Cactus Country. Part 2.

Hi There!

Lets continue our journey around Cactus Country.  All I can remember saying was wow!  Look at this one, look at that!  It was pretty awe-inspiring to see so many different types of cacti.  They had a pretty informative guide-book and a find it sheet for kids, but I do have a couple of gripes.

1.There were no identification name tag/plates thingies or whatever you want to call them.  So how does a cacti novice like me know what I’m looking at or want to purchase for myself later down the track???  I know it might cost a lot of money and take time to do and maintain but plant names are highly important in my mind.

2. Then when we get to the nursery area its nigh on empty!!  What the!!  I could have counted on my fingers and toes the amount of different species in the nursery.  Consider this, Cactus country has 10 acres of display gardens and their website states ” Australia’s largest Cactus garden with an extensive plant sales area”.

Maybe I was just there at the wrong time, maybe someone had bought all their stock the day before, maybe I just missed out.  Maybe I was just feeling deflated that I couldn’t dive straight into a cacti collecting frenzy.

Enough of the self-pity, one thing is for sure.  I will be going back to Cactus Country, it really was quite fantastic!

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Stay tuned for part 3, the finale!

Cheers!

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Cactus Country. Part 1

Hi There!

Cactus and Succulents are plants that are not really in my sphere of interest, I’ve taken this point of view for nigh on twenty years and I’ve been strong in my dislike for them.  I can’t explain what has happened because I don’t know what has happen because now I seem to be softening in my stance towards these plants.  So much so that in the last six months I have started to look at them and admire them.  I now look at things like World of Succulents on Facebook,  Danger Garden and Succulents and More(2 excellent blogs that I read).  I also discovered recently a place called Cactus Country which is located in Strathmerton, Victoria about an hour and 50 minutes from us.  So we decided a visit was required and this is what we saw!

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I’m sorry I don’t have names for any of these, I don’t have the foggiest idea!  I know some are Ferocactus, Agaves, Opuntias, Cereus, Saguaro, Trichocereus and Yuccas.  But that’s about it.  For now I just hope you have enjoyed the photos of these amazing plants in all their varied shapes, colours and spines!

Cheers!

A right royal Golden Celebration

Hi there!

Another great rose is Golden Celebration which was bred by David Austin.  I had a row of standards of these at a previous garden and they were always spectacular.  Reason enough to feature it again in my current garden.  To me its one of those must have plants.  Check out these photos.

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Cheers!

Plants in Focus #6

Hi there!

In this edition we will look at another Salvia which is a great long flowering hardy plant.

Salvia eigii

Salvia eigii is a beautiful herbaceous perennial which is native to Mediterranean woodlands and Shrub lands in Israel.  It  grows in a clump with leaves in a rosette formation to about 30-50cm high and 60-100cm wide.  The flower stalk will grow to about 100cm high and has branching inflorescences.

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The flowers grow in whorls on the branching inflorescences which are about 20-30cm long. The flowers have a white lip and the hood is a light mauve colour on mine.  Although literature describes it as having a pink lower lip and purple hood and ruby coloured calyx.  Flowering time is from winter through to spring.  Although mine can still have flowers into mid summer.

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Close up of flowers below show their colour.  Purple hood may be more apparent when flowers are new.  Always remember that soils can play a big part in flower colour as well.

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The leaves are a dark green colour and can grow quite large, even up to 30cm long and 20cm wide.  They are entire leaves and the margin is dentate or serrate and the arrangement is opposite(two leaves per node).

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Salvia eigii is a drought and frost tolerant plant which makes it desirable for many situations.  Excellent by its self in mixed planting or planted en mass in groups of 3 or 5 would make it look stunning.  Easily grown in full sun or even dappled or light shade.  Below you can see how the leaves are arranged opposite each other at each node.

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It was named after Alexander Eig 1894-1938 who was a botanist at the Hebrew University in Israel and one of the first plant researchers in that country.  Born in Schedrin near Minsk in Belarus and died in Jerusalem from Cancer. He immigrated to Palestine when he was 15.  This is an excellent Salvia to provide a splash of colour in those winter months when not much is flowering, and even as we move into the warmer months, it still continues to flower.  All that is needed to keep it tidy is to prune the spent flower stems right back to its base.  See below the many branched inflorescences.

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Cheers!