Posts Tagged ‘Flower’

Camellia Bloom is Spectacular 2016

May 19, 2016
Camellia Japonica Flower. The first for the 2016 season.

Camellia Japonica Flower. The first for the 2016 season.

In my teenage years I came across a flower I then thought was the most spectacular flower I had ever seen. It was a pink Camellia Japonica and although at the time I did nothing further I have felt the same ever since.

Like many others I purchased a plant, when I was in my twenties and planted it without any thought to its special needs, eg acid soil. It gradually died and I thought it was just too difficult.

In my thirties I again had the opportunity to buy one but this time I researched its needs and planted one in a pot with acid potting mix and it thrived for several years, blooming beautifully. Unfortunately a divorce saw that one come to grief.

It took me several more years before I was again in a position to devote some care to a Camellia and now I again have a plant in full flower with just the same effect on me that I felt in my youth. Today that Camellia Japonica is in bloom and it looks just lovely.

I think it is the formal shape of the flower, perfection in shape and depth of colour that inspires me!

New Bulbs April 2013

April 19, 2013

Today some rare and unusual bulbs arrived from Tesselaar Bulb Nursery in Silvan, Victoria. These were reasonably rare and cost more than the usual but are exciting because of that.

Californian Firecracker (Dichelostemma Ida Maia)

Californian Firecracker is ideally suited to my mediterranean climate of wet winters and long hot summers.

Californian Firecracker is ideally suited to my Mediterranean climate of wet winters and long hot summers.

Explosive, red flowers that bloom from early October all the way through to December! The flowers open in dense umbels, around 8cm across. The blooms open in groups of up to 20, each flower is 2-3cm long. The blooms are saturated, strong red with complimentary, soft green sepals. They even make good cut flowers. Slightly curved flower stems to 40cm.

The foliage is thin and grass like. It grows with the autumn and winter rains, fading as the flowers begin to bloom. After flowering the plant will soon become dormant.

During dormancy, Californian Firecracker Flower requires a hot, dry period. For this reason it ideal in dry garden beds.

Plant 10cm in a warm spot in the garden. Water in and keep moist in active growth. Grow in full sun in cool climates and part shade in warmer areas. Plant into a well drained soil. Californian Firecracker Plant or Dichelostemma Ida-maia can be propagated from seed, but this can be a bit challenging. They will also produce offsets at a moderate rate which can be divided and shared with friends.

Native to the grasslands of North America, where they are pollinated by birds.


Genus: Dichelostemma
Species: ida-maia
Height: 20-30cm
Width: 5cm
Flowers: Spring to Summer
Climate: Cool to Temperate
Aspect: Full Sun to Semi Shade
Supplied as: Bulbs
Water needs: 1

Magic Lily (Lycoris Squamigera)

Magic Lily is proposed to be planted beneath my summer flower perennial so these can grow through and flower before the large perennials take over.

Magic Lily is proposed to be planted beneath my summer flower perennial so these can grow through and flower before the large perennials take over.

Flower stems magically appear and flower in only 5 days!

The flowers bloom in groups of 4-7 on 60-75cm stems from late summer to autumn. The flower stems emerge and flower in around 5 days. It is from this amazing feat that they get their common names of Magic Lily or Surprise Lily. The blooms are rose pink with a lilac flush.

The leaves emerge in spring and look lush at first then loll on the ground, so if you can hide them amongst perennials. They grow to 45cm long. These vigorous bulbs can be left to their own devices once planted. Plant them in any well drained soil. They can grow in beds, lawn plantings, rockeries or pots. So beautiful and so easy.


Genus: Lycoris
Species: squamigera
Height: 45-70cm
Width: 30cm
Flowers: Summer
Climate: Cool to Temperate
Aspect: Full Sun
Supplied as: Bulbs
Water needs: 1

Trout Lily Rose Beauty (Erythronium Revolutum)

Trout Lily. This requires a little more water than the bulbs above and because I have only a single bulb I will put this in a pot, bury the pot and recover it when I want to divide them. They like filtered light so will probably go under the powton in front of the kitchen window.

Trout Lily. This requires a little more water than the bulbs above and because I have only a single bulb I will put this in a pot, bury the pot and recover it when I want to divide them. They like filtered light so will probably go under the powton in front of the kitchen window.

Rosy pink blooms, 4-7cm across. The flower stems are tall with up to four blooms on each.

The flowers face downward though the petals re-curve to show off more colour and their pendant stamen.

The decorative foliage grows low to the ground. The leaves are bright green with a deep purple mottling.

Ideally grow in well drained, humus rich soil underneath deciduous trees or in a shaded border. Water to establish and keep moist in active growth.
Erythronium are also known as Dog’s Tooth Violet or Trout Lily. They are known as Dog’s Tooth because that is what the bulb resembles.


