Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Stinker of Summer

It's become a real Australian Summer over the last month; and with the storms coming and going, I'm working on making sure my lawn is green and lush - and that's difficult when you have a thief in your unit complex.

Now, I've gotten to a point in my life where I'm not hiding my garden hose anymore. If the thief is going to take my hose, they're going to take it and cut it up into tiny little pieces (and yes, I don't care if they're reading this - I know who they are). But I need to use my garden hose when I want to; not have to stuff arse around with connections for 10 minutes beforehand.

Anyway, the Agapanthus has flowered and so today I've cut the stems off; as the flowers are all gone. The Frangipanni didn't flower at all because I repotted both of them this past Winter and they will need a Summer to become accustomed to their new pots. So, next year, they'll flower - at least they put out leaves; which is promising. 

My brother and his girlfriend is getting a pup from my 14 year old Large Leaf African Jade. It's about a year or so old and looking lovely in its pot. And all they have to do is repot it in a new, bigger pot next Winter - or in the ground - and it'll flourish! 

I do have four others I'm hoping to put into larger pots for when I move out into another place in the next few years.

Anyway, there's others that have flowered this Summer. I'm just hoping it does rain soon... tomorrow, though, I'm hoping to get in and wrap up the Large Leaf Jade pot before it rains. But if it's raining, it doesn't matter... I'll pop it into a rubbish bag and tap it up with a Christmas label on it. No matter what, it'll be given as a present.

Well, that's what's been happening around my place here in Brisbane. How's your garden going? I'm hoping to get more plants next year growing in more pots. The Cardboard Plant is finally happy and sprouting more fronds - if the possums would just stop eating the new growth! But I think I've gotten them to stop that; I'm feeding them bananas. And expensive way of doing it, but at least they're eating something else. Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Been Busy Watching

There's a time in a garden when all you do is watch it. I know that sounds really weird, but it's true. 

Throughout Winter, I work my butt off and get my plants repotted, fertilised and looking their best, mow the lawn, pull every weed there is and trim the shrubs nice and tight. Then, as the days begin to turn longer, become warmer, as the thunderstorms begin to turn our way and water our gardens for us more and more, I start to just watch my garden.

Besides that, I also get in and water the lawn more. Because of the dry dry days that haunt Brisbane and Queensland, it's a must to get outside and water the lawn in the early morning and late afternoons. I have a neighbour who works a lot and so I've been watering her lawn as well - yep, sticking my hose over the fence and watering her piece of green doesn't bother me at all; after all, I'm doing mine, so why not?

Right now, the Agapanthus are in full bloom. There were three blooms, but some possums had a go at the third one and killed it - so there's only two left. Then there's the Frangipanni which I repotted into a huge pot to give it some room to move. This year, it won't flower - so I'm looking forward to it doing its thing next year. There's a little one which hasn't bloomed this year either, as I repotted it as well. so, next year, I'll have plenty of flowers around the garden. But this year, it's mainly just greenery.

The Ficus is growing so fast! It's really wonderful as well it's going. I'm impressed it's reaching up the fence so quickly. 

So, besides the lawn looking like a cricket pitch, my garden it looking good. But then, in Summer the lawn always looks like this, unless I keep the water up to it. Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

October Is here

Today is my Birthday, which means we're over a week into Spring and my garden has started its annual growing and blooming time.

I've been noticing the Frangipanni has started to push out new leaves from their normally rounded stumps - and seeing I repotted the taller one - I can't wait to see them both get in and flower this year. 

The garden is looking more lovely as time goes by; but I'd love to get in and move to another place where I have more room to move and a bigger garden to play with - I'm not sure when that'll be but I'm looking into that.

Anyway, I've been sitting back and watching the garden after we had a full day of rain over the weekend and it's been loving the cooler nights and warmer days, just as much as I enjoy getting in and mowing the lawn every week, now it's getting hotter.

Well, I don't have too much more to tell. I'm watching the Large Leaf Jade for the next few months because I'm going to get in and give them as Christmas Presents this year - the bigger ones which are a few years old that is; you can't give them too small, but if you do you, it's best to put them into a tiny pot and leave them for about 6 weeks, so they settle properly, then give them away or sell them. 

Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Woohoo! It's Spring!

Spring has arrived here in Australia!

I think... well, it kinda feels like it sometimes, but the night time temperatures are still on the chilly side at times.

