27 December, 2011

Our Garden: 2011

During the winter of 2010, I made extensive changes to the layout of our front and rear gardens. In the front, bottom section of the garden, one tree was removed along with all the native plants. A water tank was installed on the blind-side of the house. At the rear the old lawn was dug up and replaced with buffalo turf; the dog kennel was converted into a store; a lot of dirt was moved around to reshape and create an the area for native plants and a lawn; and, thanks to Todd, our grand-son, 3 sq. m. of scoria was removed. In September and the following months I planted a wide variety of native plants. Both gardens now contain 6 trees and 141 plants / bushes.

To appreciate the changes made to our garden from 2009 to 2010 click on the You Tube address to view a slideshow titled Toff's Botanica 2010. 

The closing frame of the video states Look forward to flower display in 2011. That flower display and current state of the two gardens can be seen on the video Our Garden. Mixed in with the music for this video are sounds of wildlife, and, in particular, the mimicking sounds of a lyrebird (an apt title for this track). During my bush walking days I remember hearing the evocative sounds of these birds. On one occasion I thought I heard someone chopping down a tree - it was a lyrebird!

To better view this video go to You Tube where you have the option to view the video on a full screen

In the following You Tube video you can observe how one gardener enlisted the aid of machinery to rip up his old lawn, resurface it with topsoil, and then plant the seed. 

The time-lapse for this fascinating video is made up of 5000 photos with a playback speed of 20-30 fps. The photos were shot in intervals of 4 seconds, for around 8 hours using a remote timer.

Poor old me did the same work by hand, and purchased ready made buffalo turf, but then again I only had to contend with working on an area of 35 sq.m. 

Braidwood Brilliant

Telopea speciosissima x monganensis (Braidwood Brilliant) was first planted in my garden in early spring 2010. It is a natural variant of Telopea speciosissima. The botanical name is derived from the superlative of the Latin word speciosus  "beautiful" or "handsome", hence very or most beautiful. This variety is noted for its hardiness and brilliant flower colour.

Telopea speciosissima, commonly known as the New South Wales Waratah or simply Waratah, is a large shrub in the plant family Proteaceae. It is endemic to New South Wales in Australia and is the floral emblem of that state.

Telopea 'Braidwood Brilliant' is a frost-tolerant hybrid between a male T. speciosissima and female T.mongaensis. Dr Robert Boden of the Canberra Parks Administration began investigating this hybrid in 1962, and it was registered in 1975 by Richard Powell. It is a
ligno-tuberous shrub to 3 m (10ft) high and has oblanceolate leaves to 20 cm (8 in) long. The red blooms are 6-8 cm (2.4 - 3.2 in) in diameter, intermediate in size between the parent species. It has grown well in cooler climates such as Canberra. 

The Braidwood Brilliant loves the sun. However, I was a bit alarmed to find, after a hot spell during the summer of 2010-2011, that most of the tips of the top leaves got burnt. During the following winter I was relieved to observe the slow development of a couple of buds.

During the spring of 2011, it was fascinating to observe the plant as the buds gradually turned into a small display of flowers. One bud had twins or was it triplets?! The next stage was the emergence of new growth from within the flowers, which gradually died. I was disappointed to find after a storm that some of the new growth was damaged. I now look forward to watching the Telopea "Braidwood Brilliant" proceed through the next phase of growth. The plant, which grows to 2m wide and 2m high, should be at its best in a couple of years.

To better view this video go to You Tube where you have the option to view the video on a full screen

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