Although some bulbs are making an appearance, much of the garden is having its Winter rest, so this week's post is more about small spots of colour rather than any overall abundance of the kind that Spring will hopefully produce. Most plants need to rest at some time of the year, so I'm grateful to those that do their flowering in the coldest months of the year, bringing pleasure and brightness to cold dreary days.
Here are some of my spots of colour this week.
One: Violas are good value plants that pop up in many places, happily flowering in these cold temperatures. I don't know the names of these as I planted them before I realised it was helpful to know more about plants than their common names.
Two: This is Grevillea 'Lady O' who flowers for most of the year. The spidery flowers are quite small for a Grevillea, but they are a haven for honeyeaters like the Eastern Spinebill which frequently visits our garden and enjoys the nectar and the closely packed leaves.
Three: Our dwarf Calamondin x citrofortunella microcarpa is having its first fruit and they are joyous spots of colour in a wintry garden. Most people would find the compact fruit impossible to eat straight off the tree but it makes the most delicious marmalade.
Four: Banksia blechnifolia. I've posted about this Western Australian banksia before, but now it really seems to be growing some flowers. It's quite an odd plant with its moth-feeler stems, and I'm waiting to see if the fuzzy protuberances turn into flowers. More soon.
Five: A small success story. This is Hakea 'Burrendong Beauty' which is a native to this area, having been discovered in the Burrendong Arboretum in the 1980s. It's believed to be a hybrid which occurred naturally there. I picked a small cutting from a garden nearby a couple of years ago, managed to strike it and it has been quietly growing since. This winter, for the first time, it has burst forth into flower along the length of its branches. At first the stamens are like elbows or hairpins, but they unbend to become feeler-like as the flower completes its bloom.
Six: Finally, something with very little colour. A photo of part of the garden which shows how hard you have to look for colour at this time of the year. I hope that bulbs will spring up under those silver birches before too long. Flora, with her cornucopia of Echeveria, is keeping a close eye on things.
If you would like to see what is happening in other gardens on a Saturday, pop over to the Propagator's blog and take a look.
Weather today: What a mixed bag. -0.5 to 11 C, frost, then sunny and windy, then rain. The top was 11, but only for about half an hour. Most of the day it hovered around single digit numbers. Brrrr!