October in Yuruga’s native gardens

Well, the dry season is well and truly upon us. No point trying to keep lawns looking lush and green – it’s pretty well impossible at this time of year, and just a waste of water. Anyway, lawns are amazingly resilient and will bounce back into life with the first rains.

Leaf drop at the moment is massive. Plants are coping with the dry by shedding leaves, and many once-dense screens now have a see-through look. Don’t waste the leaves – they’re a valuable resource! Rake them back onto the garden, and pile them up around your plants as mulch. Or if you’ve got a leaf blower, put it to work – it’s such an easy way to keep your garden tidy and top up your mulch at the same time.

Despite the dry, there’s plenty happening in our Yuruga native gardens. The raucous Channel-billed Cuckoos are back in force, telling us at the top of their voice that summer is here again, as they feast on the fruit of the huge Hairy Fig (Ficus drupacea) which overhangs the nursery. And the beautiful Red-winged Parrots are out and about, gobbling up the acacia and grevillea seeds which are in abundance following the heavy flowering a few weeks ago. Bring your binoculars next time you visit the nursery.

The native cassia, Cassia queenslandica, is bursting into bloom with hundreds of beautiful yellow racemes of flowers hanging from the branches. The Bat’s Wing Coral Trees (Erythrina vespertilio) have dropped all their leaves and replaced them with bright red flowers, much to the delight of the honeyeaters. The fantastic Tree Waratah (Alloxylon flammeum) is ablaze with flowers, and the Bumpy Satinash (Syzygium cormiflorum) is loaded with glorious fluffy white flowers all down its trunk. Our numerous callistemons put on an amazing display of flowers a couple of weeks ago, and there’s still a few stragglers blooming here and there.

Our White Cedar trees (Melia azedarach) are blooming profusely with their sweetly scented, delicate lavender flowers. They are so pretty. Such a great tree for a larger yard. And so hardy, it will grow just about anywhere.

One of our favourite shade trees, the Pink Poplar (Euroschinus falcata) has dropped its old leaves and put out the most beautiful fresh new shiny foliage that absolutely glistens in the sunlight. The leaves of the various Terminalias turn bright red at this time of year (autumn leaves in spring) adding some stunning colour effects to the garden. And perfume from the lovely white flowers of the False Gardenia (Randia sessilis) and the Wax Flower vine (Hoya australis) is wafting through the air.

There’s always lots happening in our native gardens, even in the height of the dry.

See you at Yuruga, and bring your binoculars for a spot of bird-watching!
Peter and Ann