Tag Archives: plants

Friday Finds – Still green inside…

29 Jun

I know that we shouldn’t complain about the cold in Sydney.  On a global scale, we almost have summer kind of weather some days during our winter, but for us it is cold, and therefore I haven’t been in much of an outdoor kind of headspace for the past couple of weeks.  Combine that with the evil winter cold / flu bug that has hit all four of us, and I really feel like hibernating.  Once again, Friday Finds is about bringing your outdoors inside, just a little bit, so you can avoid heading out and start hibernating!

I don’t know a lot about this online shop, but I really like their products.  SHELTERBLACK have a small but quirky range of products that seem to revolve around bringing the outside in.

I think the Daredevil would fall in love with the Dino planters, and I think we would just have to have a Stegosaurus!

Sam

Friday Finds – Peaches + Keen

22 Jun

Because it is winter, it’s cold and it’s been raining, I haven’t been much in the outdoor kind of mood.  Indoor plants have been on my mind.  I’ve been thinking we need some indoor greenery around Drawn Outdoors HQ, but with my not so green thumb, I’ve been a little wary of actually taking the indoor plant plunge.  I would need some sort of incentive, something that would make my aesthetic mind pop … Hello Peaches and Keen!

OK, so let’s start with the rather cool name, then take a look at the super colourful handmade and unique planters that this Melbourne duo create.  If there’s something that will make me try my hand at indoor gardening these may be the trick.  There’s no secret that I love something handmade.  If it’s a little bit crafty, a bit creative and a lot unique, I generally love it.  I also love a bit of colour.  Sometimes the brighter the better.  Peaches and Keen call themselves the “fluoro duo”, and there are colours to make this rainbow lovers heart jump with joy.

And planters aren’t the only thing they do.  I love their jewellery and artwork too.

The good news for those of us not living in Melbourne is that they have an online shop and will ship almost anywhere!  Their website is worth a visit, even if only to check out their blog for a little bit of visual loveliness.

Sam

Planting our babies

28 May

We had another clear sky sunny autumn weekend.  No rain to complain about, a bit of a chill in the air, but perfect weather for vegetable garden creation.  While we’re waiting out my garden design and construction procrastination phase, I’ve been creating little bits of gardens, filling in some gaps with herbs and vegetables, and the odd flower.  The rest of the time the garden is pretty well occupied by weeds and whatever opportunistic plant species decide they need a new home.  Without the rain (take a look here) I had no excuse left to put it off, it was time to find a permanent home for the Drama Queen’s seedlings.

While I always dream about gardening in style, the reality is that we put on the daggiest clothes we could find, collected our tools and equipment and hit the courtyard.  I had assembled my rag tag team of three.  Two of them wanted to be there, and the other one just wanted to avoid too much carnage.  The Daredevil got to put his new birthday garden tools to the test and the Drama Queen helped him while I got stuck into the hard work of turning the soil and preparing the beds, and Mr Perfect supervised to make sure that no one and nothing came to too much harm.

Before we started

We had built some trellises for the pea plants to trail over, and the Drama Queen was so proud of them when they actually stood up in the newly prepared beds.

Pea trellises are in

The Peas ready to plant on their new trellises

Small plants and small children are not always a great combination, but as the Daredevil bored of the fiddly work, the Drama Queen took over and started giving the plants names and calling them her “babies”.

The Drama Queen and Daredevil hard at work

Everything is in the ground

We planted three kinds of Peas – Sweet Peas, Snow Peas and normal peas, broccoli and gourds.  All the peas should do well, we had a pretty good result from the snow peas last winter, so I’m pretty optimistic.  The gourds already look like they’re about to jump out of their skin, so I’m hoping they don’t take over completely.  The broccoli I’m not so optimistic about.  We planted some last year, and it didn’t survive the insects or creatures who feasted on its new shoots, and to be honest we didn’t give it the most delicate planting into the ground – they were the last, and the attention span was waning.  Plus they probably should have been a little bit bigger before we put them in the ground, but you never know your luck in the big city, fingers are crossed.

Finished pea trellises

Sweet pea plants ready to take on their trellis

After a covering of sugar cane mulch and a drink of seaweed fertiliser, it was time to pack up, clean up and let our babies get used to their new home.

The Drama Queen and her dirty behind!

I checked on them today, and everything is still alive, the broccoli is even looking happy.  I’m looking forward to our harvest!

Sam

The rain washed away our garden!

24 May

Well, OK, there’s not much of a garden there to start with.  Every time we begin to think about making a good start something, and by that I mean rain, gets in the way.  Sydney had an exceptionally wet summer, and while we have made a start, a lot of the hard clearing stuff out kind of work is done, we haven’t quite gotten around to the fun constructing bit.  So really the rain has washed away our garden dreams!

The cleared front garden with makeshift pathway waiting for the new design to take shape… yes it’s still waiting!  Though we have mulched it to prevent weed growth.

the mountain of weeds and unwanted plants cleared out of the garden.

After we mulched this garden ready for the plants and new pavers it rained, rained some more and when we thought it had finished it kept right on raining.  Throw in there a hospital visit, a few birthdays, a bad back and a run of sniffles and the end result is that we still have a mulch garden without the schmick new pavers.

