Gardening in Brisbane

Visiting Brisbane gardens

Welcome to our hub, gardening in Brisbane

Dear readers, as soon as we mention gardens and gardening, we visualise first of all these places with all these nice plants in flower that we would like to visit and enjoy their beauty, most people find great pleasure when they visit a well-kept garden, because it is really relaxing and a pleasure to walk among those healthy well-kept plants and flowers when they are in flower; or just walking in the green leafy and colourful vegetation is a pleasure.

Now, we have called this article, gardening in Brisbane, so first of all let us have a quick look at what Brisbane gardens are like, even if the material that I am going to use here will come mostly from the Internet, since these days I am not able to visit these places very much, but I can tell you that gardens are very relaxing places, therefore, it is good for any of us to visit them; you see, when you come back from the gardens you feel refreshed and a better person. I hope that you would have that same feeling yourself, if you visit those gardens that are available where you live. Anyhow, there are three main Gardens in Brisbane city that are worth visiting: Brisbane city Botanic Garden, Mount Coot-tha botanic garden and New Farm Park garden.

Here under we are going to paste a few photos of these gardens, starting from New Farm garden. But, apart from showing you these few things that we can show you about Brisbane gardens, we are writing this article, because you want also to write about gardening in general and our own effort about our own kitchen garden in our back yard.

Some photos in New Farm Park Brisbane and other gardens

This photo is from the internet, it is a beautiful flower display, believed to be taken in New Farm Park Brisbane. Newfarm Park in Brisbane, is known to some people as the roses garden, but I have not been able to find a good enough photo to show you
This photo is from the internet, it is a beautiful flower display, believed to be taken in New Farm Park Brisbane. Newfarm Park in Brisbane, is known to some people as the roses garden, but I have not been able to find a good enough photo to show you
New Farm Park is a large garden with lots of open spaces, like the space you see in this photo, where you can walk on the lawn, in a cool sunny day, or walk under the trees if it is hot, as there are plenty of trees you can also walk near the river
New Farm Park is a large garden with lots of open spaces, like the space you see in this photo, where you can walk on the lawn, in a cool sunny day, or walk under the trees if it is hot, as there are plenty of trees you can also walk near the river
This is another photo of New Farm Park, again with its open spaces, and Brisbane city in the background. The shrubs you see in the foreground are plants of roses, but unfortunately this photo was taken at the wrong time to show the flowers.
This is another photo of New Farm Park, again with its open spaces, and Brisbane city in the background. The shrubs you see in the foreground are plants of roses, but unfortunately this photo was taken at the wrong time to show the flowers.

This is a beautiful Rose Garden that I have taken from the Internet

I have taken this photo from the Internet, to show you how beautiful this display of roses flowers are, this is more compact display than  in New Farm Park, when the roses are in flower.  As I said I have done this to replace the missing roses above.
I have taken this photo from the Internet, to show you how beautiful this display of roses flowers are, this is more compact display than in New Farm Park, when the roses are in flower. As I said I have done this to replace the missing roses above. | Source

I would have liked to have this rose garden above

Gardening has several sides to it, one of them is that we don’t have to do the gardening ourselves, because we could enjoy what the others have done and is on display, look at those photos that I have posted above, I think that I am one that loves nature when it is at its best; I believe that Mother Nature is just wonderful when it shows all its beauty, like in the photos that I have posted above; but above all, I wish that I could have a rose garden like that above this next here, and it would have some of those beautiful roses and flowers, and I wish that I would get up in the morning and walk in my rose garden looking at those wonderful flowers; but this could be just another one of my dreams that is going to remain only a dream, because it is not easy to make a garden like that.

The great attraction that we have for flowers and trees in flower

This looks like very much New Farm Park in Brisbane, when the jacaranda trees are in flower. But it could also be some other parks in Australia. Here again people that love nature will certainly enjoy such a beautiful sight.
This looks like very much New Farm Park in Brisbane, when the jacaranda trees are in flower. But it could also be some other parks in Australia. Here again people that love nature will certainly enjoy such a beautiful sight. | Source

Some views of Brisbane city botanic gardens and Mount Cootha

Now that we have seen a few photos of Brisbane New Farm Park garden, let us also visit Brisbane city botanic garden and other important gardens in Brisbane. to start with here is a link that I have taken from the internet in you-tube that talks about Brisbane botanic garden, let us hope that it works for you:

BRISBANE, the beautiful Botanic Gardens (Queensland, Australia)

It is nice to find on the Internet these links, they make it easier to explain a few things that are hard to explain.

