Wednesday, March 10, 2010

falling in love again...

In our neck of the woods, autumn has hit thick and fast - a very rude surprise for someone returning from a brief sojourn @ qualia on Hamilton Island! This abrupt change of season has revealed some absolute garden delights, like the white anenomes above, but it has made me realise I can hardly remember what Magic Garden was like when the spring was new and the ink on the settlement papers was barely dry. I thought it might be nice to remind myself of the richness that is dormant and fill this post with warmth and colour.

Without further ado, I proudly present our majestic copper beech. Standing over 15m tall, I am reliably informed that this beauty is perhaps one of the oldest in Australia and certainly one of the finest specimens still fertile, if the quantity of conkers is anything to go by. The divine Miss and I enjoyed hours of entertainment, watching punk cockatoos execute the most death-defying moves as they crushed the seed pods in one claw, hanging on with the other. Total daredevils and it makes me curious as to the role they play in the keeping the tree healthy, a very rough kind of pruning and they definately encourage the dead wood to fall. By now, the tree is looking slightly denuded and the foliage has lost its lustre, leaving the deep brown leaves to make their way to earth. The upside is that I've discovered that there's a possum or perhaps an owl box tucked way up in the old dame's branches and I can't wait to see who the inhabitant might be. Fingers X'd for owl!

This is the view from our bedroom window. You can see the two different rhododendrens, flame orange and a somewhat more subtle musk stick pink. Magic Garden really is a showcase for both the azalea and rhodendren families, I confess that I was totally blown away by the sheer variety of colours and I didn't know that some types had such gorgeous fragrances.

Lavender will always play a substantial role in my gardens and this is the monster that grows alongside the driveway. It is a classic example of how plants propagate through layering, which can be very useful if you want to create borders and hedging without huge expense. However, if your plant isn't exactly where you want more of the same, then with special care, you can easily divide the new plants from the parent and transplant them elsewhere. Have the transplant spot ready to go and then trim any dead wood and most of the extraneous foliage from the new plant. Then most gently, use your sectuers to seperate the two and even more gently, dig your new baby out. Plant in the usual tender fashion and voila, your thriftiness means you can spend your gardening dollar elsewhere. As the embargo against new plant buying continues here at Magic Garden, I'll be investing alot of time and energy in finding ways to keep my meagre budget intact.


  1. We also have a new plant embargo here at Oakley Avenue. However I was able to negotiate an exception to this on the weekend, when a hibiscus was allowed into the sub-tropical front garden (as distinguished from the lady garden) in exchange for a new circular saw. In hindsight though, I should probably have negotiated a little harder, as the circular saw was circa $200 whereas the hibiscus was $12.

  2. hmm, that does smack of investment inequality - I'd be surreptiously returning to the nursery myself! can't wait to hear more about the lady garden...