Bulbs for Dry and Moist shade in Design Elements

July 24th, 2021

  DESIGN ELEMENTS

Warm Bulbs What Are They?

Spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, tulips, freesias, bluebells, to name a few are all bulbs from the northern hemisphere. They do best in cool climates and once the main spring show is over, there's nothing left to excite.

  • It's time to changeup or simply extend the flowering season to what garden designer Peter Nixon terms 'warm bulbs.' 
  • These come from warmer climates such as South Africa and South America, therefore are more suited to a large part of eastern Australia-the 'cool sub trops.' (Cool sub-tropical).
  • The other benefits of these spectacular bulbs are that they flower much later and longer;  late spring into summer and even autumn.

Warm Bulbs part 4-Dry Shade and Moist shade

What kind of shade? NOT GLOOM!
  • We are talking Cliveas, and not just Clivea miniata. 
Try the following Cliveas

clivea%2Bnobilis.jpg
Clivea nobilis


 Clivea nobilis -umbel with many florets, starting in late winter; variable colours from pale orange to deep orange red with green tips.
Clivea gardenii-tubular and pendulous flowers; orange to red, however yellow and pink clones are also sometimes available to the plant collector.
Clivea caulescens-flowers pendulous and tubular; orange-red with green tips
Clivea robusta-pendulous flowers with green tips
Clivea%2Bgroup%2B2%2Byellow_green%2B%25282%2529.jpg


Bright shade will keep them happy. Full sun will fade the dark green to a pale washed out green and at worst, will burn the leaves
  • Keep one thing in mind. Where the leaf union comes together, it has to be well above the soil otherwise the clivea will rot.
  • As the roots push the upwards, DON'T be tempted to cover up the root system with more soil. 
  • Leaf litter or a leaf mulch is fine, but these grow in high rainfall areas and require their root system to be not sitting in water.

Moist Shade: 

Eucaris amazonica, flowers in high summer, usually around February, with pure white flowers with a green cup centre, almost daffodil-like.

Eucahris%2Bamazonica.jpg

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden designer from Paradisus garden design. www.dgnblog.peternixon.com.auwww.paradisusgl.peternixon.com.au     

 

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If you have any questions or feedback for me or Peter about these bulbs, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com or info@peternixon.com.au

Warm Bulbs for a Sheltered Northern Aspect in Design Elements

July 24th, 2021

 DESIGN ELEMENTS

Warm Bulbs What Are They?

Spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, tulips, freesias, bluebells, to name a few are all bulbs from the northern hemisphere. They do best in cool climates and once the main spring show is over, there's nothing left to excite.

  • It's time to changeup or simply extend the flowering season to what garden designer Peter Nixon terms 'warm bulbs.' 
  • These come from warmer climates such as South Africa and South America, therefore are more suited to a large part of eastern Australia-the 'cool sub trops.' (Cool sub-tropical).
  • The other benefits of these spectacular bulbs are that they flower much later and longer;  late spring into summer and even autumn.
Thunia%2Bmarshalliana%2B%25282%2529.jpg
Thunia marshalliana photo P Nixon

Warm Bulbs part 3-Northern Aspect with Shelter

So what do you plant in your shady area perhaps under trees where there’s usually dry shade?
As long as it’s not gloomy, such as really dense shade.

These bulbs are not for the harsh western aspect of exposed to harsh winds.
Thunia marshalliana from northern Thailand. 
Expect to see a cycle where it dies down before fresh new leaves come through in spring, with flowers appearing in summer. 
The leaves remind me somewhat of a crucifix orchid in the shape and configuration. 
The flowers are a standout white with a slight fragrance and grow atop long arching canes.
You could grow these in a large hanging basket so you could see the flowers from below.
  • When in growth, apply plenty of orchid fertiliser.
  • Propagation is super easy; just like for the keikis (baby plantlets) at the ends of canes, and cut of and pot up.
Worsleya procera commonly known as the Red fox orchid  or  lavender hippeastrum.

Worsleya%2Bprocera%2Bblue%2Bhippeastrum.jpg
Worsleya procera

One of the world's rarest bulbs originating from Rio de Janeiro.

Flowering can take  up to 7 years !
Leaves are deep green that have an unusual curvature giving them a sculptural look.
Listen to the podcast, it's rather long but very interesting.

