Gardening Australia

GROWING EREMOPHILA

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Russell Wait, with Christine Huf, Cathy Powers & Dr Jenny West

Eremophila­s have recently gained popularity, being tough, needing little water once establishe­d, and having colourful flowers that attract insects and birds. Russell Wait, the principal author and photograph­er, was one of the first to discover their qualities in the 1960s and ’70s, when he travelled throughout Australia collecting them, then growing them on by cuttings and seed. He was a farmer who specialise­d in growing eremophila­s in his garden, where they thrived in the low-rainfall conditions; his present garden in central Victoria has more than 240 species. As frost and fungal problems can be of concern, Wait grafts onto myoporum rootstock for stronger growth. Wait’s discoverie­s and successes in growing, maintenanc­e and propagatio­n are covered in detail, with magnificen­t photos and useful notes. It is an amazing tribute to his life’s work. To purchase, email eremophila­book@gmail.com Jane Edmanson

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