23 November, 2011

Succulent Garden Raffle Prizes

Howdy, fellow Cactorians!

I just wanted to share with you some succulent gardens I have just potted up! These beauties will be raffled off each show night of Phoenix Theatre's production of Alice in Wonderland :)

So, if your in Perth and looking for a great night out, head on down to Phoenix Theatre, Cnr of Carrington Rd and Rockingham Rd, Hamilton Hill and come see this magnificent Musical Production.

Full of laughs, this pantomime adaptation of Lewis Caroll's story come to life on stage with stunning costumes, great performances and yes... audience participation!

Opens this Thursday, 24th November. Runs until 4th December, tickets are $20 Adult and $15 Concession. And hey, you never know, you may win the raffle and be the proud owner of one of these succulent gardens!

See Phoenix Theatre's profile on Theatre Australia for more information.

06 October, 2011

Mulch it! Mulch it good!

Before our hot summer rears its warm, ugly head, It's time to start thinking about mulching your gardens. You may not realise it, but succulents benefit greatly from a good mulching too!

In this photo: Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' and Echeveria 'Dondo'.

Adding mulch around your succulents in your garden helps to:
  • lower the soil temperature
  • retain moisture within soil
  • reduce water evaporation rate
  • reduce soil erosion
  • suppress weeds
Here, we have used Red Gum wood chips because of the nice red colour, but you can use whatever is available - wood chips, pebbles, gravel - It's up to your imagination.

TIP - Make sure you lay it on thick! For wood chips, 100mm thick will do the job nicely. ALSO, make sure you keep the mulch away from the base of your plants (unlike our photo here!) - this helps to prevent rotting at the base of your plants.

So...How much mulch will I need, and where do I get it from?
You can get mulch from any good garden centre or landscape supplier, and quantities are usually measured in cubic metres. To find out how many cubic metres you will need, simply times the length by the width of your space, then times that by the thickness/height of your mulch:

For a garden 2m long by 3m wide:
2m x 3m x 0.1m (100mm thick) = 0.6m3 (0.6 cubic metres)

So go out there and have some fun mulching your succulents!
And be proud of your garden!!! Go take a photo or two, post them on our Facebook Page and boast about your hard work! Go on... all the other kids are doin' it :)

27 September, 2011

Spring Projects

Spring Projects
Spring has sprung, and now is the perfect time to go out in the sunshine and get started on those spring projects. Here are a few ideas for you to ponder about:
So, what's the tip to making them look outstanding?
Mass Plant!!!

Whether it is in a pot or in the ground they need to be tightly packed. This creates not only an aesthetically appealing appearance, but it also makes a mini micro climate where each plant protects the others from severe heat, cold or any other undesirable elements.

October Kalamunda Markets Stock

Despite the fact that it is bucketing down outside, I managed to run out between showers and take some photos of our stock for the October markets coming up this weekend:

In this photo: Crassula Anomala and Sempervivum tectorum

I love sempervivums at the moment! They colours and the shapes of the leaves are just stunning! I don't think these will last long at the markets...

And these two matching Euphorbias shall hence be known as Tweedlee and Tweedledum!

According to weatherzone.com.au, showers will clear by Saturday :)

26 August, 2011

Is your Cactus looking Cactus?

Is your Cactus looking Cactus???

Is your cactus looking a little sad and depressed at the moment?
Well, don't stress out about it too much, because you might find that he's just suffering from the Winter Blues!

During the winter months most species of cacti tend to go into a dormant state, and because of this they don’t like very much water.
So... Are you guilty of over-watering your cactus this month?
If you are, this may be the reason why he looks a little on the sad side - his roots may be sitting in water and slowly rotting away.
If this is the case, let him dry out and you will find that he will bounce back when the weather warms up.

So remember - during the winter months, let your cacti dry out between waterings. They will love you for it!!!

14 February, 2011

Kalgoorlie Paradise

I recently received an email from a landscaper in Kalgoorlie.
Lee Mullen, horticulturist, landscaper and owner of Gan Eden Landscapes, lives and runs his landscape business in Kalgoorlie and also has a great passion for cactus and succulents.