Species Hippeastrum: Not your ordinary hippies!

Don't go past species Hippeastrum that originate for the most part, in south America.

  • All of course are in Amaryllidaceae family.
Hippeastrum%2Bpapilio%2Bbutterfly%2Bhippie.jpg
Hippeastrum papilio
You won't find much information about these hippeastrums in general so take note.
Some of these can grow as epiphytes in their natural environment!
  • In the ground, they need superb drainage but not under trees unless the canopy is quite high, say 2-3 metres above the bulb.
Start your collection with the Hippeastrum papilio 
or  green Hippeastrum calyptratumHippeastrum%2Bcalyptratum-green%2Bhippi.jpg
 
Peter outlines quite a few of the species hippeastrums so have a listen to the podcast.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden designer from Paradisus garden design. www.dgnblog.peternixon.com.auwww.paradisusgl.peternixon.com.au     

 

Instagram paradisus_sea_changer FB Paradisus Garden Design

If you have any questions or feedback for me or Peter about these bulbs, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com or info@peternixon.com.au

Warm Bulbs pt. 4-

South African Bulbs for a Harsh Western Aspect in Design Elements

July 24th, 2021

Warm Bulbs pt. 2-Harsh Western Aspect 

Every garden has an aspect that’s hard to plant out because it’s either too shady or too harsh and dry or even spot that receives hot western sun .
Today I’m focusing on bulbs that can give you a long display in the warmer months but have evolved to withstand hot and dry months.

haemanthus%2B%25282%2529.JPG
Haemanthus coccineus photo M Cannon

These bulbs originate where they are not exposed to very cold winters but have evolved to withstand hot dry conditions.

The bulbs in this group are in the Amaryllidaceae family which consists of mainly bulbs with long strappy leaves. The flowers are usually in an umbel-like cluster on a short or long scape.

 
Quite a few are known to have large showy flowers.
Haemanthus coccineus or 'blood lily likes an exposed location. 
 
It will refuse to flowers if in a shady, lush location. 
Don’t be like me and put the blood lily in too much shelter so the leaves grow long and the flower season trigger is missed.
  • A dead give-away is if the leaves are quite long and extended, then the bulb is in too much shade.

If you live in Adelaide, say a couple of streets back from the beach such as in Brighton, then expect your 'blood lily' to take off like mad. The low humidity and winter rains are a perfect climate for this bulb.

Haemanthus%2Bcoccineus%2Bx%2BH%2Balbifloss%2Bpink%2Bblood%2Blily.jpg
 
You can also look for the interspecific hybrid of Haemanthus albifloss x H. coccineus
If you love the shape of tulip flowers, then plant a row of these bulbs which will flower summer to autumn.
Brunsvigia%2Bgregaria.jpg
Brunsvigia greagaria 
 
Brunsvigia gregaria which has agapanthus like flower on steroids in a crimson coloured bloom.
Or even the combined genus of brunsvigia and amaryllis ending up with Amarygia.

Let’s find out more by listening to the podcast with Peter Nixon
 from Paradisus garden design.

Warm Bulbs for Bright Semi-Shade in Design Elements

July 23rd, 2021

 DESIGN ELEMENTS

Warm Bulbs What Are They?

Spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, tulips, freesias, bluebells, to name a few are all bulbs from the northern hemisphere. They do best in cool climates and once the main spring show is over, there's nothing left to excite.

  • It's time to changeup or simply extend the flowering season to what garden designer Peter Nixon terms 'warm bulbs.' 
  • These come from warmer climates such as South Africa and South America, therefore are more suited to a large part of eastern Australia-the 'cool sub trops.' (Cool sub-tropical).
    Scadoxus%2Bmultiflorus%2Bvar.%2Bkatarineae%2BFireball%2Blily.jpg
    Scadoxus multiflorus var. katarineae photo P. Nixon
  • The other benefits of these spectacular bulbs are that they flower much later and longer;  late spring into summer and even autumn.

We're starting of this 4 part series with 'bulbs for bright semi-shade.'

  • The first group are Scadoxus species, some of which evergreen.
  • This group DO NOT like low light levels, and poor  drainage.
  • If growing under a tree, the canopy must be well above so the bulbs are not shaded.
  • Even morning sun would be good.
  • Bulbs are the size of an onion.
  • DO NOT bury the bulbs as you would a tulip are narcissus. The neck of these bulbs MUST be half-emerged.