Genus: Erythronium
Species: revolutum
Height: 20-30cm
Width: 10cm
Flowers: Mid Spring
Climate: Cool to Temperate
Aspect: Filtered Light
Supplied as: Bulbs
Water needs: 2

Mediterranean Bells (Nectaroscordum Siculum)

Mediterranea Bells. These are very tall flowering and love dry conditions so I will consider these for the Caravan Garden in the paddock where they will get just what they are after.

Mediterranean Bells. These are very tall flowering and love dry conditions so I will consider these for the Caravan Garden in the paddock where they will get just what they are after.

Loose clusters of pendulous flowers cluster atop strong stems. The flowers are cream, flushed with purplish red or pink and with a wash of green. Each bloom is around 1.5-2.5cm long. As the flowers fade they leave behind handsome seed pods that stick up in the air in late summer.

The upright leaves are around 30-40cm long.

Plant into moderately fertile soil in a full sun to semi shade position. Sharply drained is best. Water to establish, then only if rainfall is low. Allow to become relatively dry during dormancy.

Seed heads can be dried.


Genus: Nectaroscordum
Species: siculum
Height: 1.2mtr
Width: 10cm
Flowers: Summer
Climate: Cool to Temperate
Aspect: Full Sun to Semi Shade
Supplied as: Bulbs
Water needs: 1

Another Roadside Plant 5-11-12

November 5, 2012

In my continuing hunt for local flowers that are thriving in a dry climate without extra water I have found the following flower on the Arthurton Road very near the location of my earlier find Olearia Pannosa ssp Pannosa.

I have not yet identified it and do not know if it is an annual or perennial but I was able to notice it across the road driving home on Saturday. The flower is beautiful and judging by the number of buds it is set to flower very strongly.

It appears to be a scabiosa but not sure as it stands quite tall 70-90cm.

These blooms are very pretty indeed and they would look good in any garden. I just want to identify it first in case it is a weed that could be hard to get rid of.

These are the stems and leaves of the roadside flower. For identification purposes.

This is the foliage in a vase of the roadside flower shown above. Shown here for leaf identification.

Pineapple Sage In Flower August 2012

August 24, 2012


I purchased some of these plants two years ago believing they were annuals. There were six in all. Five have now died but mostly because they couldn’t handle the dry conditions in the backyard side garden. One plant however has continued strong with just a modicum of dead heading and a little blood and bone every now and then. I intend to try taking some cuttings of this Pineapple Sage (Salvia Elegans) in spring because it has flowered almost every day it has been in the garden.

Pineapple Sage (Salvia Elegans) in the Backyard Side Garden August 2012. Will have cuttings taken when the weather warms up a bit more.


Argyranthemum Maderense in the Powton Garden 22-8-12

August 22, 2012

Argyranthemum Maderense

Winter Daisy

I purchased this plant from Lambley Nursery in October 2011 and planted it into the Powton Garden next to Zauschneria and in front of Echium Candicans Hybrid. It grew very little until late autumn when it put on a growth spurt and started flowering in July. It is flowering pretty well now but tends to fall open exposing the centre. I see that the woody stems are showing quite a lot of new shoots. The flower individually is very pretty.

Winter Daisy

The late Phyll Bear gave me this shrubby plant 20 odd years ago. For the last 15 years it has flourished in the same spot in the garden here at Lambley. Flowering from the first days of winter until well into spring, the soft butter lemon daisies are set off by rue-blue, oak shaped leaves. Handsome even when not in flower, frost hardy and drought tolerant this plant wants a sunny spot. 90cm x 90cm. (

Powton Garden 22-8-2012. Argyranthemum Maderense in flower in front of the Echium Candicans. Arum Lillies also in flower.

Argyranthemum Maderense from the Lambley Nursery

Argyranthemum Maderense, Winter Daisy, in the Powton Garden 22-08-2012

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sugar Plum Update

September 3, 2010

The two sugar plums in the Old Shop Orchard have burst into flower. They look to be in magnificent condition. Just a photo show to remember these beautiful trees.

Flowering Plum in flower 1st September 2010.

Flowering Plum No.2 in flower 1st September 2010.

Flowering Plum close-up 1st September 2010.

Flowering Plum close-up no.2 1st September 2010.

Orchids Update

September 3, 2010

The new orchids purchased at a garage sale in Maitland now have their own wire stand which was made on Wednesday. It is a recycled stand of some sort about 3m long by 850mm wide to which I fitted some weldmesh sheet. The weldmesh was only fitted with some high quality cable ties as the majority of the weight is supported by the metal framed stand.

Orchid Bench 1st September 2010.

Brown Orchid Flowers. The first to flower in 2010. From plants bought at the Maitland garage sale.

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