As we speak I am heading off on a trip across the Kimberley in preparation for the tour I am leading for Ross Garden Tours in September this year.
The landscape here is something that needs to be experienced in person, as it is impossible to convey the colours and the light with words. Last night I had the good fortune to watch an amazing sunset on Cable Beach in Broome with my friend Mieke Boynton, an incredibly talented landscape photographer who lives and works here. As we watched the subtle changes in the warm hues of the sunset, the charm of this Australian outpost was obvious.
The vegetation of the Kimberley has many of the familiar elements of the Australian flora of course. But it also has quite a few quirky plants that tell us of links to the floras of other continents. In particular, the Boab tree (Adansonia gregorìi), with its distinctive bottle shaped trunk. It is in the cotton family, Malvaceae. It’s closest relatives are the Baobab trees of Africa and Madagascar so it is something of a puzzle as to how the Boab tree got to the Kimberley.
Another species that is fascinating me is the elephant ear acacia (Acacia dunnii), which certainly lives up to us name. The ‘leaves’ are actually flattened leaf stalks (phyllodes) that have evolved to replace the leaves. It is thought that the phyllodes help to preserve moisture compared to the true leaves that disappear at the seedling stage of the plant’s development.
BUSHCARE MAJOR DAY OUT – GET INVOLVED!
Bushcare’s Major Day Out is coming around again on Sunday September 11th 2016. I have joined the committee for this fantastic initiative that aims to raise the awareness about Bushcare and Landcare projects around Australia.
If you are part of a project and want to attract more volunteers or you want to find a project please let me know or have a look at the BMDO website http://www.
Landcare needs all the help it can get due to changes in funding arrangements in recent times. These are fantastic projects so let’s not let them slip!
My thoughts are with all my East Coast and Tasmanian readers after the recent storms. These East coast lows can be heart breaking, with strong winds and flooding rains bringing damage to trees and plants. It is a good idea to inspect your trees for broken limbs, and if in doubt about damage, call in a good tree specialist for advice. Lots of rain can bring on fungal problems – be on the lookout for wilting which can indicate this problem. A good product to treat this is Phosphorous acid, which is a low toxicity spray that is easy to use. Follow the directions of how much to mix, then simply water onto the foliage where it travels down to the roots.
GARDENING WITH ANGUS SHOP
Many thanks to readers who are supporting the Gardening with Angus shop. We have greatly expanded the offer of what is available now and a number of you are ordering the Tall and Tough kangaroo paw range. Thank you.
I am delighted to also be making available my favourite composting equipment through my good friends at Tumbleweed. In particular, the worm farming gear is something I use every day to turn my kitchen scraps into the best organic fertiliser.