Adelaide Zoo is great! We took our daughter to the airport on Tuesday morning and after a detour via Bunnings Garden Centre to see if there were any interesting Correas, went to the Zoo. With a shock we realised when we got home that it is four years since we visited.
The new developments are wonderful. We had seen the Lions at Monarto Zoo, but not those at Adelaide Zoo. Magnificent! The male was very superior in his attitude. The new plantings around the walking tracks are lovely.
I must say that I go to the Zoo with one eye on the occupants and the other on what is flowering. The Correas are just beginning to flower. Correa alba, a form of Correa glabra with narrow green tubes, a form of Correa reflexa were three that I saw. Various forms of Westringea fruticosa-Morning Light, Highlight, Westringea ‘Wynyabbie Gem’, Westringea rosmarinifolia were being used as a hedge to create walkways.
In the new rainforest areas there are many plants that I am not familiar with, but I have seen in many gardens, although of course not in the quantities seen in these larger areas. It would be a great place to go to see the plants ‘in function’, providing shade, screens, hedges, nesting sites, foraging areas.
Talk about a return to summer temperatures! We will probably have a mild autumn like we did last year. Which is good as I had fabulous germination of seeds, despite the cooler night temperatures.
A nice surprise to day as I continued to sort plants. I found Correa ‘Clearview Giant’ (has very large flowers, Correa ‘Pinkanninnie’ which has delicate pink bells, and my really nice white Correa pulchella minor. Apparently the minor part of the name refers to the orange flowered forms. I still have not worked these forms out.
I decided to take cuttings off some of these plants that I was finding, “just in case”! One thing led to another and now I have piles of cutting material to deal with. (I also have a bag of cumquats to turn into marmalade!) However that’s what happens when I have secateurs in my hands.
I found some more Correa cuttings which had grown roots, in the hot house. Sometimes they strike readily, other times they will actually send out flowers and the odd new shoot but when potting time comes there is not a root to be seen. Grevilleas will do this too, I have found.
If I have to trim the roots of the cuttings when potting on, I will often tip prune the plant at the same time, or take a little more of the top to balance the root system that is available to the plant.
Last year we had a trip to Ngarkat Conservation Park, near Keith in the upper South East of SA. It was winter, the first rains for the year began that weekend, and the area had had a bushfire through it in January of the same year. Despite the lack of rain we found the locally occurring Correas had sprouted abundant new growth from the base of the plants at ground level. The top of the plants were a few charcoal twigs.
This made me feel that it was worth experimenting with quite severe pruning of the Correas which I had neglected in the garden. I forgot about it last spring. I am watching for the new growth to appear this autumn and will try a few of the late flowering plants, rather than lose the flowers this year. Thought I would cut back to the last three of four buds on each stem and see what happens. I will have nothing to lose really as the plants are quite scruffy. They will have to be chopped back or pulled out.
Husband Trevor has gone to Writer’s Week sessions today. This is part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts, and it is the first time Trevor has been able to attend. I had thought of going to Adelaide with him to look for some fabric to go on with a patchwork project done with English paper piecing but will try to go tomorrow.
Meanwhile some of the zillions of Nursery jobs need to be achieved today. I need to complete the plant list for the Australian Plant Society Autumn Plant Sale for a start. Then begin sowing seed for the Spring sale. This is the bit that I really enjoy, along with taking cuttings.
I have to get to my friend’s place and prune her Correa ‘Pink Pixie’ and Correa ‘Firebird’. Both are in bud at the moment but have taken over the area they are in. Marvellous growth for this location. However Correas do very well in alkaline soils even with the high pH. I love them, and so do the Honeyeaters which work over every flower looking for nectar. I can highly recommend them (the Correas) in any garden. I must do a list. There is at least one that would be in flower at any time of the year. To have that progression of flowering would certainly keep the Honeyeaters around.
If you should be visiting Victoria, a great Australian Native Garden where you will see many Correas is Katandra Garden. The owner, Bob O’Neil, won Australian Gardener of the Year (ABC) and is an active member of the Correa Study Group. He is also going to be a guest at the Regional Conference for the Australian Plants Society in Adelaide later in the year.