Anyhow, here-under are some photos of the botanic gardens in Brisbane.

Some photos of Brisbane botanic gardens

This photo shows one of the lakes in Brisbane city botanic garden, there is also a large lake that has ducks living in it; the children like very much to visit this lake and throw bread crumbs  to the ducks that compete to grab the food.
This photo shows one of the lakes in Brisbane city botanic garden, there is also a large lake that has ducks living in it; the children like very much to visit this lake and throw bread crumbs to the ducks that compete to grab the food. | Source
it is very relaxing to visit the gardens on a sunny day and sit on the lawn in the sun or the shade, depending how hot the day is, you could have a picnic if you like with you family or friends, and enjoy the peaceful views of whatever you can see.
it is very relaxing to visit the gardens on a sunny day and sit on the lawn in the sun or the shade, depending how hot the day is, you could have a picnic if you like with you family or friends, and enjoy the peaceful views of whatever you can see. | Source
When we see all these flowers ant trees display in the gardens and the way that they have been arranged, we know that good gardeners need to have a good imagination how to display things, just look at this archway in this garden.
When we see all these flowers ant trees display in the gardens and the way that they have been arranged, we know that good gardeners need to have a good imagination how to display things, just look at this archway in this garden.

Brisbane Planetarium at Mount Coo-tha botanic gardens

Visiting gardens and other attractions: The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium is located on the grounds of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens[1] in the suburb of Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The Planetarium was officially opened on 24 May 1978.
Visiting gardens and other attractions: The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium is located on the grounds of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens[1] in the suburb of Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The Planetarium was officially opened on 24 May 1978. | Source
The Mount Coot-tha Botanic Garden Hall offers several entertainment, it is worth to visit.
The Mount Coot-tha Botanic Garden Hall offers several entertainment, it is worth to visit. | Source
People that love gardens they also love open spaces, there is a lot space and things to see in this garden.
People that love gardens they also love open spaces, there is a lot space and things to see in this garden. | Source

The Mount Coot-tha Loo-out is something else to visit up there

When you visit Brisbane Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, do not forget to visit also the look-out, from up there you can see most of Brisbane city in the distance.
When you visit Brisbane Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, do not forget to visit also the look-out, from up there you can see most of Brisbane city in the distance.

This trees in New Farm Park

This tree or set of several trees, that have these areal roots coming down from their branches and continue to grow and form this strange setup in New Farm Park, they make me remember, when my children were young and we used to go to this park
This tree or set of several trees, that have these areal roots coming down from their branches and continue to grow and form this strange setup in New Farm Park, they make me remember, when my children were young and we used to go to this park
These flowers is a photo taken in Northern Italy from a fellow traveller from Australia. We have to admit that the beauty and the attraction of seeing these flowers is very pleasing. Source: From the Internet
These flowers is a photo taken in Northern Italy from a fellow traveller from Australia. We have to admit that the beauty and the attraction of seeing these flowers is very pleasing. Source: From the Internet

Let me explain the above and other natural things

Now that we have shown you some garden photos above, let us go back to talk about some other sort of gardening. Now beside this text there are a couple of photos that are just a natural happening, these things do not require much gardening skill, since they happen in the wild and it is just Mother Nature way that helps these plants grow, so, let us just take a look at them. One photo that perhaps has been taken in New Farm Park, since I know that trees like that are growing there shows these strange trees that have roots coming down from their branches, these roots hit the ground and grow, they grow so big that you cannot tell anymore, whether they are the first tree that was planted there, since they all seem like a tree trunk, Mother Nature sometimes is very strange. Another photo shows just some wild flowers; this photo was taken from somebody that travelled to Northern Italy, it shows some wild flowers that grow up in the mountain there; this goes to show that Mother Nature can do things on its own and does not need us to make a display.

Now that we have explained that, we are going to talk about some simple gardening that we would like to do ourselves.