The grass is greener, flowers are beginning to bud on my Jatropha and I've just spent three weeks watching a nest of baby Mickey birds grow from bald little, blind things into fully-fledged birds too big for the nest! All the while I was being swooped on by Pappa and Mamma and told off by another one - who that was I'm not sure.

But it was fun to watch the nest and see those lovely little birdies grow so fast in only about two weeks! 

Otherwise, I've been helping out some neighbours fix up their front garden and gave them a Money Plant to get it going along - freeing up one of my pots to plant a Large Leaf Jade that I'm hoping to give to my brother and his family for his garden this Christmas. It's going to be old enough to plant it in the ground once it takes to the pot. 

And this weekend has been great with all this rain! I don't have to water too much. All I have to do is wait and mow the back lawn and keep and eye out for the bindis which usually pop up around this time of year. Well, until my next post, happy gardening!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Kick Back Until Spring

I know that sounds like I don't care, but really, my garden is just like that.

I get in and fix it throughout Winter - repotting, fertilising and doing all the hard work - then by the end of July, I can mow the lawn, pull out the longer weeds and really kick back and look at my work and wait until Spring comes along.

Spring brings along the hotter weather and the bindi's. I get in and pull them out by hand; and they're usually around the clothes line anyway. So, that's a good thing for me to look out for while I'm hanging out the laundry.

And while I'm waiting and watching my garden sleep for a few weeks before the warmth of Spring to arrive, I'm saving up for a few more little things to decorate the yard with... just pretty things really, nothing to make the plants grow. I'm also saving up for an edger to clean up the straggly bits of lawn from the concrete when I mow it.

Otherwise, the garden looks nice. My folks came around to my place on Saturday to help me out with selling my old dining table and Mum was really impressed with how my little garden looked. She was amazed that I get so much done in a few months; and can't wait until Summer to see it all in bloom and happy. 

You know something? I can't wait either. Until my next post, happy gardening.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Warmer Weather

Over the past few days, the weather has turned warm and Summer-like. This has been good for the garden. It's moved a few things along quicker than expected.

My Large Leaf Jade has been flowering beautifully. It hasn't flowered in about three years - which is something I do look forward to. I've found that when it does flower, it's after I've trimmed it right back and given it time to recover; as well as back-filling it with fresh potting mix. It takes around 6 months for the plant to fully get back on its feet and then it'll bloom the following Winter. For some unusual reason my plant just won't flower in Summer.
But today, I got out there and repotted my Egyptian Sage. I was given this by the Caretaker of my unit complex, who thought it was a weed. But once I repotted it, this plant was happy as a pig in mud! Now, I had to clip off the straggly bits and back-fill it; otherwise, it's going well! I'm not big on touching this plant too much as when you do, it puts off a strong scent which can get a little much if you breath in too much of it.

I'm up to the stage in my little garden where all I have to do is pull out the weeds around the edges and watch it all grow for the next year or so. There's still a few little detail things to get on with, but that's about all... until the next year or two when I plug more big money into the yard.

Isn't it fun to get in and get your hands dirty? I think so. It's the most wonderful thing to just jump in just after breakfast in the early morning and work on the garden, to clean up the small things before they get in become something too big.

The Ficus is going well - it's been in the pot for 3 weeks now and I'm looking forward to what it'll look like in 6 months time. I'll keep a record on Pintrest for anyone who's interested. Well, until my next post, happy gardening.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Every Three Years...

Every three years, I work hard on my garden, spending money on it to make it look great. It's a work of passion and love to move its design forward - no it's never finished. 

Every three years, I repot what needs to repotted. I move plants that have grown so well in older pots into much, much bigger pots and then reuse those old pots (if they can be reused) for new plants that I buy at the nursery. Or if I have other plants that need new homes, I repot the others first.

Every year, I'm constantly writing in my Gardening Journal to record what works and what doesn't. I also write down which plant's I've bought and which ones have lived good long lives, and which ones up and died on me for no good reason - thus I know I won't be getting them again because they don't suit my garden. The Gardening Journal is a great way to keep track of what I can and can't do in my garden.

Every week I mow the lawn with my spin reel mower, and pull out all the weeds. Every Spring I pull out all the Bindis so I don't have a huge crop every year to watch out for. Every day I watch my garden grow and enjoy the small victories of when I accomplish something in it; as it's all a learning experience with it - and always has been. Every month, I prune the shrubs, making sure they look good, neat and proper. Every season, I fertilise the plants to make sure they live at their very best. Every week, I water my plants - unless Mother Nature does that for me; then I watch and enjoy the view of it all working out.

