This blog post introduces you to five more Australian native plants which grow in gardening friend S’s garden.
The first is the Pandorea plant – and what is not to love when set against a backdrop of a glorious winter day in Hobart Tasmania! If you live somewhere where the sky is overcast, enjoy the spectacle in the photo below of clear clean blue skies.
The Australian National Botanical Gardens explains more about the Pandorea here. Pandorea jasminoides or the Bower Plant is the most common garden plant with a twining, climbing action. Its deep green, glossy leaves and showy, pale pink, trumpet-shaped flowers with deep red throats make a spectacular display from late spring to autumn. S’s plant is flowering now so her plant maybe another cultivar. Other varieties include: Alba with pure white flowers, Charisma with variegated foliage and pale pink flowers, Lady Di with showy, white trumpet shaped flowers and deep yellow throats, Southern Belle-has deep pink, trumpet-shaped flowers with deep red throats, and finally spring-flowering Ruby Belle has flowers shaded cream to pink. Many spring flowering plants are already flowering in our gardens so I suspect her plant maybe the latter.
Her Prostanthera cuneata, shown below, is commonly known as the Alpine Mint Bush.
According to the Australian National Botanical Gardens this plant is found in alpine and sub-alpine heath-lands of Victoria, NSW and the ACT. ‘Apart from cultivated plants, it is now considered to be extinct in the landscape of Tasmania, which was the first state it was described in’.
Related to the Prostanthera above is the fresh flowering Westringia, also known as a native rosemary, shown below.
From the Lamiaceae family commonly known as the mint or the sage family, the Westringia is a plant which grows naturally in all Australian states and territories except the Northern Territory. Wikipedia provides a long list of the varieties.
For fun and a wonderful display, the final photos shows Rock Daisies spread widely and Billy Buttons joyfully swinging in the breeze.
The Rock Daisy (Brachyscome Multifida) is a compact Australian native daisy-like shrub with fine ferny foliage and delicate blue violet daisy like flowers. Very long flowering, producing masses of flowers for most of the year, this plant is a great soil stabiliser because it is very easy to grow. It is suitable for a full sun position and requires little water once established. I can vouch for that because mine grows in a pot in a shady location where I forget to water. Despite my neglect it flourishes and flowers for most of the year. I give it a light trim after summer and then the flowers continue throughout the year.
Billy Buttons (Craspedia from the Asteraceae family) are perennial plants with a wonderful golden sphere springing around at the end of their stems. They need a moist but well drained soil to be at their best, are very frost tolerant, and can take dry periods of weather. The plants grow from an underground rhizome, so if the plant dies off, it can resprout. One variety is particularly suited to alpine regions, another to swamps and there are two others, both of which are endemic to Tasmania: the Craspedia preminghama ‘Preminghama Billybuttons’ and Craspedia glauca ‘Billy Buttons’ . I suspect S’s Billy Buttons are the last named variety.
Seeing these few examples of extremely healthy native plants in S’s garden has been most instructive. Obviously she has chosen plants which work in her garden’s particular micro climate and the soil type seems perfect. Her South Hobart garden has been established on a sloping block so the positioning of the plants are on well drained locations which suits all plants. These photos have given me an insight into some of the possibilities for establishing a garden to entice birds, to give ground coverage and to provide colour and flowers during winter months. Perhaps they will inspire blog followers to make similar selections of native plants or to choose others which might better suit the conditions on their properties.