There are large, red pea shaped flowers very attractive to birds and butterflies, during winter and spring. This is a hardy plant suitable for front line coast and inland situations. It is moderately frost tolerant and requires good drainage. This can be achieved by creating a planting mound at least 5-10cm higher than the surrounding soil, if drainage is a problem. Templetonia retusa is found in South Australia and Western Australia. More information can be found here and here.
A new book was launched today at the South Australian, Australian Plants Society Autumn Plant Sale. This book is a tool, rather than a list of plants. It provides a process whereby the gardener can establish whether a plant could be grown in their garden given the natural rainfall, soil pH, soil structure and whether any modifications could be made to the growing conditions.
In the words of the author
‘Realistically it provides a simple method of matching plants to your conditions mimicking the intuition good gardeners develop over many years and recognizes a siteâ€™s limitations.Â Modifications are discussed to extend the range of suitable plants.Â It is not limited to native plants nor to
.Â It benchmarks each gardenâ€™s attributes so the process works anywhere in any climate!’ Australia
This tool would work well with the lists of plants that have been published, so that the best choices can be made and if that plant must be one of them, it provides ideas for modifying the conditions so that there is a good chance of success. See details for purchasing here.
This one uses Banksia coccinea as the feature flower. In the background is the grey -green foliage from Adenanthos serieus (Woolly Bush). Woolly Bush is the easier of the two plants to grow and they are quite drought tolerant. I have seen few good specimens of Banksia coccinea in South Australian gardens. I believe they are being grown in the Hills for the cut flower trade. The soil in that region is less alkaline and well drained. As a rule of thumb, Banksias will grow where there is excellent drainage even if the soil is alkaline.
The use of a mallee stump to form the arrangement makes this a truly unique Australian ‘picture’.