My New Garden Toy


img_0375To was my birthday a few weeks ago, it’s nice to let it quietly slip by, just another year older a little bit wiser(I hope).  l don’t mind getting a little spoilt by my hubby and kids and they always make me feel very special. This year my daughter gave me a vertical garden, she also planted it out with some gorgeous flowers. It is my first vertical planter I think it  look wonderful and l’m looking forward to adding to it with some more vertical planters in the future.





She also added a cute little turtle and with the left over plants from the vertical garden project she planted these wonderful pots of colour that now sits at my front door. I did get a giggle when she came looking for extra pots, like mother like daughter she just couldn’t leave the nursery without way more plants than she needed. I don’t think l know anybody that goes to the nursery and doesn’t end up buying way more than is required.
My hubby brought me a fantastic trailer for my ride-on mower. I had been dropping hints for a few months now so I’m so excited he remembered. It’s called the Jak Max trailer and l would have to say it’s one of my favourite new toys in the garden. It can either be used by itself just like a super sized wheelbarrow pushed and pulled around the garden by hand or be hooked to the back of the ride-on mower for easy mobility. It’s also a tilt trailer for easy removal of your garden waste, all you need to do is pull up to your pile and pull a lever, the whole trailer lifts and tips out your waste. It is so easy to use and although my wheelbarrow will still be getting a great workout my trailer will definitely be my workhorse from now on. I have spent the last few days out in the garden weeding, removing my pumpkin patch, cleaning up leaf litter, and my massive out of control pile of pots and even collecting fire wood all with ease with my super awesome trailer.


The tilt trailer make for easy removal of your waste.

I think the only problem is that l can’t back a trailer!!! But I never look at anything as a problem just a challenge, so l have started teaching myself. Can you believe that in my 41 years of life on a farm l never learnt this task. Let me tell you there is certain skill required to achieve such a task but I’m improving everyday. Practice makes perfect right, I’m just lucky l live in the country and nobody can see me going back and forward, back and forward 15 times practicing just to get it straight and so not to jackknife the trailer.:)

My present may sound like hard work to some, but l love my new trailer and I’ve already got a new list of jobs on the to-do-list. Some may like a bunch of flowers but l just want to create my very own living bunch of flowers right in my backyard to enjoy everyday not just my birthday.

Do you have any new gardening tools or maybe it’s an old favourite one you use in your garden that just make your day easier? I’d love to hear what it is and how it has changed your gardening for the better.

Till Tomorrow

Happy Gardening:)



It’s a Bug Invasion


The Pesky Harlequin beetles invading my patch.

The Problem

Sometimes in my patch from time to time I find myself facing a bit of a challenge with bug infestations. Having a decent size veggie patch(that I sometimes struggle to fully maintain) is a real joy but can sometimes cause major problems with pesky destructive bugs, beetles, slugs and grubs.

On this occasion it’s the Harlequin beetles, we have always had these little creatures around the place but this year I must have unwittingly created the perfect condition for them as l have them everywhere. They have been very destructive in my veggie patch, with my tomatoes crop the worst hit but they also seem to enjoy the corns, beetroot, chard and even the cat mint hedge l planted along the front of the patch.

The Friendly Advice 

I have done a lot of reading, searching and talking to my local nurseryman to find a solution for my problem. One of the biggest things spraying my veggies with any type of chemical as this is never an option around the foods we are growing to eat so l was looking for a more environmentally friendly solution. Not always easy but well worth the effort and piece of mind.

Dishwashing detergent mixed with water seems to be a big winner with many gardeners, I did read somewhere to collect up about 100 or so beetles and place them in a small bucket of boiling water leave for a day or two them drain the beetles away and spray your plants with the liquid. Apparently this is very effective but the though of pouring boiling water onto even the enemy bucket seems a bit mean so l think l will stick with the soapy water for now.

Here are some great advice and tips l have picked up to get me started

  •  Removing any weeds or overgrown patches of garden as they love having hiding places
  • Removing any rotten wood such as old garden beds etc.
  • Planting some good bug plants such as dill, fennel, sage, mustard, mizuna, salvias and cosmos these and many more are always a great benefit to introduce some new predators combating some of the more destructive pests.
  • Removing as many beetles from the garden either by spending some time with a bucket full of soapy water collecting all the beetles or making up a mix of soapy water in a spray bottle and spray them directly on the plants.
  • Always keep on top of these pests before they get out of control.

