It has been a long cold, wet Winter here on the southern NSW coast, off and don’t forget windy! In fact my garden experienced a mini tornado a month ago, a micro weather event which sent someones garden shed and contents flying into my garden and uprooted apparently wind break natives. So a couple of weeks ago when it felt like it was the wettest and coldest it was going to get I was uplifted by signs of life in my garden. In the image above you can see the heath flowers of Epacris microphylla, which to be honest flowers all year round in my garden, such a trooper.
Another little native I am very proud of is my Phebalium nottii, this is a grafted specimen as I haven’t had my like with Phebalium recently, they seem to be one of the first Sydney Sandstone locals to turn up their toes in the wet. However this small shrub is powering along in my clay soils with 3-4 hours of direct sun, I love the combination of the rusty buds with the pink starlike flowers.
The Hakea above is one of the most showy and reliable Winter flowering natives I know of, it begins budding up in June and explodes in the middle of Winter, providing plenty of food for the nectar feeding birds and lightens my dark winter moods 🙂
This is another native which enjoys a gravelly well drained soil, however I have half a dozen scatted about which have survived the hectic months of deluge and still have enough energy to cover every stem in happy clusters of flowers, aren’t plants amazing?
For some reason I believe this is still Eriostemon? for some reason I don’t believe it made it into the Philotheca genus, but please correct me if I’m wrong? Eriostemon difformis ‘Star Sprite’ is another low growing shrub which has a very long flowering period, I have two in the garden the one in the sun has flowered all year. It absolutely covers itself too, and hasn’t taken any time out to spot flower!
This is Westringia longifolia, not to be mistaken for Westringia ‘Snow Flurry’, this in my humble opinion is a finer species. I have been told it is actually a white flowering form of ‘Wynyabbie Gem’? again correct me if I am wrong. Westringia longifolia can grow up to 3m high but I like to keep mine pruned at about half that height. They flower on and off through the year but are reliable as a Winter flowering species. They also grow well in part shade and this does not seem to hamper their flowering.
And now for the Grevilleas, most Grevilleas will flower at some point in Winter, however the one in this blog post are flowering in a fair amount of shade and in early to mid Winter. Above you can see Grevillea oleoides, to be honest I am amazed that I haven’t lost this Grevillea with all the rain we have had, it is in horrible clay soil and gets very little sun, but is now totally covered in bud and flowering its head off, what a legend!
I planted this Grevillea ‘Burgundy Blaze’ about 6 months ago under the canopy of one of my Eucalyptus paniculata, this is a bit of a trail, I think this Grevillea has lots of redeeming features besides the flowers. It grows into a lovely, dense, sprawling shrub up to around 1.5m high and 3m wide, I intend to keep mine at about half that. The new growth is a deep red and the nectar eating birds are all over mine since it has been flowering.
This is a tried and true wonderful hedging species called Grevillea ‘Orange Mamalade’, it is pretty common about the place now but why shouldn’t it be? it has large spider flowers which attract both small and medium birds, can be pruned into a thick privacy screen and copes well with humid Summers, whats not to love?
And last but not least my all time favourite small flowering Grevillea, Grevillea arenaria. I had two mature species which were literally blown out of the ground last month in a mini tornado in my street. They were staked up and given fresh soil and some deep waters and now are in full bloom. The flowers are a little hard to spot but the little birds manage to find them, as do I, can’t recommend this Grevillea enough.