More native plants

bee enjoying hardenbergia flowers at Star Swamp

Now that summer’s almost here and my house is starting to cook during the day, I wanted a climbing plant to grow up the side of my house because the shade-giving African acacia is no more (although the stump keeps growing shoots and I keep lopping them off). My neighbours offered me a piece of wooden lattice that they no longer wanted. I’d just bought a piece (evil me) but there’s always room for more. Now I needed two locally native climbing plants to grow up the lattice. I already have Hardenbergia comptoniana starting to grow up my side fence (although it’s still very small) so I needed other ideas.

Ben from Nuts about Natives suggested some candidates:

I decided on Black Kennedia, with its stunning black and yellow flowers. Ben doesn’t propagate it, but said Lullfitz Nursery in Waneroo would have it.

Unfortunately Lullfitz is no longer propagating Black Kennedia, but that didn’t stop me from stocking up on plants. I got the other two climbers Ben suggested and more besides. Lullfitz is a wholesaler, so their plants are cheap, but then they put old plants on special. Some of the plants I got were only $1 and $2. The Thick leaved Fan-flower was $1, to replace the one I caused to be decapitated – no dropping logs on this one! I planted it that day and now it’s covered in flowers. Stressed plants flower in an effort to reproduce one last time before death, but this scaevola should come good in my nice sandy garden. (They grow on the sand dunes of Perth’s beaches, so I won’t need to improve the sandy soil.)

pale blue fan flower

I now have all these native plants (many of them are endemic to the area where I live):

granny bonnet flower

With all these plants I needed to clear some space for them. I’m going to rip out more lawn next to the current garden bed for more native plants. Soon there will be hardly any lawn to mow! I’m going to put in a pond as well and fence it off from bored dogs, see below.

cicada on the scaevola

First I ripped out more agapanthus and ferns. The multitude of roots makes for wearying work. The garden bed looks so different after almost four years of ferny green. The new plants will grow soon and return a better green for the cats to hide in and birds, reptiles and insects to enjoy (when the cats are asleep*). Already the insects love the new flowers full of nectar and leaves among which to hide from becoming dinner or hunt those hiding.

lady bird on the bottlebrush

Despite hoping Sheeba the dog had better not dig in the new bed – she’s enjoyed that spot in the past – she’s still enjoying it.

rip pretty pink calytrix

I couldn’t believe what she’d done the day I came home and found two holes, with two plants uprooted and buried in the mounds beside them. The surrounding plants were carefully untouched, not even trodden on. She chose her targets and knew exactly what punishment to enact in retribution for her alpha leaving the pack alone all day long. I replanted both plants, but the calytrix, my favourite flower, is now dead. I planted it before winter and its roots were badly disturbed by Sheeba’s horticultural efforts. The Kennedia coccinea is still alive because it had only just been planted and the roots had not grown into the surrounding soil.

grey butcher bird visiting my garden

After the decrease in the bird life visiting my garden when the acacia was felled, the birds are starting to return. Doves forage in the grass and singing honeyeaters and wattle birds enjoy the Queensland Box tree (Lophostemon confertus) on the verge. A grey butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) has started visiting my garden. I’d never seen one until recently and I like to think I’m seeing the same bird every time. If I’m right, he seems to like my garden.


Wicca the white hunter stretching after a snooze

*I’m very happy that the cats, specifically Wicca the White Hunter, have stopped killing birds. With all his bells Wicca finds mice a better option. That’s fine with me. The other night I came home later than usual and only Ayesha and Kyah appeared for dinner. As they were finishing, Wicca jumped over the fence with take-out in his mouth – a still struggling mouse – quickly imbibed before Kyah could grab any.

3 thoughts on “More native plants

  1. Hallo there.
    We have a dog too and although he doesn’t dig up plants, he does have a tendency to run through them! So, until they are established I stake some chicken wire around them. He veers around the wire, and then a couple of months later, when I remove the wire he’s realised he can’t go there.

    Interesting your hound digs up the ones you have just planted…maybe he can smell you on them still?

  2. Only one had just been planted, the other had been in the ground 6 mths. I think it was just coincidence, but maybe she knew which ones were new because she was there when i planted them. She’s a border collie, so is very quick to notice and learn things. Another bad habit she has is to dig up and eat cat poo!? I can’t believe she does it. A dog trainer has told me it’s not bad for her, but i tell her off when i find her doing it – usually i only find the little hole later on.

    Yesterday I started digging up the lawn i’m removing, but I didn’t get far because i realised i should wait until i have the wire for a fence. It will just be stakes and chicken wire or similar – some from my dad who has lots of spare from various avaries, etc. It will be permanent and I’m going to plant climbing native plants on the inside to hide it. I have a fence like this around my vegies. beans in summer and peas in winter grow up it and the birds like to sit on it.

  3. Our hound eats cat poo too! Also, parrot and possom poo, but we love him dearly!
    I have a chicken wire fenced area to the side of our house and have started growing hardenbegia over it. Also a jasmine( not native, but I couldn’t resist the perfume). The area wiil be used for out water tank next year.

    Border collies are very intelligent! Ditto our Blue heeler. All I can suggest, is that you tire your hound out, if you can…a happy dog is tired dog ( walks and interesting toys/games etc) and then maybe s/he will leave your plants alone;)

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