Every three years, I have watched my garden through that camera lens change from being an empty desert of a lawn into a lush, green, flowering oasis of beauty, which is ever-changing and beautiful. And the best thing about my garden is: it's a container garden.

How do you see your garden? 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016


These little guys can be a pest or a good way to spot when rain is coming our way. Now, there are different types and I've seen a few around my place that have either made themselves useful or had to moved on because they got in the way.

Meat Ants are the big orange ants which you sometimes see around your place and they nest near doorways and drains. They are more active when it rains and they're not the most attractive of the ant species. However, you don't leave them alone! If you let them walk around your house they will invite the rest of the ant colony inside to nest... yes, they have a few different jobs to do around the place. Meat Ants are the guys who look for new places for the little black ants to find new homes - dry places to nest. Never ignore them if you find them around your house. When you see one, kill it, and wait for another two or three to show up (and they will) and kill those too; otherwise you'll be in for a nasty surprise of ants inundating your home.

Green Ants are another nasty you don't want near your home. They nest just about anywhere and if they get into your potted plants, they'll eat the roots of your plants and kill them, taking over the pot as their own nest. You don't want this and it's easy to get rid of them. You need a big bucket of water and you dunk the whole pot into it and leave it for a couple of hours - drowning out the whole nest. But if your Green Ants Nest is in a huge pot too big for a bucket, you get your hose, put it onto 'jet' on the control on the gun and drown them out that way. Just make sure the soil is soaked through with water and the ants will leave. Sometimes, when you've done this, watch carefully around your trees, the nest might take to the leaves in the trees. They will stick together leaves and make a nest in a tree if they're really desperate for a nest.

Sugar Ants are another black ant which nests in gardens. They are practically everywhere and are a good warning system that rain is approaching. I have a few nests outside in my front garden I don't touch because when they get busy and rush everywhere, I know from their activity that they're preparing for a lot of rain. However, when I find them inside my house - tracking from my back, through my living room to my front door - I know for certain, something big is coming our way. When they do that, I get the flour out and sprinkle it on the doorways to get them to keep out of my house.

Fire Ants are nasty little bastards. They nest in areas where the soil is built up and gardens aren't cared for well. This is why I always care for my garden and make sure I don't leave any soil to build up in my garden or long grass uncut. I'm always checking around the corners of my yard and over my fence into the properties of my neighbours' to check if they're caring for their yards as well - because it's not just my responsibility to care for my yard. If somebody isn't caring for their yard and they have Fire Ants at the back fence, those ants will find their way into my yard and destroy my well-kept garden. And even though most of us rent, it's a decent thing to do to keep our gardens looking good. Besides, Fire Ants have a dreadful bite; and they're name signifies how bad their bite is: it feels as though your skin and all surrounding it is on fire. 

Now, with most ants, you can keep them from invading your home or your garden with simple Ant-Sand, which you can buy at your local gardening supply store. But that's a chemical, and can be harmful to pets and dogs. So, if you use flour, you'll find that they can be stopped from entering your home that way because ants all breath through their stomachs and flour suffocates them. Otherwise, if you want to shift an ants' nest, pouring a kettle of boiling water down the nest is another way of getting rid of them... it does take a few doses of that to get them running, but it does work (I've done this to three big Green Ants Nests near my clothes line and they took off). However, if ants are really being a pest, I once used Kerosene on a plant outside my house and it got rid of Green Ants - however I do not advise people to use this on any of your plants to get rid of ants nests. There are other methods; and I only used it because nothing else worked.

Okay, that's all about ants and how to treat them... how to work with them and what not to do around them. Until my next post, happy gardening.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A Weekend of Rain

It's the first week of Winter here in Australia and today, as I came out of the cinemas with a friend to find it was pouring rain. I looked on the weather forecast and it said that we'll have rain today, tomorrow and all across the weekend - with some storms as well.

This is great news for the garden. 

I've done some work over the last few weeks in my garden - as you know - and it's all going to pay off over the next week or two as the Frangipani and other plants I've repotted recently settle into their new pots have the rain assist with their new living arrangements.

The Large Leaf Jade is starting to flower as well. This is a big thing seeing it doesn't flower all that often - and the last time it did, was around 5 years ago. I'm really looking forward to this; as there are more buds on the plant than there were last time.

