Saturday 26 November 2011

late spring in his front garden Part 2

Are you fully recovered now?

And are you enjoying your tour?

You know, a lot of people say Australian native plants are boring but they obviously haven't looked closely enough!

Before we cross over the bridge to the front porch, we'll make a detour along the narrow path that leads to the meter box. In this part of Australia, the electricity company has a meter installed on the outside of each house and every three months they send someone to "read the meter" so that we can be charged for the amount of electricity we have used. That's the theory anyway!

Anyway, we're not here to discuss the failings of large utility companies, let's rejoin the tour.

The little path I mentioned leads off to the left of the bridge (as we face the house); on the left of the path that small plant with the tiny seed pods is leptospermum scoparia; we shall meet another version of this plant in a couple of minutes.Before the path makes a sharp turn around the side of the house, on our left we see a very old westringia, commonly known as "native rosemary".
It is the plant in the foreground with the grey-green foliage. (The plant in the background is a bottlebrush, not in flower at this time of year). The Westringia plant was here when we moved in nearly twenty years ago, so it is old and gnarled, and almost devoid of foliage. It won't be long for this garden.

It has light mauve flowers, a colour common to many Australian species. It does look a lot like rosemary, doesn't it?
Turn around now and head back towards the bridge. The rest of the plants in this area are not in flower and not very interesting.

To the left of the path, you will see this graceful little shrub, not much taller than knee height. Aren't those flowers dainty? This austromyrtus dulcis - the Midgen Berry! The name doesn't do this plant justice. Those tiny flowers are so cute but you have to bend in close to see them. Don't worry about the native bees -- they have no sting!
Now we are back at the the bridge. Crossing the bridge, to our left, we see another low growing shrub, under the bedroom windows, a species of leptospermum scoparium, known in Australia as "tea tree" and in New Zealand as "manuka". This is the flower that produces the seed pods shown above. As you can see, it's a tiny flower - that's my thunb nail (again) to give scale.
 Now that we're over the bridge we enter the front porch. To our right is another small shrub; a species of melaleuca. Larger versions of this genus are known as "paperbark". This one comes up to my lower thighs. Isn't the flower gorgeous? It's one of my favourites - both for its shape and its colour.
Well, here we are on the porch. There are other plants to see in our front garden but they are not in flower at this time of year.

Please come back and visit us again - the bottlebrushes are spectacular in summer and autumn.


  1. Thanks for the tour. Very pretty flowers. Some day I'd like to get to your part of the world and see all the floral goodies.

  2. Just amazing! I thoroughly enljoyed my tour, thank you!

  3. Oh I really love the pink flower, was it a gum flower? Lovely colour.


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