Thinking about gardening

Then let us talk about gardening

At the beginning of this article we have talked about, some public gardens that you can visit in Brisbane; but what about if we want to do some gardening ourselves, or even just a kitchen garden for ourselves, in our own back yard; since in Brisbane all stand-alone houses have a back yard, perhaps just to stay outside and try our skills, and at the same time enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that gardens and gardening produce within us. So, if we want to do some gardening ourselves what would be the first thing that we need to know about gardening, we should ask ourselves?

First of all, if we would like to do some gardening, there are a few things that we need to know or think about it, before we even start; of course, it would be a good thing if you know someone that has some local gardening knowledge, because local knowledge helps a lot. You see when we talk about gardening the first thing that comes to our mind is the weather, and the second thing is the sun shine and the average temperature of the place where this gardening is going to take place; because these two things will influence what sort of plants we would be able to grow there.

Map of Australia climate and some flowers grown in Brisbane

This is the map of Australia, showing you climatic zones, as you can see the city of Brisbane is in the subtropical zone, which is somehow hotter than the temperate zone.
This is the map of Australia, showing you climatic zones, as you can see the city of Brisbane is in the subtropical zone, which is somehow hotter than the temperate zone. | Source
Poinsettia plant is a shrub that is grown easily here in Brisbane, this here is red but there is also a cream one and others, they can be propagated from cuttings, if you use cuttings the first year they may grow very little; but then will grow.
Poinsettia plant is a shrub that is grown easily here in Brisbane, this here is red but there is also a cream one and others, they can be propagated from cuttings, if you use cuttings the first year they may grow very little; but then will grow. | Source

My cottage poinsietta

 This is a poinsettia behind our house, it grows very easily in Brisbane, it looks nice with its double flowers in wintertime in the garden, the only drawback is that you should not go to rub against it when you are well dressed it can stain.
This is a poinsettia behind our house, it grows very easily in Brisbane, it looks nice with its double flowers in wintertime in the garden, the only drawback is that you should not go to rub against it when you are well dressed it can stain. | Source

Let us talk about gardening

Now, I am writing this article about gardening in Brisbane from Brisbane Australia. The city of Brisbane is situated in the subtropical region of the Southern hemisphere of the earth, here I have mentioned the Southern hemisphere so that my readers are not going to be surprised, when I am going to tell them that while I am editing this article, I am getting ready to plant some winter plants; (now while I am editing and adding a bit more text to this hub) You see, this is the month of May and the Month of May is spring in the northern hemisphere, so it is a bit of a shock for any reader in the Northern hemisphere to hear that I am planting winter plants, I know all this because I have come from the Northern hemisphere myself. But as you know the seasons in Australia are the opposite of the Northern hemisphere, but even knowing all this is not enough, because there are a lot of other factor to consider, which it is hard to explain in a few words; this could be overcome by having some local gardening knowledge and trying out things for yourself.

In Brisbane the climate is a bit on the hot side so to speak; with this warm climate we should be able to grow all sorts of plants and vegetables all year around, at least in theory we should be able to do that, but here I am telling you that it is not all that simple, because any place on earth you go to, it is a bit different and has its own ways how to grow plants and vegetables. So we need to learn all those things before we are able to grow plants and our own vegetables the easy way. But let us not despair because we can always copy the gardening people around us. Of course gardening and gardens could also be enjoyed in other ways, as we have shown in in the photos that we have pasted in this article.

Anyhow, I wish I could grow some flowers in my home garden, but I may have to let it go because it might be too hard to start now, as I am an old man and to grow flowers and trees properly will take a long time and effort, so I might have to let it go and be happy just to grow a few odd flowers and some kitchen garden like tomatoes and vegetables instead and a few other things that are already growing there, so let us talk about what we have available and what we could do with it. Let us talk about the back yards of our houses we live in, where we would be able to grow our own things.

Plants growing in my backyard

Just to show you these very colourful flowers at their best I had to use one imagine from the Internet, they are very easy to grow as I have grown them myself, see the photo below.
Just to show you these very colourful flowers at their best I had to use one imagine from the Internet, they are very easy to grow as I have grown them myself, see the photo below. | Source
The Macadamia nut tree growing in my backyard, this year has plenty of flowers, it may be a good year to grow nuts, they taste terrific, but are hard to crack.
The Macadamia nut tree growing in my backyard, this year has plenty of flowers, it may be a good year to grow nuts, they taste terrific, but are hard to crack. | Source

