Monday, 23 June 2014

Plants are for the birds

I can't help but extoll how wonderful Canberra is in winter.  Yes, it is very cold and frosty, but we also tend to get good rain and lovely, sunny days.

But winter in our region is hard on birdlife.  Unlike other parts of the world it is generally frowned upon in Australia to feed birds (it tends to encourage larger birds, who out-compete the little birds).  However including plants in suburban gardens that birds can feed on in winter is strongly encouraged.

I have endeavoured to do this.  An added bonus is that I now have plants that look great during an otherwise drab time in the garden.

Here are a few snaps of plants that were in flower this past weekend:

Banksia - complete with resident wattle bird . . .


Close up of a banksia flower . . .


Correa - 'Dusky Bells' (a more prostrate form of correa with dark green leaves) . . .


Correa - 'Marian's Marvel' (upright bush with grey speckly leaves) . . .


Crowea - fine leaf form. seen here in one of my favourite garden corners, with jonquil buds and flat leaf parsley . . .


A rosella surveying the scene from my ornamental plum . . .


 Coleonema (widely known as 'diosma,' though that is actually a different, similar-looking shrub) . . .


 A variety of hebes (well, they are actually from New Zealand, but still!) . . .


. . . and this slightly blurry grevillea (I can't recall the variety).


Although slightly off-topic, while I was out taking pictures I could not resist snapping the interesting bark of this fruiting plum tree ('Luisa'), the buds and early flowers on the osmanthus, and my sprouting garlic!




I am really, really loving my garden - it's taken years to get it to this point, but it has been worth every back-breaking minute!

Nandina


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Revelling in camellias


According to the calendar, winter has arrived, though it's been relatively mild so far - and my camellias seem to be delighting in an extended flowering season.  This has gladdened my heart, particularly as they really suffered during the rolling heat waves of summer.  


My courtyard camellias are Beatrice Emily sasanqua camellias.  The flower petals are pink-edged and heart-shaped, which looks very pretty when the petals fall.


These camellias have a slight fragrance.  Their nectar also attracts native honey eaters, like this wattle bird.  


I love the way they look close up . . . 




 . . . and en masse!


This year practically all my autumn leaves went on top of this row of camellias.  Now we have had some decent rains the leaves are forming leaf mould, which camellias love.  They are clearly revelling in ideal conditions, and I am revelling in them in their revelling!

I simply love this time of year in Canberra - and my camellias symbolise this to a tee.

Nandina