I Turned My Lawn Into Bush! - Jul 14, 2023

Dear gardening friends.
Do you believe things happen for a reason? I'm having a short break in Noosa, and this morning I noticed that Rod Wilcox did a post on Instagram.

I have fond memories of Rod, he did his horticulture apprenticeship with me, when I owned Tim's Garden Centre at Mt Annan. When he was 20 he bought an investment property in Noosa for $100,000. When he finished his time, he moved to Noosa, and got a job in a wholesale nursery.

He started his own garden maintenance business 5 years ago, he works so hard. He's just employed a couple of helpers.

I was thinking about Rod when I saw his post this morning, I should catch up with him. Well I was just walking through a carpark, and there was Rod, sitting in his Ute, about to leave.
I started running.

We were like long lost friends.
I could see that Rod had the worries of the world on his face this morning. He looked tired. We had a chat, he's got a nice family, he's got teenage kids.

We had a laugh, Rod is good fun.
I can still remember some of his antics at our Christmas party's.
We left each other feeling better today. It's funny how things happen for a reason.

Look I've just met the most interesting guy. Brian Samuels invited me to look at his suburban garden in St Andrew's, I turned up yesterday unannounced.

You know you've met a serious gardener when they are wearing secateurs, in a pouch, on their belt.

Brian had already told me that he didn't have a lawn. He'd told me that he was a bird lover, I found out today that that means he's a "Twicher".

There really was no lawn, he led me up his gravel pathway into his hidden oasis. We disappeared from civilisation, into his man made bush land.

He's made all his gardens using recycled bricks and stones. There's no cement, It's all loose stacked, so the water can pass through. Natives love drainage. The paths are all made using Crushed Granite. It lets the water into the soil so his plants can thrive. It keeps it cooler in summer too.

His garden isn't all natives, but those that aren't, have been underpruned to let the sunshine in, so his natives can thrive. I was surprised to see sun-loving varieties thriving under the canopy of trees.

He had the biggest "Little John" Bottle brushes I've ever seen. They were 5 metres high and 6 metres wide. The twisted trunks and bark looked amazing. Brian says they attract the birds 9 months of the year.

He has created an oasis in suburbia that attracts nature. Frogs, Lizards, Birds and insects have moved in. It's like living in the bush. You can't see his house from the street. It's so peaceful.

I'm surprised Brian hasn't been on TV. He was just so interesting, and his garden, old caravan and VW collection, make for great photos.

All Brian's plants attract birds, with their flowers and foliage. He can sit on his bench, with a homemade beer, and listen to the birds. He photographs them,and draws them. He and his wife love birds.

They use their tiny vintage caravan to go bush. People with caravans hate dirt roads so he goes on dirt roads. You see less people.

He's led an interesting life.
He's retired, he has so many hobby's, he's too busy to work now. He has four old dogs, they loved barking at me. When I said goodbye Brian turned around, and disappeared, back into the bush.

I went to Church yesterday. St Paul's Church in Camden, had the most beautiful red Camellia Japonica. I stopped my car.
It was bursting into bloom.
I love the colour.

It could be Camellia Japonica "The Czar". If it is, we have it. Surprisingly it was bred in Australia by Neil Breslin, a landscape gardener from Melbourne, in around 1910.

Camellias are looking spectacular this winter because Camellias love water. It makes them grow lush green leaves, and then the flowers follow.

Camellia Japonicas don't like the early morning sun. They get dew on the flower buds, and the sun shining on them, causes a fungus, which stops the flowers from opening.

This beauty at St Paul's Church gets protection from the early morning sun. When the sun does reach them, the dew has dried, so the flowers bloom spectacularly.

We have an amazing selection of Camellias. They grow beautifully in big pots too using Tim's Best Potting mix. They will take mid morning and afternoon sun.

They can be picked and put in vases inside your house. I love the flowers with the lush green foliage. So will you. Come and see us today.

Sometimes you do things, you don't really want to do, and when you arrive, you suddenly realise, that you've done something good.
I've just had that experience.

I got a phone call yesterday from a guy wanting me to come to his wife's birthday party in Minto. He said his wife loves native plants. I think I was the present.

I told him to ring me back today.
I was hoping he wouldn't, but he did.

I arrived at the house with trepidation, what am I doing here, passed through my thoughts.
But then I saw the garden, it was full of flowering Banksias so that made me feel better.

I met Ginny's son, he was fixing things with his mates in the open garage. It's school holidays.
Hello I'm Tim, would you mind getting your mum please, I've heard it's her birthday. He smiled, he was a confident kid.

Ginny came out, she really was happy to see me, she couldn't believe her husband managed to get me to come, neither could I, we both started smiling. I could see id done the right thing. It meant a lot to Ginny, she really did want to show me her native garden. It did look amazing. I'll post more photos in comments.

She is a customer of ours, she follows us on Facebook. We made her day, she made my day too.

Her husband didn't look healthy.
He's got a condition that can't be healed, he made me a coffee.
We made him happy too.

Ginny loves Banksias, so do I.
They were all in flower and looking spectacular. The birds must love her garden. I loved it too.

Spring is getting closer. Some days even feel like spring. Come and see us.
Happy gardening