Our Garden How I Loves It

For those of you who’ve been asking1 here’s more photos of the garden.

First up here’s one of our lovely Eucalyptus ficifolia or flowering gum. They’re incredibly common here in Sydney. I swear almost every street in Surry Hills is lined with ficifolia. I miss them like crazy when I’m in NYC. Hence the need to have some on the deck:

Isn’t that adorable? Baby ficifolia reminds me of a puppy dog whose feet are way bigger than the rest of it. Only it’s the leaves that are outsized compared to the currently spindly trunk and branches. I do wonder how those branches manage to support the weight of the jumbo leaves. (Why, yes, that is a stake holding it upright.)

Did you notice the native violets (Viola hederacaea) underneath? Eventually those lovely violets will go cascading over the sides of the pots. It will be so gorgeous!

Here’s a close up on some NEW GROWTH. (Um, yes, I am kind of obsessed with the garden. I am aware that plants tend to grow.)

But still that’s actual new growth that happened while it was on our deck. Can you see why it fills my heart with such joy? I swear every morning when I go out to check that they’ve survived the night (*cough* *cough*) I find a new tiny spurt. *sigh of happiness*

Though I also tend to find that some evil beastie has been doing some munching! Grrr.

If I find the culprit I destroys it. How dare it eat our garden?! The outrage! Okay, yes, I know that it’s all part of the beautiful cycle of life and blah blah blah but they can go eat someone else’s baby ficifolia.

Here’s my favourite grass tree or Xanthorrhoea johnsonii. Tis a double-decker:

I wasn’t sure about having grass trees. They’re so amazing in the wild that I wasn’t convinced they’d look okay confined to a wee pot. But they look incredible. I spend hours on the deck just watching the wind move through their fronds. I think I am in love with our grass trees.

Lastly here is the new view from our bedroom:

That’s Syzygium luehmannii or as it’s more commonly known lilli pilli. There’s now a wall of it guarding our bedroom and giving us good dreams. Bless you, lilli pilli.

  1. And for me to gaze at longingly when I’m far from here. []


  1. Joe Iriarte on #

    Blegh. I *hate* gardening.


  2. Justine on #

    You do know, Joe, that I can reach out through the intramanets and strangle you with my bare hands?

  3. Joe Iriarte on #

    What the . . . you have images blocked!

    In that case:




  4. Dave S. on #

    It’s beautiful. I am jealous.

    We’re going to miss you commenting around here, Joe.

  5. Sass on #

    Oooh, pretty. I love Australian natives. Our whole garden (west of Sydney) is done up with native plants, so I totally get your garden-love.

  6. Justine on #

    Dave S. & Sass: Thank you! I think I’ll go out there now.

  7. Jonathan S on #

    We have a grass tree growing just outside our kitchen-sink window. Especially when it’s raining and the fronds bounce as the drops fall from them I can stand there lost in contemplation with my hands in the suds for a very long time.

  8. cameron on #

    A flowering gum on your balcony? Unless you’re planning to create an elven tree ladder for the 6 floors above you, I’d start practicing your bonsai skills.

  9. Justine on #

    Jonathan S: I know exactly what you mean. I’ve pretty much stopped watching tellie here. Too much excitement out on the deck. 🙂

    cameron: Growing in a pot we’ll be very lucky if it gets to two metres tall. A metre and a half is more like it.

  10. Marrije on #

    Oh, that grass tree! What a beautiful thing! But will you have reliable plant care for your preciousses when you go off to the US & elsewhere? It would be very sad if you were to return to sad plants…

  11. Sean the Blogonaut on #

    The wonders of the Australian bush without the funnel webs, red backs and brown snakes

  12. Chantal Kirkland on #

    Wow. Looks like you love the wild out-balconies. I recently moved (in suburbia) to a house with a view of a really big lake and LOVE LOVE LOVE all the foliage…but sadly all I have planted to add to the outdoor beauty has been offed by the other outdoor beauty…

  13. Shveta Thakrar on #

    Just beautiful, Justine and Scott. Enjoy! (Even if Scott won’t publicly admit he loves it, too. *grin*)

  14. ClareSnow on #

    Thank you for more pics of your garden. When you listed the plants before you didn’t mention the gum. I love ficifolia’s beautiful red flowers. There are so many of these trees in ppl’s gardens where I live. Btw a young gum has bigger leaves than an “adult” one, like a puppy it grows into them. I am worried about your ficifolia’s continued health in a pot (because it wants to grow big, big, big) but I’m sure your love will do the trick (and a bit of root pruning). And you have two different insect attackers – the one eating the leaf out (a caterpillar) and one that’s making the end of the leaves squish up.

    My friend Jill Midolo, who did a lot of stuff for the CBCA (and i’m following in her footsteps) loved Liar as much as I did and we both hoped, hoped, hoped it would make the shortlist. Jill also loved native plants as much as me. I wish I could have shown her the photos from your garden, but she’s been in hospital for seven weeks and died at Easter. In between my tears, your beautiful plants made me smile.

  15. Justine on #

    ClareSnow: I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry about your friend. Glad my attempts at gardening made you smile.

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