Alloxylon flammeum Ardisia (berries)
Calliandra Calodendrum capense
Erythrina (coral tree)
Eupatorium (mist bush)
Euphorbia Cotinifolia (leaf)
Polygala Raphiolepis indica Rhodosphaera
Xanthostemon (golden penda)
Brillantasia (Giant Sage) Browallia Cineraria
Daisies - Argyranthemum
Daisies - Osteospernum
Heterocentron (spanish shawl)
Plectranthus Porphyrocoma pohliana
Salvias Schaueria (Miss Milly) Statice
Phaseolus caracalla Tecomanthe ‘Roaring meg’
Hyacinth Iris Jonquils
Tulbaghia Velthemia bracteata
Eremophila maculata 'Wendy'
Tecomanthe 'roaring Meg'
WHAT IS FEATURING IN THE GARDEN IN SEPTEMBER:
The dry winter coupled with colder nights and strong winds has taken its toll. It is important to keep up the hard work of mulching and pruning and know that our hopefully rainy, growing summer season is just around the corner.
I seem to have been cutting back all winter, mainly because the autumn and winter flowering plants were extended this year.
EREMOPHILAS are plants found only in Australia with about 235 species to date. They are found in all states but mostly inland in very arid areas and are in the Scrophulariaceae family. They are very diverse in flower colour, leaf form and plant size ranging from ground hugging, prostrate and small shrubs to small trees. Their flowers are massed all over the shrub in colours ranging from red, yellow, orange, pink, blue, lilac purple, mauve to cream and white which are much loved by insects and birds They grow well in alkaline soils and are best grown in full sun.
I have been trialling Eremophilas on an East facing slope for a couple of years now and am very excited with their drought tolerance, adaptability to soils and variety of foliage and flowers. Because they are desert loving plants they are not used to competition with other plants therefore mulching is important to keep weeds at bay and to keep the soil cool. Air movement is important as many have silver or grey leaves which have hairs so this helps to keep fungal diseases at bay, particularly during our humid summers.
Many Eremophilas are compact plants but they can be pruned after flowering to prevent them from becoming leggy. They can be propagated by soft stem cuttings or grafted onto Myoporum stock. Seed is produced by many plants but can be difficult to germinate. Smoke does seem to be a key factor with germination of seed.
There are a few natural hybrids as well as some exciting cultivars. When a variety of species is grown in a plantation or large garden over a long time, many new hybrids are formed. Unfortunately in this situation it is difficult to properly identify the parents. Eremophila Nivea is probably the best known species.
In the Garden; Gerberas, statice and all the daisies are giving great colour and are backed by the Banksian Rose.
Trees also add colour with the white and pink Bauhinia Trees, Orange Coral Tree, Red/Orange Tree Waratah and Schotia which is very aptly named the ‘Drunken Parrot Tree’. It is lovely to hear the parrots having a wonderful time in the Schotia and Coral tree and know that the garden is being enjoyed by the wildlife. The Red Cedar (Toona australis) and Liquid Amber (much loved by the bees) exude anticipation as they slowly sprout their new growth. The Red Cedar’s new shoots are red which sets a lovely scene and is followed by the Euphorbia cotinifolia’s deep burgundy shoots.The Cape Chestnut, (Calodendrum capense) shows off its beautiful flower clusters. Another lovely small tree is the Robinia pseudo acacia ‘Frisia’ which completely defoliates by winter, so is bare for quite a while. Its new shoots are a lovely lime green which stay this colour until the warmer weather arrives.
The Shrubs; Eranthemums add a blue haze to the border and are accompanied by the Salvias which are always happy to oblige with flowers in a myriad of colours.
Bulbs are also making sure they are not left behind. Chasmanthe and cliivias are slowly emerging waiting until it is a little warmer before they strut their stuff.
The roses had a dormant winter with the cold and dry but have started shooting and are getting ready for their spring blooms. As the weather warms up, the rose blossoms will increase and they will start their own show for October/November.
The May bush is starting to bud and will burst forth in white blossom to rival any apple tree grown in the cooler areas. The irises are making a move to open as the Fiddlewood trees are yellowing and losing their leaves, which gives an autumn feel to this sub-tropical spring.
WHAT TO DO IN THE GARDEN
Greet the flowers and new growth as they emerge, September is the nicest time of the year in your garden and a good time to enjoy the benefits of all the hard work you have put in throughout the cooler months.
Deadhead to keep the flowers coming, and feed, weed and mow the lawn if we get rain. The warmer temperatures will start to wake up the gingers, calatheas, costus and heliconias which could be divided if the clumps are too big. I cut back my calatheas at this time if they are looking untidy and trim up the gingers by removing any stems which are yellow or brown. I leave the cut up stems and leaves that I have cut down around the plants as mulch.
Good Gardening and keep safe
IN THE GARDEN
Softcane Dendrobium orchid