JULY 2018 | Nell Carr
There is still a wealth of understorey trees and shrubs small enough to grace suburban gardens in native forests in Meander Valley.
Fruits of Leptospermums, (Tea Trees), and Melaleucas (Paperbarks or Honey Myrtles) can be collected and grown at home in native potting soil for planting in the native plant bed.
For Leptospermums, choose those fruits closest to the stems, making sure that they are grey and fully ripened, place them in labelled paper bags in a sunny windowsill until the seed has dispersed. These may be placed in the refrigerator in pill jars until required.
Melaleuca seeds may be collected after the flowers of past years have died off, and extracted in the same manner. Melaleuca squarrosa (pictured) is the deliciously Scented Honey Myrtle which grows in wet places on river banks. These do not appear to have a very long life however, this picture was taken in 2006, and the tree is no longer there. They should not be grown in proximity to their more vigorous cousin M. ericifolia, (Swamp Paperbark) as they will be rapidly overwhelmed.
There is one native plant nursery in Meander Valley, Habitat Plants in Liffey.
In the food garden
Raspberry canes can be lifted and divided now - those dead canes which bore last year’s crop should have been removed already. Split up the plants, and re-plant in well manured sunny spots in the fruit garden. If space is a problem, donate the surplus canes to friends or community gardens.
Photo | Nell Carr