Our house is built on a sloping block and it has taken quite a while to "tame" the hill side so that we could plant a garden. Eighteen months later we have the beginnings of colourful garden that is looking healthy and promising. It is changing every day with this beautiful spring weather.
The scientific name for the Starfish Plant is Stapelia Orbea variegata. It comes from South Africa and is also known as the carrion plant due to the stinky smell of the flowers. Mine has been flowering for six months now, starting at Christmas time. It has had many, perfect starfish flowers but also one very strange, yet to be revealed bud. The bud started quite small but developed a second pod that has continued to grow. I wonder what will happen when it opens? Stay tuned for an update.
Today the garden arches were reinstalled to their permanent positions. It takes a while before the arches seem to find a home that suits them but we are happy with their new locations now.
This is a very old set of calf bales that came from our farm. This is the second home in which it has been a garden arch. I'm going to try and grow a Hardenbergia over this one. It will be a bit tricky with the two giant gum trees sucking the nutrients and water out of the soil but worth a try.
As you walk through our front door you immediately see a large window which captures the views out over the flats. The architect achieved this by making an alcove between the main living area and the guest wing. This space also houses the hot-water service and the reverse-cycle air conditioner. It is an ideal place for pot plants. Throughout summer I keep pots with cuttings, begonias and anything that needs nurturing out of the hot sun. In winter it has turned into the fernery. Getting this area to look nice and to be functional took a couple of stages. See the progress below.
This was the final solution to the space. Weedmat underneath and these lovely grey and terracotta stone. Two, frost tender shrubs, have been planted into the ground between the aircon and the hot water service and seem very happy. The emu has been placed opposite the aircon as the fans create quite a blast of air, a bit too much for pot plants to tolerate. On the hottest of days we installed an umbrella to shade everything and you can still see the stand half way along. Just as the architect planned this has become a lovely space full of plants.
This could also be called "Let's Disguise the Septic Tanks". The west side of the house has the septic system with large sand filters, meaning that we can't grow large trees and it has concrete lids to mow around. We decided this would be a good place for a vegetable garden. We've installed a raised bed for veges and will eventually add a couple of smaller raised beds for rotation and spring plantings of beans, tomatoes and zucchini.
Hiding the septic tanks has led to the development of the succulent pot garden. In fact the area with stones is full of pots with a variety of plants from bird of paradise (Strelitizia) to mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis). A friend donated large Nandinas, that they removed from their garden so we had an instant hedge that added a nice screen between our place and the neighbours.
Completing a concrete path completely around the house and levelling out the huge mounds of excess dirt on the east side made a huge difference to the site. We could, at least walk around the house and keep our feet clean, without having to navigate the sticky Bunyip soil.
This is a little plant that is quite unusal that has travelled with us from our farm garden at Athlone to the wheelbarrow garden in Warragul and now to Bunyip. We found it was quite invasive so it will remain in a pot or the wheelbarrow here in Bunyip.
It makes a dense ground cover and the little spathes are interesting poking up above the arrow shaped leaves.
Arisarum vulgare, common name the Friar's Cowl or Larus , is an herbaceous, perennial, with an underground rhizome plant in the genus Arisarum belonging to the family Araceae.
This small plant was found under a gum tree in Bunyip on our new property. A Google search would suggest that it is a native orchid commonly known as the nodding greenhood orchid. A lovely find!
Pterostylis nutans, commonly known as the nodding greenhood or the parrot's beak orchid, is a species of orchid endemicto eastern Australia. Nodding greenhoods have flowers which "nod" or lean forwards strongly, have a deeply notched sinus and a curved, hairy labellum.Unknown treasure
Twelve months ago we moved to our new house. It was the first home that we had built. Previously we had lived in pre-loved homes but after toying with the idea of buying a holiday house we decided instead to build our forever home. We wanted a house that was environmentally friendly and a little smaller than where we were previously living. Add to that the block we found is closer to family, has fantastic views and a better climate (marginally but still better). I've used this blog to document the beautiful garden that I had in Warragul and also my mother's lovely garden so now I intend to document the new garden and it's progress. I took the photos below as a record of where we started from.
This has been a wonderful season for the all the different types of Lillies in the garden. There will be an abundance to choose from for the Christmas table.
2011- 365 Challengers