Sunday, 31 May 2015

What's happening in the garden

It's late autumn now, and the Banksias are flowering brilliantly in the garden. Native bees and wasps are busy feeding and pollinating, and there are even a few mosquitoes around, a bit surprising for this time of year. 
An unusually yellowish Hill Banksia (Banksia
spinulosa var. collina
) candle.
One of our Hairpin Banksia cultivars
This is one of the last candles on our Swamp Banksia
(Banksia paludosa). This particular plant produced over
30 candles this year, many of which did not reach maturity.
A Hairpin Banksia (Banksia spinulosa) covered
in candles. This plant is about three years old.
There's plenty going on besides the Banksias. The Native Holly (Alchornea ilicifolia) bushes we planted six month ago are putting on new flushes of red growth. Native Holly makes an excellent screening hedge. It's not the fastest growing plant, but this is useful in a hedge, as once it has grown to the appropriate shape and size it needs minimal maintenance pruning.  
New growth on Native Holly is a dark or bright
red, depending on how much sun the plant gets.
Another plant with hedge potential is White Correa
(Correa alba). This plant is growing in a shady area and
is not as dense as it would be if in full sun.
No Grevillea species are local to the Illawarra east
of the escarpment. But a few species, such as this
Red Spider-flower (Grevillea oleoides) grow in the
sandstone parts of the region. They are good for
attracting honey-eaters such as Eastern Spinebills.
Four years on, our garden is really starting to look like a proper garden now, rather than a collection of individual plants. Mulching makes the paths stand out more clearly....



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