06 December 2010

Good news and bad news

Many plants are thriving in the Biodiversity Garden. Below Agapanthus 'Everblue' is in full flower, with its neat compact blooms.

But I'm afraid it's not all good news: in some of the thicket areas we are losing plants due to a combination of overwatering and poor drainage. The subsoil here is a combination of fine clay and stone. This makes a kind of natural concrete which offers very little natural drainage and penetration.

It is sobering to see some of the hardiest coastal thicket plants dying - including species such as wild camphor, bietou, wild olive and Rhus. They don't like wet feet. On the other hand Myrica cordata (waxberry - below in the foreground) doesn't bat an eye. Perfectly happy! Milkwoods seem to cope better too. It is interesting that for one species - Tarconanthus camphoratus (wild camphor) - the smaller 10kg plants are fine, whereas several large 100kg plants have died. Once again it makes a case for planting small plants when establishing a garden. It is almost always better in the long run.

The good news is that the animals are settling in well. The beaded animals have acquired a rusty hue - maybe due to oxidation of the copper wire.


  1. Who do the smaller plants do better?

  2. Marie - sorry, a very late response to your question!
    I think it's because the rootball of the smaller plants are sitting on top of the hard clay 'pan'. We added 300mm of well-drained sandy topsoil, so they are growing in this layer. The large plants required bigger deeper holes (say 500mm), which act like mini sumps and are always water-logged.

    Vail to aspen - Thank you.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your posts and the pictures are awesome as well.