In July there was a great display of various banksias at Cranbourne Botanic Gardens. There are quite a few cultivars now available that are suitable for small gardens.
Those of us who like to grow Australian native plants often long to grow some of the more difficult species in their own garden and mostly they come from WA. Frost is sometimes a determining factor in whether we are successful or not. Pimelea physodes, Qualup Bells, is one such plant that I find it is difficult to maintain in cultivation. In recent years grafted plants have become available and Melton Botanic Gardens has a lovely one on display.
Managed to visit Cranbourne Botanic Gardens on 14 October and there were lots of interesting plants to see. The gardens are well worth a visit and there are lots of ideas to use in your own garden. Many on these plants or forms of them are growing in gardens around Ballarat.
If you are near Lara (close to Geelong) and interested in plants, it is well worth taking time to stroll along the Hoffman Walk. This area runs beside Hovells creek and represents about forty years of work by one man, Kevin Hoffman, to beautify an area with Australian native plants.
These days there are more people assisting in maintaining the area and the City Geelong supports the project with some funding. There are many interesting plants with different flowers, foliage and texture and gradually some local indigenous species are infiltrating the plantings.
Yesterday I went to Burnley College to catch up with some friends. The gardens are looking very well cared for, almost as good as when we were students doing all the work including cleaning out the chook pens. Apologies about some of the photos but I was traveling light and only had the phone. Great to see the fresh sawdust on some of the paths and I loved the tree daisy, bottle tree and the banksia.
If you want to add some extra plants to your garden this is one of the few chances to access a wide range of native plants. Held at Wirrawilla, 40 Lovely Banks Road, Lovely Banks on 11 & 12 April is it also a good opportunity to buy some interesting books on native plant and animals. Hosted by the Geelong APS they also have a bbq & tea and coffee.
If you can’t make to Geelong then the next best opportunity is on Saturday 2 May at the Uniting Church Car Park in Bacchus March. The feature plants are hakeas but there are also lots of other plants. This one is hosted by the APS Melton & Bacchus Group. You need to be quick for this one as it is only between 9am-1pm.
Burnley Gardens in Hawthorn, has been the site for training horticulture students for many years. The gardens are very well maintained even though the students on longer do the work. There is a relatively small native garden that has been redesigned several times over the years that is still worth a visit.