Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

29 December 2014

Pears (Pyrus communis)

In 2009 we planted a number of fruit trees in the garden - 2 cherries,  2 or 3 apples, 2 plums, a nectarine and a peach as well as 2 pears (one a pollinator for the other). All the other fruit trees have fruited over the past 3 or 4 years but this is the first year we have had any pears (there were a couple that set last year but they dropped off early on).  The good thing about pears is that they can be picked when still hard and will after-ripen.  This one is a Williams Bon Chretien (usually just called "Williams" or "Bartlett") which is self fertile but also a pollinator for our Lemon Bergamot pear (which also has its first pears).

28 December 2014


Amaranthus has about 60 species, some of which have edible leaves or edible seeds and some are just grown for their floral display.

21 December 2014

Dianella tasmanica (Blue Flax Lily)

There are about 40 species of Dianella and almost half of them are native to Australia.  Dianella tasmanica is found in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania and almost extends to South Australia.  In general Australian Dianellas have smallish flowers that tend to not be particularly showy or long lived but many produce bright berries which stand out in shady areas.  A few varieties of Dianella have edible berries but those of Dianella tasmanica are not - they are indeed poisonous.

19 December 2014

Buddleia davidii 'Ile de France'

Buddleias (sometimes spelt "buddleja) are often called "butterfly bushes" because they have a reputation for attracting butterflies with their often abundant sprays of flowers.  Buddleia davidii 'Ile de France' is an old variety introduced about 1930.  Buddleias are generally perennial plants that usually benefit from pruning after flowering.

14 December 2014

Life is just a bowl of cherries!

There are two young "Stella" cherry trees in the garden which started bearing about 3 or 4 years ago.  Last year rats, possums, birds and insects snaffled crops off both trees before we could pick any so this year we invested in serious bird netting and piping to protect all the fruit trees.  The result was 1.3kg of cherries off one tree and 1.5kg off the other (this bowlfull). I reckon that with the cost of watering, fertilising plus the netting and piping each kilo has cost us about $150!  But they are very tasty.

11 December 2014

First tomato

I noticed this ripe on one of our tomato plants a couple of days ago.  I suppose it's an indication of the warmer than average weather we've been experiencing which is not a good omen for the coming summer.  The creek by our place stopped flowing at the beginning of December.  In previous years that hasn't happened until January.