Walk on the wild side

HERE’S an item many folk will be happy to hear about, especially those who have never seen the beautiful Mt Coot-tha Gardens in all their beauty.

You can join Ross McKinnon, the curator of Brisbane Botanic Gardens for some 30 years, to be taken on an exclusive tour of the gardens, and learn the wonderful story of its history and development on Wednesday, August 17.

Some of the great features include the significant plant collections including the world’s largest representative collection of Australian native rainforest trees, and an extensive Japanese garden.

With the many advantages of living in this part of the world where we enjoy beautiful climatic conditions, lovely green countryside all year round, and the choice to live on the hills or at the seaside, we have the added advantage of proximity to these gardens that are internationally regarded as one of the world’s leading sub-tropical botanic gardens.

This opening is part of Open Gardens Australia (formerly Australia’s Open Garden Scheme), which offers a delicious morning tea in the Botanical Restaurant, with Ross inspiring guests with the fascinating insights into the development and growth of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

The address is Mt Coot-tha Rd, Toowong. The open day will be from 9.30–11.30am. Enjoy the refreshments, talk and tour for $60.

For more information, please go to qld@opengarden.or.au or phone Fiona Rafferty 5514 6488.

Good ground cover

Gazanias are among the best groundcover plants, being tough, evergreen, and producing flowers year-round, with the main flushes in late winter and spring.

Some are excellent for trailing from baskets, window-boxes or embankments, while others make great clumping ground covers. The trailing forms are ideal for steep areas where they will spread their roots, preventing erosion and providing a good show at the same time.

Gazanias grow best in a sunny situation, enjoying well-drained soil, and flourish in our dry winters. They flower better with additional watering.

There are so many forms of these hardy plants available, and the Tiger Eye that was released in spring of 2009 is very colourful with contrasting green and golden-cream variegated leaves and rich orange flowers. The pretty creamy form growing in our garden is also an attractive feature plant, but keep your eyes open for these in your garden centre, they’re certainly a good, tough and colourful addition to any garden.

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