I thought I might do some garden posts since, well, it cheers me up. Today I am making my first contribution to Six on Saturday, a weekly gardening get-together hosted by The Propagator.

1. As some readers will know, I have been taking advantage of our extended La Niña event to establish a new garden with plants native to Australia on the front verge. The plants are tiny and as yet there is very little form or colour to the garden to give it depth and interest. So I whacked up this old gate that I had lying around out the back and hung my mosaic on it for the kids to enjoy when they walked past. The gate will also provide a frame for the climber, Appleberry, Billardiera scandens (not shown), that I have planted in front of the gate.

2. I have also planted a variety of native grasses in the new garden, including barbed-wire grass (Cymbopogon refractus) pictured above. A friend told me that barbed-wire grass is beloved of blue wrens and red-browed finches. I’ve not seen red-browed finches in our suburb so barbed-wire grass might be a grass to plant in our nearby reserve once we get rid of some of the dreaded African love grass.

3. For the last few winters, the Australian National Botanic Gardens has been showing off Qualup Bells, Pimelea physodes. It grows in Western Australia. When I saw it at the local nursery, I couldn’t resist it and brought it home with me. This plant has been grafted making it possible to grow in Canberra (which is located in eastern Australia). Mine is planted in a pot. It is covered with buds that are poised to open (above). I can’t wait.

4. Speaking of pots, I took a cutting of the pink salvia, Salvia microphylla (above), growing out back. It is now established in this pot out front. The Eastern spinebills love it. Winter frosts will inevitably knock it back. When that happens, I hope the spinebills will be tempted by the Qualup Bells.

5. In the backyard, it is a shower of autumn leaves. This coral bark maple, Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ (above), has a few leaves that have not yet been washed away by today’s deluge. This tree was originally a rescue plant. We had to lop it as it did not have a central leader so it is unlikely to grow more than 3 or 4 metres. I really enjoy this tree, as do the little birds who swoop in to gather the fine sticky branches for nesting material.

6. And finally, a pink camellia (species unknown) peeks out from between the salvia and chocolate vine which are attempting to overwhelm it.

Happy gardening, everyone.

Kind Regards.

30 thoughts on “Gardening SOS – 28 May 2022

  1. The Barbed Wire grass is a new one for me. I’ve never seen or heard of it before. Not that I know all the Australian native grasses that well, but I’ve photographed many, especially in the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne (where they use lots of different grasses in the landscaping).

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  2. Welcome to the SoSers Tracy! Be warned though that you will get tempted into creating a long list of ‘must haves’ though if you stick with the Aussie natives you should be okay! Love the mosaic and I know you love to encourage wildlife into your garden so I hope you will feature some of them too. Apart from Jane there is another Aussie gardener who joins in with the SoS – Megan of Harebells and Maples – and a Kiwi of Thistles and Kiwis – so you might have some garden envy!

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    1. Hi Jude. I already have garden envy. Jane’s Hakeas always set my heart aflutter. I don’t know the names of half the plants in my garden so I hope correct plant ID is not a requirement for participation. I look forward to visiting the other gardens.


  3. Your garden is going to be beautiful, Tracy. The mosaic is such a lovely touch. I am awaiting a photo of a dragonfly landing on it–have your camera ready!

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    1. Thanks, Lou. I’ve already made a few mistakes with this little garden. I went to the specialisr nursery to buy plants specific to my region but when they didn’t have some of the plants I was after, I made a few impulse purchases! Oh well. Do you consider your ‘New England’ garden finished or is it a work in progress?


    1. When you are on a good bean thing, might as well stick with it, Martha. In a drought, any scrap of green is uplifting. Plus your beans have lovely flowers and the bees need something to eat. I’ve been digging out my iris. I’ll probably regret that.


  4. Great to see you on SoS, Tracy, and thanks for the kind words. Good luck with the Qualup Bells. I didn’t know them and had to Google, and already I have Qualup Bell envy. This is what often happens on SoS – my garden has many plants I have been introduced to on here!

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    1. I suspect the Qualup Bells may be starting to enter the nursery trade, Jane. My plant is near my front door so I see it often. It always makes me happy.
      I think the SoS people are serious gardeners, Jane! The pics are like scenes out of the Chelsea flower show.


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