Friday, 29 December 2006

Decision made

A successful day's shopping. I bought binoculars and plants. That's the Christmas money spent.

I went to the nursery with a shopping list and stuck to it. More or less. I wanted an Alyogyne huegelii 'West Coast Gem' for the patch of garden by the gate. As that's a medium-sized shrub with stunning mauve flowers, I thought I'd underplant it with something yellow. Do you know how many yellow-flowered plants are available at nurseries?

In the end, I went for something with attractive foliage as well as the required coloured blooms. It might have been a mistake, though. Homoranthus papillatus is also called the mouse plant because of its smell. Ah, well, the neighbour has three dogs so pongy vegetation can't be too much of a problem.

In the wild, Homoranthus papillatus is restricted to heathland in the Girraween area of southern Queensland. The Queensland Government has listed it as a rare species because of its limited distribution. Several other species of Homoranthus (Myrtaceae) have also been identified as rare or vulnerable in Queensland and New South Wales because of similarly small ranges.

Along with the plants that I planned to buy, I also picked up a couple of Lasiopetalum (Sterculiaceae). I'm not sure why I like this genus—they're neither showy nor brightly-coloured. A few species are well-known in cultivation (e.g. L. macrophyllum, L. ferrugineum, L. floribundum) but it's always exciting (in a low key way) to find others at the nursery. Today, I bought L. quinquenervium and L. maxwelli. Both species are from the Esperance area of Western Australia. They should do well in the garden.

Top: Homoranthus papillatus
Bottom: Lasiopetalum quinquenervium


David Nelson said...

Ah, but what we really want to know is which binoculars you bought?

Snail said...

8 x 42 Nikons. Relatively light (I bought a harness as well), waterproof and generally me-proof.

The man in the binocular shop said nothing, merely blinked, when I mentioned my opera glasses. (I mentioned them after I bought the Nikons.)

sarala said...

It is nice to see the folks down under out in their gardens as I've gotten to spend the last month or so watching my annuals freeze to death.
Only 4 more months til gardening can begin again. Our last frost day is around May 1.

Snail said...

Our last frost day is around May 1.

And then it gets real hot real quick, doesn't it? (That was my impression of Illinois from spending some time in Chicago in July. It might not be a good example.)

We very suffer from frosts very, very rarely. The heat, on the other hand, is responsible for doing a lot of damage to my lovely plants.