Hopefully the Solution!!

As this is the time of the year when it start to get cold and these little beasts hide away in my compost piles and weed patches.  I plan on removing as many as l can before they all go the ground. Major work needs it be done with weeds reduction and general  clean-up of the patch so most of the patch has been put into maintenance mode. This has already started on the past weekend where l relocated and transplanted my herb garden.

So here’s the plan:

  • Start by removing all the overgrowth, weeds and give to whole patch and effected area a good clean-up
  • All the old recycled wood l originally used in the garden is starting to rot so I’m removing the old to replacing with concrete blocks(these are strong and permanent)
  • Plants some new plants around the garden to invite some new healthy bug populations

Hopefully this will make a big difference, but l will be spending a lot of time with my spray bottle full of soapy water to combat any l find hiding out. Finger crossed for a great result.

imageIf you would like more information about the Harlequin beetle I found a great post by a blogger gippslandgardener I really did get a lot out of this post. It’s really is worth a read. Thanks so much GippslandGardener for sharing:)

If anyone has any advice for me on my beetle fiasco l would love to hear from you, I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and hope you come back to check out my progress.

Next bug post will be a good bug post as l think we need to keep talking about them all the good, the bad and the evil:)

Till Then

Have a great day

Happy Gardening:)

Final Giant Pumpkin Results

Atlantic Giant Pumpkin

After months of wonder, worry, ups and downs of my giant pumpkin growing season I could take it no more. The weather even though it has not rained yet has been getting cold, the growth of the pumpkins have slowed to a point I’m not sure if its growing anymore and a large section with powdery mildew I decided to start removing and clearing the patch. Here are the final two pumpkin pulled from the patch.

 Not too bad for my drama filled patch.

Not sure about the shape!!

With them out of the patch, all that stress seems so long age. I have two baby giants to show at the local brownies and then it’s chopped and fed off to the cows. Seeds will be collected and the thoughts of next years patch are already floating around in my head.

I’m now sitting waiting by the mail box for my next seed delivery of giant onions and cabbage, this is my first try at these two but once bitten by the Giant Growing Bug its hard it stop!!!

Hope you will come back and see how l get on with my new gardening adventure!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Gardening:)


Around the Garden


My Hanging Basket Entry 2016

The last few week for me has been a bit of a fizzer. Not much seem to be going my way in the garden or my life. I have always found my garden to be my escape from it all but l have even struggled to get motivated to do anything out there either(not good for the stress levels l know). After my last post and delivering my Hanging Basket safely to the competition, things got crazy around here and l didn’t get to the Flower and Garden Show to see my basket in its full glory. I was very excited to find when l went to pick it up on Monday it was right up in the front row. No Prizewinner but l felt l had done ok, and maybe l will give it another go next year. Some of those gardeners are just gifted to some sort of crazy level l might not be able to achieve greatness but it is fun trying:) The Royal Horticultural Society have a Big Day Out in June to celebrate the winners and l am really looking forward to checking out my competition then. Or maybe just picking their brains for some of those awesome tips and tricks.

 Other news around the garden. That pumpkin!!!! Yes l’m still having a constant daily battle in my own head as to whether it should come out or stay in. I really don’t want it to go south at this point. This CRAZY SEASON!!!!! I have even been told there has been Giant Pumpkin Competitions cancelled due to poor growing season. It still seems to be growing but has slowed down rapidly due to the colder weather and changing seasons. l guess each day at the moment is a bonus. The patch as a whole still has many new baby pumpkin popping up everywhere which is a little surprising but l guess I have always removed the Giant Pumpkin in the first week in March for the local Agricultural Show. So it all a little new to me having it continue to grow till the end of March and even though my giant didn’t present itself when it was suppose too this year l have really enjoyed watching it grow I have learnt a few new things to take into next growing season. So it all for the greater good.

So with the final telly of only 4 Cinderella Pumpkins, one pint sized Jarradale, and two funny looking l’m not sures, my other edible pumpkins didn’t really tickle me pink the years either, the zucchinis are still producing fruit and you guessed it after picking 5763(just kidding) but maybe. They are soon to be removed to make way for some broccoli. Tomato crop was fed mostly to the Harlequin beetle so I feel a massive job on my hands to pull this patch back together.

