I am getting in early and would like to wish you all a happy, fun, fantastic, sunny Australia Day. There’s not much more to say really other than tell you how lucky I feel to live in a country with such diverse, interesting and beautiful plants and wildflowers. I love that my garden flowers throughout the year with interesting flowers and colours and that those plants invite a wide range of birds, insects and critters with their nectars and protective foliage. It is wonderful that I can cut stems of native plants for longlasting colour and have little piles of gum nuts and gum leaves scattered around my home. These plants remind me of where I come from, where I am and where I wish to be. I hope you enjoy this collection of some of my favourite Australian native plant and wildflower pictures.
Have a wonderful long weekend and keep safe.
Until next time.
One of the things I love about living in this gorgeous harbour-side city is the discoveries I make. Even after eight years I am still discovering little pockets of loveliness, be it ‘McIvers Ladies Baths’ at Coogee, the independent cinema ‘The Ritz’, the croissants from the French patisserie, the artisan markets that pop up every few weeks or the Randwick City Council Community Nursery. Hmmmm, which should I tell you about, they’ll all make you green with envy. Let’s go with the Randwick City Council Community Garden.
I’m not sure how or when I discovered the Randwick City Council Community Nursery, but I am so pleased that I did.
They have a wide range of both Australian natives and exotic plants to choose from and the staff are knowledgeable and always happy to help.
The plants are provided for both private garden use and for use by the council to beautify our Local Government Area – when maintained.
The nursery encourages the use of native plants in residential gardens, particularly the provenance species. Provenance species are plants that were found in the local coastal area prior to European settlement. Using local species ‘provides habitat for native bird and insect species, assists in the conservation of our local species and ensures higher plant survival rates as they have evolved to cope with local soil and climatic conditions’ (as detailed on the Randwick City Council Community Nursery website).
I am a big fan of this nursery for many reasons, the staff, the location, the affordable prices, and most importantly, because the plants always look super healthy and strong. And that is exactly what I want when I purchase plants for either my clients or myself. All of the plants have been cared for and nurtured so that they have the best possible start, even before being transplanted into a garden to begin their new life.
You don’t have to belong to the Randwick City Council Area to visit or purchase from the nursery, but if you live further afield be sure to get online and search for a community council nursery in your area. You never know, you may just make a green discovery of your own.
Randwick City Council Community Garden is open 9.00am to 3.00pm Monday to Friday. The next open day will be held on Saturday 1st June 2013. It is one of four open days held throughout the year and is perfect for people wanting to visit but are unable to due to week day commitments.
Until next time
Australian Native Bees, Australian Native Flowers, Australian Stingless Bees, Bee Colonies, Blue Banded Bee, Fowering Gum, Gardening, Honey, Serendipity, Serendipity Garden Designs, Sugarbag beekeeping, Teddy Bear Bee, Trigona carbonaria
Following on from last weeks post ‘Australian Native Bees’ I’d like to tell you about another little native bee that visits our garden – the Australian Stingless Bee. We don’t see these little ones quite as often as the Blue Banded Bee or the Teddy Bear Bee but I think it is possibly because they are so, so tiny and silent.
There are about ten species of Australian Stingless Bees in Australia, they are just 3mm to 4mm long, black and produce honey, although it is a small amount compared to the European honeybee. We have mostly seen this little one in our neighbour’s Crepe Myrtle. It is such a beautiful sight. They are so quiet and so very busy. I have also seen them hovering around tree hollows when I have been out bushwalking.
The Stingless Bees live in colonies, which means that they have a queen, drones and worker bees. They live inside tree hollows or purpose built wooden boxes (you can purchase these boxes). Aboriginals have used the honey from the nests for centuries for food and for medicinal purposes and the resins from the nests as glue to make tools and weapons.
The picture below is of an Australian Stingless Bee visiting a gorgeous flowering Eucalyptus. I was lucky to get even this picture, they are very quick as well as being small so a zoom on a smart phone is not an ideal way to capture such an image.
At the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney there is a great example of a Trigona carbonaria species nest near the Maiden Theatre, I’m sure if you asked at the information desk they would happily guide you to where it is.
A friend of ours has had a Stingless Bee hive (also known as Sugarbag Beekeeping) for many years now and we are excited about receiving half of his hive when it is ready to be split. I am so looking forward to that and will keep you posted on the progress of it, how we do it and where it will live once we have it in our garden.
Are you a Sugarbag Beekeeper? I’d love to hear how it is going.
While thinking about all of the wonderful Polka Dots out there I decided to start with this one. Flowers for Fridays.
A beautiful bunch of flowers bought on a Friday afternoon (or any time for that matter) and savoured over the weekend, it is one of the most wonderful and simple Polka Dots of all. I think flowers in the house are such a delight, they bring the outside in and I find flowers so relaxing and comforting.
Image from: Garden Design www.gardendesign.com
I grew up with flowers in the house, not all the time, just on occasions and it was so lovely, like a new view or a tiny holiday for your eyes as they search the room for something predictable. Oh, and the joy of giving flowers is a Polka Dot all on its own, who doesn’t love to see the smile created when giving a beautiful bunch of flowers.
While I don’t have a favourite, because I think any flower in the right vase can be spectacular, I do love Australian native flowers and arrangements. But you have to be careful when asking for Australian natives because you may just find a South African King Protea in the mix. It is a spectacular flower but it will not make your arrangement an Australian native flower arrangement.
Image from: Australian Native Flowers. www.australiannativeflower.com
Different species of cut flowers require different care so remember to ask your florist or seller how you can get the best from your cut flowers to make them last day after day after day. Also think about the vessel, if it can hold water it can hold flowers. Be imaginative and create something wonderful to bring a quiet corner of a room to life.
What are your favourite Flowers for Fridays?