Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

A good crowd of BLFers from far and wide came to marvel at Dave's innovations with sand and plants.
We have all read Dave's many posts about his challenges with the sandy soil of Beachmere.
The garden is on a standard house block. There is a great deal packed into a compact space. There's even chooks in their own spacious run.
There's garden beds, pots, paths and mosaics - mosaics everywhere ;-) Helen is the mosaic artist. The class in progress today found favour with some of our members who want to get into mosaics as a hobby. So more than gardens at a 'Garden Visit'!
The swap table as usual was groaning with surplus produce and seeds, cuttings, seedlings. Some superb Limes, Lemons and Bananas came home with us along with the jam. Others found cuttings of much-needed plants to strike when they get home.
Morning tea was a grand affair with (for me anyway) the star being Jan's home-made kettle popcorn. Liberally spread with caramel it was a wicked, addictive snack.
There will be photos other than mine, I can add them to this report as a separate linked post. Readers can vicariously enjoy the visit as a whole without having to load all of the pix. Part 2 of the report is here.

The crowd, on the verandah around the morning tea and in the garden:

Two views of the extensive plantings:

Along the garden path:

And the odd pot:

Two special mosaic stepping stones:

Some Rosellas ready for jam-making:

And the Choko, representing the many climbing plants availing themselves of the creative opportunities of Dave's instant trellising:

And the bird-bath embellished with custom mosaic:

Thank you Dave and Helen for your hospitality. And thank you to the generous BLFers who shared their produce and their morning tea snacks.

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Replies to This Discussion

I have taken home some wonderful ideas from your garden Dave. I need more space and I can see that if I put in some diagonal structures I can do it. I loved the Mosaics, they really give the garden a personal touch. Your use of the terracotta pots is amazing, I use terracotta to plant into and I find them so much better than anything else for me, I like to water the outside of my pots as well as the inside as I find it keeps the plants nice and cool, it works for me anyway and I don't need to water so much. Thank you for a wonderful morning and I am so impressed by the sand you have turned into a productive media. Happy Gardening.....

Thank you Elaine for an excellent report yet again :)

Big thank you to Dave and Helen for having us over to enjoy their creative and inspirational garden. The productive soil that Dave has created through lots of hard work on that sandy patch is plain amazing.

I just love the mosaics. Helen is a real artist. She does lessons once a fortnight for $8 if anyone is interested. I know I need to fit it into my schedule at some point. I came away the proud owner of the most beautiful side table which everyone can admire at the next GV.

Hi Dave It was nice to finally meet you and wow what a visit! an  art studio with plants and a garden in between .I came home feeling the worlds now a much better place with my sweet leaf cuttings and other plants and botanical  goodies lol thanks Dave its was also great to see your brazillian spinach are a success for you and  knowing you have a new  garden family member to play with ie  the horned melons .Could have talked all day to you on different aspects of your gardening thanks for a great day always good catchin up with the BLF gang .

It's weird seeing the garden through other people's eyes...and cameras.

Great day. Wonderful chats.Thanks so much for coming.And folk were so generous with their input.

As for the mosaics -- a lot of that stuff also happens at Artrageous Community Arts in Deagon and Helen anchors the shop there (which sells mosaic-ed stuff) on Thursdays. It's called Plum Divine.

The Beachmere Mosaics Club is an  Artrageous reach out activity.

It is isn't it :)

Looks completely different when others photo and comment. A very important perspective to view our own well known backyards.

Thanks for hosting the visit Dave, sorry couldn't stay for long.
It's a shame you're 1.5 hour drive away (with good traffics) from where I live, other wise, I would be very interested in joining Helen's mosaics lessons too :)

A question: when folk left my garden visit I was left with a few plants.All good. Wonderful. Thanks.

I planted one to very good effect but don't know what it is aside from a vague recall of: "Something" spinach. Maybe a name of a country...

Anyway the plant in question are the stems in the galvanized bucket in this picture (from Elaine's original post). Can any witness to the plant's existence suggest a name?

A slightly bigger version:

Hi Dave, That is my bucket so I am pretty sure that, that is the SURINAM SPINACH, that I took along, I also took Mushroom Plant don't think there is anymore of that in the bucket though. The info below is from the Green Harvest website.....

BOTANICAL NAME: Talinum triangulare
COMMON NAMES: Waterleaf, Surinam Purslane, Philippine spinach, Florida spinach
FAMILY: Talinaceae, formerly in the family Portulacaceae
ORIGIN: South America, now widespread in the tropics

A short-lived perennial, to 30 - 100 cm high, forming an attractive, clumping plant. The small pink flowers are pretty enough for it to be grown in the flower border. The bright green leaves are broad and fleshy in texture. It self-sows very readily, care should be taken to avoid it becoming invasive. As it is native to the tropics it is less hardy in the subtropics. It is unlikely to do well in temperate areas without a special microclimate as it is tender to both frost and cold conditions. It prefers a moderate to rich loam and to be kept moist. Plant in partial shade.

Thanks so much for the info..and the plant, Dianne. I could not recall the country in order to facilitate my Googling.


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

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