We are experiencing a sublime Spring in the NSW Central Tablelands this year. There have been some excitingly plentiful rainfalls: gardens are luxuriant with blossom, lawns are green, and trees are putting on rapid growth. Roses, which grow exceedingly well in this area, are producing exuberantly: voluminous beauties floating over garden walls, arresting the walker in her tracks and ensuring a moment of admiration and reverence.
Some strange anomaly has meant that my roses aren't quite out yet, which is a Good Thing as it gives me time to admire the Leptospermums in my garden which are flowering in stellar fashion, and which deserve a post to themselves, in my opinion.
Here is Leptospermum scoparium 'Kea' which started flowering in May, and is still going strong. Top marks for perseverance, don't you think?
The petals on this Leptospermum are the palest of pinks contrasting with crimson centres. Its seed cases are shaped like miniature buns and are very hard. Like so many plants native to Australia and New Zealand, the seed cases open better when subjected to fire.
Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Cascade' is a frothy concoction of exuberant pinkness, its flowers floating along the branches like the corps de ballet gliding out of the wings across a stage.
Leptospermum scoparium 'Nanum Rubrum' has burgundy coloured leaves and scarlet flowers with almost black centres. Its flowers cover the plant like barnacles clinging to a ship's hull.
'Outrageous' is flowering, well, outrageously! What a lot of pinkness there is in all of this: this time a darker pink with an almost lime green centre and white anthers.
And there you have them. My Leptospermums, providing a bit of excitement in the garden for a few weeks. Native to Australia and New Zealand, their common name is Tea Tree (in New Zealand, mānuka as well) and they are called this because early settlers used their leaves for making tea. In New Zealand, the mānuka tree provides world famous honey which is believed to have healing properties, and indeed, my late father-in-law used it to successfully treat an ulcer on his leg.
On a final note: the drought which has been holding NSW in its iron fist is not over even though there has been some good rain. Being such a huge area, there are many parts that didn't benefit from the rain, and dams are still not full, so we are hoping for what is called 'follow-up rain' which the Bureau of Meteorology informs us is not terribly likely.