More on gardening with Neil
Neil Fisher’s focus on gardening
THIS week I had the chance to visit the Roma Street Parklands. On a very hot day by Brisbane standards there were thousands of people enjoying these facilities.
Rockhampton Regional Council is about to start work on the central precinct of the Kershaw Gardens. Most gardeners will remember that Kershaw Gardens was devastated by the cyclone - the redeveloped Kershaw Gardens will give Rockhampton it’s very own Roma Street Parklands
The key feature of the central precinct of the Kershaw Gardens is a shallow water play area.
That is designed to represent the Fitzroy River with its crossings and features like the Barrage.
One of the most asked garden questions about the redeveloped Kershaw Gardens is will the emphasis on Australian native plants disappear?
While the planting plans have not been finalised the interdiction of exotic plants would be unacceptable to many sections of the gardening community.
Then when you consider that growing within the Fitzroy River system the unique variety of Australian native plants that can provide colour mass flowering displays throughout the year.
Added to these blooms these plants will provide the addition of an array of different bird life to Kershaw Gardens. Plants like the acacia podlayriifolia, or the Mount MorganWattle or the Queensland SilverWattle.
That is best described as a fast growing small tree or large shrub, with beautiful rounded silvery-grey foliage and gold ball flowers that mass over the plant in winter, making it an ideal feature plant in most gardens.
The Callistemon viminalis Dawson River can be found in gardens across the world yet this floral emblem of the Banana Shire is still a favourite of Queensland gardeners. Callistemon viminalis Dawson River is a medium to tall shrub with narrow foliage and an extreme weeping habit.
Clusters of red flowers will appear in spring and autumn that are very bird-attractive. It will grow in most positions but thrives in black soils and is best pruned after flowering.
One of the truly spectacular bottlebrushes is from the Injune area of Central Queensland. The Callistemon sp Injune is a semi-weeping shrub with silvery-grey foliage and with a profusion of flowers after rain.
The flowers themselves are quite unique as they begin as a pretty shade of soft pink, then fade to white over two or three days, creating an eye-catching spectrum of flower colour. This bottlebrush will grow to around 3m high and will tolerate quite dry conditions.
Driving towards Duaringa you will notice the unusual aroma from the blooms of the Pandorea pandorana or Wonga Vine. This is one of the hardiest creepers for local gardens. What made this plant so interesting was the flowering was so heavy and the flowers were so pure in colour. If no trees or shrubs are near, they will scramble down embankments. Regular pruning will encourage new growth and will provide an outstanding display when in flower during winter and spring.
Other local plants could include the Graptophyllum excellsum or Native Fuschia, a native plant species found within the Berserker Mountains, and a small dense shrub growing on average to 1.5m high. It has small bright green shiny leaves and large red tubular waxy flowers that form along the branches in spring. This shrub will grow in a sunny or lightly shaded position and is able to be pruned and shaped for even the most modern garden styles.
Hakea trineura is native only to the Canoona area of Queensland and the mid-north coast of NSW.
It is not cultivated in great numbers locally, but would be available during this year. The plants have Grevillea-like brown and yellowish to green flowers, broad gum-like leaves and clothes peg like seed pods.
All of these local Australian Native Plants could give Kershaw Gardens the edge from just being generic parkland to this region’s premier botanical and family recreation location.
What made this plant so interesting was the flowering was so heavy and the flowers were so pure in colour
FLOWER FEVER: Hakea trineura in Seeney's garden.