Tag: golden wattle

A Fern Native Action

Some massive changes at Kangaeroo Corner this week, which is pretty apt for the early summer, but there has been some man-made actions, too, with a tree fern poised to take center stage.

As mentioned earlier this week, the nandina had to go as it was killing all the other trees.

We got a bloke in who meticulously removed the tree.

He gently cared for the golden wattle and alpine cedar gum located precariously closely to the powerfully spreading endemic plant.

And it seems he has saved these two trees.

We then had a powerful typhoon that sent ceaseless rain pounding down on us for about 36 hours.

It was good for the garden, especially the lawn, and it looked especially verdant once the rain had stopped.

That gave me enough time to have one last look at the dicksonia fern we did have.

I thought it may have just enough white root left to be able to save it, so I dug it up once again.

It didn’t look good, but I crossed my fingers and put it back into the pot, hoping for the best.

I then removed another small plant that was taking nutrients away from the sometimes struggling jacaranda.

I got to see the pale white of a healthy root ball.

And that meant the fern was wasting our time. I knew after seeing what a healthy plant’s root system looks like that it was dead.

I immediately withdrew it from the pot and in its place went the red pincushion protea we picked up last weekend.

It’s currently flowering and looks sensational. It will probably get a ground berth next spring, but for the time being, it’s home will be a planter.

Also looing sensational is the grevillea, which appeared to have died in the late-winter, early spring only to hang in and flourish once again this year. It bloomed six times last year. It still looks flimsier than it did this time last year, but is clearly healthy.

The white feather honeymyrtle is also thriving!

I bought tall stakes for many of the trees in the garden as they have grown so high and are starting to bend.

The stakes weren’t as robust as I had hoped, but I will keep my fingers crossed that they will suffice.

Bringing me some of the greatest pleasure of the garden, though, are the kangaroo paw.

Not only is one of the original plants that I thought had died come back to flower again, I also managed to grow some from seed.

Of the dozens of seeds I brought back from Australia last year, almost all died. Only the native wisteria and kangaroo paw made it.

And if at the time of purchase I had been given the choice of only one being able to grow to maturity, it would have been the kangaroo paw, hands down.

So this has made the seed experiment a raging success, even if 99% of the seeds failed to grow (though almost all propagated).

Even more pleasurable is that the kangaroo paw grew in two places: several that I potted together in a large pot; and a couple that sprouted from 100 yen shop growth pods.

The latter have been outside since chilly February, so have done an exceptional job to make it as far as they have.

Tomorrow will also be a garden day as we get the mature tree fern. The tree fern is an Australian native closest to my heart as it is a plant symbolic of the Dandenong Ranges area where I grew up.

More will follow, I’m sure. All in all, the garden is bringing immense joy.

Wattle Day

It’s officially Wattle Day in Japan today, and I’m absolutely delighted to have a thriving wattle growing in our garden.

I guess a little explanation is necessary.

March 8 is Mimosa no Hi, literally, the Day of Silver Wattle.

The flowers mark International Women’s Day, and the idea of giving women silver wattle (called mimosa outside of their native Australia) emanated from an Italian communist politician in the 1940s because the beautiful yellow flowers were more readily available than other floral items frequently presented to women around the world at the time. It’s not a national holiday in Japan, and not really widely acknowledged. It’s still a man’s country here.

The wattle is, of course, Australia’s national flower. (Strictly speaking, the golden wattle is the Australian symbol, but I can’t tell the difference, so in typical Aussie fashion, near enough will be good enough in this case!)

Wattle Happen Next?

The first blossoms of our wattle tree

It’s becoming increasingly clear that spring is not too far away, and the wattle tree in Kangaeroo Corner is giving hints of something about to spring into action.

March, which starts tomorrow (der!), is traditionally a coldish month, with a warm day every few days here and there.

This winter has been mild, especially when compared to the chilly one last year.

But it’s still too bloody cold for too bloody long for my liking.

Nonetheless, starting today we have a week of relatively warmer weather forecast.

And I’m excited for the garden, particularly our wattle tree, which looks poised to burst forth in a wash of gold any moment now.

Neighbors a couple of doors down from us also have a wattle tree and the blossoms have been vibrant for a few days now, but our tree has little more than buds, so I am living with a large dollop of envy!

(The neighbors have a British son-in-law who shares a surname with me and welcomed me warmly when I moved in because of this, and maintained very friendly relations thereafter, so it’s a friendly jealousy rather than a spiteful envy.)

Golden wattle, known by the academic name of acacia pycnantha, is Australia’s national flower.

Our tree, and most of the others found in Japan, Europe and outside of southeastern Australia, are silver wattle, or acaia dealbata. I can’t tell the difference, to be honest.

And it also has a significant role in Japan in March, where March 8 has been designated at Mimosa Day to coincide with International Women’s Day and referring to mimosa, the name given to the silver-leafed wattle mainly outside of Australia.

More to follow on this topic for sure.