Busy Bees & Warm Bulbs

Its always good to keep in touch with owners, because there’s always something to be learnt from a new garden and even more as it gains “weight” across successive seasons. 

Hippeastrum striatum, easy spring flowering refined version of their larger more flamboyant "stripy" cousins
Hippeastrum striatum, easy spring flowering refined version of their larger more flamboyant “stripy” cousins

Calling in at Susan & John Trathen’s Balgowlah garden last week, I was reminded how easy the Sth American hippeastrum species are for us in coastal Sydney. Its possible, as in Su’s case, how just a bulb or two of say Hippeastrum striatum can quietly increase or a few years and look so good near a water source. 

Hippeastrum calyptratum, the seductively appealing "green hippeastrum"
Hippeastrum calyptratum, the seductively appealing “green hippeastrum”

Probably because this tribe is often found in habitat near creeks or rivers, in shady micro climates, building slowly in rock crevices or even in trees as epiphytes if the conditions are right. Providing drainage is assured, most adapt very well to garden conditions grown as a terrestrial, like this interesting green, May  flowering relative H. calyptratum here at my “Sea-Changer” Forresters Beach.

Veltheimia bracteata, a beautiful late winter Sth African even in dry shade pine needles
Veltheimia bracteata, a beautiful late winter Sth African even in dry shade pine needles

Another steady performer that Su & John have succeeded with, is Veltheimia that dies down in the heat to re-emerge around easter to flower late July and August. Especially commendable in Su’s case, this clump started as very small tube sized plants; such is the perseverance of so many women gardeners with the right nurturing approach to garden making …. so proud  of you Su !!     

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Native & solitary bee hives
Native & solitary bee hives

 I also noticed John & Su have added a Sugar Bag Native Bee Hive Box to encourage and house the much tinier, glossy black native bees into the garden. Even hoping this season to attract the native solitary bees who prefer singular accommodation in one of the tubular homes in a covered hive stack. Interesting huh …. Maybe you could think about encouraging some more nature to your garden this season too .. !           

 

 

 

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