WINTER FLOWERS IN THE GARDENS
Many Australian plants reach their peak in winter. A brisk walk around the Gardens in the crisp, cool winter air may lift your spirits, warm you up and give you some ideas for your own winter garden.
Here we feature some flowers you can see this winter in the Gardens that may also inspire you to add colour to your garden at home.
These plants are available in select nurseries and from the Australian Native Plants Society Canberra Region sales at the Gardens in spring and autumn.
And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous. ~Rumi
Plant information provided by Ros Walcott.
Eucalyptus gregsonia or Mallee Snow Gum
In flower in the Gardens:
Eucalyptus gregsoniana is an evergreen, multi-stemmed bushy weeping eucalypt with an attractive grey trunk and white fluffy flowers. Its rich green leaves contrast with red stems. It usually grows from two to seven metres tall.
It grows naturally in the Blue Mountains, the Budawang Range and the Braidwood area, New South Wales. It enjoys high altitudes growing in alpine mallee and shrubland environments. It can be seen along ridges, hills and flat countryside in well-drained soils.
SEE EUCALYPTUS GREGSONIA IN FLOWER IN THE GARDENS in flower this winter in the Ellis Rowan Garden, Section 131.
GROW IT AT HOME Eucalyptus gregsonia withstands cold winters and hot summers. It needs moist, well drained soil in the garden and should avoid muddy or clay substrates. It is light snow, frost and wind hardy and prefers dry, sunny areas. Propagate by seed, ideally between September and March and water every day, twice a day throughout summer. Plant seed in well-drained, sandy soils and allow for plenty of sunlight, the more sunlight the better the health of the tree. Typically slow growing, E. gregsoniana will bloom at 2m and handles chop-backs. Depending on preference, this eucalypt can be cut back to encourage mallee habit or regularly pruned to maintain a single trunk. Once established it can maintain itself.
Some other hardy mallee eucalypts are Eucalyptus stricta, Eucalyptus burgessiana, Eucalyptus camphora and Eucalyptus luehmanniana.
Image: Ben Walcott
Grevillea lanigera or Woolly Grevillea
Grevillea lanigera is a variable species due to the fact that is occupies a range of habitats throughout its range. It has grey-green leaves and red to pink and cream flowers on a low bush. Its bright flowers attract nectar feeding birds and bees. It is commonly known as Woolly Grevillea, and is endemic to Victoria and New South Wales.
SEE GREVILLEA LANIGERA IN FLOWER IN THE GARDENS this winter in the Rock Garden in section 15h.
GROW IT AT HOME Grevillea lanigera is great in the garden as it is very long-flowering and grows to about 60cm high. It prefers well-drained soil in a sunny or partly shaded position. Flowering occurs mainly in winter and spring but flowers may also occur intermittently at other times of year.
Similar low growing grevilleas are cultivars of Grevillea lanigera like 'Emma Charlotte' and 'Greencape', as well as the yellow-flowered form Grevillea lanigera lutea.
Banksia spinulosa 'Honey Pots'
Banksia spinulosa 'Honeypots' is a small to medium sized shrub with many golden honey-coloured flower spikes and fine, upright, dense foliage. The red styles of each flower add a more intense colour to the flower heads.
SEE BANKSIA SPINULOSA 'HONEY POTS' IN FLOWER IN THE GARDENS this winter in the Proteaceae sections 9 and 30 and the Rock Garden section 15d.
GROW IT AT HOME This plant is easy to grow in a well-drained position and is frost hardy and drought tolerant. The flowers bloom from autumn to early spring and attract nectar-feeding birds and insects. With all banksias it's important to keep phosphorus levels low and ensure a well drained growing medium to minimise the possibility of root rot.
Other dwarf banksias which are somewhat similar are Banksia 'Birthday Candles', Banksia 'Coastal Cushion' and Banksia 'Cherry Candles'.
Image: Ben Walcott
Correa baeuerlenii or Chef's Cap Correa
Correa baeuerlenii is commonly known as Chef's Cap Correa due to the shape of its greenish-yellow flowers. It is a beautiful glossy-leaved shrub about 2m high and 2m wide. It is endemic to a restricted area of southern New South Wales.
Its main flowering time is winter but also flowers intermittently throughout the year.
SEE CORREA BAEUERLENII IN FLOWER IN THE GARDENS this winter in the Ellis Rowan Garden, section 131.
GROW IT AT HOME Correa baeuerlenii needs a shady position with mulched soil and good drainage. It does well with light pruning to maintain dense foliage.
Other correas which are somewhat similar and do well in similar conditions are Correa glabra 'Winter Glow' and Correa calycina.
Image: Ben Walcott