The sea. A constantly changing companion.

Standing in solidarity.
We are water – we are all one.
Honouring & Protecting sacred water – our common ancestral interconnectedness around the world.

I feel incredibly nourished & lucky living by the sea. Listening to her song, watching her movements & the spectacular play between water & light.

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Liquid gold.
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Dusk & local fishermen hauling in their boats using a tractor next to Port Logan Lighthouse Tower and Pier.
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Low tide. Mericurial silvery movement.
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Expansive fine spun clouds up above.
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Honouring the most life sustaining gift on earth – water – our common interconnectedness.

Collecting seeds from Polylepis australis – the ‘filo pastry’ tree.

IMG_0619.JPGIt never ceases to amaze me just how smart plants truly are. I marvel at their complexity, their feats of engineering & effortless artistry. Much can be learnt from these noble ancient lifeforms. The above, seemingly simple seed holds such complexity & potentiality for life is staggering.

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Seeds that could germinate & grow each into 3-4 metre Polylepis australis trees.
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Strangely enough, Polylepis australis is a relative of Alchemilla mollis.
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Extraordinary ‘filo’ pastry bark that actually helps the Polylepis australis distorted tree survive harsh winters across the Andes mountains of South America from Ecuador to Argentina.

 

Looking fabulous right now:Cercidiphyllum japonicum

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Dazzling golden autumnal display of Cercidiphyllum japonicum

I wish you could scratch & smell these photos!

Because, not only does this tree bear a spectacular autumnal display of golden heart-shaped leaves but it also gives off the most gorgeous distinctive ‘candy floss’ fragrance as you pass by these Japanese beauties.

I was fortunate enough to be in the presence of several Cercidiphyllum japonicum in the walled garden at Dunskey, all shimmering golden delight on a bright sunny autumnal day.

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Propagation part 1: Taking Semi-ripe Plant Cuttings.

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Osteospermum ‘Pink Whirls’

I find this one of the most satisfying horticultural tasks & a great way to increase plant stock.

Step 1. Select the right type of plant for semi-ripe cuttings.Its pleasantly surprising just how many plants can be propagated at this time of year by selecting semi-ripe cuttings. Healthy, vigorous side shoots without flowering buds from this years growth are best. The same method applies whether its a half hardy perennial  (e.g. argyranthemum, osteospermum, pelargonium or fuchsia) or semi-tender or root hardy shrubs.

Step 2. Heel cuttings where the cutting is pulled away with a piece of  stem from the stock plant have the added advantage of giving the cutting a kick start to root faster.

IMG_0519.JPGStep 3. The cuttings are vulnerable so need to be kept moist in a bag & put into growing media as soon as possible! Using a sharp clean cuttings knife, make clean cuts clearing away any foliage approx 2cm from the rooting tip this will help prevent the cutting from rotting.

img_0509Step 4. Dip the prepared cuttings into rooting hormone to further prevent the cuttings from rotting.

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img_0508Step 5. Mark out a row in your growing media. Here at Logan Botanic Garden a peat & perlite growing media mix is used for all cuttings in a heated bench to 21 centigrade in a glasshouse. With a pencil thickness dibber mark out holes along your row & gently place a cutting into each hole & firm in as you go along to ensure the cutting is upright.

img_0512img_0516IMG_0520.JPGIMG_0524.JPGStep 6. Label, date & water cuttings. Then cover the entire heated bench with a plastic sheet to increase the right growing conditions of hot,humid & wet.

IMG_0526.JPGStep 7. Check every other day for four weeks watering as required, removing any debris, diseased or damaged cuttings as you go along.

 

 

 

Up close & personal with Griselinia littoralis hedge trimming.

I love the fresh distinctive green of salt-tolerant Griselinia littoralis & was up close & personal with it today hedge trimming.IMG_0420.JPG

My hedge trimmer tool a Stihl HS 82 T with 2-mix engine technology ( petrol & oil all goes in one compartment).

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Got the job done in no time – happy days!

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Looking fabulous right now: Nerine Bowdenii

IMG_0374.JPGPretty summer dormant perennial bulbs from South Africa.

Nerines grow best when two third of the bulb is above the ground.

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IMG_0377.JPGThe bulbs also like to be planted closely together & that in turn helps to create a vibrant swathe of pink in autumn.