townsville, Australia

I have just become a member and wanted to say hello! I live north of townsville on an acre of land that was bare when we bought the house 4 years ago except for 8 mango trees down the back(yum). Since then we have planted almost 50 trees and shrubs, we would love to be more self sufficient so many of our trees are fruit or nut trees, comming from the blue mountains there is a steep learning curve and unforntunately knowledge is aquired through sacrifice (the plants, not mine) when something dies I know I've done something wrong. I became privvy to a horticultual secret through my efforts, it seems they respond well to food and water!
Not everything is growing wonderfully but so far we have enjoyed mulberries(hundreds!), starfruit, barbados cherries, guava, sultana grapes, passionfruit and of course mangoes, our macadamia has just flowered for the first time as well as the peanut tree, we are still patiently waiting on limes, oranges, lychees, tropical plum and necterine just to name a few. I try to seasol fortnighly but this usually ends up monthly, and I apply blood and bone every few months along with garden hay for mulch but that is about as much effort as I put in and everything seems happy enough, if anyone has any tips they would be greatly appreciated, I love to garden though am certainly not the worlds best gardener my main method is trial and error. My main love in the garden though is natives, I have created a couple of native gardens and am enjoying watching them grow, my gardens are a very organic process and will always be a work in progress, just when my partner thinks I'm finished I'm back out there with a shovel adding another extension!
So there you have it, I look forward to enjoying the benefits of this website, after all the more I learn the less plants get massacred. One last thing does anyone know how to tell the sex of geese, we have two beautiful geese that came with the house, they sit on the verandah with us and the dogs, they both have gorgeous personalities, they make nests and take turns sitting on eggs but none have ever hatched in 4 years, they are physically different, one has "pants" or two flaps of flesh underneath while the other doesn't and one has smaller eyes, we assumed we had a male and female but lately have wondered if we have two females that have taken dominant and submissive roles? I'm not really worried after all I don't think our neighbours would appreciate a gaggle of geese in the backyard but it would be nice to know as a name change may be in order! Thanks for taking the time to allow me to introduce myself and happy gardening!

Townsville, Australia(Zone 10a)

Howdy Neighbour,

I am in Townsville, the opposite to you, I grow exotics and flowers, but it is great to hear so many fruit trees are starring in your garden.

Gardening is about trial and error and half the fun is learning from our mistakes. It must be where that saying came in Live and Learn:)

Happy Spring Gardening,


brisbane, Australia

g'day tropical gardeners,

i live in brissy down here the lush tropical gardens we loved of the past are a foregone conclusion, we have stage 4 restrictions threatening along with having to tolerate drinking treated sewerage water in our system.

gardens down here are either dead or indemic native types or wise gardeners who mulch very heavily and use their own recycled water.

welcome aboard tropical3.


townsville, Australia

Hi Annette,
I have just taken a step in your direction, I bought a hoya Hawaian royal at a garage sale yesterday and have placed it in our carport which is covered in shadecloth, I hope this is the area for a hoya to thrive, I really don't know? It has an amazingly beautiful flower and a strong scent. I believe there is a native Hoya Australis which I will keep a lookout for.

Townsville, Australia(Zone 10a)

Hi Tropical3,

That sounds like an ideal place for the hoya, I have seen different ones for sale at Daydawn nursery,next time I am in there I will check out if they have the Hoya australis for you.

One of my exotics an impatiens from South Africa:),Impatiens 'Congo cockatoo', it has an aussie name.

Thumbnail by annette68
Townsville, Australia(Zone 10a)


My mum lives in Brissie and is a mad gardener, it is really bad that the water restrictions have got so stringent. Maybe they should build a dam or better yet maybe we should do a raindance, rainwater is oh so much better for our plants.We are lucky we have a dam and if it gets too low they pump water in from the Burdekin dam, but give me some rain any day:)


Salvia Black Knight and Salvia Van Houteii

This message was edited Oct 7, 2006 4:07 PM

Thumbnail by annette68
townsville, Australia

Hi Len,
I really do feel for you with your water restrictions, our land here is cracking like it does every year but we are lucky to have a good supply of town water. We don't bother to ever water grass and only focus on our trees and plants. We are very guilty of being over consumers, we don't have a rainwater tank and rely soley on town water, hopefully that will be remedied soon, our greywater is not used to the best advantage either, it flows straight onto our lawn, we can see our faults but are slow to act, I'm sure you can smell the guilt!
I can see Townsville becomming like Brisbane soon, we keep hearing via print and media how well the market is improving and construction is at an all time high, this is great for home prices and investors but I worry about our resources, it seems to me governments and councils have no problem approving development without having the infrastructure to support the volume of new consumers, rate money is very alluring.
We can only do what we can but every drop counts, it seems every new house development has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an ensuite(3 leaking taps). As I said I am no innocent, There is so much more I could do to save water but our greed is out of control. I think my point is less development more infrastructure.
Sorry I'm off my soapbox now...Happy gardening!

bundaberg, Australia

Dear Tropical 13,
You sound just like me when i retired six years ago and knew nothing really but when you love growing trees etc and see the wonderful results it is so thrilling even if some fruit take only two years while others take six or more. My favourite ingredients are Horse manure and Sugar Cane mulch bales. People said to me there is not much "goodness"in horse manure "cow" is the only way to go. With the price difference here that made up my mind and every thing i grow loves it. I mix it with everything old soil leaves (highly recommended) plus any thing else available. sorry i cannot help with the geese. All the best. (Bazza).

townsville, Australia

Hi Tulloch52,
I posted to you in "where are you in au" you may not have seen, good to hear from you.
I had 2 questions you may be able to help me with, firstly I was wondering if you could enlighten me as to when I could expect my seagrape to fruit, it has been in the ground about 2 years and is doing very well. Secondly I wanted to know about the icecream bean tree and what you think of it.
I am looking at planting one, not sure yet, is the fruit nice and how do you use it, straight off the tree or do you also use it in cooking.
Thanks for your reply, Michelle

Brisbane, Australia

Hello Annette and Tropical3, welcome to the aussie forum, my names Roy and I live in Brisbane. Probably the worlds best Hoya nursery is in your neck of the woods. Liddles nursery at Mareeba and they do mail order too. I have a blog which has a link to my Hoya garden. They are quite infectious once you start to grow them watch out!

Roy .

Thumbnail by Roybe

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