Friday, August 28, 2015

Springing into action


Australians have never been all that flash at standing on formality, so the idea that spring begins on a certain date (such as September 1 Down Under) has never been taken at all seriously by gardeners. Spring began quietly a week or two ago, in fact – you can see it in the way things start growing and greening up after a period of winter slackness – but now it's getting into full swing.

Here, at our place, spring is well and truly underway when our dazzling orange Scadoxus light up the garden with their torches of vivid colour. But this year, we have a newcomer that blooms in a much more demure way at exactly the same time. It's a little groundcover native Grevillea 'Pink Lady', a modern hybrid variety, and for this "mostly photos" posting, I'll start with our newcomer, then move onto the razzle dazzler.

Grevillea 'Pink Lady', small toothbrush type blooms about
3-4cm (1.5 inches) long.

Though "pink" it's also mid green and pale lemony green too.

The fallen leaves from the overhead olive tree give you a
sense of how small these delicate grevillea flowers are.

Planted as a 20cm wide baby groundcover last spring, the
Grevillea now covers a bit over 1m across and is still growing
well, and so far is healthy and happy. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, further down the back of the garden, our most striking plants, our Scadoxus puniceus, are in bloom again. Every year I do a scadoxus posting ... they're just such an irresistibly photogenic flower. And this year one of the babies is having its first go at flowering.

Little skinny kid, second from the left, with a decided lean,
but for a first go at flowering, it's doing just fine.

The adults have come through several days of wet weather
slightly bedraggled but still radiant. In the background our
sprouted Scadoxus seeds in the pot are being shown how
its done by the grown-ups.

There's one view of the Scadoxus which is impossible to
capture in a photo, and that's the view from our house.
The deep green backdrop of the murraya hedge is no doubt
the perfect colour to show off the pale green of the
stems, the maroon of the outer petals and the outrageous
orange of the blooms themselves. That colour invariably
catches your eye, even from within the house more than
10 metres away. Its announces "spring" like no other plant.