Monday, November 14, 2011

~ Buff Beauty ~

The Roses are Flourishing and the Spring Flush has been so beautiful this year.
Below is Buff Beauty in all of it's full glory.

Notice the way the flower developes into a different colour as it matures.

Above Buff Beauty in opening bud..

A rambling rose of small clusters as you near the metal arch these beautiful roses cling to, you are greeted by a most amazing perfume of pure musk rose scent.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wildflowers in the Antipodean Spring

It's Spring!!!

I am back in my home town, Bonny Hills, again after a 2 1/2 year working stint in the city. I have been enjoying re-familiarising myself, and my camera, with the surrounds - creating this blog has been a pleasant way to slip back into it and Garden Gurus of course. (At Milli's subtle suggestion). The headland at the end of our street was covered in the colours of Spring over the last weeks - now mostly gone. Yellows, whites, musks and purples with occasional splashes of rust coloured banksia covered the landscape. My intention was to photograph every type of flower so have included an album and added a few others I took in late winter.  It took a while as I have been moving house which means not just the moving but that extra extra spring clean of the old home. I have not named the flowers but intend and will do so but ask and I hopefully can name them for you. ENJOY!


Probably a good idea to use the slideshow if you have the time.

wildflowers spring 2011 - Bonny Hills, NSW. Australia

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thinning Water Lilies

Here's how to thin water lilies  -- notice that none are growing on the corral side of this tank.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Garden Tour

The Garden was looking quite good today and I had just got my little palm corder out so I decided to do a little video of the gardens. I hope you enjoy it xxx

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A few Photos of Autumn in South Australia

I understand how different it is in the Northern Hemisphere to come to terms with us being in Autumn down here in South Australia but it is a fact and I hope you like this little bit of Autumn colour to enjoy along with your Spring colour.
Milli. 11

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hens and Chicks

In the late winter our beautiful hen, Lois, died and our other beautiful hen, Francine, became ill but luckily she recovered.  I don't want to talk about the illnesses, other than the one cool thing that came from it was when we took Francine to the veterinary hospital we saw this gorgeous golden eagle with a broken wing in this photo with my son.

The eagle is expected to make a full recovery.

As I said, Francine recovered with lots of care from us, and this is the first photo of took of her upon her recovery.  She followed us out front as we were gardening and I thought she looked lovely in this splash of sunlight under the Japanese maple trees with the crocuses.


Chickens are flocking birds so we knew we had to adopt some friends for her.

Bonnie is a Buff Orpington, same as Francine and Lois, Kendra and Debbie are Silver Laced Wyandottes and will grow up to have black edged feathers with white centers.

At first I had hoped Francine would raise the chicks but she's not mentally prepared to do that, so we're hand raising them just like we did our first clutch of chicks.  She's interested in the chicks so as long as she remains non-aggressive toward them we'll allow "Supervised Visits."  These also make for good photo ops!

Yes, being this close to Easter I can't resist putting Easter Eggs in the photo!  Can you see Debbie and Kendra on the right side of the photo?

Here's Francine getting up close with Bonnie

Although Francine looks intense, I like to think she's saying to Bonnie,

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Early April at the Rockin' Heart

Finally getting the yard in decent shape. 2 college girls cleaning the flower beds sure helped. Our weather is very up and down. Record heat one day and near or at freezing the next night. I know I'm jumping the gun on putting some of the potted things out but took advantage of the time this morning before the winds hit. It is dry and windy. Red flag fire warnings for next 3 days. We are really dry.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Water Harvesting

I thought you might be interested, I finally got the water harvesting system set up in the side yard today.

I can now collect 1350 gallons of rain water to irrigate my fruit and veg during the summer.

The water is collected in these 2 barrels and pumped up into>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> These 2 tanks, the top tank fills first then has an over flow which transfers the water to the lower tank.  I'm gona grow a clematis over these as they are not very attractive LOL.

I still have to put in the water distribution system around the garden, when that's done I should be able to water the whole of the fruit and veg garden automatically by opening one tap on the lower tank. With water as expensive as it is today this will save me a lot of money on watering my crops.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

March zone 8/9

Her first bud of the year. I moved her to a sunnier location last fall, hoping she performs well this year.

