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Sunday, February 28, 2021

How to attract native birds

I find that current garden designs generally exclude our Australian native plants.

Why? The demand for a minimalistic garden, supposedly to compliment modern house designs. We aren’t sheep who follow the flock?

Sure, many new homes are built square covered in Granosite, but our gardens can still portray our own individuality.

For example: My home is like I have described. Square, painted with ‘trendy’ colours, but I have planted my own preferences for colour and flowers using standard roses and Magnolia Little Gems.

The secret is to combine different plants with a common denominator of hedges, such as box or golden durantas.

I agree planting larger natives, such as eucalypts, has lost favour, somewhat because of their size and also as a result of storm damage, when large trees are planted too close to buildings. 

The secret is to choose where to plant. For example: I love grevilleas, and so do the native birds. 

Fortunately, I live near a park where tall eucalypts provide a haven for rosellas and green lorikeet and sulphur crested cockatoo.

They visit my grevilleas planted along my western boundary where Honey Gem, Moonlight, Misty Pink and Sandra Gordon reside.

Admittedly, they don’t last as long as other cut flowers, but they keep producing new blooms 
continually.

I am always surprised when I visit my son Scott in Carrington (he calls it the island) and his back garden is the home to tall Golden Robinias, which give great shade – at times he gets frustrated as the lorikeets strip their foliage, and they aren’t natives!

As a result of this column – always plant at least one or two plants to attract our native birds.

THIS WEEK:

* Help newly planted sweet peas by tying the young stems to the frames with budding tape. This allows the plant to grow and stretch. Sweet peas will not grow well until supported.

* The grasshoppers are still being pesty. My roses and lime are almost leafless again and, horror of horrors, I found a gigantic one on my precious ‘Teddy Bear’. Hard to kill, never to be caught, try 
pyrethrum – if you get it on them, they drop to the ground.

* This autumn season, winter vegetables have become popular to plant – keep them well dusted to prevent the white butterflies laying their eggs.

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