Friday, September 21, 2012

Front garden bed in Parkville (a work in progress)

I've put together this group of pictures of one of the front garden beds in the Parkville garden. The basic idea is that there were 2 massive palm trees that the head gardener wanted gone. After that I had the lovely task of digging out the roots of the palms which took ages (ask anyone who has done it). We then did some edging around the bed and dug through some mushroom compost. Lastly we planted the bed out with annuals for the gardens open day. As in all parts of the garden we haven't finished the bed and we plan to plant some creeper on the cable trellis we installed on the back wall of the bed. The annuals will also have to be periodically replaced (I'm guessing annually haha).

The two trees as they once stood (spot the arborist)

Looks bare now doesn't it?

No more sign. I hope people can still find the general office and the meeting rooms.

Digging around the services pit to install more edging.

But boss its all roots in there!

Here's me digging away. Notice the posts on the wall with steel cable run horizontally every foot or so.

That looks better. All the edging is done and compost has been dug through now time to plant some annuals.

Annuals are now all in place. We planted stocks, violas, pansies, primulas and also some ornamental mizuna (Japanese mustard). There are also some tulip bulbs in there

The bed as it is now.

We tried to plant the annuals with the smalls in the front and talls at the back. Damn it we didn't count on the mizuna being so tall, live and learn i suppose. The stocks and some of the others in there still haven't bloomed or reached their full height as it's still only early spring. A wise gardener once told me that gardening is a process not an end result and we aren't finished with this bed. I'll try to post more pics after the annuals are replaced and the creeper is established the back wall.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cercis chinensis 'judas tree' & flowering Echium candicans in Parkville

This amazing tree is flowering in the Parkville gardens in which I work. It's called Cercis chinensis. It's a very striking in the sense that its flowers are so abundant and vivid in colour. It is native to China and Japan. There is a myth that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from a tree of the Cercis genus.

The Echium Fastuosum 'Pride of Madeira' plant is finally firing up with most buds now blooming. I did an earlier post on this plant with more botanical information on it.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' in the Fairfield gardens

Aeoniums are winter flowering succulent plants which are native to Madeira, The Canary Islands, Morocco and East Africa. This Zwartkop cultivar is also known by the common name 'Black Rose'. They look spectacular whether flowering or not. I've taken several cuttings from these plants in Fairfield with the hope of growing them in Macedon. Although they are not supposed to tolerate frost the cuttings have survived through the cold of winter in Macedon so hopefully they will work. Unfortunately they take a few years of development before flowering but it will be well worth the wait if they do. I love the shape of the clusters of flowers (like a small yellow Christmas tree).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hellebores at Mt Macedon rare plants nursery

Yesterday I worked up at Dicksonia Rare Plants nursery in Mt Macedon. I haven't worked up there for a couple of weeks due to there being incredibly heavy rain. Its been quite uncomfortable working up on the mountain during the winter. Some days it's been between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius and when you take the wind chill factor into account it makes for a bloody cold day. Yesterday was the first day of spring and also the first day in a while where the weather has been sunny and warm. It made for a nice change.

From the nursery I've photographed these Hellebores. Almost everyone who enters stops to look at them. They are hybrids the first of which is called Helleborus x ballardiae 'pink frost'. I'm not sure of the name of the second but you can see that it is a double Hellebore of some variety. These plants have survived the cold winter up at Mt Macedon so they can obviously tolerate frost. Hellebores can also tolerate some shade and they like to be planted under deciduous trees.