This year is going to be an absolute ripper for wildflowers, the rain has spread far and wide and been consistent enough to aid germination of our wonderful flora. People should make the effort this season to head out bush to view the great diversity of species that will knock your socks off.
You can of course create a little bit of bush in your own yard with the ever-increasing availability of native plants in nurseries now. Over the next few months you will find many to choose from, including climbers, ground covers, paws, everlastings and shrubs.
What’s looking hot at the moment in nurseries is Hardenbergia, the Native Wisteria. It’s a small climber that is easy to control and suits smaller gardens. There are a few different forms of Hardenbergia available, but they all require basically the same care. They will tolerate a variety of soil types, are heat and drought tolerant, flower like a demon from winter through to late spring and grow in dappled light, part shade or full sun. You can’t ask for more than that.
It is important to prune Hardenbergias pretty hard when flowering finishes to prevent them from going woody and sparse at the base of the plant. You can prune right back to the hard wood and then fertilise with a native slow release fertiliser to encourage new growth.
Hardenbergia ‘Free n Easy’ is a beautiful form with lavender tinged white blossom that erupt over the entire plant. The buds are a deeper lavender that open up to a pure white.
Hardenbergia ‘Happy Wanderer’ is probably the best-known form in nurseries with its deep purple haze of pea-shaped flowers. Prune in the same way after flowering. This is an Eastern States variety, if you want the Western Australian plant get Hardenbergia comptoniana.
Hardenbergia ‘White Out’ is as it says – a pure white flowering form that only grows to 2.5m in height and suits smaller gardens.
One of my favorites hitting the nurseries now is Bracteanthas, the large flowering perennial everlastings. The colours are very bright and come in iridescent yellow, orange, red and white. They look absolutely stunning in pots with blue Lechenaultia, but also look great in the garden. Bracteanthas must have full sun to flower well.
The Bracteantha Sundaze series grow to 30cm in height and 40cm wide, the Dazette range are a more dwarf form, growing to only 25cm high and 30cm wide. This makes them an ideal drought tolerant, heat loving verge plant.