Friday, October 03, 2014

Busy Bee's and Silver Linings

Osteospermums, the African, or Cape, Dasies - those stalwarts of the perennial garden, always in flower, tough as old boots & can be planted anywhere....right? Not so much here in my part of Queensland - I've been advised on more than one occasion that it's better to stick to the older varieties, rather than some of the newer hybrids, as they seem a bit more heat tolerant.

Of course I was told that *after* I'd tried & lost my favourite "Tradewinds Terracotta" that I'd surprisingly managed to find here ....along with a rather pretty un-named pale terracotta with a mauve centre that looked very similar.
Not to be deterred when I recently found a divine pale lemon yellow variety called '"Flower Power Lemon", I purchased it. You know the saying "I came, I saw, I conquered"? Well, "I buyed, I tried, I failed". (Yes, I know - lame AND bad grammar, but hey it's my blog...)

The plain of fashioned white variety, however, survived the first years heat, then near drowning during January storms & is now going great guns down in the back garden. 

A couple of  single petaled almost "Terracotta" coloured plants that I found are, so far, doing quite well in front of the patio - the Native Stingless Bee's seem to like them too. Perhaps they share my love of that colour....

Small Native Stingless Bee appreciating "orange".

Then, at a Garden Centre in Toowoomba ( a slightly more tolerant climate than down here) a couple of weeks back I discovered this beautiful Osteospermum called Coral Sands.

Osteospermum 3D "Coral Sands"

A bit hesitant to set myself up for another failure I promptly called my friend over to ask the ultimate "will this one thrive - or turn up it's toes" question ....& lost it the second they laid eyes on it!lol! A nearby nursery assistant found me the only remaining plant of it in the nursery. Sadly it wasn't as healthy or floriferous as the first, & some of the flowers didn't have the gorgeous double crest - instead just being the usual Osteospermum dark purple/blue.

The silver lining to getting the plant that I did, is that the Native Stingless Bee's, while not landing on the fancy double crested flowers (probably at risk of getting stuck!) seem to like the plain flowers & it is so important to encourage & keep these little creatures in our gardens.

The un-crested flowers that the Bee's prefer

Hopefully it will come away & thrive - but right now, with the onset of the really hot weather I'm just hoping for survival.

As a gardener, & one that is concerned about the future of our planet, this has been a good reminder in not getting too carried away by all of the fancy new hybrids. While our senses may be delighted by something new & different - our wee friends & helpers in keeping the food crops alive seem to prefer the plainer stuff ;)

Rosa 'Crepuscule'

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