Pig not ham yet - Dec 06, 2012

Dear gardening friends

We hated that terrible wind here yesterday. All the plants got knocked over and the nursery ends up looking like a tip. We all get cranky here on windy days so if you noticed we weren’t as cheery yesterday now you know why. More tragic news when I got home my son Dan’s birth tree had been snapped off by the wind.

We planted this Manchurian Pear tree 7 years ago to celebrate his birth. Poor Dan had a big cry when he saw what had happened. We will plant a new tree in the next couple of weeks.

You may have noticed that the leaves on your trees are falling off. The dry weather has caused the trees to drop up to 50% of their leaves. The tree does this to conserve water. A shade tree in your garden can cool your house and reduce your electricity usage so they are worth saving. The best way to water a tree is to adjust your garden hose to a drip and leave this under your tree over night. The drip will rehydrate the soil and your trees roots will grow into this wet patch. Water this wet patch once a week until conditions improve. If you mulch around your trees this will help drought proof them too.

You may have lost some pots in yesterdays wind. Plants which are pot bound are more likely to blow over in the wind. As the potting mix composts and disappears it gets replaced by plant roots. The potting mix is what holds the water so once this goes you find the water just runs out the bottom.

You need to repot these plants into bigger pots or root prune them and put them back in the same pots using fresh potting mix. When you root prune a plant you also need to cut back the foliage by 25% too. You will be amazed how quickly your plants come back to life simply because they are getting more water.

Use Tim’s Best Potting mix not that cheap stuff you see in the super markets. We have done tests on these budget mixes and nothing grows in them.

If you lost a pot due to the wind come in this weekend and we will give you 25% off a replacement pot. This offer is exclusive to our garden club members.

It’s for one pot only. Just let the girls know at the register.

We have had a really nice boy doing work experience at the nursery this week. His name is PJ and he attends Airds High School. Nothing was ever a problem and he always had a smiling face. PJ plays football for the Tigers in the lower grades so we are hoping he becomes famous one day. He says he is faster than Benji Marshall already and he is only 16. Keep an eye out for PJ in the next 5 years.

Talking about high schools have you seen the purple Bougainvillea growing out the front of Campbelltown High?

What a monster! This is the very vigorous variety known as Bougainvillea magnifica traillii. This is the most frost resistant of all the Bougainvilleas.

If you plant a bougainvillea keep it pruned or it could end up like this one.

Mrs Kerr from Bradbury sent me a beautiful photo of her Bougainvillea growing on some trellis against a wall. Hers has been clipped and shaped and it looks fantastic. My favourite red flowering Bougainvillea is called Scarlet O’Hara and we have a few in stock today.

If you are planting a Bougainvillea don’t disturb the roots when you plant it or it could die.

I was in Camden this week and I noticed a beautiful Hibiscus growing at the entrance to St Paul’s Catholic Church. Hibiscus love a hot sunny position so this red flowering variety is in the perfect spot up against a brick wall with reflected heat from the paving. It’s Hibiscus Heaven!

Hibiscus can be grown from a cutting at this time of year so if you see one you like ask for permission to take a piece. If you are a parishioner take your seceteurs this Sunday!

We have about 50 plants coming into flower at the nursery if you are too impatient to strike your own.

Have you got a pot or hanging basket in the hot sun where everything you plant seems to die?

We have a ground cover called Sun Jewels that will flower non stop until April/May. Our grower strikes 2 or 3 different coloured plants in every pot so they are great value and they look so sensational. They can also be grown in the garden if you want some instant Christmas colour. Sun Jewels are in the succulent family so they thrive on neglect. One plant will grow around one metre wide and they cost just $10.99.

Lisa is back after a much needed holiday. Lisa looks after our seedlings and herbs so you probably bump into her often when you are in the shade house. Lisa knows everything about growing flowers, vegetables and herbs so seek her out if you need help in the garden.

Russell is wearing hi-vis socks today so you won’t miss him.

I have run out of Lemons at home so I had to buy some yesterday to make The Lemon Chicken recipe. As you know I have a “Kevin The Lemon” dwarf growing Lemon tree in my garden. Any way Lemons were $3.99 a kilo so I bought 4. Total cost was $3.87 so the lemons cost 99 cents each. My lemon tree produced around 400 lemons this season so that’s $396.00 worth of fruit! The best news is Kevin produces the lemons during winter and early spring when there is no fruit fly about so there is no need to spray any chemicals. Do you own a Lemon Tree? Get someone to buy you one for Christmas.

This is our biggest weekend for Cut Christmas trees. If you are looking for one come early in the morning for the best selection. We just got 50 in this morning if you want to come in today and avoid the rush.

Pig’s been up to mischief this week. He has been counting his legs everyday leading up to Christmas. He has noticed some people are starting to call him Ham!

Happy gardening