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Old 04-17-2009, 09:50 PM   #1
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After enjoying the challenge of the desert island plants a month or two ago, I've found a new blogger's photo challenge involving native plants in our gardens. I came across the challenge at several other blogs, in my case Phillip Oliver's Dirt Therapy blog and Grace Peterson's blog although I believe the people responsible for starting the whole thing can be found at Gardening Gone Wild.

It's a simple thing: just post a photo in your blog of a plant native to your area, growing in your garden. I proved to be a shocking rule-bender with the desert island plants 'rules' and I intend to remain conistently disobedient here, too, and post a photo of three Australian natives growing in my Australian garden, then post a few more for good measure.

Here they are: in the left foreground, my gum tree, Eucalyptus leucoxylon 'Rosea'. Spilling over the fence in the middle ground is a just barely prostrate form of the Cootamundra wattle, Acacia baileyana, and in the background is a native without a common name, Correa alba. They're all worth a closer look, so I thought I'd post a couple of close-ups as well.

The Acacia baileyana in the foreground has wonderful blue-grey foliage. It's meant to be a prostrate groundcover but in its tightly confided space it rears up about a metre off the ground in places. The silver-leafed correa behind is due for yet another trim. I keep it clipped into a dome shape most of the time, but as it's flowering now I'll wait until that's over before its next trim.

As well as being a lovely colour the foliage of the Cootamundra wattle is delicately ferny. While it is producing some tiny flower buds now, it won't produce its pretty little yellow pompom blooms until later, around June or July.

The flowers of the Correa alba are modest at best and not the reason I grow this plant. Well, to tell the truth, the reason I grow this plant is that Pam chose it, and a very, very lovely choice it has proven to be, a beautiful foliage plant. And our neighbour's tabby cat loves sleeping under it, too!

Our street tree, the Eucalyptus, has just started blooming this week. It's late this year, as it usually starts in early April. It will stay covered in blooms till September at least, and all sorts of native nectar-eating birds will be squabbling for territory in its branches for all that time, notably the wattlebirds, the New Holland honeyeaters and the rainbow lorikeets.

The gum tree's flower buds are full of colour now and very decorative in their own right.

This photo shows nicely how the flower buds open. The little conical cap on the underside of the bud loosens under the pressure within the bud, then pops off suddenly, allowing the pink tutu of blooms to pirouette across the stage. Traa daaaa!

But to finish this little photo blog I thought I'd toss in a bonus garden native photo. Pictured above is my fully-recovered Grevillea 'Superb' in my backyard, after its brush with death last December. But thanks to the application of a spray which killed off the fungal disease which was causing its woes, it's happier and more floriferous than ever. (For Australian readers, the product is Yates Anti-Rot, which is made from phosphorous acid, and it certainly was a Christmas miracle worker for this grevillea).

Stop press someone at the door! It's Greek Easter this weekend, and my lovely neighbour Katarina knocked on my door a few minutes ago, wishing Pam and me a very happy Easter, and bearing an Easter gift of traditional Greek cakes, pastries and dyed eggs. So happy Greek Easter, everyone!

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