Just a few things startign to bloom and grow

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It sprung, Spring did

Paperwhite. Someone had forced bulbs late last year, missed this one and gave it to me thinking it may be dead.

Just a few shots I took while tending the yard.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Rockin' Heart Ranch Weed Patch aka Flower Beds

This one is easy to remove.

Some of you know that early August we were called back from vacation because the ice hose maker flooded our house. Late summer and early fall flower bed duties just was not on the agenda. I always let the plants die back and remove the dead things early in the spring but this year it will be quite a job as lots of weeds and grass besides all the blown in weeds like tumble weeds (see the video I posted today). I do have a girl that wants to earn some money and help clean up the beds. I hope that works out. Today instead of it being a horse day, it was a bit of work in the yard. I got the red hot pokers trimmed and a little bit of the tumble weeds removed -- then was requested to show before and after photos. I sure hope the after looks better than these before. Tonight my allergies are in full swing. Face, eyes, etc itch. Headed for the shower for some relief. This bed is 180' long that borders two sides of the front yard.

Tumble Weeds & Roses

What do tumble weeds and roses have in common ---- actually should say does anyone want to come and clean my flower beds of the tumble weeds that blew in over the winter. Between the thorns on the roses and the prickly tumble weed which is a thistle, it's not a fun job. Leather gloves and long sleeved heavy denim shirt are a must.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mid February in the zone 8/9 garden

Gotta love yellow

I spent the weekend getting my yard somewhat in shape. these are a few things i spotted while doing so.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Look who woke up while I slept

Yesterday I noticed how close the buds on my nun's orchid were to opening.  I discovered her this morning.  The stem is riddled with buds so I expect several blooms to be open at once.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just Roses

These aren't recent. I was looking for a photo and stumbled up this file, these are from fall 2009. I just thought it would be a nice reminder of things coming soon. These may have been the only varieties I had at the time. I'm not sure and it's to early to think that far back, ya know.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

1/22/2011 Texas Panhandle/High Plains Zone 6

Lower end of zone 6. Coldest we have been this season has been below 5 degrees F. The first part of August we were called home from vacation because of a house flood from an ice maker hose. We have been in a repair and remodel for a long time and just recently moved back into the house as work is almost done. Needless to say the flowers have not had any special attention. Neglected is a better work to describe my beds and plants.

Margaret Lauterbach: Garden for your health and survival
I've a linked our local garden columnist's, Margaret Lauterbach, review of a book by Carol Deppe "The Resilient Gardener, Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times." She brings up a lot of issues and I was wondering if anyone here is interested in these issues because I read A LOT and I would be happy to share anything of any interest to people here. I haven't read the book but after reading this review it's going on my wish list.

Among the issues addressed in the book (and review) are health, nutrition, plant breeding at home, seed saving, raising poultry at home, and being resilient to disasters both natural and man made. I'll be honest and say that back home in the San Francisco Bay Area I regarded my garden to be part of my earthquake survival kit, I tried to always have something ready to harvest in the garden or at least from the garden in storage. If the Big One had hit April through January then my garden would have been able to help feed not only my family but several of neighbors for days if not weeks--for February and March I would stock up on extra canned foods.

Here in Idaho our chances of experiencing a Big One in our life time is far less than the SF Bay Area but it's not zero. Our growing season is shorter and we don't have snow cover all winter to store our veggies in place in the garden. I'm finding myself wanting to grow fewer crops for fresh eating and more crops for winter storage--less summer squash and more winter squash, fewer designer tomatoes and more paste tomatoes, not so many green beans but far more dry/shelling beans, and I chose a chicken breed well known for laying eggs in winter (many breeds stop laying in winter).

