Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

30 September 2014

Spring flowers

Spring when there's usually an abundance of flowers.  Here's a few from the garden.  The first two are camellias which were planted in the garden by previous owners so I can't say what varieties they are as there were no plant names attached to them.  But they can produce such perfect looking flowers.

The Dutch Iris look spectacular in spring with an intense blue whilst the brilliant Clivia flowers provide colour in a dry shaded area.  Incidentally Clivia was named after Charlotte Clive so, strictly it should be pronounced Clive-ia rather than with the more common short "i".


Dutch Iris


26 September 2014

New Growth on Lillypilly (Syzygium smithii)

My mother planted one of these in the 1950s.  In those days it was classified in the Eugenia family as Eugenia smithii.  Later it was renamed Acmena smithii and it's now classified as Syzygium smithii. It's reasonably common in older gardens around Adelaide, recognizable by its purple edible (but quite tasteless) berries.

The particular plant in the photo was one I grew from seed some years ago. It's one of many planted along a fence line but this one must be just far enough away to not get continually "pruned" by the ring-tail possums which love the new leaves of many Myrtaceae.

There are now many Syzygium cultivars sold in nurseries and this particular variety seems to have fallen out of favour but it's an attractive dense tree that holds its foliage almost down to ground level.  It can be slow growing but eventually it reaches to about 4 or 5 metres although it can be trimmed and grown as a large hedge which can look quite stunning with coppery new growth like this in Spring.

24 September 2014

Koala napping

This little lad (I know he's a male because he announced himself with the typical male koala bellow the other day) has been hanging around in the huge River Red Gum over the carport.  I think he's the baby that was being carried by his mother last year.  There was another larger koala in the same tree until last night so I think that was his mother who appears now to have said her goodbyes to him.  He doesn't seem too worried, just lying around sleeping most of the time, chewing a few leaves occasionally and bombing the carport with eucalyptus drops on a regular basis.

It's amazing how koalas can sleep on branches and not fall.  In this photo he's clearly holding on with a front paw and a back paw but a little later even those paws were hanging down - completely relaxed!

12 September 2014

Spring blossom

This Satsuma plum is only in its second season but it has amazing blossom on it.  Hopefully delicious plums will follow.  That's its pollinator, a Santa Rosa plum, at the back on the right and the pink blossom on the left is on a Goldmine nectarine.  Now if we can only keep the birds, possums and rats away!

09 September 2014

Late night visitor

Just as I was off to bed last night I saw that there was a visitor at the front door!   It didn't appear to be the least interested in the insect near its right hand.

08 September 2014

Philotheca myoporoides (Native Daphne or Long-leaf Wax Flower)

Philotheca myoporoides (which used to be named Eriostemon myoporoides) is an easy care Australian plant that provides a pleasant bloom of small white flowers in late winter and early spring.  It also has fragrant leaves.  It grows naturally along the eastern coast of Australia and in cultivation it seems to prefer dappled shade so it's quite useful for providing some interest in shady parts of the garden.  Of course, with all those flowers at this time of year, bees love it!

This one has grown to about a metre and seems to have stayed at that height for now but I've seen much larger individual plants as well as mass plantings trimmed as hedges.  It's quite easy to grow from cuttings although they might take a while to take root.  There are also some cultivars that have larger flowers.

07 September 2014

First spring ladybird

We noticed the first ladybird of the season in the garden today.  It's just waiting to chew up those aphids that are certain to develop as spring progresses.

01 September 2014

Kookaburra in mulberry

Happy Spring!  This kookaburra was banging something against a branch in the mulberry tree and trying to eat whatever it was.  It swallowed most of it and flew off.  I went to investigate what it was eating and found a yabbie claw on the ground under the tree.  Just then the kookaburra flew back with a very proprietorial look on its face. "Where's the rest of my yabbie?"

The light was fading so the photo is a little grainy.