Above Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream'
Gondwana is an ancient supercontinent that eventually split up into Antarctica, Australia, South America, Africa, and other bits and pieces of the planet. The splitting explains why Proteaceae are distributed the way they are--over South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Originally they were all in one area. Perhaps an alternate name for Gondwana could be Proteana.
This section of the garden has become my private Gondwana--with members of the Protea family from Australia and South Africa, Aloes from South Africa, plus a non-Protea Australian plant or two. This is a very dry area and has the poorest soil in the garden. Not only is it sloped, but it is also essentially a large raised bed, due to the driveway retaining wall. It originally was a lawn, then it filled with roses and Hemerocallis, but our five year drought put those plants into severe decline, so I removed them all but one. It was intended to move the last rose this past winter, but an eye problem had to delay that to this coming fall.
A. Aloe castanaea (small tree Aloe)
B. Protea 'Pink Ice'
C. Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon'
D. Aussie Maireana sedifolia
E. Aloe speciosa (tree Aloe)
F. Leucadendron 'Ebony' (hard to see)
G. Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream'
H. Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon'
I. Leucospernum 'Flame Giant'
J. Tecoma 'Sparky' (non Gondwana)
K. Aloe thraskii (tree Aloe)
L. a muddle of a Salvia greggii hybrid and behind that Bougainvillea 'Thai Imperial Delight' (non Gondwana)
The Tecoma 'Sparky' is for the hummingbirds. I'm not wild about the flower color.
When I planted Leucospermum 'Flame Giant, I dug a large hole the depth of the rootball, but made it much wider, to loosen the soil and add some soil sulfur. While digging, I found some of the blocks that had once formed a path in a previous form of this area. The guys who installed the concrete culvert were supposed to remove and pile up all the blocks. They missed a few.
This is a spot where multiple roses have died. The Bougie is thriving, but I'm not sure it will stay.
At this moment the Aloe thraskii and the Maireana are the most eye-catching plants in the area. The rest of the plants are young and still developing.
The 'Moon Lagoon' Eucalyptus is starting to battle for space with Protea 'Pink Ice', which had seven flowers this year. To the right of the Protea is the rose that will be moved. There are a few seedling Salvia discolors here and there--it's an excellent year-round food source for Hummingbirds and gets by on very little water. For now they can stay.
There's the new Leucospermum 'Flame Giant' in the wire cage.
Near the silver Maireana I added the silver foliaged Craspedia globosa (Australia) purchased some weeks back, and near the Bougainvillea, Pycnostachys urticifolia (South Africa).
Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon' has grown, though it is not quite established enough to bloom regularly. Above right of 'Robyn' is Leucospernum 'Flame Giant', above left and left are a Salvia discolor (for the hummingbirds) and a golden Duranta. There are a few scattered Mexican Tulip Poppy plants here and there (bright yellow flowers). Behind all is a privacy hedge of Ligustrum and a concrete culvert to direct rainwater from uphill down to a drain at the bottom of the property.
It's just a start. Doesn't look like much yet. We'll see what happens. Some plants will be removed, or fail. The Adentanthos failed here--too dry. Same with Leucadendron 'Little Bit' and 'Pisa'.
An additional tree Aloe or two might be nice, to add structural contrast to the billowy shrubs. A bench whereupon to sit and watch the hummingbirds fight. It is all an experiment, my own private Gondwana--or Proteana.