local farmer at very little cost as it is spoilt hay or straw from previous years and no longer saleable.

 

Dry Garden Update 12-08-2012

August 13, 2012
  1. The Climbing Pelargoniums planted last year are doing quite well even if they are feeling the cold at the moment. They were tied up onto the fence trellis where needed in preparation for for the Echium Simplex flowering which is about to launch. You will see in my next update why I said launch.

    Dry garden August 2012

  2. The roses have now been pruned and are just beginning to sprout new leaders.
  3. The Leonotishave done very well over the past 12 months never showing any unhappiness with complete dryness over summer and flowering right through. Even now, at the end of winter, they are producing some flowers. The problem I have is how to treat them. They clearly need to be pruned once each leader has finished flowering or you get a leggy stalk with no foliage at all although there are some side shoots from below the starting point of the flowers. In any effort to determine the best way to handle these I have cut most to the ground but just one plant was trimmed back to about 45cm, complete with a few flowers and I shall see how they go through spring and summer.

    Leonotis control plant before trimming. All others already cut to the ground. August 2012.

    Leonotis Control Plant. Trimmed. August 2012

     

  4. The bulb bed in the dry garden is growing nicely but did need a watering this week since there has been only 5mm of rain in the past 4 weeks and the bulbs are looking thirsty and a bit limp. This bed takes quite a hammering when the north wind blows and the spring winds have started these last couple of weeks.

    Dry Garden Bulb bed. August 2012

  5. Convolvulus Sabatius is beginning to make its presence felt below the birdbath. It has been suggested that it can get a bit straggly and can be cut back in winter to about 6 inches. There is no sign of that here yet so I have just left it alone. Perhaps it will need cutting back next winter.

    Convolvulus Sabatius Beside the Dry Garden Bird Bath. August 2012.

  6. Rhodanthemum Catananche “Tizi-n-Test” is a delicate very compact little plant. It has been in the dry garden for 9 months without flowering but always looked tidy and interesting. During winter is has tripled in size and is now throwing up a heap  flower spikes and looks very exciting! None have opened yet.

    Rhodanthemum Catananche Tizi-n-Test. August 2012

  7. Echium Cobalt Towers is giving mixed results at this stage. The one in the dry garden has really struggled, mostly because it seems to want more water than I expected. I know this because another one planted the same time in the Avocado garden is three times the size and looking very vigorous. The avocado garden gets watered every month during spring and summer if there has been no rain.

    Echium Cobalt Towers Struggling in the Dry Garden. August 2012

Tulips and Cyclamen in the Dry Garden 12-08-2012

August 12, 2012

First tulip of the season. Yorketown Red Hybrid under the White Cedar Tree in the dry garden. Delicate Pink cyclamen poking it nose in!

Just a photo update of my tulips and cyclamen in the dry garden.

Yorketown Red Tulips in their 2nd Year. The flowers and bulbs have clearly increased although the flowers only reach 30 – 40cm in height. Colour is brilliant!

Yorketown Red Tulips another view 12-08-12

Lonely cyclamen in its 2nd Year

Garden Update 2012 April Week 4.

April 26, 2012

The second half of summer and all of autumn so far has been very dry but not really very hot. In the face of a forecast of rain for this week I set about the task of fertilizing the garden.

The fruit trees were all fed with Complete Mineral Mix to set them up for winter and early spring. The rest of the garden was treated with Blood and bone with added Sulphate of Potash.

The rain duly fell, if not in the quantities hoped for, yet there is a forecast for more during the week so it will all end okay.

Bulbs in the dry garden have poked their shoots above the ground and with their feed of Blood and Bone I hope to see a great display this spring.

Garden Update 28-8-11

September 1, 2011

This week my latest order from Lambley arrived. These are designed to develop some plantings started with the previous order. This shipment comprised the following: Agapanthus Inapertus Hollandii ‘Lydenberg’, Cotyledon Orbiculata ‘Tall Flowered Form, Penstemon Barbatus, Penstemon Isophyllus and Eryngium ‘Oxford Blue’.

Agapanthus 'Lydenberg'

Agapanthus ‘Lydenberg’ came to Australia from the Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens 20 or 30 years ago. It always stirs the blood of visitors when it’s in flower in the dry garden. Tall strong stems carry pendulous light blue flowers in great abundance during mid to late summer. In our dry garden A. ‘Lydenberg’ barely makes a metre in height, but if well fed and watered it will grow up to 160cm tall by 70cm wide. Herbaceous. Lambley.com.au

Cotyledon Orbiculata Tall Flowered Form in Flower

Cotyledon Orbiculata 'Tall Flowered Form'

Cotyledon Orbiculata ‘Tall Flowered Form’ This is a very tall flowered, frost hardy summer blooming form of Cotyledon orbiculata. Many forms are grown in gardens but this is by far the most impressive. Shrubby in habit, its evergreen large leaves are powdery grey edged with maroon. Metre tall stems are produced in summer, capped with many-flowered heads of large waxy coral orange pendant bells, each one flared at the tips. One of the stars of our dry climate garden. Lambley.com.au

This will be planted in a group with Cotyledon Orbiculatum ‘Queenscliff‘ and Agapanthus Lydenberg and Eryngium Oxford Blue outside Tom’s bedroom.

Penstemon Barbatus

Penstemon Barbatus is another dry climate plant unlike most other forms of Penstemon. To be planted under the Powton tree opposite the shadehouse.

