Friday, January 2, 2009

Australian plants

I have been to check on the chickens and have a look around the garden today and we are finally getting a bit more rain. We have young trees planted up the back and I watch with eagerness as they cover the roof tops of the houses behind us. Needless to say we have planted tall trees to fulfill this purpose.

Its loosely based on permaculture enough to have many fruit trees and a swale and 5 chickens. Who stay within the boundaries of the chook run as they cause so much havoc in the garden and I dont completely trust our Border Collie Bruce (thats him in the picture) not to try and round them up and scare the life out of them! I know its nice to think about having chooks run freely in your garden but they really are very distructive and if you love your garden you'll keep them seperate.

Here in Australia we are blessed with some of the most interesting and beautiful native plants from around the globe. We also have a wonderful climate for growing so no matter how brown your thumbs are there is always hope that you can create some garden whether it be large or small or just a few pots around your studio flat.

Many of the native plants we have can be grown outside as well as inside. We grow lawns without even thinking about it but by utilising natives we can create a wonderland which can be low maintenance and not cost a fortune to begin.

Take a look at Hoffmans Walk in Lara Victoria (pictured) where the local plants have been used in a beautiful way to create a delicate balance for the enjoyment of people and the local wildlife alike. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Cranbourne are also a wonderful showcase of Australian plants and what can be done in the most extreme of situations.

There is no reason to be growing lawns we cant afford to water which are so high maintenance, we can if it suites us adapt our gardens to suit our climate. Native grasses and plants can be used as lawn substitutes and there are a whole plethora of options out there.

A beautiful native which has a wonderful floral display of scented yellow flowers and grows in many conditions is Hymenosporum flavum or Native Frangipani. I have chosen this plant as the plant of the Week. The perfume is to die for! It growns up to 15m forming an upright straight habit . It has glossy green leaves on the upper side and twoards the end of the branches. It can be grown quite well in narrow spaces. Making it an ideal bordertree for sideways or along driveways.
Native Frangipani has beautiful Yellow flowers blooming in Late Spring. They are highly perfumed which are creamy coloured turning golden yellow with age. This tree requires moisture while being established but will tolerate drought once established although can be frost tender in cooler areas. If you are looking to plant a tree or row of trees this is definitely worth a look.
Native Frangipani tree

Native Frangipani flowers

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