It has been almost ten solid days of rain now, and I am itching to get outside. I think my 2 and a half year old is as well… he loves the garden (and Dirt Girl). I thought about getting some more flowers in and have been looking at Fothergills and Diggers at their options. I am particularly interested in what can be done through Diggers in bulk. I know the bulk packs are great since I ordered a bulk pack of Flanders poppies for a ANZAC exhibition last year. The problem is with Diggers that unlike Fothergills they have no bulk packs of native wildflowers, and I really would prefer a native wildflower meadow, than a poppy/cornflower mix that diggers has.
I ended up ordering (Fothergills);
- 5 Packets Native Wildflower Mix (link)
- 4 Packets Wilflower seed starter (link)
- 2 Packets ‘Rockery’ Mix (link)
The wildflower mix includes: Billy Button (Craspedia globosus), Clawflower (Calothamnus quadrifidus), Bottlebrush (Callistemon), Everlasting Dwarf Mix (Rhodanthe), Featherflower (Verticordens nitens), Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteathum), Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthamanglesii), Pink Everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana), Purple Flag (Patersonia occidentalis), Swan River Daisy (Brachycombe iberidifolia) and Teatree (Leptospermum). Each pack is 2000 seeds so, 10,000 seeds should cover 30 square metres, at first, but thinned out once some of the larger plants grow up.
- Billy Buttons are fantastic cut flowers to liven up the home (but also lovely in the garden).
- Clawflower (also sometimes called ‘one-sided bottle brush’) will bring many beneficial insects to the garden.
- Bottle Brush (Callistemon) flowers and leaves make a beautiful sweet tea when boiled. Leaves can also be used dry as a herb/spice. The taste is somewhat a of a slightly pine-citrus. Which also makes the flowers/leaves great to use as an adjunct to your homebrew (particularly those that call for lots of hops, I’m looking at you American IPA’s. Meanwhile the sweetness of the flowers if you make a tea taste great in a Belgian style witbier.
- Rhodanthe is a beautiful garden edging flower, will make nice cut flowers too.
- Featherflower (also: Christmas Morrison) makes a great cut flower, it is also known as a brilliant flower for drying and preserving, often holding its perfume for longer than 12 months!
- Golden & Pink Everlasting: makes a great cut flower.
- Kangaroo Paw: is just a stunning flower… again probably make a great cut flower for arranging.
- Purple flag (also: native iris) great rockery and edging plant!
- Swan River Daisy: make great cut flowers.
- Teatree: The common name tea tree for the Leptospermum species derives from the practice of early Australian settlers who soaked the leaves of several species in boiling water to make an herbal tea rich in ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). It makes a nice adjunct to an Australian style bitter or lager.
The seed starter is used since: many Australian native species have evolved over time to deal with a regular fire regime, they have developed a reliance on some of the chemicals in smoke to germinate the seeds. This product improves the rate and vigour of native seed germination by providing the smoke in an easy to use form. Simply sow the seeds as directed on the packet and lightly apply the granules over the top before the first watering. Then lightly water the granules to initiate germination.
The rockery mix includes: Californian poppy, lobelia, viola, nemophila and several colours of alyssum (Gypsophila elegans, Eschscholzia californica, Nemophila menziesii, Lobelia erinus, Lobularia maritima, Viola cornuta, Malcolmia maritima). Each pack has 1000 seeds so it is useful as a test.
I’ll show results once things start to come up… but would also like to get one of these native wildflower packs from diggers later on and mix in.