Peter mentions these:

Scadoxus multiflorus var. katarinaea - Fireball Lily (but also grows in Southern Highlands equating to higher altitude South Africa). 

Scadoxus membranaceus -entirely staminate and surrounded with pale bracts.

I have some of these warm bulbs-namely two varieties of Haemanthus.

One flowers easily, and the other, I’ve yet to discover where it prefers to grow so it puts out the red paintbrush flower.

PLAY: Bulbs -bright semi-shade_16th June 2021

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden designer from Paradisus garden design.www.dgnblog.peternixon.com.auwww.paradisusgl.peternixon.com.au 

Instagram paradisus_sea_changer FB Paradisus Garden Design

If you have any questions or feedback for me or Peter about these bulbs, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com or info@peternixon.com.au

Real World Gardener Plants for Shady Side Passage in Design Elements

June 11th, 2021

SHADY GARDENS Part 4

Plants for a Shady Side Passage
 
Often there's one side of the house which is quite neglected because it's cold and not much light gets there, and and as much as you've tried, no plants have survived.
It's time to re-look at that side passage, usually the south side of the house, and give it another red hot go.
Steve thinks these are 'little gems.'
HUN_8543.JPG

 

 
Treated in the right way, this could be a turned into a special place.
One suggestion is stone flagging with border plants.
What about some narrow plants?
Viburnum Dense Fence and 
Nandina domestica or sacred bamboo.; there are many varieties of this old favourite.
Some trees will fit.
Blueberry ash , (Eleaocarpus reticulatus)
Steve likes the idea of Japanese maples, (Acer palmatum.) Being deciduous it can take the extra cold in winter especially if there's no light.
 
Let’s find more of what will grow there?
I'm talking with Steve McGrane, agriculturalist and horticulturist.

Real World Gardener Plants for Shady Verandahs in Design Elements

June 11th, 2021

SHADY GARDENDS PART 3

Plants for a Shady Balcony, Porch or Verandah

This series is about what you can grow in a shady area around your house or garden.

Balconies or verandah’s look better with plants, but what if they’ve got shade for most or a good part of the day?

This situation is a bit of a challenge , Steve says he gets customers into his nursery that say they have shade in this situation but get some afternoon sun.
Golden can palm is a perfect example for such a situation, plus they provide a fantastic screen.
This palm then provides a microclimate for other containers underneath.

 

IMG_3059-001.JPG

You don’t have to be limited by shade on your verandah or balcony, because there are quite a lot of choices.

 
Think about a particular look that you like such as a tropical big leafed look, then add a bamboo palm and the fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata).  
Pots or containers that are elevated are a good idea to take advantage of more indirect light.
My favourite right now are hoyas of all types, in fact I’ve started a collection of about 8 so far, with 6 in hanging pots. (pictured right.). The hanging baskets and pole assembly were from Aldi of all places.
 
Let’s find out what will grow there?
I'm talking with Steve McGrane, agriculturalist and horticulturist.
 

Real World Gardener Plants for Shade Under Trees in Design Elements

June 11th, 2021

SHADY GARDENS PART 2

What to plant under the shade of trees.

Shade trees are great, but what can you plant under them that can cope with the root competition and low levels of sunlight throughout the year.

IMG20190918140002.jpg

You want something attractive of course and not just a bare area.
In one of my shady spots 

 
I've attached a birds nest fern (pictured) to the trunk of a silk oak (Grevillea robusta).

 
In the same space are many cliveas, which is a bit of  a standout with evergreen foliage and available in more colours than just bright orange, pastel colours such as creams, yellows and white.
 
Neomarica gracilis or walking iris, are another perfect suggestion.
 
Shade in gardens that is provided by trees has a much bigger cooling effect that say shade soils or umbrellas.
Other suggestions this time  for cool climate gardens are Huechera species.  

This shady garden series is not so much what makes the best shade trees, but what can grow in various types of shade, whether it’s a shady side passage, a shady balcony, or just a shady part of the garden.

 
Let’s find out more ? I'm talking with Steve McGrane, agriculturalist and horticulturist.

