Tag: native plants

Can I lay turf in winter?

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Note from Jim: Thanks to High Quality Turf for the following post. Let’s jump straight into it!

The answer is ‘yes, you can’. In Australia, turf can be laid all year around, provided you take some seasonal precautions.

In winter, the key thing to remember is that turf will take longer to establish – around four weeks, compared to about a fortnight in the warmer summer months. But that shouldn’t be a deterrent for anyone wanting to lay new turf. The most important things are good ground preparation and initial maintenance – both are essential to achieving a great lawn. Read more

Plant of the Month – Acacia sclerophylla

Is it really week 3 of February already? This month my feature plant is the Australian Native called Acacia. Last week I featured Acacia acinacea, this week I’m featuring Acacia sclerophylla.

Genus: Acacia
Species: sclerophylla
Common Names: Hard Leaf Wattle
Flower Colour: Yellow
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 2m
Flowering: Spring

Acacia sclerophylla is not a plant that I am very familiar with however this picture alone makes me want to find a place to grow it! I absolutely love Australian natives that are covered in flowers during their flowering season and that is definitely a trait of the sclerophylla.

This variety is apparently one of the most hardy Acacia varieties, supporting most soil types. It reportedly thrives in both full sun positions or positions that experience part shade and is tolerant of frosts to around about -7 degrees celcius. This makes for one very sustainable and hardy plant!

Though it is not a ground cover, due to its height, it does spread quite wide, sometimes to as much as 3m which makes it a good ‘fill’ variety, to be used to cover big spaces that you don’t want to see. It sends out lots of stems as it grows, making it quite a bushy variety. This coupled with its flower nature leads it to be one of the most decorative Acacia varieties that you can get.

Plant of the Month – Boronia Telopea

Last week I featured the Boronia fraseri, this week I am featuring the Boronia telopea.

Genus: Boronia
Species: telopea
Common Name: Telopea Valley Star
Flower Colour: Pink
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 1m
Flowering: Mostly Spring but may flower any season

There is not an awful lot of information available on the Boronia telopea species however I will provide you with what I can. I wanted to feature this variety, even though it is similar to the fraseri, because I really like the simple contrast between the light pink flowers and the bright, light green leaves. It is no surprise that it looks similar to Boronia fraseri because the telopea is a hybrid of Boronia fraseri and Boronia mollis.

Being a hybrid, there is no specific naturally occuring location, however the telopea has been proven to grow well on in cool to temperate climates on the East Coast of Australia. Testing in tropical area’s has been limited. This variety is generally quite hardy, able to survive mild frost and mild drought conditions. The Boronia telopea also responds really well to regular pruning and shaping. In this variety, as in many, regular pruning really does encourage it to grow more densely.

I couldn’t what sort of garden position would be best for the telopea, however I would plant it in a position that is at least part shade as most Boronia’s I have grown have required some shade to really thrive.

Thanks to Ian Grieve for the following information.
Telopea Valley Star was discovered and named by my parents John & Mary Grieve at their property ‘Telopea Valley’ Kulnura NSW in the early 1980’s where the plant was growing naturally.  They discovered and named several other plants, all bearing ‘Telopea Valley’ in the name.

Plant of the Month – Boronia fraseri

Last week I featured the Boronia pinnata, this week I am featuring the Boronia fraseri.

Boronia fraseri, Glenbrook Native Plant Reserve Photo: Cas Liber, Sept 2004

Genus: Boronia
Species: fraseri
Common Name: Fraser’s Boronia
Flower Colour: Pink
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 2m
Flowering: Spring

This is a slightly more obscure variety of the Boronia family. It grows and looks much like many other species, but generally doesn’t succeed as well as a garden plant, making it less desirable for most native growers. Because of this there is actually very little information available about how to grow it. However, I don’t just want to advocate easy plants to grow, I want to provide my readers with some challenging plants. If you like a medium challenge, I believe the fraseri will be a good one for you.

For best results with the fraseri, plant it in a good loam soil which is well draining. The Boronia fraseri definitely prefers a part shade location and grows best in temperate to cool climates, reportedly being able to handle mild frost conditions.

Why not give it a go and let me know how it goes!

Plant of the Month – Boronia pinnata

Last week I featured the Boronia megastigma, this week I am featuring the Boronia pinnata.

Photo: Westflora on Flickr

Genus: Boronia
Species: pinnata
Common Name: NA
Flower Colour: Pink (White varieties available)
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 1.5m
Flowering: Spring

The Boronia pinnata species is a native variety that is found very commonly in New South Wales, generally found in areas where sandstone is prevalent. It is a hardy variety that comes mostly in pink but is also available with white coloured flowers.

Like many Boronia varieties, the pinnata is best grown in slightly shaded area’s. It does like well draining soils but, at the same time, does like to remain moist (just not over the top wet). This variety grows best in a temperate climate, though some people have suggested it will handle mild cold and even mildly tropical zones. This is relatively unsubstantiated however.

The Boronia pinnata is great for use as a cut flower but is often sometimes used for the sweet, aromatic scent provided when the flowers and leaves are crushed and as such is sometimes used to make perfumes. This variety is also often grown well in a pot. Because it can be susceptible to the hot sun and/or strong winds, growing it in a pot enables you to move it around the garden if need be.

Plant of the Month – Kunzea affinis

Last week I featured the Kunzea capitata, this week I am featuring the Kunzea affinis.

Genus: Kunzea
Species: affinis
Common Name:
Flower Colour: Pink
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 1.5m
Flowering: Spring

The Kunzea affinis is a small shrub which grows to roughly 1.5m in height. It usually grows with an upright nature but can be trained to grow more bushy if you desire. Gently cut the growing tips while it is growing to encourage this Kunzea to become more bushy.

The Kunzea affinis is native to the south of Western Australia and as such prefers a temperate to cool climate. It will grow well in a sunny to part shade position in a well draining soil. Is very hardly to a harsh summer sun and can also withstand mild frosts in the winter.

Very good plant to mix in group plantings with Leptospermum or Melaleuca plants.

Plant of the Month – Kunzea capitata

Last week I featured the Kunzea ambigua, this week I am featuring the Kunzea capitata.

Peter Woodard

Genus: Kunzea
Species: capitata
Common Name: N/A
Flower Colour: Pink Purple (White varieties also available)
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 1m
Flowering: Spring

This species of Kunzea is not widely cultivated even though it has been around for quite some time, first designated the name Metrosideos capitata in 1797 and moved into the Kunzea family in 1846. It is native to the east coast of Australia, particularly New South Wales. Generally it will grow to about 1 metre in height, with an erect growth pattern, but it is not that uncommon for it to push 2m.

The best climate for this variety of Kunzea is a temperate zone with dry, sunny summers and wet winters. For best results make sure that your soil drains well. Grown in these conditions the Kunzea capitata will thrive and prove to be quite the hardy addition to your garden. This variety of Kunzea can also handle slight shade to full sun positions in your garden.

I myself am more a fan of the white flowering variety but that is even less common. The purple flowering variety also appears to be very nice though so either could be a good addition to your garden!