Spring returns

So far, spring 2012 is a return to the hot and dry conditions that the Illawarra hasn't seen since 2009. It's a struggle for many of the new plants in our garden, and we are watering regularly.

But it is a good season for dry-loving plants, and there are some spectacular flowers coming out. The flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi) and lesser flannel flowers (Actinotus minor) are having a wonderful time. 
Actinotus helianthi (flannel-flower) flowering cheerily. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
 Some of our pea-plants are doing very well; the standout is native holly or prickly pea (Podolobium ilicifolium) which has come out in a mass of stunning yellow flowers. This species is widespread in dry sclerophyll forest in NSW, including the Illawarra, but is almost never seen in gardens. For more information see here and here.  
The under-appreciated Native Holly. Image by Emma Rooksby. 
The local Bossiaea species Bossiaea heterophylla is also faring relatively well, and a few new plants are appearing here and there to complement the ones we planted ourselves. Other species such as Pultenaeas and Dillwynias are faring less well, and most individuals are too scraggy to want their photos on the web. Some have passed away altogether, including a very handsome Downy Wattle (Acacia pubescens) that must have got too big for its roots, since it blew over in a storm and never recovered.

The garden as a whole is coming on well. Small birds such as Eastern spinebills are starting to visit more often, finding safe places in some of the bushier plants.
Eventually, little of the house will be visible from the road where this picture was taken. Image by Emma Rooksby.
 Enjoy your spring gardening!

1 comment

  1. Thanks for a new post! Your garden is looking fantastic. Better get stuck into clearing out the weeds in mine :)