Thursday, July 26, 2012

Plant A Tree

"What shall we do today mummy? Shall we go on an adventure or do something in the garden"? Before I have a chance to respond the little Bowerbird has decided for me. "I think we should do something in the garden, maybe some planting". 

She's pulling on her gumboots and I'm quickly wracking my brains for a child friendly activity.  There is some space in a newly mulched bed, and a Correa we were given from a generous family, whose conservationist son died far too young. Such a beautiful gesture, giving out a plant at a funeral, life and death revolving.

I love Correas, they are so tough and reliable, and their little bell shaped flowers are adorable and very popular with our local Eastern Spinebills. We have at least half a dozen varieties in our garden - here is one flowering now, they flower almost year round, and are quite prolific through the winter.

Correa alba is a coastal plant, it's more open white flowers were very familiar to us when we lived on Phillip Island, and it is wonderful to have reminder of that beautiful place nearby.  Hopefully it will survive our cold winters, I've planted it in a sheltered spot to save it from the frost. There is a Sheoke we planted a couple of years ago (the only survivor of three) beside it that is taller than our youngest now.

We placed some spent potting mix in the hole to help with drainage and to lift the plant above the mulch, then filled our hole. I told the little Bowerbird how it might get bigger than her and where it might come up to on the fence. When it gets bigger we will try making a sweet tea from its leaves. The best bit for the little one was giving the plant a few cups of water from her teapot.

One shrub hadn't fulfilled the little Bowerbird's planting fervour, so we put some mystery bulbs in pots. We dug these bulbs up from a spot under a tree that we were mulching around - they were in full shade and in a very tough spot.  It will be interesting to see what they are after only watching their leaves emerge for 7 years. I imagine I will have to wait until next year after disturbing them this late in the season.

Around 6 years ago we planted this Eucalyptus (titled Silver Princess - a common name given to a few varieties of Eucalyptus) that was given to us as an anniversary gift. It's grown bigger than I expected (it's meant to be one of the smaller varieties) and is showing no sign of stopping any time soon. Another pot is waiting for a new home in the foreground.  We rent our house, and many would say all this gardening is a waste of time and money.  I could not imagine not gardening, it lures me in without reason, the joy of watching something grow never gets tired. 

This weekend it is National Tree Day, and schools all over Australia will be planting on Friday. I encourage you to plant a tree (or shrub or grass) or find a community planting day and join in.  It is so very satisfying to come back to a place you have helped plant trees in, and see the forest it has become.

If you're not convinced already, a great study by Planet Ark on the benefits of interacting with nature can be found here. It can even help your eyesight!

linking up with Squiggly Rainbow's


  1. I love reading about your adventures! Those links looks great - will definitely be looking them up later... My husband yesterday asked why I am bothering pulling out the garden beds, why not wait for a digger... my response... it makes me happy! I can't imagine not pottering in a garden - I did too when we rented! xx

  2. That's a lovely looking plant I'm not familiar with it - and yes, what a beautiful gesture to give out trees at a funeral. Some people are amazing.

    National Tree Day is big here too. We are involved every year in community plantings and it is very satisfying to look back on progress that has been made locally. Every little bit helps.
    cheers Wendy

  3. I love the silver princess's, they have such a pretty flower!

  4. How precious that Bowerbird wants to plant in the garden. I love that.
    The silver princess has a pretty flower.
    Great that this weekend is National Tree Day as I have a lemon tree to plant.


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young