Humming birds pollinate this native of Arizona, Utah, Texas, Colorado and Mexico. Different in habit from most Penstemon grown here, P. barbatus makes basal rosettes of glossy fresh green leaves. 100cm tall spires carry from top to bottom hundreds of good-sized scarlet red tubular flowers. It’s the only Penstemon to make it into our dry climate garden where we have a decent patch. 100cm x 70cm. Lambley.com.au

Penstemon Isophyllus

 Penstemon Isophyllus I’ve grown this species from the Mexican states of Pueblo and Oaxaca for 25 years. It has got by with no watering at all these last few drought years. From a woody base metre tall stems carry red flowers with a hint of salmon, during the warmer months. All it need is a sunny spot. Lambley.com.au

Eryngium Oxford Blue

Eryngium Bourgatti ‘Oxford Blue’ This has been growing in our dry climate garden for ten years or more. The flowers, a metallic blue thimble, are circled by a metallic blue ruff, as intricate as a snowflake. This Sea Holly has interesting evergreen foliage, much cut and two toned green and silver. If spent flowers are removed ft will bloom from late spring into winter. 50cm x 50cm. Lambley.com.au.

Garden Seat No.1

This week I oiled the new garden bench with Feast Watson Outdoor Furniture Oil, Clear colour. The wood soaked up the oil in no time. I decided to give several more coats during the next week until it is nicely sealed. It looks to me that it will be obvious when enough oil has been applied as it will take no more with pooling on the surface.

Verandah Renovation

Continued with verandah renovation. Last segment of the ceiling has now been painted over the walled area. Probably 2 sessions left to paint. First the ceiling over the verandah outside the family room window then the incomplete sections at each end. From there I will paint the fascia boards, silver was the consensus so silver it is. From there some filling and repair of the wall render and that will painted followed by the trims and finished. The most interesting phenomenon associated with this paint is that the condensation that used drip from the ceiling has stopped. Water still condenses but in much smaller droplets that never fall. The unpainted corrugated iron would collect all the drips together and drop them all over the verandah.

My Flower Garden 14-8-11

August 14, 2011

In the past I have focussed primarily on food crops. I feel I now have enough space devoted to fruit and veges to feed my family so I want to liven up the garden with some extra colour.

Having given this a fair amount of thought I came to the conclusion that just pouring tons of water on some annuals would give me a high water bill in these days of governments still trying to justify their desalination plants. I would get plenty of colour, true, but there would be tons of work taking up a lot of my time, not to mention the cost of buying seedlings every few weeks or spending even more time growing them myself. With all this in mind I decided on a perennial flower garden with a few structural giants among them. Details later.

I set about doing some research on perennials for my area. There are plenty of boring ones around and the usual array of plants that have been on farms in this district for over a hundred years, nothing wrong with those, but I usually like something to look a bit different. Pamela and I took a trip to Victoria to check out some gardens there, hoping to find the alternative lifestyle communities there. On that front we were unsuccessful and disappointed, looks like they have merged back into the mainstream. What we did find was one very exciting nursery, Lambley, at Lesters Road, Ascot. This a commercial nursery with a difference, from what I see in my district, as it focussed on dry garden perennials and bulbs needing little if any water other than natural rainfall. The owner, David Glenn, has produced two DVDs on just this topic and they are very informative and take flower gardening to a new level for me.  On display at Lambley is their Dry Garden, a living example of a superb flower garden without extra water after establishing the young plants. I particularly like David Glenn’s emphasis on showy plants that display their flower well. Many natives have beautiful flowers but they are often hidden underneath the foliage and flower for a very short time. Lambley perennials are those varieties that show their blooms outside the foliage giving a magnificent display. It is this issue that I feel is the difference between garden books and the Lambley philosophy. Gardening books often have nicely photographed blooms staged to show off the flowers and the reader has no idea whether the flowers display nicely or not in the garden and if the plant falls open at flowering time. I recommend a visit by anyone interested in dry flower gardening to see the difference.

Lambley Dry Garden March 2011

Being inspired to have a go at dry gardening using perennials I have just received my first order, mostly perennial flowers from his dry garden DVDs and in small numbers, a total of 30 plants, to make some tests in my garden. Although the climate in the Victorian goldfields has a very similar climate to mine here on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula we get fewer frosts than they do as David Glenn reports getting frost from April until November. We would only get half a dozen frosts during July or August in most years and those would be relatively light with minimum temperatures rarely going below freezing.

My first order, arriving on Friday, was unpacked Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the plants and the way they were packed. I have purchased from other mail order nurseries in the past and have been particularly disappointed with maturity of the plants. Those plants arrived in 50mm tubes with barely any root system while those from Lambley were at least in 100mm pots and well-developed plants, at least a growing season more advanced for the same cost. I would expect them to establish better than those from the other nursery (Diggers) for this reason. Many plants from Diggers were unsuccessful due to the plants having only a very juvenile root system. Diggers, to their credit, always credited the failures but the wasted season and personal effort has deterred me from buying recently.

So my plants from Lambley are ready to go in the ground. Some plants ordered were sold out quickly after their catalogue was released but I instructed them to substitute wherever possible. This is my list: Anthemis ‘Susannah Mitchell’ was sold out and substituted by Rhodanthemum ‘Tizi-n-Test’, Cistus x Purpureus ‘Alan Fradd’, Convolvulus Sabaticus ‘L.A. Form’, Cotyledon Orbiculatum ‘Silver Shadow’ was sold out and substituted with Cotyledon Orbiculatum ‘Queenscliff’, Furcraea Macdougalii, Helianthus Angustifolius was sold out and not substituted, Helianthus Grosse Serratus, Limonium Peregrinum L. Roseum, Salvia Nemorosa ‘Blauhagel’ or ‘Blue Hills, Salvia ‘Meigans Magic’, Verbena Rigida F.Lilacina, Miscanthus Transmorrisonensis, Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant, Ferula Linkii. I will post more details on each plant in a separate post as time permits.


%d bloggers like this: