30 Day Challenge Christine's garden Gardening

The 30 Day Challenge – Day 30

Today I am grateful for “The Gardening Blog”. When Barbie and I first started this blog in January this year we thought we had gardens and knew what we were doing.  So we started a “gardening blog”. Seems rather funny now because when we look back we realise that we had very little knowledge and pretty basic gardens that were nothing very special. Finding things to blog about every day opened our eyes to just how little we knew and how much more we could do in our gardens to create the gardens of our dreams.

The Gardening Blog has opened up a whole new world for us, one that has been incredibly rewarding, lots of fun, and we’ve loved every minute of it. Here’s to many more great gardening years and blogging!

Solanum Rantonnetii

Photo: Solanum Rantonnetii -Barbie and I both have this bush in our gardens – Barbie’s is huge, nine is still a young plant. They are covered in these small blue-purple flowers in summer. Easy to grow and pretty much pest and disease free.

Solanum Rantonnetii – S. rantonnetii is a deciduous shrub forming purple-blue flowers throughout the summer, followed by red decorative fruit in autumn which is popular with the birds.

About the 30 Day Challenge

Cat of The Whimsical Gardener, has invited Garden Bloggers the world over to join her in the 30 day challenge of posting a photograph and sentiment that you are thankful for – every day for 30 days. Find something you are thankful for every day, for 30 days, can’t be too difficult, can it? See all Barbie’s and my posts filed under “30 Day Challenge“.

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New Acquisition Solanum jasminoides

On Thursday Barbie and sneaked away from work as we were having “plant buying withdrawals” (yes, that’s a valid affliction suffered by most gardeners!). With little time to spare we popped in at the nearest nursery to buy “just one or two herbs”, and came home with the car bulging with new plants – not of the herb variety, although I did see a few tucked in there :).

Amongst others, Barbie bought a gorgeous Salvia “Hot Lips” which I’m sure she will photograph and share soon – it was just too cute to resist – if she hadn’t bought it I would have. It’s one of those “Ohhh how gorgeous” numbers, something akin to sexy red stilettos – if you’re a shoe person, that is.

Soon after I’d put the usual summer annuals in my trolley which included Petunias, Alyssum and Pink Verbenas, I had my “Gotta Have That” moment when I saw a Solanum Jasminoides (other names according to the Internet are “Potato vine, Solanum laxum Album, Solanum jasminoides var Album“). It reminds me of the Solanum rantonnetii (Blue Potato Bush) both Barbie and I have, only it is a far more delicate plant and the flowers are much daintier than those of its purple cousin. What I didn’t realise when I bought it is that it has a trailing, vine type growing habit, so its even more perfect than I realised. I have the ideal spot for it right next to my existing Blue Potato Bush, in full sun, with an ugly wall I am wanting to cover. An image search on Google shows a gorgeous, large creeper type bush covered in dainty white flowers, that  I’m really excited to have in my garden.

Solanum Jasminoides

So let’s get to it, show and tell, plant and wait …

[one_half]Solanum Jasminoides flowersSolanum Jasminoides flowers[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Inspection by the peanut galleryInspection by the peanut gallery[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Waiting to be planted …Waiting to be planted ...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Can’t wait for the wall to be coveredCan't wait for the wall to be covered[/one_half_last]

According to what I’m reading on the Internet, “S. jasminoides has a scent like jasmine, but is not as overpowering. It is a reliable plant that blooms very well in the spring and has a mild perfume. It is hard to kill with too much or too little water once established” (from

Other New Acquisitions waiting to be planted …

[one_half]Cute Pink VerbenaCute Pink Verbena[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Such pretty little flowersSuch pretty little flowers[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Aquilegia and ConvolvulusAquilegia and Convolvulus[/one_half]

[one_half_last]More “Ladies in waiting”Ladies in waiting[/one_half_last]

With all these new plants waiting to get into the ground its a good thing I still have lots of “blank spaces” in my garden.

What’s the “newest” plant in your garden?

Happy Gardening

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Progress in a forgotten corner

We all have neglected spaces in our gardens, or no? Well, I have a few, but I have a good excuse. I’ve only been gardening properly for a few months and it is taking time to get to all the areas that need work and to acquire the right plants for each space – add to that an area that was being cared for being destroyed by plumbing works and I’ve had lots to do and fix!

There is a funny little space in my back garden that has been crying for some attention for years. It forms part of “Dexter’s garden”, the space where he is allowed to make as much mess as he pleases, where he does not get reprimanded if he tramples the plants, a space where he can just be the great big 65kg, exuberant Rottweiler that he is. Seems fair, right? I think so. But that doesn’t make gardening in this space easy.

The reason he was given this part of the garden is that it starts at the end of a long alley way at the side of the house where we throw balls for him. It is his favourite game. Mom throws the ball and he charges up the alley to retrieve it and then charges all the way back to bring it back for a repeat throw. On and on it goes … Problem with this game is that the ball ends up in this part of the garden and all the charging after the ball makes creating a pretty garden here very difficult almost impossible. Hence it was christened “Dexter’s Garden” and pretty much neglected.

But then we had the plumbing disaster, we laid new lawn and … well I decided to start doing something in the area.

But todays post is not actually about Dexter’s garden, its about the tiny triangular patch opposite his garden which has an old tree stump in it and nothing else. I have never shown this patch before – I used to crop it off photos or angle the camera in such a way that it excluded this patch – because it was embarrassingly ugly. Really.

I still didn’t have a plan but I did have a few plants that require full sun and nowhere suitable to put them, or so I thought. One day as I was again bemoaning the fact that these full sun plants were declining in their current spaces I had the idea to move them to this patch as it gets pretty hot in that corner and seems to get plenty of sun. So I moved the plants here and all three plants are Happy as Larry, having sprouted plenty of new growth in the two weeks they’ve been planted here. I’m not sure they really work together, but its a start … I plan to add a creeper and something that will grow over and around the tree stump in due course.

I planted:
1). Solanum rantonnetii (Blue Potato Bush) – I’ve had this shrub for months and it never grew an inch. In fact it was losing its leaves and looked as if it was about to die. I planted it, cut back all the dead branches, pruned it a little and within two weeks in its new space its trebled in size and has started flowering.
2). Lynchnis – this was an impulse buy. The label said full sun and I had no idea what I was going to do with it … so it got planted here. So far its doing fine. Its grown a bit in the past two weeks and is covered in blooms. I like it a lot. I love the silver/grey foliage and the bright red flowers. Cute.
3). This was my first “Bamboo” purchase – unfortunately I lost the tag so I don’t have a clue what it is (Alan, are you reading this?). I think its a ground cover type bamboo – I do recall that the label said its a “clumping” type bamboo, and I’m really hoping its Pleioblastus viridistriatus which I’ve wanted that for some time ever since I saw it on this blog: It’s Not Work, It’s Gardening.

So here are some photos to show what it looked like before and after with close ups of the plants (you can click the photos to enlarge)

[one_half]”Dexters garden” in August – a real messThe way it was[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The arrow shows “that” awful corner"That" corner[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Photo taken today – we have progress!Photo taken today - we have progress![/one_half]

[one_half_last]The “corner” this post is all aboutThe "corner" mentioned above[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Plant 1 – Solanum rantonnetii (Blue Potato Bush)Plant 1 - Solanum[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Plant 2 – Lynchnis (coronata I think)Lynchnis[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Plant 3 – Unknown small BambooGround cover bamboo?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Dexter enjoying “his” gardenDexter enjoying "his" garden[/one_half_last]

Dexter seems to like his “new” garden. Strangely we’ve had no plants damaged even though we still throw the ball for him, but we are a little more careful about where we throw it now.

The lawn is coming along nicely too. I’m very happy with it so far.

Happy weekend gardening