It’s a grey, drizzly day, the kind that makes me want to stay in my pyjamas all day and cook warm, gooey food. But I needed to go and have a look at a garden I am working on and so rugged up and headed out- the upside of having my car irrevocably damaged in a car accident last week (luckily no one was hurt!) is that I have been walking a lot more! I see so much more this way and, on the way there and back, was reminded how active Australian plants are in winter. Unlike many species coming from cooler parts of the world, our flora does most of its flowering and seed-producing in winter and spring, I imagine in order to avoid risking everything in our often harsh, unpredictable summers. They do what is required in order to sustain the life of the species in the cooler months and then sustain their own life by going into a semi-dormant state over the hottest part of the year! This habit is particularly true for trees, such as our iconic eucalypts and acacias:
Other smaller species are also winter-flowerers- or flower more prolifically at this time of year than in the warmer months:
I love seeing the long styles on grevilleas uncurl as the spine of the individual flowers open. The flower transforms from a curled-up woolly tube to an explosion of colour!
Given how much rain we have already had and the number of flowers around, I imagine that there will be a lot of seed produced this year- which is great news for growers after the last few years of very poor seed availability… and if you need any plants and are inclined towards the indigenous, try VINC in Fairfield. It is a great, community-run nursery producing great-quality stock and the staff are really knowledgeable about our local flora.