Peace Garden

Paul Plant



The below video complements this article in the current issue:

A short video on the Peace Garden. (p. 12-17)

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Having worked all their lives, Ray and Delphine Archer started a garden in the Lockyer Valley during December 2006 at the cusp of semi-retirement. They wanted a peaceful garden. Four years later, Editor Paul Plant visited the garden to see its progress and was astonished by the buzz of activity from bees, birds, butterflies and frogs.

Before a single clod of earth was turned over, Ray and Delphine
embarked upon a mission.

Having located a property of ten acres of which only three would be turned into a garden, they delved into months of research to identify plant species suited to their site that would encourage birds. After filtering through books, magazines, garden nurseries, markets and native plant societies a plan was hatched.

Undesirable species were cleared from the allotted site. The topsoil is a sandy loam above a deep clay subsoil. It was deep ripped with chicken manure and extremely fine volcanic basalt (blue metal) crusher dust.

Over a short period of time Ray and Delphine have established an inspiring garden that fits well with the name given to this property – The Peace Garden and Little Bird Heaven.

From a 6 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One
Double-barred Finch are encouraged with specialised birdseed.
Wanderer Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Children's Gardens
Claire Bickle



Last issue we looked at the wonders of nature within the garden and how children can benefit from being exposed to various aspects of fauna and flora. In this issue Claire Bickle looks at the joy children can have in learning how to grow their own food plants, plus the fun of harvesting and the eating parts of these plants.

These days many adults as well as children are really not sure where and
how certain fruits and vegetables grow and/or are grown. Growing food plants is a great way to encourage children to become involved in the garden and it can be a perfect place for the whole family to enjoy some outdoor time together. This is when a love of gardening can be nurtured within children, to become a lifelong activity or passion.

Harvest time can be the pinnacle of joy for them. Pulling up beetroot, collecting salad greens, picking ripe cherry tomatoes and eating them warm straight from the bush, picking peas and snow peas by the dozen and trying to save a few for the dinner table. Corn, cucumbers and strawberries are other winners, rarely making it to the kitchen table.

Vegetables, herbs and fruiting plants and trees are vital in any garden whether there are children or not. When there are children around, it feels almost criminal not to grow some form of edible garden whether large or small.

From an 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One
Sowing seeds is an important activity for children to learn about the life cycle of a plant.
A surprise: heirloom purple carrots.
Edible flowers can make a fun addition to any salad with nasturtiums, calendulas and violas.
Waterlilies (Nymphaea)

Paul Plant

Images by Paul Plant [PP]
and Paul Lancaster [PL].
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Waterlilies grace most of the ponds, lakes, lagoons or rivers of the world and have been featured in artworks of ancient Egypt, China and India to the like of Monet. Waterlilies carry their leaves on the water surface and flowers above the water, whilst their roots grow in mud at the base of the pond Paul Plant explains how to grow these plants in the average home garden.

n the garden, waterlilies are often added to ponds or water-pots to add a
new ‘tropical’ feature. Many tropical gardens have waterlily pots that you can walk past to appreciate the delicate beauty and perfume as you meander through the garden.

Gardens and properties with ponds or dams can reduce their water loss through evaporation by planting waterlilies. By having leaves that span the surface area of the water, evaporation is reduced. This also aids in balancing the water temperature by deflecting and intercepting solar radiation, which in turn provides a more stable environment for fish, frogs and other creatures that live in the dam. Not only does a dam owner gain these environmental benefits, they are rewarded with highly attractive flowers that help feed bees and other insects that in turn enhance the cycle of life.

Waterlilies are often separated into two basic groups: tropical and hardy.

Tropical waterlilies are the best for warmer climates and produce the greatest quantity of flowers. These flowers appear on stems above the water and are usually heavily perfumed. They produce a potato like corm to carry them through winter.

Hardy waterlilies are waterlilies that originate in cooler climates. The flowers tend to occur on the surface of the water.

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One
Nymphaea ‘Gloriosa’ – [PP]
Small & Mighty
Noel Burdette

We all know that plants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and
colours. Species and cultivars provide a diverse variety in flower size and colour, and foliage diversity comes with eye-catching structure and colour that always manage to engage our senses the most.

Spare a thought then for those small, demure plants that are often overlooked in the dash to get those generously proportioned prized specimens. These smaller individuals are no less important in the composition of a garden, in fact, many are the binding ingredient that can bring a garden together and help to accentuate the stronger textures provided by larger plants.

Small plants, when used wisely, can bring a sense of spaciousness and a restful appearance to confined areas of the garden whilst being very low care in this maintenance-conscious gardening world we now live in.

