Wow! What a busy month its been. Harvesting of autumn and winter flowers has been in full swing. We are still catching up on clearing and particularly pruning some of the plants that got away from us during the break we had with our baby (who is now 3!!).
I love pruning! I am working on a blog post about pruning proteas and leucadendrons. Its such a satisfying activity. Yesterday I did a small burst of pruning, and came back with a basket of early winter flowers. Pruning large Protea Pink Ice can be hard work. Some branches need more than my Felco shears can manage. But the flowers are beautiful at this time of year and I salvage any I can.
Small Protea Repens have been in the ground for 4 years. They need a different type of pruning and shaping, encouraging lots of new straight stemmed flowers for next year. I'm looking forward to having the first good harvest nest year. The flowers from this year are lovely and you can see some of them in the basket.
There are also some Banksia Occidentalis in the mix. They are nearly at the end of their flowering for the year and even though they're only 3-4 years old, they need heavy pruning. I'm trying to keep them at a manageable height because they are such vigorous growers.
Some Leucadendron Safari Goldstrike are in the basket. They are getting ready to flower and I'll be harvesting them in a couple of months. This will be 5 years since they were planted and we are so happy with them. A few wayward shoots too good to waste made it into the basket of pruning pickings. The flower heads have properly formed and won't wilt, but I'll wait until they colour up before I pick them in earnest.
The first few branches of Thryptomene are just starting to bloom. By the end of winter, these will be covered in white blooms. The excitement of seeing the first flowers of the year always encourages a bit of early picking!
The last little flower in the basket is a wild yellow Banksia Marginata. I have a few of these Banksias growing along the path to the flowers and they are flowering profusely at the moment. The bushes are really large - 6 to 8 metres tall and full of flowers, but most of them are growing at odd angles with shoots sticking out. Every so often, one or two make their way into my basket and usually end up in a vase in the kitchen!