Snakes in the garden! - Nov 19, 2011

Dear gardening friends

 I noticed my recycling bin was full yesterday so I decided to take it out to the street. My bins are just outside the backdoor so they are nice and handy. I grabbed the handles of the bin and spun it around. As I did this I noticed this black thing on the concrete where the bin had just been. My brain realized instantly that the black thing was actually a 1.5 metre Redbelly Black Snake.

As I lept into the air swear words came from my mouth. By the time my feet touched the ground again the snake had taken off. It was trapped in front of a retaining wall so the snake began to panic and it got a puffed up neck that frightened me even more.

My son Bailey came out the door wearing no shoes. Having grown up watching Steve Irwin DVD’s my son thinks that snakes are cool!  Well I got Bailey back inside and then I took the bin up to the road hoping the snake would have time to get away. When I returned with my heart still racing the boys informed me the snake had gone between the other garbage bin and the wall. I am telling you this story because it is garbage day and I need someone to take my bin out?

I have had lots of people tell me that it is great to have Redbelly Black Snakes in your garden because they keep the Brown Snakes away. I am failing to see this as great news at the moment.

Wollondilly Garden Club invited me to their November meeting during the week. They always hold their meetings in member’s gardens. This week it was held at Aldo Razzo’s place in Couridjah just past Tahmoor. Wow what a fantastic garden. Aldo has a resort style acreage garden that has been created using all recycled products. He picks up things from the tip and turns them into garden art! I have attached a few photos for you to see. I loved this garden.

One of the Wollondilly garden club members has had trouble getting his Blueberries to grow. He has dug them up a couple of times trying to find a spot in the garden where they will grow. Blueberries like the same acid type soil as Azaleas. As we all know Azaleas can be fussy to grow in the ground but if you plant them in pots they always seem to thrive. I planted a Blueberry plant in a pot last spring and it has thrived in Tim's Best Potting Mix in full sun.. It has around 100 Blueberries on it now just waiting to turn blue. The pot has to be big enough to hold at least 60 litres of potting mix. I feed mine with cow manure every spring and autumn. Cow manure feeds the plant but it also helps make the soil more acid so the plants just seem to thrive. Now is a great time to plant a blueberry plant and they also make great gifts. Nice plants cost around $14.99.

Graham Ross sent me a nice email last week to say that Pig might make a cameo appearance on Better Homes and Gardens in 2012. The episode has been filmed but Pig still has to get past the editor before we see him. Pig has had a name change in the show to protect his privacy. What stage name would Pig have chosen?

This week the new Peter Brock Rose bush arrived at our nusery. It has been released to celebrate Peter Brocks life and also to raise money for "Variety the children charity". They are great looking plants all covered in nice red flowers with a sweet perfume.  We expect Brockies Rose to go fast of course.

Simon is hoping to bring his Torana in on saturday to park on our lawn for a bit of Brocky nostalgia. This week his car has been featured in a magazine so he is very excited.

If it rains the deal is off because Simon doesn't take his car out of the garage if it is going to get dirty.

We have beautiful NSW Christmas bush flowering now. These are huge plants all covered in those bright red bracts that help celebrate an Aussie Christmas. We always sell out of these because customers buy them as gifts for friends. We gift wrap them for free and they only cost $29.99. That's much cheaper than a bunch of flowers and better value too. Don't forget as a garden club member you get 5% off these prices as a voucher.

Our apprentice Russel was asking me yesterday why our plants look so much better than Bunnings. There are many reasons but if you sit plants on concrete or on benches that are standing on concrete it is very hard to have nice plants. When you get a plus 35 degree day the reflected heat from the concrete cooks the plants and dries out the potting mix. If those plants don't get watered properly that night then the plants get burnt tips and never recover. The plants at Tim's Garden Centre are mostly displayed on gravel drainage beds. These beds are full of water. During those hot days this water evaporates and helps air condition the plants. It is a simple system that just works. The gravel also cleans the water and removes any toxins. This is great news for the environment. We also have 5 horticulturists who really love looking after plants.

Rang our Christmas Tree Man this week and the trees have never looked better. They have had heaps of rain, all they need is some heat now and the trees will be perfect. The trees are $55 this year less your discount.

Happy gardening