He moved to Kalgoorlie 4 years ago from Perth and has many cacti and succulents in the garden where he lives. He started his collection back in the 90’s when he grew them outdoors in the UK.
He then continued his passion when he arrived here in Australia only for it to take over his life.

His main love is with Pachypodiums, Aeoniums, Aloes and Agaves however his garden has an amazing collection of numerous other species.

I asked him about the climate in Kalgoorlie. He said that the temperatures can reach up to 42C in summer and can drop to around 0 C with the odd -1C or -2C in winter.
He mentioned that  Kalgoorlie only gets 220mm of rain a year and the  vast majority of the species are grown on straight red dirt which is a clay based loam and around 7.5-8.5 in pH.

He also mentioned that the drainage seems fine and it also holds nutrients well which although Perth has the drainage ( a little too much I might add) it does lack the nutrients that these specimens would really thrive on.

Another interesting tip was to plant closely together, which I thought was a great tip. In my own experience I have also found this very beneficial for the plants help to create a micro climate around each other which reduces evaporation from the soil and also reduces transpiration from the plants. The plants also shelter each other from the severe rays of the sun. They almost tend to look after each other.

Thanks for contacting us Lee, and thank you for your great input and photos of your beautiful garden.

13 February, 2011

Roleystone/Kelmscott Bushfires

Well, once some of the roads in Roleystone were declared safe for the public to go through again after the bushfire that wrecked havoc last weekend, we took a wander down Canning Mills Road and were absolutely devestated at the destruction to the Darling Range.

This photo just doesn't show justice to the hectares upon hectares of bushland that were completely destroyed, not to mention the countless number of houses that were demolished to the ground within minutes. It is truly remarkable that no one was hurt.

I would like to give a massive shout out to the awesome fire fighting departments of Perth and the countless volunteers who put their lives on the line for so many hours on end to battle the massive blaze. Also a BIG thank you to the Salvation Army for feeding our fire fighters, and to the ABC radio for keeping all of us up to date on the latest alerts and warnings. without you we would have truly been really lost!

If anyone would like to make a donation to those who have lost their homes, please go to
The Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund Website .

Or, to help contribute to those awesome Salvos who helped out, please visit
The Salvation Army Website.

07 February, 2011

Roleystone/Kelmscott Bushfires

Thank you everyone for all the kind messages we received over the past day or so.
Everyone is safe and our property was spared from the bushfires.
Thank you so much for all of your support.

Not everyone was as lucky though, over 65 houses have been completely destroyed, and even more have been damaged in the Roleystone/Kelmscott area of Western Australia. Our hearts go out to those involved.

If you would like to make a donation to those in need from the Perth Hills Fire, Please head to:
The Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund Website

14 January, 2011

Germany & Europe - Schöne Blumen!

Guten Tag!
Well, I have just gotten back from my two week holiday in Germany and wow, what a beautiful place! It is currently autumn over there, and the weather was perfect. Cool mornings and beautiful sunny days. Walking along the streets there and looking at the gardens and homes has really inspired me to get stuck into my own home garden and make that homely feel that is very apparent here.
I couldn’t resist but to go and look in the nurseries while I was there.
Wow - colour, colour and more colour!
They have the perfect climate there for the commercial growers to produce the most magnificent plants, and it was all about living gifts! People everywhere had a plant in their hand, all done up to go take to someone as a gift, or to maybe take home themselves.

Every window, house or garden has a plant in it. Every verandah or entrance area has plants in pots. Europeans use plants in their every day lives to add colour and vibrancy. Succulents and cacti are included; particularly on window sills.
It is the perfect location for them. When the seasons change and it gets too cold outside the plants are warm inside and can successfully photosynthesis through the window.
Succulents are also used in containers on front and back porches, as well as in cottage gardens – Sedums in particular - they were all out in flower, as were several varieties of Kalanchoe. It was just beautiful. An explosion of colour, and all in funky, unique containers! Below is a picture of a Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy':

I would love to see more of this in our Australian homes…
Europeans definitely have this idea down to a fine art!