279/366: a tropical walk in the burbs

Lately on my morning walks I have been paying attention to tropical plants, as my garden takes on a new theme.

We can’t see the Dandenongs from our block, but most places I walk I can see them in the distance.

At sunrise palms always look lovely silhouetted against the sky.

And lastly, most tree ferns I know are not as tall as a house.

232/366: three ferns and a palm tree

Hooray! My three ferns and a palm tree are planted. I enlisted my husband’s help to plant them, because he’s so good at digging holes, and that way he can feel he has contributed. Ask him and he’d probably say he would be happy for me to do it entirely, but let me keep my little fantasy that he loves being out in the garden with me.

Pteris Cretica Albo Lineata

Silver Lady Blechnum

Blechnum Spicant

I had a terrible fright when I thought, on closer inspection, that the Blechnum Spicant was the same as the ubiquitous fishbone fern I already have in my garden. Fortunately they are not one and the same, and the common name for this one is ladder fern.

And finally, the dwarf or pygmy date palm, Phoenix Robellinii.

Hopefully the differing sizes and heights will fill up this area nicely.

It’s fun goin’ troppo.

230/366: goin’ troppo

It’s time to go all-out troppo. With my love of conifers still intact, I am branching out into palms and ferns as I recreate the patio area.

Naturally it is raining today because I was ready to plant the palm and three ferns that I bought yesterday. Never mind, I can be planning the exact position for each one while the weather is inclement.

You may like to have a sneak preview while they are still nestled in their pots:

I am a great believer in anticipation being half the fun. So here I sit, in anticipation.

59/366: at last, a front garden

We had previously grassed the area so that it could be easily mowed while we were busy setting up the inside of the house. Then, finally, early in 1987, it was time to create our front garden.

To build up some garden beds, we brought in many metres of topsoil. The clay, or intermediate soil, of this area was not particularly conducive to planting a garden.          With a little fernery in front of the side picket fence, we moved to the area next to the footpath.I loved, and still love, the look of conifers and different shades of green, so with this vision in mind we set about forming a welcoming display. People walking by would see this, and we would also get a nice view from our bedroom bay window; a double achievement!

2/366: my secret garden

Look at the two photographs and see if you can spot the fake.

The large fern sits in the corner of the patio and has led a charmed life. Although it is under the cover of the pergola, it gets enough light to flourish. Occasionally I will give it a large drink by putting the hose into its centre and watering it for half an hour. Over the summer months I might follow this procedure four or five times, and at other times of the year maybe once a month, but it seems to have worked. Hopefully I’m not jinxing it by stating that.

I have often used some artificial help in the garden. In this case, the tree ferns you can see have had some cosmetic surgery. Originally, they were planted down the “dead” side of the house, or the utility area where the washing line is located. It is a fairly sheltered area because of overhanging native trees next door, which monopolise any rainfall. Consequently, the ferns died, and I was left with the trunks. Fern trunks are pretty by themselves, but some greenery finishes them off. A lot less expensive than replacing the ferns, I purchased artificial fronds and embedded them into the ferns. From a distance you would hardly know the difference, and if I hadn’t let you into this little secret, you would be none the wiser. Feel free to copy the idea in any little corner of your garden that needs brightening up without the hassle of watering. Shh!