Back to my original question, is anyone here interested in any of these issues? Would you like me to share articles that I read on these issues or anything else?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Seed Savers Exchange - Prickly Caterpillar
Has anyone grown this plant before? I just bought the seeds this weekend, the lady said that it's a cool garnish that's edible but not yummy. It looks interesting, and being a legume it's useful for nitrogen fixing.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January hints of color, zone 8/9

We had a week with several hard freezes.  For us this means more than 4 hours below freezing.  The worse of this series had 12 hours in the low 20s, this was the worse seen this year.  Friday night brought a light freeze and Saturday we were back to spring like temperatures.  I spend much of the day working in the yard and taking note of things.  Happily, the new growth on the roses I shared last week was not damaged, the cuttings I've been working on also seem to have fared well.  Some signs of color are starting to emerge.

This is my 4th season with this camellia.  She was but a foot tall when I purchased it and is now about three feet high.  I almost lost her during her first year.  Her sister, planted in a shadier spot did well so I moved this one. She's recovered quite nicely.   Our warm days trigger the buds, which have been developing since June to open.  The buds themselves are oblivious to the freeze but you can see the damage it causes the petals.  This will be fine, a hard freeze after she's in full bloom will be detrimental.
This is her sister.  Her second year she had 21 blooms while the other had but one.  Last year the other surpassed it.  I'll no longer be able to fairly compare them as I'm using two different pruning styles so one will be tree like and the other bush.

This is my nun's orchid.  I acquired her last spring and have never seen her bloom.  From what I can tell it's mostly a pass along plant here and not really in commerce.  Most of her time here has been spent in shady corner pretty much ignored beyond an occasional watering.  I did read she doesn't do well with consistent temperatures below 40 degrees and that she should bloom late winter.  I moved her to a spot closer to the front door and when freezes are expected she'll come indoors for a week or so at a time. She was brought in last Monday afternoon.  On Thursday morning when I passed her I spotted a bud.  Closer examination showed two buds.  Now I've detected 7, including a few that haven't fully emerged.  I'm sort of excited! 

She moved back outdoors yesterday.  Tho one is hiding (camera shy I guess) there are three taller sprouts for buds.  If you look at the base you of the growth on the right you can see a bud just rising, there are 4 of these (or were yesterday, hopefully there are more)  I've read that the ragged foliage is normal and may get worse as she gets bigger.  After her bloom cycle, she's be moved ag'n to her shady hide away, it seems to have done well by her.  I've read a bit on propagating this, the stalk of the blooms is used to start cuttings.  I expect to try a few in the ground next year and have a few to pass along.

What's happening in your garden? 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Visit to a Special Nursery Set in Australian Scrub Land.

Hi to all our Garden Gurus across the Globe.


It was now my pleasure to go visiting a beautiful Garden Nursery which is set in a most unusual setting south of where I live.



The Nursery is called Raywood Nursery and a more delightful garden full of exotics trees, shrubs and plants would be difficult to find any where else in such a unique environment.



Raywood, which used to be a renowned nursery in the Adelaide Hills situated in Piccadilly, was transferred in 1974 to Deep Creek, far south on the Fleurieu Peninsula South Australia and is established with in 30 acres of wild and thick Stringy Bark Forest.




The actual Deep Creek runs through the property supplying the nursery with the much needed water to keep everything looking so fresh and green.



Once inside this nursery, which sits next to a conservation park, it feels like you have stepped into another world.



Blue Wrens and many other bird species including Native finches all play a big part creating charm and uniqueness in this beautiful and captivating family owned nursery.



I hope that you enjoy my little slide show and might I say it was difficult to stop at posting many more photos into this slide show.

I had such a great day there with my camera and found the owners so very obliging.

I wish to thank them sincerely for the pleasure.

Cheers for Now Milli. 



Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tree's in the Park

sorry i forgot the name of the tree, i do know it well but but, perhaps you do ?

January in a zone 8/9 garden

Mr Lincoln, lots of healthy new growth. We're going to experience a few freezes ag'n next week but as of yet they aren't predicting a hard one. I may be able to keep this growth.

I'm in Louisiana, right on the cusp of zones 8 and 9. Winters are relatively mild with us spending several days or weeks at a time in with spring like weather (70s/40s) divided but a day or three with lows below freezing. I grow mostly ornamentals with special interest in roses. I've been out examining my bushes today and thought I'd try a post here.