Sunday, 8 November 2015

Spring Wildflowers and Our Garden In the Bush

 Our bushland has erupted in orange, yellow and white (and a touch of blue).
Two orange pea flowers are blooming (including Dillwynia, below), lemon paperbark (Melaleuca) and Goodenia (below) have little yellow flowers and teatree is showy with masses of pure white myrtaceous flowers.
And my all-time favourite, butterfly flag (Diplarrena moraea, above), like white butterflies hovering at about 1.2m high: lots of them this year, and we've planted some near our front path and little purple gate, inside and outside the wallaby-proof fence. There may be tiny blue stars, too (top).
Then you enter the garden and it's yellow and blue (at first) - but the flowers are bigger, so it's a bit of a shock...or is that expected of a garden?

What's more, it hit me this week, that our garden is a little clearing in the forest (or bushland). Odd, I hear you say; how can you not know that? Well, our garden is fairly open and looks across the valley to a forested hillside (lucky us). But where there was no trees between us and the property (not garden) gate above us, just `fill', we've allowed too many native trees to grow, and grow too tall. Suddenly they're triffids, battering on the garden fence, it seems. But benign, if a bit sun-robbing (in winter) and giving us privacy and - all of a sudden - a feeling I like, that we are miles from civilization, in a cocoon of gentle nature (yes, rose-colored glasses), away from the hurly burly of city life, at a slower pace. The garden is still open on the downhill side, so ducks can still swoop in to land, easily, on our dam, but now there's bushland (bush I was taught to love, not fear, by my English (botanist) mother, as a child) on every side, all around the garden.           .

Jill Weatherhead is horticulturist, writer, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead Garden Design who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (

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