Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life on the Farm

Banksia Coccinea bud
Spring is a productive time on a flower farm.  There are signs of life everywhere.  I thought I'd share some of the things that have been going on here at Swallows Nest over the last week or so.  I'm pretty excited about this little bud - its the first of my Banksia Coccinea's to flower.  They were planted around 3 years ago and I've been eagerly awaiting the first flower.  I check the buds almost every day.  Cant wait!

Banksia Ericifolia
Some Banksia Ericifolia that I planted as a windbreak are all flowering too.  I am surprised by the intensity of colour in these blooms.  Such handsome flowers!

Bansia Ericifolia
I love the purple centre contrasting with the yellow and orange.  

We've been reclaiming territory here.  Blackberry weeds have been slowly invading some large Richea Dracophylla.  I've been panicking about loosing them so this week we attacked the blackberry and set them free.  After only a day we had them back under control, pruned and mulched, and wow!  I can tell they're happy!  

The after shot!  

Richea Dracophylla are a plant endemic to Tasmania.  Their flowers are just coming on now and are really special.  I cant wait to see how well they perform next year, now that we've given them some love.

Richea Dracophylla
Lots of flower spikes almost ready to pick.

Richea Dracophylla
Such a special flower!  

Pruning always uncovers little treasures.  We found 4 abandoned nests in one day - adding to my already large collection.  This little one is lined with fur!

Leucospermum Scarlet Ribbons
One of the jobs I really enjoy at this time of the year is checking the buds on the Pincushions or Leucospermums.  These are a summer crop for us in Tasmania, generally starting in November and with different varieties the flowering continues through to February.  This little bud is going to be a Scarlet Ribbons Pincushion.  The buds need to be checked because sometimes the plant makes 2 or more flower heads at the end of the stem. 

Pincushion Buds
We pick the extra buds off, making sure that one single bloom has enough room to open properly.  The little buds can be "popped" off with your fingers.  I just find it a relaxing thing to do, and it gets you out among your plants, keeping tabs on how they're going.  

Of course the big event of the last couple of weeks is the beginning of the waratah season.  We are looking forward to having these beautiful flowers for sale over the next few of months as we have different varieties with different flowering times.  

Waratah and Richea flowers in a "Get Well" bouquet
Waratahs and Richea flowers will feature in arrangements to say "Get Well", "Farewell" and  "Thank You".  They'll also feature in wedding bouquets and in flowers for a funeral over the next week or so.  It's all part of life as it rolls on into spring and summer for 2014. 

Spring Native Bouquet - Swallows Nest Farm

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