They’re fast growing and hardy. They’re really easy to grow. They flower prolifically and for most of the year. They attract all sorts of beautiful native birds. There’s a wide range of flower colours from white to pink to orange. They come in all sizes from ground covers to larger shrubs. What more could you ask?
These last few weeks, our native gardens here at Yuruga have burst into bloom and our grevilleas are alive with birds all shapes, sizes and colours. In fact, each grevillea bush is a mini-ecosystem in its own right.
Every working day I make the hour long journey from my home outside of Mount Molloy to Yuruga Nursery in Walkamin. It’s an easy drive with few curves, basically no traffic and rather monotonous scenery.
You would think there would be nothing simpler than to find a native plant that won’t grow over a metre tall. Well, those of you who have been shopping for small native plants may have discovered that the range available is actually quite limited. If you’re planting a rainforest garden you have a pretty good choice of ferns, and a handful of sedges and a few other small flowering plants. There are also a small number of shrub cultivars that have stunted growth and thus fall into the category of small plants.
Without exaggeration, every moment of every day there are birds in my grevillea patch. At work when I look out the window I can see a nesting yellow honeyeater in a Kay Williams grevillea. It’s amazing the life grevilleas bring to a garden. I’m not talking about a forest of plants, just one or two are enough to attract native honey eaters when they are in flower.
There’s a rugged natural beauty associated with plants in the Australian dry country. They’re gnarly, weathered, fire scarred, insect damaged and often hold their dead limbs. Essentially they are full of character but not exactly the look most people are going for when creating a garden to frame their beautiful new home. However, these bush plants are really just diamonds in the rough.