I have started to prepare and weed the garden beds for the autumn veggies. With the major infestation of Harlequin Beetle which have caused some not so pleasing results. I have decided not to plant much more out there at the minute until l removed my old wood from the garden beds and replaced them with some bricks to try to lower the numbers of beetles. After some quizzing, my nursery man has given me plenty to do as a matter of control but some of the veggie patch will need a really working over l think. More about those horrible beetles another day.

I have started my Broccoli and Koli Rabi which are new to my garden this year. I have also got some Foxglove, Russell Lipin, Comprey and Birds of Paradise seeds starting for my bigger picture garden plan. So l will keep you posted on their progress.

My biggest addition to my garden the past month has been my new water pond. After listening to the wonderful sounds of the frogs in my recycled bath pond and having my waterlily flower for the first time this year I decided to add another.  I spotted a great recycle idea using an old tractor tyre and my pond was in motion. We already had the old tyre and the pump for the water flow. A quick trip to the local hardware store to purchased some pond liner and all that was left to do was dig the hole. I must admit not the best time of year to be digging in the ground(rock hard but a good workout). The pond is not quite complete still needing some rocks around the outside, but it does have new water plants and 4 new goldfish. l have also started planting some succulents around the pond. I would really love to add another one of these on the other side of the bath. Just another thing on my to do list:)

Stella my houseplant is doing well, still producing the occasional cute little flower. But Fern not so good. After a run in with the dogs slightly

Sucessful Stella

Successful Stella

large butt and ending upside down on the garden it is slightly well a lot struggling. I have spent a lot of time saying really nice things to it but its touch and go for a bit. Fingers crossed l haven’t failed my own indoor houseplants challenge:) My new air plants are also doing well. Love them, I’m on the hunt for a flowering one next.

Poor Fern

Poor Fern

So with the change of season comes some wonderful new adventure and challengers ahead, lots of hard work and maintenance and rebuilding of garden beds. Any infestation to work out and some new plant additions and final hopefully a half decent size pumpkin to take to the local brownie unit.

I hope you enjoy my garden update as much as l love sharing it with you.

Till Next Time

Happy Gardening:)

Hanging Basket On The Move

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is just around the corner,(next weekend).  It was such a wonderful day out last year and l learnt so much. Something that took my interest was the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria’s Hanging Basket Challenge. So l became a member and entered the challenge for 2016. I have become just a little competitive I think since l started growing my big pumpkins so l thought l would give it a go.

Today was the big moving day for my Hanging Basket and after losing so much sleep over how l was going to get to the event( 90 minutes away)without damaging it, me plan of a racket strap and some bailing twine did the trick wonderfully. After months of fussing over the basket it’s a big relief that the big day has arrived and everything when smoothly. I must admit l had never grown a hanging basket before but l really enjoyed the challenge, and l did find it a challenge at some stages. I think l replaced three plants that stopped shining(died) and I was certainly not overly impressed with my sparse completed basket but sometime l can be a little hard on myself, so l’ll give it my best shot. I will defiantly be adding a few more hanging baskets around the place as l think they are pretty special.

The Royal Horticultural Society provided the basket,liner, soil and a $10 voucher for plants ( which we could add to if we so chose) and as always when l go to the nursery I get so swept up in the plants and their beauty I spent three times more than l should and ended up having too many plants for my projects. This time was no different!!! But l’m pretty sure that’s normal for any gardener. We were given the basket kits in the middle of December so we have had three months to produce our best work.  Last years all the entries were so fantastic l’m pretty sure this year has been a practice run for me. I was just really excited to see all the different baskets on display last year and I’m a little excited to see my basket hanging with the others this year. I have not really entered any competition quite like this before but recommend it to everyone. It was such a great lesson on which plants to use and how to maintain the basket for a great result and so much fun! Every gardener is different and no basket was the same so it really is a bit of a showcase of your own style and taste.

With the season being a little crazy this year it will be interesting to see which plants and baskets coped with the changing season. The judging takes place next weekend at the Flower and Garden and a wonderful bunch of RHSV member will maintain the baskets until then. So fingers crossed for some sunshine to  bring on the blooms and may to best basket win.

I will be attending the show next Sunday and I’m really looking forward to posting the wonderful winners shortly after.

Happy Gardening:)

Perfect Pumpkin Weather

Giant Pumpkin Update

My very large and slightly out of control Pumkpin Patch, and my three calves waiting for me to turn my back so they can chomp my patch.

My very large and slightly out of control Pumpkin Patch, and my three calves waiting for me to turn my back so they can chomp my patch.