The Munchkins and I have propagated a whole lot of plants ready for our winter vegetable garden.  We have broccoli, snow peas, sweet peas and normal peas as well as gourds and strawberries.  They’re all ready to have a go at growing on their own in the big bad garden, but just as we had set aside today to make their new home, it has started raining.  After one of the driest Mays on record, the one day we want to go out and get out hands dirty it pours!  I had planned on blogging about our gardening successes for today, so damn you unpredictable weather patterns!

A plethora of peas

Beautiful broccoli

Gorgeous gourds

The seedlings are stacking up next to the pavers ready to go into the front yard, the 2 Kangaroo Paws that have been waiting way to long to let their roots run free and the tomato stakes that just completely missed their opportunity for last seasons tomatoes.  The Drama Queen has been so proud of them, she carefully planted them (check that out here) and has been watching them sprout and grow.  The Daredevil has been my chief watering can manager, and so far as a team we’ve done a good job.  We just need the weather to come to the party and not rain on our parade.

So far my gardening activities have added up to a lot of weed pulling, a bit tomato taming and a bucket full of thinking and planning, basically not much doing.

For this weekend, rain rain go away, its time our garden had a play!

Sam

Plant Lovin’ -Sweet Pea

10 May

I always seem to be choosing plants for my Plant Lovin’ series that have I a bit of an emotional connection to.  These plants provide great memories, or remind me of special people.  The Sweet Pea is definitely one of those plants.  My Nanna Bet had the most fantastic vegetable garden, and Sweet Peas always featured.  She had a fabulous trellis that they snaked across and hung over.  I remember going home with bunches of Sweet Peas on so many occasions.  It was also one of the flowers used in the bouquets at our wedding, it was a perfect softener for the red roses that matched the Bridesmaids dresses.

It is a plant that I have been wanting to try out for a while, but didn’t think would work too well on our old balcony, and then I missed the season last year.  So this year, the Drama Queen and I have some little baby Sweet Peas getting ready to hit the garden.  Hopefully they like us and give us bunches of their sweet smelling flowers!

So here’s the Snow Pea low down…

Name: Lathyrus odoratus

Description: The Sweet Pea is a flowering annual that grows to 1.5-2m tall with the aid of a trellis or frame.  The sweet smelling flowers are the main feature of the plant, but I’m also fond of the delicate looking tendrils that are used to grip.  Flowers range from white through to pink, red and purple.

What you’ll love about them: The flowers, the flowers, the flowers!  As they are a climber, and grow to about 2m high they are perfect for screening a fence or covering a lattice or garden screen.  As they are winter growing, they will fill in the winter bare patches in your garden.  They will grow easily from seed.  Let’s face it, if we can germinate them, I think anybody can!

What they love:  Sweet Peas love the sun, they need at least six hours a day to keep them happy.  A well drained soil, and a lattice or trellis to grow on.  As they are annuals you will need to rip them out and replace them each year.  In Sydney they are a seed that is best sown in Autumn, so they don’t like it too hot.  Check in your part of the world for what time of year would suit them best.

The not so great bits:  Sweet Pea is an annual plant, so will not last past one season.  It’s not a long term garden solution, but a fun splash of colour from year to year.  It will need a bit of work to get them started and then to rip them out again at the end of the season, but if it fits in with your vegetable garden rotation there’s not problem!

If you prefer something a bit more home grown: There are no native Sweet Peas, and nothing that I can think of that is an Annual, so there isn’t anything that you can directly substitute, but if it’s the vine you are looking for you could try a Hardenbergia violacae, it is fairly hardy and vigorous and has purple pea shaped flowers.

Off to water our sweet pea babies and design them a trellis!

Sam

Words and pictures – Roberto Burle Marx

7 May

I found this quote by Brazilian landscape architect and artist, Roberto Burle Marx,  and it reminded me of how much he inspired and shaped my design philosophy and opened my eyes to the creative potential of landscape architecture.

A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant – rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance – but it is also a color, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself.

With landscape plans like this

Landscape Design for Saenz Pena Square

And constructed landscapes that look like this

Vargem Grande – photograph http://www.mraggett.co.uk

Cavanellas Residence – photograph http://www.mraggett.co.uk

His words take on a new meaning and a reassuringly creative way for landscape architects to look at their horticultural palette.

Sam

Friday Finds – marking it

20 Apr

This week’s Friday Finds is brought to us by the wonderfully creative souls that you find on Etsy.  There is such a beautiful organic synergy between hand made crafty pursuits and gardening, and it’s no secret that I adore both of them.  As it is spring in the northern hemisphere, garden themes are trending a bit on Etsy, and while we can’t ship plants and seeds down under, we can import ourselves some of the handmade goodies.  I love to browse on Etsy, partly for inspiration, partly for admiration and partly for aspiration.  I love supporting hand made as much as I love creating it.  Please enjoy these plant markers as much as I am enjoying finding them for you…

Swirl plant marker from metalgardenart

Fan shaped garden markers from cynthiavardhan

ceramic vegetable markers from fromArtisanHands

Natural stone markers from sjengraving

Repurposed knife garden markers from Revisions

Searching through the plant markers was inspiration enough for The Drama Queen and I to get out and sow some seeds, though without the time or patience to wait for some beautiful Etsy markers, we fashioned our own out of foam, paddle pop sticks and sticky tape – what do you think????

Have a lovely weekend, hope I’ve sowed a few seeds of inspiration!

Sam

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