Covered in more depth is:

  • Violets (Viola spp.)
  • Phlox (Phlox drummondii)
  • Yellow Buttons (Chrysocephalum apiculatum
    syn: Helichrysum apiculatum)
  • Silver Falls (Dichondra argentea)
  • Mexican Stonecrop/Gold Mound
    (Sedum mexicanum ‘Gold Mound’)
  • Carpet Bugle (Ajuga reptans ‘Purpurea’)

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One

Phlox (Phlox drummondii)
Yellow Buttons (Chrysocephalum apiculatum syn: Helichrysum apiculatum)
Living Christmas Trees

The smell of pine trees at Christmas reminds many of us of past festivities. Yes, we can mimic the smell with a scented spray can, but a plastic tree is just not the same. For an ’environmentally green’ Christmas consider growing a real plant for your tree rather than a cut-off pine sapling or a plastic replica.

A real Christmas tree will need to be watered during the period that it is indoors and a few months to recoup after the festival season. Alternatively you can plant it in your garden, or give it as a gift to a friend or family. A real Christmas tree celebrates life.

All living Christmas trees need shaping. Tip prune them regularly to achieve the desired conical shape. As with all plants, choose species that are best suited to your local climate.

When planted in the garden, Christmas decorations (lights and baubles) can still be added each festive season.

Species covered are:

  • Native Trees
  • Non-native Trees
  • Compact Plants for Apartments
  • Christmas Climber Tree

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One

Christmas Trees
Handerkerchief Trees
Anton van der Schans



The term ‘handkerchief’ refers to the tissue paper-like new growth that some plants produce when buds burst open with foliage. This feature appears to be more common in the tropics perhaps an adaptation to seasonal rains and temperature – new soft growth during periods of high rainfall and humidity and therefore less likely to be desiccated by dry winds. Other research indicates it may be an adaptation to avoid animals eating new growth. Singapore contributor Anton van der Schans explains looks at a small sample of these striking trees.

Genus/Species discussed are:

  • Amherstia nobilis
  • Maniltoa
    • Maniltoa browneoides
    • Maniltoa lenticellata
  • Brownea
  • Browneopsis
  • Baikiaea insignis
  • Cynometra
    • Cynometra iripa
    • Cynometra malaccensis
    • Cynometra ramiflora
  • Elizabetha
  • Humboldtia
  • Saraca

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One

Saraca declinata (syn. Saraca cauliflora)
Sausage Tree

Harry Crane

Images by Paul Plant



Originating from Africa, the Sausage Tree (Kigelia africana) is renowned for its night blooming flowers and massive sausage-like fruits that hang down from within the canopy. Harry Crane takes a brief look at this curious tree that is grown more for its novelty value rather than its beauty.

Universally known as the Sausage Tree due to the shape of its fruit and the way they hang from the tree, this is an evergreen tree where rainfall occurs throughout the year, but semi-deciduous in areas where there are long dry seasons. In South East Queensland, when there is no rain or additional water provided, this tree may defoliate in winter and spring, however when planted in a garden that is irrigated or near a water source it will remain evergreen.

This tree will grow in either sun or shade, but is really only suitable for cultivation on large properties or parkland reserves due to its invasive root system, along with the possibility of injury from falling fruit from the larger trees. The massive grey-brown fruit can weigh between 5-10kg and dangle from 1-3m long rope-like peduncles, attracting the attention of all who look at them. They are a favourite for children who like to swing on them, although they can break off with sufficient weight.


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One

Sausage Tree Fruit
Sausage Tree Flowers
Buying Plants


How do you know you have bought a good plant and is there value in buying online? These and many more questions have been put forward to subTropical Gardening magazine so it is hoped this brief Users Guide will help you make the right decision.

Topics covered are:

  • Garden Centres
  • Supermarkets & Chain Retailers
  • Garden Clubs
  • Mail Order
  • Markets & Fetes
  • Online



From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One

Buying Plants
Garden Plant Names


Latin and Greek plant names seem confusing to the beginner gardener but to all avid gardeners, it is this knowledge that allows them to excel in their passion. To help remove the mystical veil of nomenclature, subTropical Gardening presents these common terms for you to enjoy the gardening experience. This information is based on the standards used throughout Australia.

How to write common and botanical names together…
Perhaps the best guidance is to see how reputable publications write these plant names. This magazine’s policy is: common name followed by botanical name in brackets. For example:

Purple Wreath Vine (Petrea volubilis)
Golden Poinciana (Delonix regia ‘Flavida’)
Pink Fantasy Dipladenia (Mandevilla sanderi ‘Pink Fantasy’)

Topics covered are:

  • Common Names
  • Botanical Names
  • Subspecies
  • Variety
  • Forma
  • Cultivars
  • Hybrids

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty One

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