After planning my new native garden, it’s actually happened. I got the plants from my friends at Nuts about Natives and the new arrivals are now planted and growing for the birds and insects to enjoy. Most of them are native to Perth around the area I live.
- Adenanthos sericeus (Woolly bush) this is the Albany woolly bush rather than the Perth native Adenanthos cygnorum (Common woollybush).
- Calytrix fraseri (Pink summer calytrix) has the most beautiful flowers.
- Conostylis candicans (Grey cottonhead)
- Dianella revoluta (Blueberry lily) has edible roots and nasty tasting purple berries. Some people have told me that Aboriginal Australians ate the berries, but Angus, an Aboriginal man from Wagin who ate bushtucker, said no one ever would, because they taste so foul.
- Drosera sp. are carnivorous plants. The insect catchers are tiny (2mm), so it eats insects smaller than mosquitoes. Nuts about Natives were moving their firebreak and I got two Drosera from this. Sundews are droseras, but the ones I have are Rainbows, either the Bridal rainbow (D. macrantha) or the Pale rainbow (D. pallida). They die off over summer and come back every winter.
- Eucalyptus gomphocephala (Tuart) My beautiful tree which is now taller than me.
- Haemodorum spicatum (Mardja) has edible roots, but they are very hot and bright red, just to warn you.
- Hakea cristata (Snail hakea) native to the Perth Hills rather than the coast where I live. At once stage I decapitated the profusely shooting top half of the plant. Because it’s lignotuberous and there were living shoots below the decapitation, it sprouted again and didn’t join the growing list of plants I’ve killed (a specialty of mine).
- Hardenbergia comptoniana (Native Wisteria) will twine up the side fence.
- Hemiandra pungens (Snake bush) lizards like eating the flowers – maybe it will attract bob-tail lizards to my garden.
- Kunzea baxteri a red Bottlebrush native to the Esperance Plains
- Lechenaultia linarioides (Yellow leschenaultia)
- Leucophyta brownii (Cushion bush) has pretty silver foliage and grows on Perth and southwest beaches, within range of salt spray from the waves. My garden isn’t that close to the beach though :)
- Patersonia occidentalis (Purple flag)
- Pimelea ferruginea which has never flowered, so I’m not certain it is this species.
These two didn’t survive transplanting:
- Hovea trisperma Flowered within a week of transplanting, but this was its last hurrah.
- Scaevola crassifolia (Thick leaved Scaevola)
The African acacia under my bedroom window has been cut down, with only a stump remaining – a good stand for a bird bath. This (and the roots) may shoot up, but I’ll just hack away at any sprouts.
During the felling of the acacia there was the sad occurrence of a log dropping on the Scaevola. That was the end of that. I’d had the bright idea of planting some of the plants out before the whole of the tree was chopped down. I carefully pointed them out to my dad (the lumperjack) but I should have waited to plant them. There was also an incident of the chainsaw falling off the roof. That was the end of the chainsaw too. A kid from down the street saw the stump and asked if the tree was cut down with an axe. An axe would have survived falling off the roof, although the job may not have been as easy.
The felling of the shade-giving acacia has affected the bird life in my garden. Even though only singing honeyeaters (and cats) ever sat in its branches, since the tree’s demise I don’t see so many birds in my garden. Jiri jiri (willy wagtails), magpie larks, singing honeyeaters, red wattlebirds and doves used to forage in the grass and sit on the fence of my vegie garden. I’m hoping the new native plants will grow quickly and make up for the loss of a mature tree. The tuart is shooting up in leaps and bounds, but its branches are still thin and it’s only about 3m tall. I’ve only once seen a singing honeyeater sitting on a branch, but the insects love all those eucalyptus leaves.