What I am growing in my home backyard

Now, here let us start from the beginning once again, in order to give our readers a better description of what we are talking about: Most of us who own a standalone house on a large piece of land like in Brisbane Australia, or any other city in the world that have a similar setup, would usually have some land that we could use to grow some vegetables or other things as well. You see here in Brisbane most of the cheaper and more affordable house are built on a piece of land about 400 square meters, usually the house is 100 to 150 square meters and the rest of the land is vacant land, we call this land our yard and it can be put to other uses; now, some of us just like to have a beautiful green lawn in the yard and we are satisfied just to have this green grass, and you know it is very enjoyable on hot days, because that green lawn makes you feel cooler in those hot days; of course we have to mow the lawn to keep it at its best, but that is easy done with a lawnmower.

Of course there are some of us that beside keeping a perfect lawn like to make a beautiful flower garden and grow many types of flowers here and there and also decorative shrubs; this type of decorative gardening is done usually in the front yard of the house, as most of the houses in Brisbane suburbs are set well back from the road: in the new suburbs of Brisbane this is usually 6 metres, in the old suburb this distance could be different. Anyhow, even if we use the land in the front yard for flowers and decorative shrubs, we still have the back yard, where we can try to grow anything at all, in our spare time, if the land is fertile enough.

Now, I may not be the best gardener around but I like to try to grow a few things in our back yard if and when I can; so when we have time we would go in the back yard and try to improvise by starting our own garden patch, this might be just an idea that has come to us while we were visiting some friends, or we went to the greengrocer and found everything very expensive and of poor quality, and then when we saw that they we selling seedlings as well we thought that perhaps we should try to grow our own vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and other kitchen garden stuff, I believe that a lot of time people start gardening for this reason.

Anyhow anyone of us has his own story, of how and why we are trying to grow our own stuff in our yard, some of us have also had some experience before as we might be coming from a farming background, so we have some knowledge of how a few things could grow, for this reason we are willing to have a go at gardening.


Beans, broad beans and others

I wish that one day I would be able to grow lots of vegetable like those in this photo, whether I will be able to do that remains to be seen.
I wish that one day I would be able to grow lots of vegetable like those in this photo, whether I will be able to do that remains to be seen. | Source
I picked this photo from the internet, because it is a good photo. Anyhow this is what I am growing in my kitchen garden as well.
I picked this photo from the internet, because it is a good photo. Anyhow this is what I am growing in my kitchen garden as well. | Source

Our kitchen garden

To tell you the truth I have always done a bit of gardening here in Brisbane, sometime I have had a good crop too, but it has always been a struggle, because of the hot climate and also because my soil is not good enough for gardening continuously, I have used some fertilizer but it does not help very much; now, because it was not easy I have done gardening only sparingly.

But, today in my old age as I am going to retire soon, I am going to do more gardening in my back yard, I am not going to do a great deal fancy like flowers and other ornamental plants, perhaps I will plant only a few here and there. You see, I would like to grow some of my own vegetables, tomatoes, herbs and a few other things in my kitchen garden. I know for a fact that my soil is not that good as I have already said above, so I wonder what I could do to improve it without spending too much money. In fact, I don’t like to spend any money at all if that is possible, but here I have to see how it could be done and then decide my next step.

So I wonder how the other people do it and what it could cost. You see if it costs too much there is no point to spend money when you are better off financially to go to the greengrocer and buy what you need. If that is going to be the case in the future, then I am going to continue to do my gardening in a small way as I have already done before.

Therefore, first of all I wonder how I could improve the soil, and which the best way to do it is; here I have to say that when I was young I have worked in my family farm in Southern Italy, so I know a few things that could help, but would those same principles apply here in Brisbane Australia, where the climate is a lot hotter, here plants are going to need more water to keep them growing; I know for a fact that there would be a lot more diseases in this hot and humid climate, so I really need a good enough soil where plants would grow fast enough and healthy enough to be picked before the disease sets in for any vegetables, and also for tomatoes, capsicum, egg plants etc.

The last few years I have already tried to grow my own vegetable and tomatoes etc. But so far I have been able to be successful only in springtime, and as soon as summer comes everything starts dying out, so now I wonder what I could do to have also some produce during the summer times.

