Saturday, July 8, 2017

April Flowers

What is flowering in April?  I'm glad you asked!  There is a misconception that as the autumn months arrive, flower production decreases.  But with natives, there are plenty of plants that flower in autumn and into winter, making proteas and natives available all year round.   The following gives an idea of what you can expect in the month of April (southern hemisphere).  This is a guide only, as we have to allow for fluctuations in weather which can hasten or delay flower production.  

Protea Varieties blooming in April

This selection of proteas were all picked in April.  Starting from the back middle, we have Protea Pink Ice, then clockwise to the right a mini red King Protea, then the soft pink bracts and red central mass of the Protea Compacta.  The next is a waxy hot pink Protea Repens, followed by a soft velvety white Protea Donna with a soft purple centre.  Next is a warm pink with a cream central cone.  To the left is a waxy creamy-white Protea Repens.  In the centre is a Protea White Ice.  The leucadendron on the bottom-left is Jester, a variegated pinky red with a green stripe.  

Brunia Albiflora and Grevillea foliage
Brunia Albiflora is a wonderful "flower" that is picked over summer here in Tasmania.  I usually don't start picking it until after Christmas but it can continue to be picked until early April.  Depending on the weather conditions, Brunia will begin to flower in March and into April.  

Flowering Brunia Albiflora
When it is flowering, Brunia is much lighter than in its "berry" form.  The little rings of tiny white flowers with creamy stamens create a textural effect in warm white.   

The bouquet above features a flowering Brunia.   I made this bouquet for a gorgeous April wedding held on a rural property in a sheep shearing shed.  Natives are perfect for a rustic, farm wedding.

Protea Repens in red, pink and cream
Protea Repens are a Protea that flowers prolifically in Autumn.  Here at Swallows Nest Farm, they can continue to flower most of the year in much smaller numbers.  But the main flowering time is autumn.  They are picked in large quantities in April and look fresh and gorgeous.

Protea Repens Pink
Protea Repens come in a range of colour forms.  The one above is light pink, with each tall outer bract tinged in pink and the central mass light.  Deep pink ones often have a central mass tinged with pink.  There is also a creamy white variety.

You can see the Protea Repens used in the bouquet above.  The lighter pink variety is used, blending well with the pink peppercorn berries.  (more of this wedding)

Banksia Ericifolia
Also used in the bouquet pictured above is an orange Banksia Ericifolia which are flowering abundantly from Autumn and into the winter months.  

Banksia Occidentalis
Another banksia available in April is the red Banksia Occidentalis.  This beautiful pinky red banksia flowers from February through to April.  

You can see the Banksia Occidentalis in this bridal bouquet from April.  Rich red, orange and pink flowers with masses of textural foliage made this a bright and memorable bouquet.  You can see the dark pink Portea Repens, and the very last of the orange Fountain Pincushions.  These Foutains begin flowering in January and usually continue through until March, with only a few left flowering in April.  The weather conditions really dictate their availability in April.  

Acacia Baileyana in bud in April, with flowering Brunia Albiflora and flowering Wattle
Some of the great textural foliages I used in this bouquet are pictured here.  Acacia Bailyana is a favourite wattle of mine.  It comes in two colour forms, a silvery blue foliage and a purple foliage, both with a silvery bloom on the young leaves.  It is a winter flowering wattle but in April, when it is in bud, it makes a stunning textural addition to a bouquet.  

Also pictured above are some flowering wattle (possibly Acacia Retinodes) which grow wild around my local area and are often in flower over April.  Some Banksia foliage in a light green with bronze tips can be seen at the top of the picture.  It is Banksia Brownii foliage, which has finely zig-zagged leaves which are lovely to use.  Flowering Brunia can be seen at the bottom left of the picture. 

For the same wedding, this arch decoration used more of the Protea Repens, some Fountain Pincushions, flowering Brunia, Acacia Baileyana, Grevillea foliage, varieties of red and green leucadendrons, and long branches of Acacia Retinodes coming into flower.

The wreath above is made using the light pink Protea Repens, red Banksia Occidentalis, Leucadendron Safari Sunset, Leucadendron Goldstrike, Acacia Baileyana foliage in bud, and some Lemon Scented Tea Tree.

Protea Compacta
This beautiful rich pink Protea with a wine-red central mass is a variety of Compacta which flowers in the autumn months and is available in April.  

You can see the Protea Compacta used in this April bride's bouquet.  You can also see a red Banksia Occidentalis, rich pink Protea Repens, and some warm golden Banksia Brownii.  Leucadendron Jester, a red and green variegated form is also used, as well as silvery green Leucadendron Pisa foliae, budded Acacia Baileyana foliage and flowering tea tree or Leptospermum. 

Another April bouquet, including Banksia Brownii, and Banksia Baxterii.  The Baxterii, or Birdsnest Banksia, is a late summer or Autumn flower here at Swallows Nest Farm, flowering from February until April.  Also in this bouquet are the beautiful Protea White Ice, and a creamy white Protea Repens.  The wonderful foliages available in April are here too, with the budded Acacia Baileyana, Lemon-scented Tea Tree, and including a beautiful velvety brown backed Magnolia foliage.  Such autumny goodness!  Also included are some wonderfully warm-brown dried leucadendron cones. 

Protea Pink Ice in plentiful supply in April
Protea Pink Ice are in plentiful supply in April.  They love the cooler weather and flower abundantly over the cooler months with clean clear colour.
In this April wedding, Protea Pink Ice teamed up with other pink, green and silver colours to create a simple colour scheme rich in textural interest.  

You can see beautiful Red King Proteas, Brunia Albiflora (some beginning to flower), Leucadendron Silver Tree cones, pink Kangaroo Paw and beautiful foliages including Leucadendron Pisa foliage, Silver Tree foliage and budded peppermint eucalyptus foliage.    (more of this wedding)

Eucalyptus Risdonnii  - budded Peppermint foliage

Protea Repens, red King Proteas and flowering Brunia feature again in this bridal bouquet from April.  Foliages used are budded Acacia Baileyana, flowering tea tree and eucalyptus buds.  (more of this wedding)

These are just some of the proteas and native flowers you can expect to be available in April in southern Tasmania.   If you need more specific information,  feel free to use the contact form on the right side bar of the blog.  

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