The Small Leaf Jades out the front have done well since I last trimmed them and they've grown into their new shapes nicely. These plants aren't in pots, however, I planted them as cuttings into the ground around 12 years ago and they've really shot up and taken precedence over the front garden area of my townhouse. I'm really pleased at how they've thrived in such little soil as well. 

So, over this weekend, I don't have to do much, just plan for July - yep, four weeks away - get in and do some more gardening to prepare for Spring. That means saving up money, putting it all away and working on getting in and making sure the other plants that need repotting are done before the weather warms up again in Summer. Well, until my next post, happy gardening.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Those Pesky Possums!

This morning, after not wanting to get out of my nice cosy bed and yet I finally did, I pulled back the curtain to my back door and found that my Frangipani had been uprooted by the possums around my area. Yep, they had swung on it and it couldn't take the weight! I did have a stake next to it, but it wasn't enough to keep it upright.

So, I rushed out there and fixed it up, filling up the pot more with potting mix to the very top, pushing it down hard so it was okay... but it still tipped.

I had to make this work better! So, I raced around to the sheds, found my gardening gloves and pushed the big, long gardening stakes I had next to the hot water heater into it the pot - around the plant itself - used 2 pairs of stockings I was going to take back to Big W as ties and stabilised it better. Now, it's a waiting game to see how it stands up to the possums again. I hope it goes well. I'm sure with the stakes in around it, it should work out well. 

Then, later this morning, after washing my car, I found that my Large Leaf Jade was preparing to flower this Winter! What a great surprise! After around five years, this plant has enough buds on it to flower more than it ever has! I'll put up photos of on Facebook and here as well. Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Friday, 20 May 2016

A Busy Weekend

This week has been one busy day after another... and this weekend will be no different. I'm upgrading one of the plants in my backyard into the massive green pot I bought last week tomorrow.

Today I went out to do a number of things, but namely I needed to buy 3 bags of potting mix, 2 bags of stones (for good drainage) and 3 little feet for the bottom of the pot. This all cost me around $60 - but it's well worth it.

As you can see from the photo I've linked to Pinterest, I'm using Searles potting mix. It's a midrange mix which costs a little under $10 but has a lot of nutrients which is good for a plant being transferred into a new pot. I'm also helping the plant I'm repotting into a larger pot - the Frangipani - by putting river stones into the bottom of the pot to add not only weight to the pot but drainage as well. I have done this to a few pots around my garden and the plants have been very happy for the past 6 years or so... and they're very difficult to move (but that's so they don't get stolen).

Just like I did a few years ago, I'm fixing up the garden little by little; and it'll be finished by the end of July. So, what are you all doing with your gardens at the moment around the world? Until my next post, enjoy your gardens.

Monday, 16 May 2016

This Week

I'm looking at this week with optimism. This week, I might be repotting my Frangipani and looking at putting away more money for the new pots for out the front. And I'll also be hoping to buy some more potting mix for other plants I with to repot over the cold months.

I'm also looking around for some larger plants for the garden - this means I'll be buying another huge pot or two before July comes around to cater for their size. 

I've been wanting to have a shrub/tree from the Fig family in the garden an hope to get myself a few Yucca's as well to fill out the side of the garden where it's a little bare. Of course this will take time; and I don't mind waiting for it to make it work. Otherwise, my garden is always changing every few weeks and months. Until my next post, happy gardening. 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Preparations for Winter

I do love preparing for Winter in my garden. It's the one time of year when everything goes dormant and I can really get in and work on improving my little bit of dirt.

But it's not the doing up of the garden that gives me the most satisfaction, it's the gathering of the gardening gear, pots and potting mix that does. I know that sounds really strange, but making sure I have everything just right beforehand is the perfectionist in me coming out. The one thing I really hate is planning a full day at home to get in and do the gardening and find that I have to go out to the gardening store for one tiny item or other... it just puts a kink in the whole idea of getting in and doing it all in one hit.

Sometimes, when I do get in there and start on the garden, I find that there's too much to do and I happily let it go into the next day. This is fun and is something which is wonderful to use up a weekend or part of my week. 

More recently, I bought a huge pot from Bunnings which my Frangipani is going to live in for the next few years (unless I move into a more permanent place and I'll plant it into the ground and use the pot for something else). It cost me $80 and I'm darned proud of this lovely addition to my garden... now, just to get it what it needs to keep my plant happy. That's usually a couple of bags of river stones (not huge ones, and not gravel), 3 feet for the bottom (so ants don't live in it) and plenty of potting mix. 

