Since Jess and Jesse arrived in the middle of last year the gardens have expanded a lot. This is the first time we have sold seedlings and native plants. Prices vary but usually $2 for seedlings and $3 for native plant tubestock. We are not a commercial nursery so quantities are limited. Come early for the best choice.
BASIL – PERENNIAL
BASIL— HOLY TULSI
ECHINACEA – ‘WHITE SWAN’
MARIGOLD -STINKING RODGR
BEAN—DWARF GREEN BUSH
CABBAGE – RED ACRE (punnets of 4)
CABBAGE – SUGARLOAF (punnets of 4)
CUCUMBER— CRYSTAL APPLE
KOHL RABI—PURPLE VIENNA
MALABAR RED SPINACH
TOMATO— AMISH PASTE
TOMATO— BLACK RUSSIAN
TOMATO – TOMMY TOE
This is amaranth
NATIVES (WILL LIKELY HAVE A FEW MORE AVAILABLE THAT ARE NOT LISTED)
ATRIPLEX CINEREA – Grey saltbush
ATRIPLEX SEMIBACCATA – Berry saltbush
BILLARDIERA CYMOSA – Sweet apple berry
CYMBOPOGON AMBIGUUS – Lemon scented grass
ENCHYLAENA TOMENTOSA – Ruby saltbush
EINADIA NUTANS – Climbing saltbush
TECTICORNIA SP. – Samphire/sea asparagus
WAHLENBERGIA STRICTA – Native bluebells
BANKSIA MARGINATA – Silver Banksia/honeysuckle
CHRYSOCEPHALUM SP. – Everlasting
CLEMATIS MICROPHYLLA – Old man’s beard
CORREA REFLEXA – Native fushia
DISPHYMA CRASSIFOLIUM – Round noon flower
DODONAEA VISCOSA – Sticky hop bush
EREMOPHILA GLABRA – Emu bush
FICINIA NODOSA – Knobby club rush
GOODENIA ALBIFLORA – White Goodenia
GOODENIA VARIA – Variable Goodenia
HARDENBERGIA VIOLACEA – Native lilac
HAKEA CARINATA – beaked Hakea
LEUCOPHYTA BROWNII – Cushion bush
MAIREANA SEDIFOLIA – Bluebush
OLEARIA SP. – Daisy bush
VITTADINIA SP. – New Holland daisy
As well as the usual dry/warm climate fruit trees, strawberry plants and new herb and vegetable seeds and seedlings we will also have some in demand unusual trees/bushes. A friend has been caring for some goji berries for us and dropped them off today. Nice looking plants which we will sell for about $5 each, a much better buy than the app $15 you will pay in the shops. Also, the ones in the shops are more than likely wolfberries, a close relative with similar fruit but very sparse. We also have a variety of dragon fruit and other subtropicals. A full list will be published next week.
At the RFS meeting on Tuesday Ben Waddelow, a commercial grower in the Riverland, said he would also bring some unusual plants down with him for a separate plant sale. He specialises in jujubes (Sunlands jujubes) and will bring other things that we don’t have including mangoes and persimmons. There is always a lot of interest when we talk about growing mangoes and his are two years old and he has got them through the critical first winters and they are about a metre high. They are sun hardened Riverland Kensington Prides, the very best ones to grow here. I told him I thought they would be very popular so can I have an indication of how many of you would like one so he brings enough down with him?
We are often asked why we open at the hottest time of the year. The simple answer is that a fruiting garden is at its best at this time with the abundance of summer fruits. Joe and I are both summer bunnies and don’t mind at all being out in the sun doing the preparation although I suspect most of our volunteers do not share our enthusiasm!
Don’t be put off coming if it’s a bit on the warm side. One year the Saturday was 45 degrees and still 100 hardy souls ventured forth and had the advantage of less crowds. Everyone commented how cool the gardens seemed, no doubt due to the dense tree plantings and abundance of greenery. We put up marquees and tarps over the clotheslines in addition to the verandas and natural shade. Last year we purchased two sets of misters which were very popular as a cool spot. You should be able to find a nice shady spot like this!
