Sprinklers are dangerous - Nov 15, 2012

Dear gardening friends,

I was walking through Mawson Park this morning and the gardener had a sprinkler watering the lawn. It was over lapping the walk way so I had to time my walk by so I didn't get wet. I waited until it passed me by, and then cut in close to it, thinking I would be able jump over the jet the next time it came around. As I did this I stumbled, fell into the sprinkler, and got absolutely soaked. Expect to see this on funniest home videos sometime soon.
The green keeper at Campbelltown Bowling Club top dressed one of the greens a couple of weeks ago and I have been watching a transformation take place.

You can see both greens in the photo to see what a difference top dressing makes. They cored the green first then raked them all up. Then they spread top dressing over the lawn so the tips of the grass showed through. They added fertiliser then watered it daily. As you can see in the photo the results are spectacular.

Coring machines can be hired from Camden Hire. We can supply Tim's Topdressing in bags or bulk. Rapid Results Lawn food will green your lawn in 14 days, just in time for Christmas. A green lawn is a "man thing".
The lorikeets are squawking in the Grevillea outside my window as I write this article. They turn up every day to eat the nectar. We planted "Grevillea elegance" in our nursery carpark about 10 years ago and it hasn't stopped flowering since. This grafted Grevillea grows into a small tree about 5 metres high by 5 metres wide. It has large orange/red spider like flowers all year. I love the foliage on this Grevillea too. The plants are hard to find, but Simon has managed to acquire some grafted plants from a grower near Nimbin. They are already flowering despite being just 45cms high! You will have to hurry if you want one. A bargain at $29.99.

While I am talking about bird attracting plants check out our Blueberry Ash flowering in our carpark too. This small growing native tree has beautiful pink flowers with fringed petals. In summer it produces blueberries which the birds love to eat. Blueberry Ash is fast growing and suitable for small courtyard style gardens.

Woolworths in Camden have used it as a clipped hedge.
Driving through Menangle this morning I noticed the Cape Chestnut trees are covered in pink spidery flowers. We often get asked what these trees are. The botanical name is Calodendrum capense. It's very hard to find rare plants like this in nurseries these days but we have 3 plants only at $59.99 each. They are not grafted so these plants could take up to 10 years to flower.
Computers have revolutionized the world but they have also caused the demise of variety in today's nurseries. The big sheds use computers to determine which plant varieties sell the most. They then dictate to growers which varieties they want them to grow to make the most profit. The problem with this is everybody's gardens start to look all the same. Consumers go to the big nurseries thinking they will have more variety when in reality they have less!

An example of this is a rare plant called "The Purple Leaf Smoke Bush"! This is a fantastic shrub with bright purple new spring growth. It has unusual grey, pom pom like flowers that look like smoke rising from the plant. I have one in my garden at home and it has grown about 3 metres high by 2 metres wide. It looses its leaves in winter to let the sun shine into my son's bedroom. It's looking sensational at the moment. I love the purple foliage. We got 6 plants in this week from a rare plant grower in Exeter. They are $29.99.

Our NSW Christmas Bush are starting to flower in the nursery. We stock the dwarf growing variety called "Albery's Red". This compact growing variety can be grown in a big pot and be brought inside to be used as your Christmas tree! It's the original Christmas tree.

Traditionally these can be a bit fussy in the garden but they seem to thrive in pots when you use Native Potting Mix. Cut them back after flowering and move them back outside in the shade for a week then gradually move them into full sun.

I was driving around Elderslie during the week and discovered a beautiful garden. The owner was out the front watering so I asked him how he managed to grow such beautiful hanging baskets. He had Calibrachoas in full bloom spilling over pots he had attached to his colourbond fence. They seemed to get all the morning sun. He fertilisers them every week with a liquid fertiliser and waters them daily during the warmer months. He has had them for 3 years. Caibrachoas used to be called "Million Bells". We loved that name because it was much easier to say. Calibrachoas grow better in pots than in gardens. Use Tim's best quality potting mix. They flower all spring, summer and autumn so they are great value.

Jacarandas are in full bloom this week. The main Street of Camden is looking sensational. Do you remember when they were talking about replacing these trees with Manchurian Pears? What a big mistake that would have been. Grafton has become famous for its Jacaranda trees perhaps Campbelltown and Camden could become Jacaranda towns too. They seem to grow well here and they are lovely shade trees.

We still have about 50 Tim's Delicious Tomatoes left. This is the world's biggest fruiting tomato so it will be fun to grow. Plants cost $4.99 and all money raised is being donated to The African Aids Foundation in Camden. A great cause and a great tomato!

Happy gardening