Speaking of which, I'll be getting 2 bags a fortnight until the time comes that I'll be able to work on the garden in July... I know that sounds like some time away, but really it's not. Before long, that time will fly by and that middle weekend in July will be here! Until my next post, enjoy your wonderful gardens! 

Sunday, 1 May 2016


Today, it's raining. And there's times I love rain, and times I'm not too fond of it - okay, okay, I hate it. But then, the rain can be so beneficial for your garden - especially when you've been watering it by hand lately.

The water from the council isn't that great - seeing it's filled with chemicals and your plants need nitrogen and other things Humans really can't handle from Mother Nature; and a few things that we do need and the skies can't give us.

So, when it rains for a few days, getting all your potted plants (even the ones from inside your house) outside for those few dull days, is a good idea as they would benefit from the rain.

I have shade garden area which flourishes over the time it rains; and when it doesn't, well, the plants are hardy enough to go without water for a while and still grow on what they have. But I still water them once a week.

The rain is still lovely though for more than one reason: I just love the darn stuff. It makes my lawn green, cleans the dust from the air and cools our nights down... also the sound of rain on the roof at night is the most lovely noise around to help people sleep.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Composting Is Your Best Friend

This is the truth. A good composting bin or pile is really your garden's best friend; and making sure it's at its best all year round is something you must do to keep your garden - and your house and yard - in top shape.

What I mean is: make sure you keep things you don't want out of it - like termites. 

As recently as last week, I had to get rid of my composting bin because of termites. These little critters were around because my unit/townhouse complex hasn't been kept up to scratch - not because I didn't care for my compost bin. I cared for my bin in every way. I put gardening lime in it once a year, turned it over during the cold season and kept it hot so the termites didn't get into it. 

However, when you rent in one of these townhouse complexes, the way they're cared for compacts hugely on your garden. 

I live on a boundary fence, which means the complex next door had to work with the complex I live in to get the fence my townhouse backs onto fixed. This took so long I can't believe I had to wait over a decade to see it done! By this time, the fence was so decayed and derelict that the fence builders were shocked that it had been left for so long. However, the termites had made a right meal out of it long before it needed to be replaced. This meant, that once it was, with treated Pine, we had another problem - where would those termites go for another meal? They'd head to anywhere where there was a nice cool area to nest - and some of those cool areas are composting piles and bins. 

I didn't expect to find a nest of termites in my big plastic bin next to the fence... as it was in the sun a lot of the time and usually very hot all day inside and out. So, finding the nest was a total surprise. But when you do find a termite nest in your composting bin, you either discourage them from it by heating up the bin with green waste and garden lime or you get rid of the whole lot of the nest by tossing it out. 

I opted for the latter as I didn't want the termites hitting my house next - as that was what they were going to do.

At many unit complexes, there's a green waste disposal area where you can get rid of everything you need if you don't have a composting bin in your yard (and this is for people who aren't staying all that long in unit complexes). And so, I used the care-taker's wheel barrow and took three loads of contaminated composted up to the bins. It took a little under an hour to do and when I came to the bottom - underneath - where the compost started - I was pleased to find that there was a Green Ants nest present. These guys are your best friend when it comes to termites; as they eat them for dinner! 

However, with composting - and composting well - a healthy compost doesn't house termites. It is filled with the right amount of nutrients for the garden and you can get in and use it within a year of starting it. I had never used mine; as I worked mine to be a slow-processing composting pile. Unfortunately, the termites had other things in mind for it; namely a nursery for their nest.

So, make sure when you start out your composting pile or bin, to get in and work it over well, feed it the right things and don't put garlic skin or eggshells in it (as they don't really do it any favours) and teabags are okay but take the label off them first along with the staple. Garden Lime will help the compost too by keeping the ph balance to your compost - but many people are divided in whether this is true. When I started out with the compost, it was beneficial to my compost... however, over time I forgot to add it once in a while and found that no matter what I did, it was okay - until I found the nest. 

If you have a compost - and it's working well - how have you kept it up to its best potential? Do you add any animal poo or garden lime? Or is it just lawn clippings and vegetable skins you add? 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

In The Beginning....

Okay... that was cliche, right? But really, I'd like to tell you all how it started with me - my gardening and my love for plants.

I moved out of my parents house aged 29 into a townhouse in Woodridge, Logan City, Brisbane to find a tiny postage-sized backyard filled to the brim with weeds of all kinds. It was overgrown and I couldn't step outside without having something 'bite' me. 

