Poolside and beyond

October 07, 2021

Poolside and beyond

We are so lucky to have talented gardeners amongst our staff. Welcome to the relaxed garden of Muriel Rynhound.

On a spring evening in Karana Downs this riverside garden looked stunning in the fading light. Muriel prefers a native and Mediterranean style of gardening rather than tropical, which sits perfectly against a backdrop of red gums along the Brisbane River.

For the entire length of the pool on the terraced side the sun-loving creeping succulent Carpobrotus glaucescensthis, (commonly known as 'Pig Face'), is thriving. Sadly not in flower when we visited, it loves the full sun position. An excellent choice for poolside mass planting.

One end of the pool has a small turfed area. For a long time Muriel was not sure what to do with this space. She finally settled on planting olive trees in each corner. They love the full sun and will eventually provide some shade and cover.

We loved Muriel's old outdoor furniture. When the olive trees get bigger this will be such a wonderful shady spot to enjoy an afternoon.

The opposite side of the Pig Face is planted with many South African plants, Muriel's country of origin. These plants thrive on the intense full sun. Along this dry wall find Aloes, Desert Star, Kalachoe, Silver Spoons and Copper Spoons. Also Portulacaria, Dwarf Sanseviera, Crassula, Echeveria while in the foreground is Aloidendron barberaepotted or Tree Aloe. It is hardy, slow growing but has some real presence.

These plants never require watering and are largely ignored. Large stones and pebbles keep everything neat and the weeds at bay.

Under one of the more established olive trees Muriel has under-planted Shasta Daisy. This charming sun lover spreads happily over a large area.

This part of the garden also has some cottage charm with Salvia and Bacopa planted in Antique terracotta. Muriel predominantly uses sugar cane mulch in her garden.

Muriel has planted an avenue of Tristaniopsis laurina 'Luscious'. An absolutely lovely tree and one of our favourites. It has a soft creamy-coloured bark that contrasts against its shiny dark foliage. It has a very upright growth making it suitable for this type of planting.

There's a new spot with a fire pit half way down the terraced section. Muriel wanted a place to sit and enjoy more aspects of the garden.

Here's one of our pots - Ganache Urn - sitting nicely against a backdrop of Kangaroo Grass. There are a few available, this is one of the taller varieties.

Photo bomb from 'Dobby' the lovely pooch.

The bottom of the garden is heavily planted with natives - look at this stunning native Ozothamnus diosmifolia or 'Rice Flower' against the evening light. It used to be deeper pink colour, now a soft pink. All the plants, especially natives in Muriel's garden, get some help with watering when first planted to get them established. They are then on their own!

Lots of Westringia and native grasses are planted amongst sandstone terracing. Muriel has placed a lot of sandstone in the garden beds to break up the beds and add interest.

This is a fantastic plant to grow over rock walls, it's actually a Casuarina fondly known as 'Cousin It'. Looks great mass-planted and very quickly establishes itself and softens hard landscaping.

Beautiful evening light on the Red Gums along the Brisbane River at Karana Downs.

You will find Muriel amongst the natives, trees and shrubs at Brookfield Gardens. This lady is incredibly knowledgeable and happy to talk to you about her garden and her favourite plants.

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