I have been holding off for a few weeks letting you know my progress in my failures of the giant pumpkin patch. After the first and final post of my original giant pumpkin I really didn’t want to jinks myself or get you all excited about another rotten pumpkin:) So l held off till now.

After spending so much time on the patch l spent the first few days after losing my giant just looking at the patch wondering just how it all went belly up. (the horrible season I think)Even though l had no chance of getting the heaviest pumpkin at the local show l had promised the local Brownie Unit a visit from my giant pumpkin this year and l really don’t like letting the girls down (I would also like to redeem myself a little with my loyal followers) what a disaster!!!

The patch stayed and I continued my watering daily and fertilizer weekly. I did stop removing the tips to let it keep growing but continued to remove all the new baby pumpkins except one. I started focusing on it and  unfortunately it too went the same way as the first. I really couldn’t believe my bad luck this season. But the weather has been hot, (awesome pumpkin growing weather finally) and lucky for me when the weather is hot in the middle of the day the whole patch withered which exposed a baby l had missed and it’s certainly is not a baby much bigger and more progressed then the others. It seems to be going in the right direction BIGGER not rotten so I guess even though it was a struggle I may still get a decent size giant yet. One big enough to impress a bunch of brownies anyway.

My third and finally attempt for a 2016 Giant Pumpkin.

My third and finally attempt for a 2016 Giant Pumpkin.

Today, the patch continues to grow and the daily routine to remove all babies is now starting to become a real challenge as the pumpkin patch is about 6x10metres and to get to all the growing pumpkin is now not possible as the damage done to the pumpkin may be far worse and l don’t want to risk loosing this one too. As you can see it’s still growing plenty to keep me busy. Maybe I should train my dog to be a baby pumpkin sniffing dog like those truffle sniffing pigs.LOL She would come in very handy.

Just out of arms length.

Just out of arms length.

So let the pumpkin growing weather continue for just a little longer as l’ve still got a giant to grow!!!

I will keep you posted on it progress.

Fingers cross in fact I have everything crossed this time:)

Happy Gardening:)

Wonderful World of Air Plants

Houseplants with a difference


 Hey All,

As is becoming a bit of a habit this post is a little late again, the weather has been so wonderful and l have spent a lot of time in the garden working on some really great new project. I’m looking forward to giving you an update as soon as I have some spare time to sit down for more than 5 minutes.

I’m hoping all you houseplant challengers are enjoying your new additions and have not had any drama.  I have decided after some wonderful advice not to re-potting Stella so l have taken it on board and have decided to hold off for a bit. I have changed my watering a little as the plants don’t seem too thirsty or dry,  I have been letting them dry a little before watering. Seems to be working and both plants are doing so well. If you not sure how wet or dry it is stick your finger in. Another great piece of advice provided by a wonderful blogger. Thanks heaps, sharing is caring.

Since my last houseplant post l have been working on a new indoor plant project. This is also another reason my post was a little late(l had trouble finding my air plants).

After seeing all the wonderful Spanish Moss at the Darwin imageBotanic Gardens l was a little inspired to do a little project involving air plants. I have not really had a lot to do with these plants in the past but have seen many different ideas on Pinterest so l thought this will be a little challenge within my houseplant challenge. I love trying new things around the garden:)

After doing the rounds of all  my local nurseries and having no success in find any air plants l decided that l would get in the car and go looking a little further which brought me to a nursery about 45 minutes down the road. Grow Master nursery it was such a big place l will have to return for a better look in the near future.  After spending a lot of time trying to decided which air plant l like as l really liked them all. I decided on the Usneoides ‘Spanish Moss’ and a Tillandsia Baileyi.


Tillandsia Baileyi

My project is a little sentimental as well as really cool. I have had the large shell for as long as l can remember, the sand used for the project was collected by my son from the beach where he lives and the shells belong to my husbands grandmother(whom has sadly moved on)she collected them many years ago for who knows what but there are about three large boxes with all sorts. She was a gardener in ever sense of the word and I can only guess they were something to do with her garden/wonderful flower displays.


Usneoides ‘Spanish Moss’

With my project complete I think it turned out pretty good. Even better all the plants need to survive is a little water, light, a little fertilizer every month and of course AIR.

If you are looking for a little more on care of air plants I stumbled(love google) on a great site Air Plant Supply Co which has some really great tips. If your new to air plants it’s a great place to start.

Do you have a great air plant idea you would like to share? I love to hear from you.