I had some serious work ahead of me.

I spent a good 6 months just pulling up what the landlords called 'lawn' and putting down weed killer; causing me to start the whole place to start over completely. Yes, I had a completely blank slate of a back garden... yard... it looked like something from the early 1980's - it had absolutely nothing in it except two Logan City Council drain lids and a sewage filter lid an that - my friends - was it.

We had a care-taker here at the complex who helped me out with top soil and grass seed and watering it all it, fertilising it and making it grow the way it was supposed to - but I kept on getting bindi's and Scotch Thistles. The first was a complete mystery but the second was a matter of just pulling them out at the right time... and eventually, I got rid of all 15 of them (yeah, you read right!). 
The damned, Bindis? Well, it wasn't until I looked over the side fence one lovely day that I found out that I was next to what was commonly known as a Queen Patch. This is a huge round patch of the weed which had a flower sprouting out of the middle of it. I had never seen one before and haven't seen one since, but our care taker used full-strength weed killer on it and to dig up half the dirt to pull out all the weeds. It was amazing to watch - but I never got a huge infestation of Bindis again; instead, I only got a few here and there which I pull out as soon as I see them.

Once the lawn was starting to look good, I began to grow vegetables and herbs. It was great! Seeing I was from a family who grew their own veggies all the time, I got a lot of advice from my Dad and other family members on how to grow them. I also started collecting books on how to grow them as well. But my biggest pest were possums - who loved my home-grown food as much as I did.

After a few years, I gave up on trying to keep the possums out and pulled out the veggie and herb garden and started to grow just ordinary, hardy plants. It was fun to get in and do just that... and it also made me look at succulents which I could cultivate and grow more than one of - saving me a lot of money buying more plants. All I needed to do was buy more pots and potting mix.

Then, my townhouse was going to be sold by my landlords and so I had to have the yard cleaned up, the house cleaned up and people trampling through my place during an Open House looking around. And if you've ever suffered through those things, you know people just have no respect for anything - especially if you're investment property (which I was) and I found people were helping themselves not only to my food, making offers on my furniture and clothes (thinking I was dead) but they were making off with my potted plants in my back yard too! It took 3 real estate agents to keep people under control around the place - and I also walked around to keep them from looking through my personal items (ie: jewelry and make-up - yes that happened too). 

It's been a long, long time since my place was sold that way. My folks bought the place from my last landlord and I'm my own person when it comes to this place now; which is good. The garden is what I want it to be, and every year or so, it changes it the most wonderful way. I change the pots over, change the plants over, add new plants, remove old ones... I make it look better and better. But...

... my garden is always a container garden.

Even if I move from here, I'll have a container garden at my next place - and I'll be using huge containers to hold my plants out of habit. Or I'll use containers around the place to make it look quaint. However, for now, I'm using this garden to the best of my abilities. 

Welcome to My Garden

Hi there!

This is the first of hopefully many posts about gardening in a small garden. I have lived in rental properties over my whole life - never having bought a house - and so gardening with a container garden has been my only choice with how to decorate and make my garden look and feel very much my own.

It's been an idea of mine to get in here and write a gardening blog - but how and what kind was still a bit of a wonder. However, when I realised that I'm not that bad at keeping my current garden alive, I thought to give this a shot.

Container gardens aren't that difficult to start up and you can grow pretty much anything you want in them - from fruit'n'veggies and herbs to flowers, roses, palms and shade plants - the list of plants you can grow is endless. I know, as I am growing some really hardy plants in my postage stamp back yard and they really should be in the ground; however, they're pretty happy in the massive pots I've chosen for them.

And that's the first secret of planting plants that will grow big, put them into enormous pots/planters to start with and they'll be happy for their whole life. The next thing I've learned is that shade mesh is wonderful to put over the hole in the bottom of the planter, then... you use a bag of river stones on top of that for drainage.  Not only does it help the water get through, but it stops the plant from getting root rot as it lets the water drain away faster.

I've never let my plants sit in saucers - as much as they are tempting to buy for your planters, as pretty as they look because they match - I just don't put them in saucers. I let the water drain into the ground as those saucers encourage mosquitoes to your garden, there's nothing worse than not being able to go into your garden because you're going to be eaten alive those little blood-suckers. 

So, there you have it. My first three ideas for making your little garden lovely. I'll be back soon to help you out with other secrets in gardening - and they won't always be for the outdoors.