‘Some flowers brought to our meeting from members’ gardens in July to show some Winter flowering plants. (If you click on each picture, there is often a brief description of the plant.)
This was a joint excursion with Maroondah Group, led by Bruce Schroder. The following are excerpts from his notes.
The Laurimar housing estate was originally conceived with the logo “City living, country feel” or some similar marketing pitch! At the time in 1995, the owner of what was at the time, arable grazing land, struggled to convince the City of Whittlesea to allow the land to be developed for housing, as it was very much isolated from any other areas of urban development. Today, it is just part of the urban sprawl, albeit at the very northern limits. By working with the original developer and subsequent developers of abutting farm land, Council was able to achieve an excellent outcome in terms of distribution, quantity, quality and presentation of public open space and the preservation of ancient remnant river redgums throughout the housing estate.
The man-made wetlands form a connecting spine for these interlinked areas of open space and are now a haven for wildlife, birds in particular. A family of black swans with 5 fluffy grey balls of cygnets (sic) was sighted 2 weeks ago! By retaining so many of the old redgums (some estimated at more than 400 years old) in proximity to the newly created wetlands, regeneration of these trees has been given a kick start while the trees have provided immediate habitat in the form of nesting hollows and roosts. Less than 20% of the trees on site were removed for residential development and all of these were placed back in the wetlands (stumps, hollow logs, etc) to supplement the habitat values.
This park has an area of 9.2 hectares. Its facilities include walking and bike path, car parking, exercise equipment, shelters, lakes, barbecues, boardwalks and picnic facilities. (Whittlesea Council description).
Lyhn and Gordon took over the three quarter acre property in January 2000. The property backs onto paddocks with views over Plenty Valley to Mt Macedon. In the 16 years they have been there they have completely transformed the house and land.
Earthworks were undertaken to create three tiers enabling child play areas, ease of movement and water retention. The soil used in the garden is largely excavated material from the local area. The process took many years during which an 11 square extension was added to the old house.
Lyhn says they made it up as they went along. She enjoys curves and recreated those in the garden. While there have been mistakes they have also benefitted from serendipity. One splendid example being a neighbour offering them a truckload of enormous rocks which he could not get up his steep drive. These were adapted into two new ponds using the neighbour’s excavator and an accomplished landscaper. There were also some problems arising from the bobcat work compacting the soil which meant efforts had to be made to improve drainage for the natives. They have a combination of exotics and natives in the garden which complement each other beautifully.
Of the natives there are Brachychitons, Correas, Grevilleas, Eremophilas, Hakea francisiana, Melalelucas, Darwinias, Olearias, Acacias and Chamelaucium uncinatum (Geraldton Wax). The Banksia present are truly superb – B. spinulosa & B. praemorsa. There is a recovering B. menziesii in a large pot. I do believe the flowering Grevillea nudiflora densely draped all over those large rocks mentioned above was commented on by many who visited.
(Report by M. Ford and edited for website)
Russell guided us around a stunning garden of eremophilas, some verticordias, darwinias, homoranthus, grevilleas, acacias and more. At Riddells Creek the soil is a rich clay which he has built up with imported local fill to around 0.5 – 1m high. He has placed, and is still placing local rocks to the edge of the mounds. There is no mulch and he lets the rain do the watering. Some beds had been established for 4 years, others 2 and 1 only – astonishing growth everywhere. The garden is on a large scale, and the property is fenced off from rabbits and emus. The eremophilas were too numerous to list and ranged from large, through medium size shrubs, to some lovely smaller and prostrate species. Russell, being a co-author of the book Australia’s Eremophilas: changing gardens for a changing climate, knew them all, and had some interesting stories about his collection. We were thankful for his knowledge and generosity.
Report by M. Ford and revised for website.
A few of our members visited Growling Frog Golf Course Whittlesea gardens recently to view the additional plantings our group has donated, and the plaque erected to acknowledge our Community Project there. The extensive plantings extend from within the carpark and around the clubhouse, and it is an ongoing project filling in the spaces. It is a lovely collection of eucalypts, grevilleas, banksias, dryandras, eremophilas and others, and include many uncommon species. There are always lots of little birds enjoying these gardens, such as the Flame Robin, Eastern Spinebill, Thornbill and more. These pictures show just a few of the plants in flower.
Flower table – March
Just a few flowers brought to our meeting from members’ gardens in March to show some Autumn flowering plants.
Visit to Sally’s Garden in North Warrandyte
This garden in North Warrandyte on a large bush block, best suited to mountain goats is still a work-in-progress, after 25 years. Sally, who has a liking for English gardens has retained a number of pines and exotics, but landscaper Peter Smith has been able to plant an eclectic variety of natives on beds clinging to rock sloping about 60 degrees – even vertical in places – a masterly piece of landscaping.
Visit to Marion and Peter’s Garden in Warrandyte.
This is a normal sized house block, sloping down to street level with indigenous plantings on the nature strip and mainly native plants both front and back of the house. These were enhanced by clever use of stepping stones and other larger rocks. The front garden is cottage style , whereas the terraced back garden is accessed by large steps leading to a shady pergola. The back garden receives a lot of afternoon sun, so the plants have to be tough. Peter Smith was our guide for the day, and played a large part in creating the gardens.
Here are some great examples of native plants sculpted as hedges, and growing happily underneath eucalypts. Seen at a winery in Arthurs Creek. We think they are Rhagodia spinescens, Westringia fruticosa, Grevillea rosmarinifolia, and Correa alba.
More summer flowers from a visit to Maranoa Gardens in Balwyn.
Just a few flowers brought to our meeting from members’ gardens in February to show some more Summer flowering plants.