Category: Brian Roach

Australian Natives: Pea Flowers, Perfect for Spring

Brian Roach If ever there was a common name for a native plant that simply rolls a multitude of species into the one name, it must be ‘Eggs & Bacon.’ I’m sure it had its origin in seeking to describe a plant with pea-like flowers that were yellow and orange. There are many of them and most are in the family Fabaceae and they’re not all yellow and orange. Just about all members of this very large group are legumes and so yes, they are pea flowers! One of my favourite native plants is the West Australian Flame Pea,...

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Expert Gardening Advice: Getting to the Root of the Problem

Brian Roach Have you ever wondered why our local bushland does not significantly suffer during extreme weather conditions? In the past, we have had virtually no rain and some very hot days and yet the trees and shrubs in the bush didn’t seem to care. All the while, many of the plants in our gardens just turned up their toes. In the main, it’s all about roots. I’m fortunate to have a nice boat and I spend quite a bit of time in Cowan Creek and Broken Bay. I never tire of looking at the landscape surrounding this wonderful...

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Perfect Plants for Shade

Brian Roach One of the great challenges for suburban gardening is finding plants that are happy in the shade. Many local gardens are in the shadows of our majestic gums, creating problems not only because of reduced sunlight but also with the root systems of large trees robbing the soil of moisture. Contrary to popular belief, there are many native plants that do well in shady spots, ranging from groundcovers to large shrubs and trees. A particularly good groundcover for these conditions is the prostrate form of Goodenia ovata. This plant is endemic to our local, coastal region and...

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Great Bush Tucker

Brian Roach It’s a wonderful thing that over the past decade or so, those of us from non-Indigenous backgrounds have become increasingly aware of the enormous wealth of knowledge possessed by the traditional guardians of our paradise on the planet. Recent catastrophic events have forced a rethink on how we manage the land in various respects, and this has obviously involved an increasing input by the First Nations People. There’s a wealth of great bush tucker but one of my favourites is a wonderful, low-growing plant that produces scrumptious berries around January/February. Its common name has a few variations,...

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Christmas Bells – The Perfect Plant this Season

Brian Roach If it wasn’t for the Waratah, I’m sure our state floral emblem would be the equally iconic Christmas Bells (Blandfordia grandiflora/nobilis). There’s little wonder this plant was given its common name long ago because these delightful gems in our local bushland usually produce their stunning flowers over the festive season. The bells can vary in colour from yellow, orange or red with usually a combination of colours being the norm. But finding these gems in the bush is not an easy task. They need very specific conditions to flourish and do not compete well with other nearby...

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