We regularly walk around our farm to see what is growing well on our sandy soils, and it is often a great time to take our camera to get a few shots of plants in flower, foraging birds and insects.
This time of year, with recent strong winter winds, it is also a chance to check for wind damage to plants or whether they need pruning back from our fencelines.
Many of the species we grow in the nursery are grown from seed we collect from our farm. This allows us to get photos of the plants to use for our plant and seed product pages. They are also a great resource as we can show people what the nursery plants look like in the real with a quick walk around the property. It works wonders as people can see how they grow in our climate.
This season, with good rains and plenty of sunshine a lot of plants are looking great including:
Drummonds Bridal Grevillea (Grevillea argyrophylla). Also known as the Silvery-leaved Grevillea, a great two metre screening shrub with a massive display of white flower and a favourite spot for Punky our female emu to hang out.
On part of our eastern boundary we have combined Limestone Wattles (Acacia sclerosperma), Sennas (Senna artesimioides sp. ‘Fine Leaf’) with Red Poker Hakeas (Hakea bucculenta) as screening, windbreak and landscape shrubs. Our emu who likes to regularly walk the fenceline keeps them clear of weeds.
Pink pokers (Grevillea petrophiloides) , Austin Senna (Senna sp. ‘Austin’) and Bacon and Egg Shrubs (Bossiaea spinescens) are always spectacular and grow well on our poor, sandplain soils with no additional fertiliser. We rabbit guard and water these plants to establish them over the first summer and then they are on their own.
We grow all our own seedlings here in our Permaculture Nursery, so drop by and pick up some of these fabulous plants and more for your own property and garden.
Fiery Bottlebrush (Callistemon pheoniceus) – a large Bottlebrush shrub that can be planted within two to three meters of each other to build a colourful red flowered and dense wind break, that also functions as bird and bee fodder.
Responses well to pruning and cutting back to maintain density. We grew our stock from hardy species growing in the Murchison region of our Midwest.
Visit our Fiery Bottlebrush on our on-line-catalogue.
As a coastal windbreak its hard to look past the Dongara Mallee (Eucalyptus obtusiflora) for planting in alkaline sands around Geraldton. These low growing gums (3m x 3m) are often bushy to the ground (although they grow larger in the northern wheatbelt) . They can be easily under pruned to create a canopy. Mallee means multi-trunked trees, hence they provide a wide coverage in a windbreak. This white summer flowering species copes well with the strong winds that our Batavia Coast is famous for.
Read more on our local Gums, including the Dongara Mallee in Malcolm French’s fantastic book ‘Eucalypts of Western Australia’s Wheatbelt‘. Photo in this post from Malcolm French’s book.
Jam Trees (Acacia acuminata) – Looking for attractive small shade and screening trees in a native garden setting? Look no further, with low leaf fall and suited to loams, gravels and clay soils, this is one of our favourites.
It’s timber is very hard and termite resistant. Back in the days, they were used as fencing posts. Now more likely to used as craft wood or as host trees for Sandalwood.
We are often asked the best way to start a garden in an urban or semi-rural property including growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens in our challenging windy climate.
The first step is to establish windbreaks. Slowing down and redirecting hot, desiccating easterlies and buffeting south westerlies, improves both livability of your home, increases your successes with orchard plants which need a wind sheltered microclimate to grow well, and save your own sanity!
Two or more lines of shrubs and trees are better than one, with increasing height of the inner line to ‘ramp up’ the wind over your house and garden.
In our nursery we grow and sell a range of windbreaks trees that we have used on the farm that suit our climate and soils. In the following posts we’ll highlight a few of our favourites including Jam Trees, Dongara Mallees, Fiery Bottlebrushes and Swamp Sheoaks.
Check out our stocklist on our nursery page for a list of currently available species.