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Latest posts by Flowerchild

shrub ID

Posted: 19/04/2014 at 20:08

First one -and second- is Viburnum lantana. Last pic is Spiraea bumalda.

Tree ID

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 08:14

Star gaze lily is right, it's a Prunus. The glossy bark of one of the stems indicates it's Prunus serrula. 

It'll grow very wide, if you let it. Should you want to prune it, don't  take out stems that are over 8 cm in diameter, as these will start to rot away quite easily. Prunus' should be pruned in late Summer to prevent Silver Leaf.

What are these?

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 14:58

It's a female variety of Skimmia japonica. Male ones don't produce the red berries, they have panicles of red buds during winter and fragrant white flowers in spring. Read more here:

Photinia leaf drop

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 14:14

@Drywsdad and @Abby2, please keep in mind that evergreen shrubs and trees drop their older leaves in Spring, when new leaves are forming. However, I think the main problem is formed by the clay soil which your tree/shrub is planted in. It creates the wet conditions that Photinia's hate and is the main reason for leaf spot to occur, You can read more about that here:

Photinia's want a free draining, slighly acid soil, which heavy clay isn't. And I'm afraid that re-planting the tree with ericacious compost in the same planting hole will not resolve the problems you're having because the alkaline clay soil will mix with the compost after rainfall. Besides that, on a damp, heavy soil a planting hole backfilled with coarser material, including a lighter natural soil or topsoil mix may act as a sump.

My advice would be to either create a raised border completely filled with  ericacious compost, mixed with a sandy topsoil or plant Photinia's in a big tub with holes for drainage. If that's not possible you'd be better off planting something else, for instance a Portugese Laurel.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope this will help you decide what to do. 


My poor Rhododendron

Posted: 17/03/2014 at 15:24

Oh dear, that does indeed look like Phytophthora, with the wilting and the brown leaf spots that seem to be developing as well. The most probable cause is poor drainage of the clay soil. This advice below might also be helpful. 


i dplease

Posted: 10/03/2014 at 16:49

It's a bit early for that Azalea to flower now, even though plants seem to be ahead of their normal flowering period. IMHO this is Rhododendron 'Praecox'. It's always the one of the first of the Rhododendrons to flower in our part of the world. 'Praecox' means "early".

Flower I.D. anyone??

Posted: 21/02/2014 at 10:41

Thanks, Jim MacD and Chicky

Bookertoo, I'm not familiar with the Australian climate, but I suspect that it must be very hot. The colour of this photo, I agree, it's gorgeous. But I'm afraid that in most photos the colour has been edited. I have a feeling that the true colour must be lighter than that in the photo.

My M. used to say( when I was a small child and drooling over pictures in those mail order catalogues) "Child, paper is patient". By which she meant to warn me not to trust those vibrant colours in these catalogues. And nowadays it's common practice to enhance colours with Paint and all the other photo editing software.

BTW, would somebody please be so kind to tell me what I could have done wrong when I tried to make the link clickable?? I haven't got a clue. It used to be very simple but I seem to have forgotten how to do that...

Flower I.D. anyone??

Posted: 19/02/2014 at 16:25

It is Alyogyne huegelii. This is an Australian genus in the same family as Hibiscus, the Malvaceae. It's also named  Blue Hibiscus and Lilac Hibiscus.

ID this plant

Posted: 19/02/2014 at 11:42

I think it's some kind of Dracena. This one might be Dracena fragrans 'Gold Coast'.


Posted: 12/02/2014 at 14:46

Tracey, for tiny flowered orchids have a look at Doritaenopsis. They are very easy to care for, they're much the same as Phalaenopsis.

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