What a fabulous time of year spring is. Flowers and bees after a long cold winter; brings a smile to the heart and hope to warm the bones. But after that the hot summer sun hits, the flowers dry up and the garden goes into survival mode. If you have good hardy natives they will do the whole survival thing quite well because they are designed that way.
Sometimes our smiles can wane a bit with what feels like an excess of heat but hope continues as we see the seeds start to ripen on our plants. On our fruit trees that means the juicy delicious hot flesh of ripe apricots or plums but on our natives it heralds the next generation of our plants that we grow from seed. In the bush it is hope of regeneration after bush fire, in our gardens it can mean that where we had one paper daisy last year we now have them lining the path. In the nursery it means full pots of tiny green leaves pushing their way out of the soil and growing rapidly in the warmth ready for sale and new homes at your place.
This year we have some new plants growing from seed that we haven’t had available at the nursery before. Swainsonia galegifolia are already up and even starting to show their secondary leaves. This gorgeous plant has bright pink, burgundy or occasionally white pea flowers in abundance in spring and then sporadically through summer and autumn. A wonderfully drought hardy plant that loves full sun and doesn’t mind the frost one bit. Great for the cottage garden look or just for that splash of brightness amongst the other shrubs.
Also above ground in the seed bed are the Senna artemisioides, a stunning medium sized shrub which flowers through winter with bright yellow buttercup flowers followed by long mahogany coloured seed pods. This bush likes part shade and once settled in is also very drought hardy. It is growing under a Eucalypt at my place.
We have just put down seeds of this year’s Cheiranthera linearis. Let’s hope we have more germination than last year because when you see them you will want one. Cheiranthera grows naturally in my paddocks and is reputed to grow in the presence of gold. I’m hoping. It is a small shrub with linear leaves and bright blue flowers. Absolutely gorgeous. It is drought and frost hardy too though the rabbits had a go at the ones in my garden which were getting more water and were therefore juicier no doubt.
Other seeds collected are Themeda triandra (we have recently sown last years seeds; they don’t germinate if they are sown straight away, so this year’s seeds will be sown in spring 2019), Linum marginale, Lotus australis, Brachyscome decipiens, Xerochrysum viscosum, Pomaderris pallida, Hardenbergia violacea, and Indigofera australis, to name just a few.
And so summer rolls on and with it the joy of harvesting seeds. Happy shopping when they all grow big enough for sale.