Sunday, April 22

Pretty Much Picasso

Paint a pretty garden with this new flowering plant " Pretty Much Picasso". The lime green edge and dark purple center of these flowers will definitely turn heads.
Pretty Much Picasso is a vigorous petunia hybrid ideal for pots and hanging baskets. Available at Serenity Nursery now.

Happy Gardening.

Monday, April 16

Edible Flowers

Edible Chive flowers

Today in the garden centre I spoke to a friend who often visits our nursery for our diverse range of unusual herbs and vegetables, which she uses in her catering business. Being a foodie and a keen grower of all things edible she joked about the pansy punnets she was buying. It was unlike her to buy a purely decorative plant. However we did laugh when she pointed out to me that the pansy flowers were in fact edible and she had used them to decorate sweet dishes in the past.

It got me thinking about edible flowers and how they can be used in our home cooking. When I was in Sydney recently I ordered a pizza that was topped with zucchini flowers, it was amazing visually and tasted great. Zucchini flowers can also be stuffed with a variety of fillings like creamy ricotta and then baked. I love salads and I always try to add different colours and textures with my greens. Include vibrant coloured flowers and petals to a salad for an unexpected look and taste.

Pansies in pastels or brights are in flower right now and can be frozen into ice cube trays, use the ice cubes in your favourite drink for a pretty visual treat. decorate your next cake with sugar coated pansy or viola flowers.

Try these edible flowers in your home cooking:
Flowers of chives and garlic chives.
Calandula and marigolds.
Nasturtium flowers
Tulbaghia flowers(society garlic)
Citrus blossoms
Tuberous begonias
Flowers of pineapple sage
Rose booms
Zucchini flowers

Sunday, April 15

Front verandah make over...

This weekend I set out to make over our front verandah with some pots and plants. I have had the two cream glazed urns for a while now, we were growing cherry tomatoes in them in the back yard this summer. I  pulled out the tomatoes and planted two standard Murraya paniculata ( commonly known as Orange Jessamine)  and placed them either side of our front door. Murrayas are evergreen shrubs ideal for hedging with creamy white fragrant flowers. The cane chairs were an op shop find and go well with my green/ cream semi tropical theme.

I did a little garden centre shopping ( at Serenity Nursery of course) and picked up this large tapered cream pot and advanced philodendron .  I also had to grab one of Serenity's terracotta frogs which is now at home under our frangipani tree.

images by Krystal James

The Pothole Gardener

 Pot hole before

Pot hole after.

Holes of happiness.

I stumbled across this quirky idea today. When you have no garden why not hit the streets with your green thumb. That's what Australian born Londoner and gardening guru Steeve wheen did with his 'The pot hole gardener' project. The left of field project is described by Wheen as an urban experiment and creative pursuit to bring a little greenery to the city streets one pot hole at a time.

Wheen fills East London’s problem potholes in roads and footpaths with soil and living plants, decorating them with miniature props to create gorgeous tiny worlds.

What do you think?

Friday, April 13

New Zealands Earthly Delights

 A sculpture made from rustic barbed wire.
 In the shape of a sheep, of course!

 A place for the birds.
A Simple yet elegant cast iron urn draws in the eye.

I love the rustic vegy patch to the right and the stark white gazebo in the background looks divine.

 The contrast of neatly pruned box hedge and romantic cottage plants is perfection.

 Old fashion dahlias and sedems in the forefront add colour to the greenery.
 An espaliered beurre bosc pear tree is a great use of space. Dwarf Tahitian lime trees are planted below making it a mini garden of Eden.

 Standard Olive trees with silvery grey foliage compliment the green box topiary.

 Another espaliered tree. This one is an apple tree. Not only does it look good its produces lots of yummy fruit. Dad brought this idea
 back home with him.

 An espaliered Fig tree is a magnificent idea.
I love the use of this gorgeous teak garden bench. It becomes a practical focal point in the garden.

I was amazed by Marian and Rodney's ( Mum and Dad's) photographs that they took on a recent holiday to New Zealand. A few of you have asked me to post some of their garden tour snaps on our blog.. so here they are. I hope you get inspired and excited as much as I did when I saw these lovely  garden pics. Enjoy...

Quirky Potting Room

As Marian and Rod delved further into the gardens of New Zealand they discovered the quirky side of some home owners. This particular garden had the most adorable little potting shed ( so good it looks better than my kitchen). Complete with a working sink, useful garden tools and lots of baskets to harvest the produce from the garden.

Image by Serenity Nursery

The height of Blue and White

 A snippet of blue and white lace cap hydrangeas, a dreamy blue gate way and blue gorgeous house that Marian and Rod visited this week.

 The blue milk can, cane chairs and bird cages were nostalgic elements found around the house and garden.

 Marian Loved the use of this blue glazed pot and said the hydrangeas and fuchsias were stunning.
 Love this look.

People from all over came to visit this pretty place.
Mum and Dads New Zealand adventures continued as they explored another beautiful house and garden. Laden with pretty cottage plants and magnificent established trees this place put a twinge in their heart.

Images by Serenity Nursery

Thursday, April 12

Marian's Marvel

 Marian ( Mum) sits along side the beautiful blue and cream house admirering the creek and garden views.

 Try Growing: Dahlias, Agapanthus, Guara, Zantedeschia and acanthus mollis which line the creek bed of this New Zealand garden. These varieties will grow in most Australian areas too.

How would you like snow top mountains in your back yard?

The gardens of New Zealand continue to amaze. This one was designed by a French couple who moved to New Zealand and fell in love with a vacant block with a creek running through it. They planted a vineyard and adorned the creek side with the most beautiful lush plants. Marian and Rod said it looked so effortlessly elegant and the bridge over the creek looked like Monet's Garden.
Images by Serenity Nursery

Wednesday, April 4

Grow for Purple

Grow Purple Carrots for the Easter Bunny.
Hop in to the garden centre and grab some Purple Carrot Seedlings ( only $2.25 ea).

Healthier than chocolate, purple carrots are full of
 powerful antioxidants.

Growing Tip: Make sure you prepare your soil well before planting carrot seedlings. Break up the soil with a garden fork and remove any stones, this will make it easier for the delicate roots to grow. Grow purple carrots in a well drained sandy loam. Compacted or heavy clay soils are not ideal and will restrict the tap root.