Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

15 May 2016

Wild Rocket and Broad Beans

We grew tomatoes in a wicking bed over summer so I've planted it with a winter crop of Wild Rocket and Broad Beans.  The latter add nitrogen to the soil whilst CSIRO experiments have shown that Wild Rocket fumigates soil that has been previously had tomatoes growing in it.  Wild Rocket is more efficient than Mustard which is sold by some outlets as a natural soil fumigant.

10 May 2016

Cara Cara Oranges

Our Cara Cara Oranges are ripening!  Cara Cara is a cross between Blood Orange and Washington Navel.  It has the sweetness of the Navel (possibly sweeter) and the flesh of the Blood Orange.  This will be our first crop.  We actually had 10 oranges two years ago but a branch broke from a tree, hit the top of a second tree and that fell on the Cara Cara taking off only the branches with the ripening oranges.  It has taken the tree two years to recover so I hope we have better luck this year.

04 December 2015

Crinum lily

There are 105 or so species of Crinum lilies of which 4 are native to Australia.  This one has been grown from one that has been in my family since about 1955 when my parents moved into the house where Lance Hill made the first Hills Hoist so it's possible that he or his wife planted it there.  I suspect it's Crinum moorei which is a South African species.  These are very easy to grow and this particular species ends up producing enormous bulbs which can sit on top of soil and send down roots.  I've had one clump sitting on gravel and ignored for months and it's beginning to flower!

03 December 2015


From the Americas (North, Central and South), Coreopsis has 75 to 80 species.  They're attractive to butterflies and quite drought hardy - and colourful at this time of year.

30 November 2015


Apparently there are about 90 species.  This one grows in a pot and gets neglected but still looks showy!

05 November 2015

Jacobean lily

Sprekelia formosissima, commonly called Jacobean lily or Aztec lily is not a true lily at all, apparently.  Still, it's quite spectacular in flower (with or without raindrops).

04 October 2015

It's thyme

No, this is not another reminder about daylight saving!  This is a photo of 2 or 3 thymes which seem to have grown remarkably this year and are flowering spectacularly.

02 October 2015

Sinningia leucotricha

This plant looks like it was designed by a committee that started with a potato, decided that it should grow leaves like lambs ears (on stalks) and then have tubular flowers like a cestrum!  Native to Brazil where it grows at high altitudes, Sinningia leucotricha, is commonly called Brazilian Edelweiss.  It thrives on neglect.  This one sits in our kitchen window where it gets filtered sun all day and it gets watered occasionally.  It might need repotting one of these years but we've had it 3 years and it's still in the original pot.