Till Next Time

Happy Indoor Gardening:)

My Flower Beds

Memories of Last Season

It has been a hard growing season this year. I think it has had a lot to do with the weather and maybe just things have been a bit busy this year and things have just slipped a bit. I have spent a lot of effort on a crazy giant failing pumpkin(I will update you on that soon). I’ve also entered a hanging basket into a my first ever real gardening competition, this has been time consuming but well worth it. So what ever the problem l can always look back and be remembered how wonderful and gorgeous my flowers are when everything works in harmony.


Have a great day.

Happy Gardening:)

Love to hear from you!!!

Hey All,

I would love to hear from you,

Happy Gardening

Houseplant Off Update


One month on and still going strong.

Welcome back to all these out there in the Houseplant Off, and those also just following. I hope your Houseplants are doing well.

Well as mentioned in the previous post I thought this week l would talk a little about toxic Houseplants and give you some great websites where you can study further if you’re  thinking of add a new plant and need a bit more information.

Not all plants are safe to have around children or pets. Some plants can poison or cause very serious side effects and are not something to be messed with. If you ever suspect a person or pet has ingested any part of a toxic plant always seek medical advice immediately. Plant related poisoning and side effects are very serious and should not be taken lightly. 

Reactions and poisoning can occur when

  • Touching or eating the leaves, berries, flowers, roots or any part of the plant
  • Contact with skin(the sap or juices of the plant)
  • Drinking water from the drip trays( l think that’s the pets not people)

Most plant you purchase has no information on the plants label to warn you it is toxic so it is advised you ask if you are not sure or do a little research before heading to the nursery.

List of 5 toxic Houseplant

  1. OLEANDER- this is the most toxic on this list. Death in ADULTS from one leaf and should be only owned with CAUTION.
  2. DIEFFENBACHIA- these can cause pain, swelling, salivating and burning of the mouth and throat in humans and pets.
  3. LILY(Lillies)- keep these out of play areas and out of reach, in humans they can course stomach pain, vomiting, headaches, blurred vision and some skin irritation. Pets, cats and dogs it can course vomiting, tiredness, lack of appetite or even renal and liver failure.
  4. CALADIUM- all parts of this plant are toxic to both humans and pets. It courses burning and swelling of the mouth and airways in humans and vomiting, difficulty walking or shaking of the head in pets. Always keep the hanging vines out of reach also.
  5.  PHILODENDRON- this plant can cause swelling of the mouth and digestive tract and can be fatal in children. In pets it can cause spasms, seizures, pain and swelling

There are some great websites that give lists of toxic plants, check out Better Homes and Gardens another great site is ABC News also the Home and Garden Education Centre. Thanks to all those great site for their insight into plant safety. I advice anyone thinking about getting a new indoor plant to check any of those sites out first.

One thing to keep in mind, is good hygiene and proper placement in your home or office. These plants can be kept but always keeping in mind their toxicity. Always wash your hands after handling any plant but especially the toxic type and clean up any spills from your drip trays when watering. Choosing the right location may also be an option, up and out of reach.

If you are concerned about having these type if toxic plants there are so many different plants you could keep in and around your home that are safe your children and pets.

So choose wisely and always remember don’t ignore the sign of a plant poisoning, ALWAYS seek medical advice.

My Houseplant Update

Fern and Stella are both doing well or should I say still alive after one month. I do think in the past this has been achieved and it wasn’t until month 2 or 3 l lost my past indoors so fingers crossed this time.

As you can see from the wonderful picture at the top of this post Stella flowered in the past week, it was very exciting and just spurred my on the keep her alive. I have been watching her outgrow the pot so l think before it starts to cause the plant any stress, unfortunately l will need to replant it before too long.

They have become a part of my weekly routine and that seems to be working well. I’ve been keeping a close eye on the watering as your plant shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. I have watered once every week, as it is quite warm in the house at the moment.

I hope everyone who have taken the challenge are enjoying their new plants or your old plants are enjoying the extra attention they need to revive their green lush beauty. I would love to hear how your plants are going, or any tips or tricks you have picked up along the way.

Next week I thought I would try something different, after spending time in Darwin at the start of the week, I was absolutely amazed at the air plants I saw at the Botanic gardens which gave me an awesome indoor plant idea. l thought I would share my plant idea, maybe it’s a great plant craft project for you to try.

Happy Houseplant Off

Happy Gardening😄