Grevilleas help make floral oasis
THE beautiful sunshine has certainly transformed our gardens into flowering oases at present, including the broad range of many gardeners' favourites, the grevilleas.
And don't the birds just love them - you can almost hear them singing, "This way for the nectar!"
There is an enormous range of grevilleas both native and cultivars to tempt us, ranging from groundcovers to large trees, so there's one to suit almost any garden.
The well known spring flowering silky oak (G.robusta) reaches 8-10m, displaying orange toothbrush flowers, while the 6-8m white oak has masses of white scented racemes in summer.
Add to that the delightful G. moonlight, a 3-4m shrub with large creamy spikes most of the year, and well-known G. Robyn Gordon grows a bushy 2m, producing its large cylindrical red flowers all year round.
Lower growers include the G. peaches and cream, growing 1.5m tall, with rich green foliage turning bronze in winter, and yellow cylindrical flowers aging to pink and orange appearing most of the year.
The delightful 75cm shrub G. pink lady blooms almost continually with many pink spider flowers.
The large range of groundcovers also thrive in window boxes, while some are proving to be excellent as standards with their spreading habit forming an eye-catching effect to create wonderful feature plants.
Groundcovers include the early forms bronze rambler and burgundy royal mantle, as well as the sunny effect of the formosa or Mt Brockman Grevillea with its large yellow flowers, and an absolutely stunning one that when grown as a shrub is known as golden lyre, or as a ground cover as Cooroora cascade.
The brief history of the last named is the well-known Hansa family of Fairhill Nursery had ground cover Grevillea formosa, which only lives about five years, so they bred it with the well-known G. honey gem to increase its longevity.
That breeding produced the shrub golden lyre, and further breeding resulted in the ground cover Cooroora cascade.
Sounds simple doesn't it, but just think of the many years that took! But what treasures we now have.
Do yourselves a favour - add some grevilleas to your garden.