Let your yard go to the birds
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.