Friday, March 26, 2010

Town and Country Gardens to find Hibiscus a friend

Yesterday's post was all about my new hibiscus. I had wanted one for a while, after discovering they may just work in a pot and in full sun with a little shade on occasions, it was all systems go. Given the full sun aspect of most of the balcony their former characteristics were the major drawcard.

When Mum came to visit a few weeks back, and we had a spare half hour, we went on the hibiscus mission and visited Town and Country Gardens Nursery in Malvern. Now I am normally a north of the river girl, but we visited my Great Aunt (and I guess you would call her Mum's great Aunt) who resides down that way and had a little time to spare before lunch which was also south of the river. After a quick phonecall to my local gardening cousin he suggested a few gardening places we could try, one being Town and Country Gardens as it was on the way. OK so he didn't remember the name, he just told us it was on Malvern Road and near a pub. Funnily enough that was all the directions we needed!

Well, suffice to say, I wish this was my local nursery. The plant stock was amazingly healthy and the staff reasonably friendly. They even didn't bat an eyelid when mum and I got into a little tizz about whether or not she used to grow daphne at our old house. Definitely on the pricer side of things, but the quality was worth it. What a lucky find!

Anyway, the plan was to get a hibiscus that was pot suitable, maybe two if I had the cash. After rummaging through reds and oranges and beautiful yellows I found the white hibiscus which you saw in yesterday's post (and in a few days will hopefully see bloom.) Next to these lovely frilly flowers were Chinese Lanterns. Looking at the tags they seemed to cope equally well in full sun or partial shade (preferring the latter.) So instead of purchasing a second hibiscus in a varying shade I fell in love with, and bought, this deep red chinese lantern.

It seems to like its position on the balcony, right outside my bedroom door! It has flowered regularly since purchase and grown a good foot and a bit! Both plants will get even bigger pots in the Spring, but for now they must make do with the reasonably sized ones I gave them.

So for those south of the river in Melbourne let me recommend Town and Gardens nursery and for everyone let me say, that one month in, it seems that these two plants are ideal balcony garden members, so try one in your balcony garden one day.


Ivynettle said...

I absolutely love Chinese Lanterns. Such pretty flowers, so many colours, and so wonderfully uncomplicated. I'm so very tempted to collect them, but where, oh where to put them (since I still have to share my mother's balcony)? That red is a very pretty shade - I want! ;)

Lynne said...

I love Chinese Lanterns too, and have two of them in my garden. A bright orangey-red one and a deep red. The best advice given to me when I got the first one was to prune hard, sacrificing the flowers. It was heartbreaking seeing them all go, but the plant came back twice as thick and I ultimately got lots more flowers on it. Mine have a tendency to get leggy if I don't keep on top of the pruning. But they always bounce back thickly, no matter how hard I cut them back.

prue said...

Ivynettle - you should collect them!!! Or maybe just one if your mother lets you. Space is always such a challenge these days, in a perfect world we would all have large, unending gardens.

Lynne - thanks for the advice and I will be sure to do that. Do you know when is the appropriate time of year to prune?

Lynne said...

I tend to prune most of the year. I live in Napier, New Zealand, so our climate here is pretty temperate. I don't prune while we are having frosts, but Chinese Lanterns are so resilient it wouldn't surprise me if they bounced back from pruning then too :-) They flower practically non-stop all year round in my garden.

Ivynettle said...

I do have two already (a pale red and an Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii', plus seeds which will hopefully give me white, pink and yellow. As soon as I have space to sow them.