Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Goodbye to Summer

It is always with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to summer, and today is officially its final day. Despite some very uncomfortable days as we experienced our hottest summer on record here in Brisbane, this year is no exception.

My busy schedule has given me little time to bring the garden back to its 'glory' days, but there have been brilliant performances from some of my old faithfuls over the season, who have prevailed in the most adverse of conditions - neglect, extreme heat and minimal water.

First and foremost leading into the warmer weather were the daylilies.

'Francois Verhaert'


Spacecoast Seashell

'Royal Rego'

'Isis Unveiled'

'Russian Ragtime'

I fell in love with my one and only rose 'Eyes for You' - a gift from my neighbour. The beautiful 'eye' changes to a soft purple as it ages.

The most resilient of all the plants in my garden are undoubtedly the bromeliads. Although I have spent little time in the garden, I have confidently continued to add to my collection, knowing that they keep on keeping on, regardless of the conditions. These are a few favourites...

And here are some of the new additions from the end of last year.  

Neo 'Coolum Lime'

All lined up.

But I had more fun over the weekend.

They're not all mine!  I had a partner in crime, but here are some of the latest acquisitions.



Saundersii x sucrei

Vriesea Margarita

The fun part is balancing your collection to include a range of beautiful foliage, usually the neoregelias, and the spectacular flowers, like guzmanias, and the different sizes (I have a few new mini neoregelias too). Once again, I seem to have a bit of a pink theme happening.

So that is a quick look at the summer that was in the garden here at Casa Bella. And probably nothing says summer colour quite like the poinciana in my front yard, here with one of the local butcherbirds whose song wakes me most mornings. If you click on this  pied butcherbird song recording, you will understand just how lucky I am.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Tropical garden inspiration

Wow!  Looks my last post telling you I was back to blogging was a bit premature. Here's what happened.

After I came back to Australia and wrote my last post in October, I headed back to Papua New Guinea to complete my contract. I returned to Australia early November, but had lots of problems with my computers and downloading photos (dropping my laptop on the tiled floor didn't help). I'm finally back on track with that.

However after 7 months away, my own garden is in a sad state so I headed out and about in search of inspiration.

Two weekends ago, on the last Sunday in February, I visited an open garden - Taman Air in the southside Brisbane suburb of Sunnybank - where there was no shortage of great ideas for the tropical garden.

The main street entrance to Taman Air - the Sunnybank garden of Rene and Carolyn Hundscheidt - flanked by bronze coloured (Aechmea blanchetiana) and burgundy Alcantarea bromeliads

This beautiful potted bromeliad is Aechmea 'Del Mar'; I snapped up one at the plant sales adjoining the garden.

A spirit house with Rhapis palm to the right - a plant I am planning to add to my front garden - Croton to the left, Rhoeo in the foreground, and Brazilian Red Cloak behind..

A pretty miniature bromeliad in spectacular Balinese stone planter.

Beehive ginger

The entry to the residence - great concept but this would be asking for trouble for anyone as clumsy as I am.

A selection of bromeliads, mainly neoregelias.

Lovely blue-flowered water plant

Love the stone and pebble pathway and the red and white caladium (I added to my own collection with a visit to the on-site plant shop).

Selection of Guzmania bromeliads - think I have had all of these at some stage - hopefully they are still there.

Exit/entrance to side street.

I love this heliconia.

The property boundary from the street

Delicate pink frangipani (Plumeria)

Rene can supply all the finishing touches to add Balinese style to any garden. You can check out his website at www.islandimports.com.au  And if it you want more tropical inspiration, have a look at my earlier post where I explored the garden of Rene's brother, Dennis here


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