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My kitchen garden broad beans that I am growing this year

Look this might not be the best photo, but if you look closely you will see how many purple king beans are hanging on this small plant.
Look this might not be the best photo, but if you look closely you will see how many purple king beans are hanging on this small plant. | Source
This are my broad beans that I have grown this year, we have already picked up a few pods from them, they are very tasty when you eat them fresh, and we are happy that there are a lot more to be harvested soon.
This are my broad beans that I have grown this year, we have already picked up a few pods from them, they are very tasty when you eat them fresh, and we are happy that there are a lot more to be harvested soon. | Source

Growing zucchini marrow plant

My zucchini plants are doing well enough, I have already picked some zucchini, now I am letting one zucchini grow and make seeds. Today I have looked at my large zucchini and it is grown about forty centimetre long, it will have plenty of seed.
My zucchini plants are doing well enough, I have already picked some zucchini, now I am letting one zucchini grow and make seeds. Today I have looked at my large zucchini and it is grown about forty centimetre long, it will have plenty of seed. | Source

In my kitchen garden today

What I am growing just now in my garden patch are some purple king beans, that we are going to pick them up green, also some broad beans, and they are doing okay as you can see from this photo beside here, I had also some winter vegetables which we have already used, but now summer is coming and I wonder what I could plant. The problem here in Brisbane is watering, not only plants in summer need a lot of water but we usually could have some water restriction. The water restriction is used to save water even when there is enough water in the dams because the climate and the raining season are very unpredictable these days, so the local government want people to save water and for that reason the price of water continues to go up, and people lament this increasing cost of living, so we have to be very careful how we use water.

I have worked out that I need to divert some of the grey water from the bathroom straight into the kitchen garden patch in order to save water, I believe that the water from the bathtub and the vanity basin does not constitute a health hazard, when it is used just to water the ground and keep it moist, I have no problem to divert this water myself as I am a good handyman and know how to do these things; once I have done that not only I would save to cost of the extra water, it also would save time because every time we use the bathroom to have a shower etc. a small part of the kitchen garden in being watered. There are also other things that I am going to do, but that remains to be seen. I know for a fact that once the broad beans have been picked up, I am going to bury the stalks under to ground, because they are good for the soil, I am also going to collect all the grass clipping from the yard and any other vegetable matter that could improve the soil, I could use some fertilizer and other things, these are the things that I believe could be done.

But I have to do some more thinking and research soon to decide my next step, how to improve the soil, and also how to keep some pests away.

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Trying to improve the soil

What I have done lately is this, I had some compost that I have made from lawn mowing that I placed in a large container and also leaves that I have collected from my lawn and other vegetable matter, now, I have put this compost in large buckets to be used in my kitchen garden, usually I would have spread the compost and would have dug it in, but this time I have saved some in the buckets; what I am doing now with this compost I have saved is this: I pick up one of the buckets full of compost, the compost in the bucket is not very compact, so, I fill it up with water, the water in the bucket absorbs some of the compost nutrients and becomes like strong tea, with some of this water I water the plants in the garden and it seems to work well, it is a bit like when you water your plants with a soluble plant food.

Now using this same idea, I am asking myself what could be done to use this idea and improve the chances of growing a better kitchen garden. Well I am still working it out if I could make it easier for myself.

At this point of time I believe that once I have diverted the bath and vanity basin water into my garden, I will let some of this water through a small and shallow trench that has been filled with some clean vegetable matter, like lawn clippings and other vegetable that do not smell and this water should slowly drain into a lower part of my vegetable garden, using this way it could be possible to water and fertilize the garden at the same time, just by using what is freely available, this adding of organic matter in my garden should somehow also improve the soil. So I am going to try it out soon. This idea may or may not work properly but it is worth to try, so I am going to try it and see how well it works.

Having now tried this for a short while, I can add that my idea of using the waste water to water the garden is working well, but because at some stage we had heavy rain that lasted for three days in a row, it did not make a lot of difference, but it is a very good way to water the garden in times of draught.

Here I need to add another observation, while I am editing this article, it is March 2016, this summer it has been hotter than usual, the temperature has been averaging 32-33 centigrade for several weeks, I believe that it is hotter than in the past, I have not been able to grow much in my garden, the only thing that we have been able to grow were some snake beans because of this hot weather, so I am waiting now for the temperature to go down, so that I can start thinking what I can plant for the cooler season.

I will come back to edit this article, when I know something else that could help growing vegetables etc.

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