Archive for January, 2010
One of my favourite nursery trips is to the Imperial Garden’s complex in Terrey Hills – which is located about 45 minutes north on Sydney. The complex contains The Buddha Belly restaurant, Imperial Gardens Bonsai, Imperial Gardens Landscape Design, Mr Bamboo Nursery, Gazebo Direct and Hidden Orient.
I remember treking up to Imperial Gardens bonsai in 1999 as Ken Lamb (Managing director of Imperial Gardens Landscape) was constructing the Balinese pavillions that became Buddha Belly/Imperial Gardens Landscape/Hidden Orient. I usually return once a year and am struck by how authentically the gardens and constructions have aged. The whole area was mostly a dumping area 15 years ago and now feels like a landscape that has been their for 100 years.
We live in the Lower Blue Mountains. That means we travel. Lots. So we are thus used to and experienced in trekking all over to find useful places to source things around our home. I am bringing you some of my favourite and not so favourite garden nurseries from around Sydney.
Thus we traversed the lengthy and expensive toll roads of Sydney’s north to this subtropical seaside suburb of the Northern Beaches. I had previously ran past this on a Metrogaine in 2008 and thought that i should come back. Nearly 18 months later we return on a strikingly humid day too.
What impressed about this nursery is the varied amount of stock on offer and the low prices across their range. I usually steer away from all Flower Power nurseries due their almost default position of doubling the prices relative to what one would reasonable expect from a large chain. Warriewood Flower Power gladly has steered away from this with a generous selection of plants on sale and non sale plants still reasonably priced given their size and health.
Anyway the top 5 reasons that you should go to this nursery are:
- Tropical style plant stock – good varied ferns, palms, large leafy under storey types.
- Homewares and outdoor/indoor accessories – most nurseries attempt to have some indoor pots /general nice knick knacks but mostly fail. Not only is the indoor accessories area massive- the homewares are really nicely choosen , stylish and contemporay
- Native varieties – plenty of choice of varieties and sizes. Different cultivars too – I counted 11 different Lillipilly’s.
- On sale items – i picked up two 200mm pot banksias for $9.99 each from $19.99 – both over 1metre high. They had 200mm pots of Liriope for $3.25 down from $9.99
- Lots to see – as nurseries go it is quite spacious, has lots of different areas (natives, formal gardens, tropical/indoor, aquatic, fish, landscape, indoors, mature trees etc)
Photos can only show you so much – so here is a bit of a wander around the backyard (albeit shaky….) looking at what we have done in the garden over the past few years.
Hello all! You might be wondering why I am suddenly contributing to this blog. Well, put simply, it was time for a little feminine influence and flavour. My loyal and hard-working husband has been, so far, the sole contributor to this blog (it really is his baby). This has made perfect sense – not only did he create this little record of our house and it’s growth over the years, but he has also been the one doing most of the physical and creative labour on the actual house itself. Until now.
The time has come, my friends, to show you what the female half of this partnership has been doing (namely interiors, planning, organising, decorating and “supervising” a lot of the outdoor stuff). So we thought it was about time that I added the odd post here and there for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing. You can expect the same pictures, explanations and whimsical meanderings that you have come to enjoy so far (we hope), just from a slightly more girly point of view (mind you, I’m not that girly – you won’t find any frills here).
So, hello, welcome, thanks for having me, and I hope you find my future posts interesting, informative, or at the very least, pretty. Jo xx1 comment
The site looks like it is setup to a be a bit of an allround australian-focused garden resource guide – in particular a solid database of plants, searchable by soil, position, climate and then refined by size, shape colour, context etc. At the moment the database is quote good – but obviously will be built up with further and varied images. Additionally it offers a bunch of little background items on how-to projects, design aspects and general suggested plant uses. It also offers a somewhat adequare contact list of local garden bursery suppliers – but has sort of missed the boat in my opinion lacking the essential useful nursery infomation from community input (i.e rating, comments etc) and photos. Perhaps that will come later.
Anyway it will be interesting to see how the site grows – I would love to see some more design based videos added – some of the great design segment features on Durie’s “Australia’s Best Backyards” and Brendan Moar’s “Dryspell Gardening” seemed forever lost to TV archives or sporadic Foxtel replays as thearen’t available online or on DVD. Worth a look and I will check checking back for new stuff.
My aim has been to create gardens around the house (The Box) that are drought tolerant and bird attracting. When we moved here in 2003, there was three privet trees, two paperbark and one Camphor Laurel as well as six Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus Regnans) in the north east garden (pictured above). Due to their enormous size we had afew of these Eucalypts removed in September 2008. The removal of the trees opened up the yard to more sunlight – most notably afternoon sun. To sit under these huge gums, native flowering plants and grasses filled my creative vision.
I started November 2008, digging up this garden – turning the compacted sandy soils over and mixing in some organic matter to aid in water rentention (given the slope). I let the beds settle for a few weeks- regularly applying a mixure of seasol and nitrosol. In December 2008 planed out the garden with native tubestock. My aim was grevillia’s and banksia’s for the fenceline – with the hope that they will grow taller and add some privacy – and grassy/strappy plants along the garden edge and under the trees. These grasses included Swamp Foxtail Grass, Lomandra Longifolia/Tannika, Diannella, Kangaroo Paw and Gyamea Lilies. The grasses have tripled and quadrupled in size but the grevillas and banksias in particular have been a bit slower in growth rate. However with the advent of summer – they are really starting to thicken up.
Addionally I have aimed to divert water onto this garden by positioning the downpipe from a newly installed roof for our deck directed so it flows directly across the lawn and onto this part of the garden. Also I have actively placed logs and dug small zig-zagging troughs down the slope of the garden to slow down water as it passes runs over the garden.
I am trying to implement a new feature on talesfromthebox – a before and after series. Some might feature the simple before and after – while others might show a gentle progression over many years. Anyway at the moment I am madly in the garden – loving all things backyard focused given the onset of the Christmas and New Year rain and subsequent growth. The new addtions to the yard will be a tropical garden in the lower third of the garden – but more on that later. Today – simply a before and after of the backyard – the first picture taken 5 years ago in January 2005 and the second taken today. You will note the rather clearance of many trees, the oncovering of a new more, new garden beds, a moving shed and new tank and a flush, lush green lawn. It has been a busy few years!