Real World Gardener Shady Gardens part 1 in Design Elements

June 11th, 2021

DESIGN ELEMENTS

SHADY GARDENS PART 1

This shady garden series is not so much what makes the best shade trees, but what can grow in various types of shade, whether it’s a shady side passage, a shady balcony, or just a shady part of the garden.
Do you have some shade in your garden?
Perhaps it’s a really shady garden because of neighbouring trees or buildings, or perhaps your own trees have grown quite big and created a lot of shade.

Over the next four weeks, Steve and I will be discussing what plants do best in a variety of shady gardens, but today, why is shade in a garden so important?

bates%2Bgarden.jpg

Shady gardens will provide refuge from the heat in summer. Your garden may be basking in full winter sun right now, but in summer, you and some of your plants will want more shade for cooling.

The leaves take advantage of even the slightest of breezes providing some air movement.
Shade in gardens that is provided by trees has a much bigger cooling effect that say shade sails or umbrellas.
On a hot day, the shade under a mature tree can be up to 10 degrees cooler than the actual temperature but the trick is to find what grows under those shade trees. 
Alternatively, you may be able to lift the canopy so that more light reaches the lower levels or the understorey.

Let’s find out more? I'm talking with Steve McGrane, agriculturalist and horticulturist.

Real World Gardener Design Principles part 4 in Design Elements

May 27th, 2021

Design Principles part 4

Landscape Materials

Over the last few weeks, Garden Designer Glenice Buck has been outlining all those factors you need to consider when you’re doing a re-design no matter how big or small.
Hopefully you’ve at least drawn a mudmap of your garden or yard if there’s nothing in it.
Do this before you buy the plants.

  • But what are the options for say landscape materials?
  • There are clever ways to achieve looks of the real thing without spending the big bucks.
 
DSC_0540.JPG
 

Think locally to reduce transport costsThen there’s re-purposing material especially if it’s already in your garden or nearby.

 
What about fencing?
So many types of fencing
Timber 
Colourbond,
Wire fencing
Timber with horizontal rails.
Brick
 
Retaining walls
Reconstituted sandstone blocks
Drystone walls-especially if you have plenty of stone lying about on your property
Besser blocks that can be rendered or cap with sandstone fascias.
Timber- but this has a limited life and can be eaten out by termites.
Gabion walls-wire mesh that is filled with rocks.
Corten steel lengths edging as well as for retaining walls.
 
Steps: need to be structurally sound.
Natural stone: granite or Sandstone floaters.
Brick steps
Pieces of limestone or limestone tiles.
Concrete steps
 
Pathways
loose pebbles
paving: sandstone, granite, terracotta, brick, decomposed granite
I'm talking with  Glenice Buck of www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

That concludes are basic principles of garden design.

Real World Gardener Design Principles part 3 in Design Elements

May 27th, 2021

 DESIGN ELEMENTS

Design Principles part 3: Doing the design.

Do you have a particular favourite colour when it comes to plants or perhaps there are some colours that you just don’t want in your garden?

These are the sorts of things you need to think about when redesigning either all or some of your garden.

What to do next

  • Consider your colour pallette, what colours don't you like or do like?
  • Think about what plants your really want to include.
  • If you have an attachment to certain plants, think about using those as a guideline to what else you can plant.
  • Draw a scaled plan so you can work out the proportions of your gardens beds a bit better. A mudmap may be a good idea to start with but once you’ve decided on the plants you like, it’s time to think about drawing up a plan to scale so that you can be sure that all the plants you like will actually fit in. In some situations you may be able to get by with just the mud map.  
  • Think about design styles: Start collecting images of gardens that you like.
  •  
Cottage Garden Style

1-HAR_2533_2231.JPG

A cottage garden is known for its flowering perennials with their soft, relaxed form and character. These gardens have a fairly informal style and are normally planted with flowering plants in muted and pastel colours. The plants tend to grow into each other, forming mounds and domes. 

DSC_0232.JPG


Formal Garden Style

This style of garden has the most structure and can be quite rigid in their style. The basis of a formal garden is symmetry, balance, tailored plantings, simplistic plant choice and a sense of majesty. The gardens and pathways tend to run in straight lines and form grid like patterns

 
I'm talking with Glenice Buck of www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

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