Feb 122013
 
Grevillea Peaches and Cream at the Cranbourne botanic gardens

Sunday was the only forecast cool day in a fortnight of over-30 degree temperatures, so it was a good day to plant some recent acquisitions.

We had around 1 mm of rain in January. Under the mulch and grass, the soil in the back garden is just dry dust. Water beads and rolls off it. *sigh*

Heliotrope baby blue - Heliotropium arborescens

Heliotrope ‘baby blue’ (Heliotropium arborescens) by Haar’s Nursery.

Two heliotrope ‘Baby Blue’  plants (Heliotropium arborescens) went into the bed under the front bedroom windows. Quite a few other species have met their makers here, so I’m only cautiously hopeful about these. They’re in flower at the moment, lovely blue flowers, fading to lilac, above dark purple-tinted foliage.

Out in the back yard my gorgeous Scarlet Blaze wattle died in last summer’s heatwaves, so I’ve now filled the resulting gap with several other natives.

The Grevillea ‘Peaches and Cream’ is a relatively new variety, the result of an accidental cross-breeding in a Brisbane garden. It’s now available commercially.

Grevillea Peaches and Cream at the Cranbourne botanic gardens

Grevillea Peaches and Cream at the Cranbourne botanic gardens. Photo by me.

Nearby is Grevillea ‘Rosemary’s Choice’ (Grevillea rosmarinifolia), also called rosemary-leafed grevillea because — you guessed it — its foliage looks more like a rosemary bush than like a standard spiky-leaved grevillea. This variety was developed from Grevillea winpara hybrids and grows to about 2 m in height. It produces pink, yellow and mauve flowers.

Since childhood I’ve loved the waratah, the State flower of New South Wales. Now I have two, planted amongst the new grevilleas where I hope they’ll thrive. The Telopea ‘Bridal Gown’ (Telopea speciosissima x oreades) is a white form and of course the second is red.

Red waratah, Telopea speciosissima

Red waratah, Telopea speciosissima

The grevilleas and waratahs form an east-west line with the Acacia Lime Magic, which is now about 2 m tall and nearly as wide. If the grevilleas grow as expected/hoped, they and Limey should provide a good screen to hide the ugly back fence my neighbors refuse to replace.

Alyogyne huegelii 'Misty' by Austraflora

Alyogyne huegelii ‘Misty’ by Austraflora

There’s a 1 m easement along the back (northern) boundary, and I’ve placed three Alyogyne huegelii in the space between the grevilleas and the fence. Two are the white-flowered form and the third is called Misty, which bears lilac-colored flowers and has slightly blue-tinted foliage. These will require regular light trimming to keep them bushy and healthy.

Closer to the house, around the birdbath, I planted two Echinacea purpurea, an Alba (white) variety and a second that’s simply labelled as ‘assorted’ and currently has white, yellow and purple flowers on the same plant.

A bee pollinating an unidentified species of purple coneflower (Echinacea) at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington. CC-licensed image by Moxfyre.

A bee pollinating an unidentified species of purple coneflower (Echinacea) at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington. CC-licensed image by Moxfyre.

Also near the birdbath is a new Dahlia ‘Mystic Mars’ – this variety is so new, it doesn’t even appear on the breeder’s official Mystic Dahlias web site! It has dark burgundy foliage and vivid red flowers that fade to a burnt orange as they age.

Dahlia Mystic Enchantment

Dahlia Mystic Enchantment, similar to the Mystic Mars (but not quite the same), Image from breeder’s web site.

Finally, also in the vicinity of the birdbath, two Daphne x transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’, a variety I haven’t seen before. It’s supposed to be sun-tolerant, low-watering, frost-hardy and happy in either acid or alkaline soil. What a miracle!

Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance'

Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ – photo from PlantHaven.com

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