Category: Brian Roach

Wonderful Wattles

Brian Roach Just what would we do without our wonderful wattles? The drive along the M1 in late winter or early spring simply wouldn’t be the same. But sadly, even the more experienced gardeners tend to shy away from putting a wattle in the garden. There are three very questionable myths behind that reluctance. They get too big, they’re short-lived and they aggravate asthma. But there are some fantastic smaller wattles. Their life span can be greatly extended by judicious pruning and while wattles often get the blame, the inland grasses are seeding around the same time as many...

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Dwarf NSW Christmas Bush

Perhaps one of the more iconic Australian native plants, at least on the Australia’s East Coast, is the NSW Christmas Bush, Ceratopetalum gummiferum. Few things are more synonymous with the festive season than sprays of the bright red foliage of this wonderful plant. Yes, it is the foliage of the plant that provides the red colour. After the white or cream flowers begin to fall away around the end of October, it’s the calyx or leaves at the base of each flower that turn a bright red. I dare say Europeans have been adorning the Christmas Day table with...

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Getting to the Root of the Problem

Over the past few months the focus has been on native plants that are particularly adapted to drought or hot, dry conditions. Various Grevilleas and then Eremophilas were recommended in this regard, followed by our wonderful grey-foliaged native plants. But have you ever wondered why our local bushland did not significantly suffer during the extreme conditions we experienced in Sydney over the final three months of last year? Native bushland We had virtually no rain and some very hot days during that period and yet the trees and shrubs in the bush didn’t seem to care. All the while,...

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Amazing Greys

Over the last two months the focus has been on native plants that are particularly adapted to drought or hot, dry conditions. Various Grevilleas and then Eremophilas have been recommended in this regard. But there is another group that copes with these conditions – not a genus but a colour. By and large, grey-foliaged plants have a wonderful capacity to reflect the sun’s heat and to really bask in it! Chrysocephalum apiculatum grey formHomoranthus prolixusMaireana oppositifolia Some years ago, my wife Carol and I drove over to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia via Western NSW. Much of the...

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