Let your yard go to the birds

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - with Richard Hole

THERE’S noth­ing bet­ter than sit­ting back in the garden with a nice cuppa, watch­ing our na­tive birds.

Most birds can be en­cour­aged into even the small­est garden just by adding a few na­tive plants.

Cor­reas, also known as na­tive fuschias, are a group of plants that are ideal for this task.

Cor­reas mainly oc­cur nat­u­rally in parts of New South Wales, Vic­to­ria and right here in Tas­ma­nia.

They are gen­er­ally small shrubs rang­ing from less than half a me­tre tall to over a me­tre in height.

Cor­reas are fan­tas­tic garden plants as they will tol­er­ate most soils and con­di­tions. Only wa­ter­logged, heavy soils are un­suit­able for growing cor­reas.

Frost, coastal con­di­tions and dry con­di­tions are rarely a prob­lem ei­ther. Pests and diseases are very rare, so these plants are well suited to gar­den­ers who pre­fer not use chem­i­cals or sprays.

Ide­ally cor­reas should be planted in free drain­ing soil, in sunny or lightly shaded po­si­tions.

An oc­ca­sional ap­pli­ca­tion of a sea­weed ex­tract is vir­tu­ally all the ex­tra nu­tri­tion re­quired.

Some va­ri­eties can get a bit scruffy from time to time but this is eas­ily rec­ti­fied with a light prun­ing af­ter flow­er­ing.

Flower colours can range from cream and green through to pink and red, and two-tone va­ri­eties are very com­mon.

Birds such as New Hol­land hon­eyeaters love the nec­tar pro­duced by cor­reas and may be­come reg­u­lar visi­tors to a garden once they dis­cover them.

There are many va­ri­eties avail­able in most nurs­eries,

but some of my favourites are:

CORREA ALBA —a vari­able shrub of around a me­tre tall and two me­tres wide. The fo­liage of­ten has a brown vel­vety un­der­side and flow­ers are usu­ally white but pink forms are avail­able. CORREA “DUSKY BELLS”

— usu­ally around half a me­tre tall, this va­ri­ety has lush green fo­liage and smoky pink coloured flow­ers. CORREA “DIN­NER

BELLS” — around a me­tre or so high and wide. This correa has glossy fo­liage and at­ta­trac­tice red and yel­low flow­ers.

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