Monday, July 20, 2009

Beautiful Natives

I still don't understand how people can think that 'Australian Natives' are boring. And lifeless, crude and the opposite of elegant. They think that if its in the bush then that's it! Scrambling messes of shrubs and trees and under scrub. Personally, I like the bush, however I have also seen natives as clipped hedges, rounded shrubs and in a flowering border. You can't tell me that Grevilleas are boring or Banksias ugly; that croweas are not elegant? They are the epitome of elegance. Of course, I might be a bit biased when it comes to croweas, as they are very beautiful.

I'm getting married in October and just organised my bouquet, no ugly roses for me thank you very much. Its all about the natives, which is very exciting! So once I get married, I am sure I will put a photo up of the flowers I had. It was very interesting yesterday at the florist. They were very surprised and almost a little weirded out that I said I did not like roses! Oh my gosh, a bride who doesn't want roses! What will we do? Actually I think the florist is very excited in doing something outside the box! Ha ha! She may even add my bouquet to her album! Who wants to be the same?
Looking at this Callistemon, do you find it ugly? Its beautiful. Oh look, I know its very much, each to their own. My mum loves roses! I can see in the beauty, but as a gardener who has to maintain them, they are evil.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Crazy World of Roses...

Its time to prune the roses! They shred your arms. Its a fun time. I pruned back my own roses and they will hopefully come back with a little love. My late uncle, to whom planted them, is looking down and smiling upon them. They hadn't been pruned for at least six years. As you could imagine there was a lot of dead wood. Some were pruned to an inch of their lives. I exceedingly implore I haven't completely botched them up.

Although I believe it is hard to botch up 'rose pruning'. I was pruning some roses the other day with another person. We both pruned correctly, however I was probably a little tentative at the beginning. The other was a vigorous pruner who always gets great results. I have seen, makes me shudder to think it (let alone write it), motorised hedge clippers 'prune' roses and surprisingly enough, the roses bounce back...crazy little plant!

I am not a rose fan. I have, unfortunately, come to the realisation that they are a tough plant and can grow absolutely anywhere. I like the old roses. The roses, you can see the stamens. I find their skeletal frames ugly and their thorns hideous. My mother, however, loves her roses and I am trying to appreciate them for her. The second photo above is from my parent's garden. Gorgeous colour! I certainly find pleasure in the wondrous colours they come in.

It does worry me that Sir Cliff Richard has a rose...and Barbara that the ultimate Kudos? To have a rose named after you? (I thought it was if you were invited to be a voice on the Simpson's)

Pruning them is a chore though. Weeding under them is challenging! I make sure I am wearing a flannelet shirt for such occasions...

Roses are here to stay, I do realise this. I also realise, that over the next few years, when our summers get hotter, gardeners will be looking at the species that survive. What plant will be be affront of this? Roses. I like Camellias better visually, but I know, in the future Camellias will be fazed out. They don't have the same staying power as roses. Our Camellias were fried in February and the roses which haven't been pruned for six plus years were fine.

So this is my relenting ode to roses. *Sigh*

Friday, July 3, 2009


Its Saturday and I was sure I heard thunder. There was nothing to show for it. I was in St Kilda doing a job (putting in an irrigation system and gardening) and it rained briefly but nothing to get excited about. :-( We desperately need rain. So many opinions out there regarding global warming. I am not getting into that right now as my brain's too fried to discuss that craziness, however I wonder about humans really. No one ever listens to any body else.

Correas are another fave of mine. I love their bell shaped flowers. The Correa reflexa's common name is Native Fuchsia. The fuchsia is a lovely plant. The correa in today's picture is one of my favourite types. Its become quite common, but I still love it - Correa Dusky Bells. Lovely plant. I have seen it grow practically anywhere. I know of an area in a car park and its a horrible bit of garden, except for the Dusky Bells. Excellent plant. Correas are like that though. You see Correa alba in the most desolate and harsh conditions - around beach dunes; as a hedge; or in playgrounds. Very hardy plants as well. Correa glabra is in reserves around Melbourne. I've seen Correa Marian's Marvel in Malvern. Exceptional plant, although if not properly maintained, can get a bit leggy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


So what is this blog about? Mostly about plants, I would think. I am a gardener, so I need to vent out every now and again about plants. And most probably the state of the world as in environmental and whatever I deem important I guess. Not to say you will find it important, however we shall see. Lets get this thing started...

Croweas are my favourite type flower. I used to work in a Native nursery and fell in love with their waxy flowers. There are many varieties of Croweas, however my favourites are Crowea saligna purely because of its size. When it is in flower, it is covered in them. A deep pink which is just beautiful. I have, unfortunately, not been able to grow one as I have moved around a lot and this particular species does not grow well in pots. I will endeavour to have them all over the garden one day.
I also like Phebaliums. Perhaps because Phebalium phylicifolia was the first Phebalium I saw. I called it mum phebalium as my mum's name is Phyllis. :-) But they are a beautifully different plant. Ironically, if you knew my mother's dislike for yellow flowers, this species comes in predominantly yellowing colours. There is a cream coloured plant as well.
I am now a gardener and I have started appreciating exotics. I am still a native plant girl through and through. I, however, now have my exceptions. Also as a gardener, with the extreme weather at the moment, its always good to find out what actually survives in Victoria's suburbia. For example, I used to loathe roses, however over the years, I've realised they are one tough plant. They thrive in most conditions. The February heat wave showed us who the weaklings were. Roses, are here to stay. And although they are a pig to prune and the plant itself, lets not kid ourselves is pretty ugly, they are unstoppable. Unless you have possums, but that's a different story.
I think that's it for now.


So I know this has nothing to do with plants per-say, but...I saw the rainbow while I was on a job. Actually, I was going to a job. It was in Brighton. In Dendy Street, to be exact...

A rainbow so sweet

A rainbow so rare

It was nice after the heat

That scorched our Australian air

A rainbow signifies rain

A rainbow means hope

Something may grow from a single grain

Farmers will renew their scope

A rainbow in the glowing sky

A rainbow means happiness

It made me cry

I will confess

Dark clouds engulfed it

The sky was dark

Nothing of its' glit

Not even a spark

I thank you dear rainbow

For making my day

I had been feeling low

But blessed that I was near the bay

I saw a rainbow a few weeks after the fires in February this year.