We are still working on the final program which will be similar to last year’s but hopefully there will be a couple more guest speakers that are still not confirmed. Starting at 10.30am and running all through the day until 4pm there are talks, panel discussions, demonstrations of tree planting in clay soils, tree pruning and laying drip irrigation. Main speaker is at 11am and panel of experts at 2pm. We are again honoured to have Harry Harrison here: Harry is always a huge hit and no one in Adelaide knows more about growing fruit so come along and get all your questions answered. He is very generous with his time and his half hour talk has been known to stretch to two hours while there are people there still asking questions. He often runs pruning workshops that cost you money but here your entrance ticket covers all presentations. The final program will be posted next week as early as possible. Here’s Joe running his tree planting workshop:
We’ve also been told that Mayor Docherty from Playford council and local State Member of Parliament Lee Odenwalder will also be attending as both are strong supporters of our gardens.
The gardens you see are definitely NOT the work of just Joe and me and now the other residents. I cannot stress too often how much we rely on our team of helpers. Here’s a couple of Joe’s mates hard at work today trying to finish a pergola which will go from the edge of the veranda to the edge of the pool. This will allow the nets to be pulled right up to the veranda and hopefully expand the space suitable for our growing array of subtropicals. It will hopefully also deter the birds who like to swoop under the veranda and steal the few tasty morsels they find. Joe also likes to have some new things in the gardens for those who like to come every year. This year we have one whole new garden to enjoy as well as a few new structures around the place.
Every year we have a few stalls like the one below. Anything to do with sustainability, the environment, organic gardening, permaculture etc is suitable. Information booths preferred to selling things. We still have a couple of spots so contact us if you would like to be here on the day. No cost to you! Around 500 to 1000 visitors expected.
Very surprised to see three new dragon fruit flowers still open this morning. Normally, the sunshine causes them to die off after they flower at night for one night only. Apparently the smell is divine. They are easy to grow here and are a plant that always attracts attention. We will have some for sale at the plant stall at the Open Garden. I find the pink flesh ones sweeter and better flavoured than the more common white flesh.
There is a very large white flower in the centre of the photo.
OPEN GARDEN 2017
It’s that time of the year again when we open for our fifth Open Garden: this year we are opening on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th February which is fast approaching. Snice the last Open Garden we have added another garden to those open to the public so there are now five as well as some who prefer to be private at this stage. Jess and Jesse, a young couple in their 20s, have been living next to Joe since July and have worked very hard to transform an overgrown mess into an attractive and productive herb and vegetable garden. They will also be selling herb and vegetable seeds and seedlings in addition to our usual plant sale of fruit trees. We have a full program lined up again so you can stay all day and find something to do. I’ll be posting more in the lead up to the opening with more details of speakers, workshops and special guests.
I apologise for the longer than usual absence from this page but I have had serious and long standing health issues which will soon hopefully improve once I can wean myself off the drugs I was given for multiple surgeries. It’s been very frustrating that I’ve not been able to devote more time to this page but the two Facebook pages keep me very busy an since they are visited by more people, that’s where my energy has been directed. Jess and Jesse have also started up an Instagram page which has wonderful photos by Jesse and pithy comments by Jess. You can find it at www.instagram.com/joesconnectedgarden
The weather this year has been much wetter than usual which means things are lusher and greener but it does bring other issues like fungal growths. It has been a more tropical summer than usual and we’ve had things flowering for the first time. There was a huge pile of branches to be mulched today and here’s Joe getting stuck into it.
I was shocked to see that more than four months have passed since I’ve posted here and I can only blame recurrent health issues and a particularly nasty cold, wet winter.which has put me into hibernation. The room where the computer sits is large and hard to heat so, needing to stay warm after my surgery, I’ve not been on the computer much. I had my second shoulder replaced on 6 June which makes four joints in 18 months so my energy has been low as well as being quite physically disabled. Luckily, I am still quite strong and robust by nature and got good results from my fake joints although everyone calls me the bionic woman now. Here’s the desolate winter garden; luckily we have quite a lot of citrus which give some life and colour.
A walk around the gardens today showed unmistakeable signs of spring which lifted my spirits so much. I’ve always detested winter and cannot begin to describe how every cell of my body longs for spring and then wonderful summer. On the home stretch now – I expect some more cold days – but it is now days before winter finally departs for another year. We now have five connected gardens here at Elizabeth with young couple Jess and Jesse moving into the house next to Joe and we are thrilled to have young, enthusiastic and willing people as part of the resident community. The most obvious sign of impending spring is always the almond blossom which gets in first: here’s a picture of a very old and huge almond tree covered in blossoms. Unfortunately, the parrots will get most of the nuts as at around 15 metres high there’s no way it can be netted.