Monday, September 2, 2013

My gift card and Limberlost nursery

As you know I received a gift card for Limberlost Nursery   for my second place winning in the gardening competition.  At first I wanted a dwarf avocado, but they no longer stock them so I wandered around looking for inspiration.  Well my gosh!  I could have spent hundreds of dollars there!  What beautiful displays, and wonderful, healthy plants.
I started out among the dwarf fruit trees but they were all citrus and I already have a lime and a lime mandarin, so I looked at the more exotic fruit trees/shrubs.  I tried barbados cherry before and it was in a swampy area and did not survive, so I got one of those and planted it in the veggie patch.  They can be pruned into a small bush.  The cherries are quite sour but chock a  block full of vitamin C.  I sowed a handful of bok choy on either side, and covered them with a fallen paw paw leaf to add some shade.  Most of my bok choy is going to seed, now I am going to have to collect the seed before the pods explode.  What does everyone else do - do you pick them once the pods have formed, and then hang them to dry?

In the same area I found a coffee tree, which can also be pruned into a small bush.  I doubt I will ever get enough for a cup of coffee, but am thinking more along the lines of a a few chocolate covered coffee beans :)  The red in the photo just behind the trellis was a lovely red capsicum - I picked it just after this photo - gosh the flavor was awesome!  This is the first year I have had any success with capsicum. the coffee bush is surrounded by galangal, turmeric and lemongrass which all grow up in the wet season.  I am just going to have to keep those in check so they don't swamp the little tree, and just grow enough for my needs.

 I dug out a huge piece of turmeric to make room, so passed that on to a friend whose husband is a chef.  I have enough in the freezer for my use.  Just grate straight out of the freezer when I need it.

Next I found an abuliton or Chinese lantern.  I remember a couple of years ago touring an open garden in Cairns where they had a Chinese lantern hanging around their outdoor verandah and it was lovely.  This one has a few little flowers on, lovely red and yellow, and I planted it just outside the gate, so hopefully it will climb up along the side of the gate and then over the other side.  If it does well then we will build some sort of framework so that it can form an arbor over the barbecue area. You can just see one of the flowers at the back.

As if that was not enough I still had a little more credit and wandered into a shady area where I saw the most amazing vine climbing up a tree.  Called a slipper vine - the bunches of flowers (also red and yellow)  hang down for two or three feet.  I have planted it under the weeping tea tree where I have a lot of orchids, and hopefully it can also climb from there on to the mandevilla and also the udovia.  The lychee tree is so thick that the flowers would be lost in the foliage.  I have three stakes to support it until it gets to the branches and then it can climb on its own.  That way it is not going to get swamped by the tree roots.

I think I got a great selection of really unusual lovely healthy plants.  If you are in the area this is a great place to hang out for a couple of hours!  Thank you Limberlost for donating this prize!


  1. You chose well - those plants will enjoy growing in your garden.
    I can't help with the bok choy seeds. What we don't eat is given to the chooks so they never set seed. I just buy a new packet of seeds each year.

    1. Roz,
      I hummed and haaed a lot, but think I got some great plants. I thought i might as well save them as they all started to go to seed at the same time. Plus I am enjoying sowing lots of seeds all packed tightly together.

  2. I know that Limberlost Plant Nursery will not be seeing the last of you.
    What a wide selection to choose from, and you made us all proud by choosing lots of wonderful plants.
    A note of warning about the Barbados Cherry, the leaves itch if you are allergic like I am. The cherries are sour, but tend to be sweeter during the rainy season. They make great juices and jams. Like you mentioned they're the highest source of Vitamin C around.

    1. Virginia,
      I don't have any more room for new plants lol! Oh well that is good timing as we are just heading into the rainy season. Thanks for the warning about the allergic reaction.

  3. A wonderful selection to complement your wonderful garden. Still cold and wet here in Tasmania but every time I read your posts I get hope that there is sunshine somewhere :)

    1. Serendipity,
      Oh there is always sunshine here! Often too much!

  4. Oh dear - I avoid wandering nurseries looking for inspiration. I have a bad habit of finding it a dozen times or more!

    As for bok choi seed collection, I let the pods dry on the plant then collect them. I lose a bunch that way and end up with heaps of volunteer plants but I think the seeds are riper then. I can pop them open right away and save them in an envelope.

    1. Laura,
      I could have spent waaay more, but stuck to the gift card amount of 50.00. My pods have formed now and I tied them loosely together as they kept falling into the paths. I might pick them and put them into a paper bag to dry out.

  5. What a lovely experience for you - wandering around a nursery with a gift card! I like your choices - practical and beautiful. The slipper vine sounds amazing.

    1. Lyn,
      Oh it was awesome! I do hope that slipper vine likes my garden as I am totally in awe of those flowers.


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