Thursday, 29 November 2012

One thing leads to another

I wanted some fish for dinner but our local supermarket usually only has frozen imported seafood, so we decided to visit our favourite seafood shop about a half hour drive away. It's near where John used to work and he would often pick some up on the way home. Since he retired we've had no reason to head to that part of town but their fish is top quality and worth the drive.

As we got close I remembered there was also a great nursery nearby. They have one of the best ranges of tropical plants in Brisbane. Their plants were always healthy and reasonably priced, but I hadn't been there in a long time. While we're so close it was a shame not to see what they have.

So that was how it started.

We had planted agaves either side of our front entrance area some years ago. Because damp areas near the house can cause problems for the building and attract termites in our climate we chose the agaves because they survive with little water. They survived too well so that every year we needed to hack them back to keep the path to the front door. Every year they came back even thicker. A change was needed.

 The nursery had a good range of tropical plants but we were very good and didn't succumb to temptation ... until we saw their succulents - some quite advanced and their prices were still good. That's what we need for the front entrance - some succulents. (my new obsession)

We came home with a boot full - including Euphorbia lactea varigated, Euphorbia tirucalli (fire sticks), a couple of Aeonium atropureum (sunburst), two jade plants - Portulacaria afra, two flap jacks - Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, a sempervivum and some that weren't labeled so I may never know what they are. We have a dark red door so I chose some that have a reddish tinge to "match".

The beds were a tangle of agave roots and took quite a bit of digging to get them ready for the new plants. We wanted to re-use the marble chips as well so washed them gold panning style to separate the stones from the dirt.

What started as a quick drive to pick up some seafood turned into a few days of work. We were so exhausted we didn't feel like cooking the fish, so had leftover pasta warmed up instead.

The supervisor needed a comfy bed to keep an eye on us. From this spot she can see out onto the road to check whether any dogs or children on bikes are going past. Both need to be told who's boss occasionally.

 We added some decomposed granite to the soil for additional drainage, then the fun part - deciding placement of the plants and actually planting them.

 Next,  putting all the stones back again (being careful not to damage the plants)... and the clean-up.

The pavers still need a good clean, but we now have a new look entrance to the house
and hopefully now we will finally have the fish for dinner as well.


  1. Oh my, all those Agave attenuatas, they looked gorgeous en masse like that but I do understand that in a favourable location like yours they can get out of hand. But I would have loved to have that problem :)

    Great selection of succulents and job well done guys! Looking forward to seeing all the succulent bulk up and fill the space even more in the next few months!

  2. You definitely have curb appeal now! I like the way Missy tries to get into every photo!

    1. Not sure if she does it on purpose Gillian. She's like a little shadow. Second thoughts, maybe she does.

  3. Seeing your tall succulent with the spikes and red-tinged leaves reminded me that I once had one like that...wonder what became of it? I'll have to track down another specimen.
    Love Missy's pillow where she can lie and observe and also overseer all the work that is being done.


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