Sunday, April 24, 2011

The time-lapse bush

I mentioned in my previous posting that my Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' is flowering its head off at the moment, and the way it bursts into bloom all over is almost like time-lapse photography. Wherever you look there's a bloom in one of the stages of opening, and so that's what I thought I would record here. All these photos were taken this weekend.

Fully open and two-toned, the only thing Peaches and Cream lacks is subtlety.

I can't imagine a garden full of two-toned blooms – one bush is enough, but my Pammy fell in love with a Peaches and Cream in a house nearby and she wanted one. It has taken me a while to also really, truly love this plant the way she does, but it's growing on me. Certainly it's a hit with the honeyeater birds who visit it every day. As you can see from this photo there are blooms in every stage of opening up, so let's take a closer look.

Stage one – the flower pokes its head out from the foliage.

Stage two, the unfurling begins, from the base of the flower head.

Stage three – more unfurl, all a pleasing, pale limey-green colour.

Stage four – the flower grows from the base, more stamens (is that their name?) unfurl.

Stage five – the first blush of pinky orange appears.

Stage six – all the buds are opening now.

Stage seven – red-tipped antennae send out signals (sorry, I'm not a botanist, not sure what these thingies are really called).

Stage eight – almost there now, pink blush growing, not quite fully open though.

Stage nine – birds start feasting on these now, a lolly shop for honeyeaters.

Stage ten – a fully mature flower, pinky peaches and yellowy cream.

The bush itself is about 2m high and wide, but it would grow bigger (maybe 3m) if I left it to grow to full size. But sorry, Peaches and Cream, that isn't going to happen in my tiny backyard. Besides, my brutal trimming seems to suit this bush beautifully. It thrives on being pruned, and that's how things are hopefully going to be for many years to come.


Chandramouli S said...

Wow! I fell in love with this beauty the moment I see the first photo. How beautiful!

Helen/patientgardener said...

How fascinating - can you bear to show us a photo of the whole bush as I cant imagine the overall effect.

My Grevillia Canberra Gem survived down to -18C this winter and I pruned it as you suggested after flowering last year but probably not as robustly as I should. Do they flower on new growth or old growth as not as many flowers this year?

Jamie said...

Chandramouli, you're like my Pam with this plant – love at first sight!

Helen, I'm waiting about one week more for the bush to be in full flower, so I'll take a photo of it then. And that Canberra Gem is amazingly tough. Even Canberra itself, which is cold by Aussie standards, never gets that cold. They flower on new growth. Here in Australia they flower from winter through spring, but I'm not sure what effect -18° would have on its flowering. When pruning grevilleas, here in Australia you can confidently cut off up to one-third of the whole bush, but I'm not sure what to do in your climate.

Kate/ Beyond the Brambles said...

What a unique bloom. I enjoyed seeing the flower at every stage of the process here. Too often we miss the bits of beauty that come before and after the flower has opened. Bravo!

Katie M said...

Officially they're called 'pollen presenters' because grevilleas are special, but I think antennae is a much better name!
I love your blog by the way, and look forward to every post :)