Welcome to winter on the farm! It's a little chilly, and quite wet, but its a beautiful season. There are many proteas that flower right through the winter. In fact, I think they are superior in some ways to the blooms produced in the warmer seasons. They seem to be clearer and brighter, free from insect activity and the effects of strong sun. They really glow!
Winter is also a great time for planting proteas. We have planted in all seasons here at Swallows Nest Farm, and by far the most successful season is winter. The plants clearly love getting their roots into the soil when its cooler. It gives them time to focus on their roots before they feel they have to produce leafy growth. There is more rainfall here in winter too, so there is no need to irrigate. Real rain always produces better results than irrigation. Somehow, the plants can tell!
Our very first winter here, 3 1/2 years ago, we planted 50 new plants as an experiment. We didn't really know what we were doing, but I had read up on all the varieties and then realised that I could only really buy what I could find available! A local nursery had some of these, so in went 50 Leucadendron Safari Goldstrike. They were so small!
We put them in the ground and never irrigated them once! I remember that as I planted the last 3 plants, it started to rain. Three years later, they look like this!
This spring will be our first big harvest of these wonderful yellow Leucadendrons. They have large teacup-like heads in bright yellow, on strong strait stems of amazing length. Really spectacular. I will be sure to post photos of them as they start to sparkle!