Magnolia Coronary Care

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I’ve just been to visit my garden loving grandma in hospital. At the impressive age of 93 her body is giving up on her. Her mind is still sharp, her spirits are still good and she’s still got her sense of humour, but her heart and her kidneys have had enough. She’s as comfortable as she can be and she has a constant stream of family around her, and, if you ask me, I think that’s a pretty damn good way to go. And in typical grandma style, she’s in a hospital that seems to share her love of gardening. Each ward is named after a plant, and grandma’s ward, or wing as they call it, is the Magnolia Coronary Care Wing. I reckon that’s pretty cool.

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It was grandma who sparked my love for orchids, and gardening in general. About 15 years ago, grandma gave me 2 orchids (one pink, one yellow), and I now have about 25! Grandma must’ve bred some hardy orchids in her little greenhouse because these are amazing! This particular orchid has been flowering for the past 5 months. And, as usual grandma, your orchids are posing me with a dilemma. They’ll still be flowering on Melbourne Cup Day (the traditional orchid splitting day). To split and repot anyway or to wait and risk it getting too hot? Such a terrible problem to have to face year after year. 😉

Orchids Orchids Everywhere!

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I love orchid season! I have so many orchids (mostly still at Mum and Dad’s house) that my parents can’t give them away! I’ve got 3 orchids at my house (two pink, one yellow) and they thrive no matter how badly I treat them. I think even the brownest thumbs out there couldn’t kill a cymbidium orchid (so long as they aren’t put in full sun, or planted in regular soil). I never water them, only occasionally will I feed them. I just dump them in a shady spot and ignore them and every year they reward me with months and months of gorgeous flowers.

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This one actually started flowering in May and I’m sure it’ll keep flowering for a few months longer! The past few years I’ve had to delay re-potting them because they’re still flowering well into November. Melbourne Cup Day early in November has always been our traditional re-potting day. We need another public holiday at the end of November that we can call re-potting day! (any excuse for another public holiday! :))

Lemon Tree Update #3127 (or so it feels)

Well, I’ve fed it everything under the sun, I’ve taken every slight inkling of a pest off, I’ve given it sunshine, water, love, urine, until I finally gave up, bare rooted it and put it in a well drained pot with expensive potting mix especially for citrus. 3 and a bit weeks on it repays me by turning the 3 measelly lemons yellow. No new growth. No sign of ever being a happy lemon tree. I’ve done my best Mr Meyer, but I think it’s time to replace you. I say that with a heavy heart 😦


On the plus side, one of my orchids has decided to flower! A little early there Mr Orchid?


An Orchid Gift


We had my partners Aunty and Uncle and cousins over for dinner on the weekend because they still hadn’t seen our house – even though we’ve lived here for a year and a half. Whoops, better late than never! They know I love orchids and gave us this beauty as a house-warming gift. Isn’t it beautiful! I’ve never owned an orchid that isn’t a cymbidium orchid so I’m quite nervous about this one. My cymbidium orchids thrive on neglect, whereas this orchid looks quite fussy. Any tips on how to keep it as happy as it’s looking now are very welcome!

Spring Has Sprung

In one day I received two positive comments about the flowers in our front garden. One from a Jehovah’s Witness who commented on my Snap Dragons after she gave me her speech about God. Another from a group of teenage girls who were walking past, unbeknown to me working in the garden. So, I thought it time to show off some of these beautiful spring flowers to you.


Crab Apple Tree – Mum and Dad gave us this tree a few months ago as our feature tree for the front garden. It looked like a dead stick. Now it’s covered in leaves, buds and pretty pink flowers.


A row of different coloured Pansy’s add a colourful border to one of our garden beds.


These Snap Dragons have been going strong for nearly 6 months! 


Primulas standing up all prim and proper.


Couldn’t resist putting in another photo of Grandma’s beautiful orchids. This one seems to be the result of some in-breeding between my pink orchids and my yellow orchids. Pink must be dominant because I have many more pink orchids than yellow orchids despite starting off with one of each.


This Port Wine Magnolia was rescued from my brother’s property before he demolished his house. I’m so glad it survived the transplant and is now covered in buds. Unfortunately, the buds don’t open much further than this before they drop off. So nice to get a plant that’s 6 feet tall straight into our new garden where all the other plants are just babies. 


Photos don’t do this Boronia justice. It is absolutely covered in flowers!

Beautiful Orchids!

Beautiful orchids!

My grandma gave me 2 orchids about 15 years ago (one pink, one yellow) and I now have about 25 orchids. They thrive on neglect and never fail to produce stunning flowers every year. And on Melbourne Cup Day we split the pot bounds ones in half with an axe and chuck em in some dirty bark that they call orchid mix and they love it! Such beauties!