Daft about daffs

Also known as Narcissus, daffodils are so bright and cheerful in spring! Mass plant to naturalise in lawns or under deciduous trees in clumps for maximum effect.


How to grow:

Fertilise lightly with a bulb fertiliser when planting and also after flowering.

Feed: Fertilise lightly with a bulb fertiliser when planting and also after flowering.

Design: Daffodils look best when they are planted in clumps rather than in rows. The larger the clump, the better the effect. Planting them in groups of the same colour will create a pretty swathe of colour.

Pests: To keep snails and slugs at bay it is a good idea to use a little snail bait or beer traps regularly during growing season.

Store: Daffodils can remain undisturbed for many years. But, if digging is preferred, wait until the leaves have died right down and store in a cool, dry, ventilated place.

Tips: In warm climates, plant bulbs at double the recommended depth.

Tricks: If blooming does not happen one season, it is best to move bulbs to a new location.

Water: Natural rainfall should suffice. Keep bulbs moist during dry spells in autumn and late spring.


Originally published on homelife.com.au

SOURCE: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/home-garden/in-bloom-now-daffodils/story-fnivsv0u-1226722220178

Spring Inspirations

The tilt of the earth’s axis towards the sun increases during Spring extending the daylight hours and the warmth. Nature responds as new plants ‘spring’ to life, streams swell with run off from melting snow and once again we are lured back into the outdoors.

Spring brings with it a zest for life and new beginnings. Lets bring this feeling of excitement and anticipation into your outdoor room


Spring flowering Australian natives include:
—Isopogon anemonifolius or Broad-leaved drumsticks is a small to medium sized shrub with clusters of globular yellow flower heads. This plant is able to withstand drought and light frost. In coastal areas with exposure to sea breezes, they grow as a tufty ground cover whereas in more sheltered areas they grow as upright shrubs up to 2m high.
— Leiocarpa panaetioides or Wooly Buttons is also a yellow flowering shrub that attracts native birds. It has silvery-grey foliage with hemispherical heads of yellow flowers and grow in sunny locations in heavy soils. In the wild they can be found growing in grasslands and floodplains.
— Doryanthes palmeri or Spear Lilies have long, bright green, sword-shaped leaves that form a giant rosette. Their large reddish-brown flower heads grow in springtime on a 2–5m spike. Spear Lilies like well-drained soil and regular watering.


Limestone is a finely grained stone featuring remnants of sea life and shells often visible on its surface, making it an interesting option for wall cladding. A honed or highly polished finish will accentuate these unique details.

Glass panels are a sensible option for people with a small space or wanting an unobstructed view through to the space beyond. For pool fencing or protection from the weather, clear glass allows a transparency that makes gardens look seamless and larger. You can also explore tinted or textural glass options for varying degrees of privacy or sun protection.

Furniture, Soft Furnishings + Accessories

Day beds and casual dining settings are a great furniture addition for your outdoor room in springtime.

Why not introduce some wall art to your outdoor room. Large sculptural elements could be mounted on walls or hung from the ceiling as a focal point. You could even hang a painting; just ensure it is protected from the weather.

SOURCE: http://www.jamiedurie.com/site/Your_Outdoor_Room/spring_inspiration.aspx

Flowers and their meanings

Everyone loves a beautiful bunch of flowers, but the next time you plan on giving someone a bouquet don’t just go for the next colourful bunch, choose them based on their meaning.

POPPY – Symbolises both dreams and resurrection. In Australia we commonly associate it with remembering soldiers on Remembrance Day.

PEONY – Symbolises bashfulness, peace and female beauty. Give to someone who you highly value.

White roses symbolise purity
Red roses symbolise sacrifice, immortal love and passion.
Pink roses symbolise innocence and healing, great for a first love.
Yellow roses symbolise joy and protection.

DAFFODIL – Symbolises new beginnings, honesty and truth. They are the perfect flower to give as a token of appreciation.

TULIP – The red tulip symbolises the declaration of love. But most tulips symbolise opportunity, adjustment and aspiration.

APPLE BLOSSOM – Symbolises heady love, peace, sensuality and fertility. A beauty to plant in your backyard.

CAMELLIA – Symbolises desire, passion and refinement. Give a camelia to your sweetheart or to someone you hope to be your sweetheart.

DAHLIA – Symbolises a sign of warning, change, travel and adventure. Put on your mantle piece and they will temper your adventurous side.

LILY – Symbolises partnerships and lasting relationships as well as fertility and nurturing. Give to brides-to-be and new mothers.

PANSY – Pansies symbolise remembrance, togetherness and union. They are the flower you give when you are remembering someone who you have shared fond and memorable experiences with in the past.

SUNFLOWER – Symbolises spiritual attainment, flexibility and opportunity. A great house warming gift or for someone who is working towards something.


SOURCE: http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens/gardening/photos/p/17184298/flowers-and-their-meanings/17184533/

Bonsai shaping secrets

Enjoy Nature’s Wonders – How to Make a Bonsai

You gain many wonderful experiences from bonsai art. You may choose to
admire and appreciate a thoroughly-trained bonsai. You may also choose to
engage in bonsai art personally by planting seeds or seedlings, or collecting
wild plants, or simply begin with partially-trained bonsai. You will then receive
a lot more.

1. Roots
The roots along with the trunk are fundamental to a bonsai plant. They are
the starting point of making a quality bonsai. In root training, a surface root
structure, called nebari, is important to demonstrating the plant’s natural
beauty. You need to develop a quality nebari. What is more important than a
quality nebari is root pruning, which is intimately involved in the training of
the whole bonsai plant.
Remember it is more convenient to prune the roots during repotting.
2. Trunk
The trunk of a bonsai tree is the most appealing part to create the illusion of
age. Therefore, as a first step, you should start with developing a well-
formed trunk such as good taper (kokejun), initial rise (tachiagari), smooth
curves, etc. The other design elements, including branch location, foliage
distribution, leaf reduction and so on, can be established later on in the
design process.

  • Taper (kokejun)
  • Initial rise (tachiagari)

3. Wiring
Wiring is a method of bending trunks and branches using wires in order to
achieve various impressive shapes. When the plant is still very young, the
trunk is bent into the basic shape of a tree. Later on, as the plant grows, you
bend the first branch (ichi-no-eda), the second branch (ni-no-eda), the third
branch (san-no-eda), and so on until the final branch that determines the
shape of the bonsai plant. If you cannot achieve the ideal shape with one
wiring, you can do so in stages. By the time you complete the bonsai tree’s
final shape, you can finesse the details of the small branches with wires.
4. Pruning
Once you have completed the work of tapering (kokejun), initial rise
(tachiagari), and wiring, you can begin the final shaping of the plant. Pruning
reduces the volume of the tree in order to achieve the goal of “keisho-sodai”,
literally small size-great similarity. You need to prune the branches, the buds,
and the leaves.


SOURCE: http://www.bonsaiexperience.com/