INTRODUCTIONI am not an avid gardener, and prefer plants which will look after themselves!
This is an important factor when considering the differences between my two gardens which are 900km (560miles) apart in Western Australia.
The main home in Perth and our holiday home at Shark Bay (three months in Winter), both have sandy soils. Shark Bay averages 7-10 inches of rain between June and August. Perth averages 36 inches between April and September. Outside these periods there is little or no rain. While I water plants in Perth from October to April, Shark Bay receives none from September to April during our absence.
Summer temperatures can reach the low 40Cs.
The plants in Shark Bay are mostly native and those that are reasonably drought resistant.
Description of plants with pictures :-
Shark Bay Daisy - A prolific grower when it likes the local soil. The seeds are carried with the wind and I have more than most in my garden. There are plenty in the natural bush. Difficult to transplant because of their tap root. Flannel Bush - Definitely a native plant, prickly with blue flowers. Pig Face - Spreads over sandy soil and has white flowers Bird of Paradise - Have planted many seeds and they all take, but because of lack of water rarely find one in flower. Brought a seedling back to Perth and it has many beautiful flowers -see picture. Oleander Bushes - In 1989 was given 46 Oleanders in pots. Planted all round the property (885 sq.mtrs). Now there are only six surviving. Brought back a seedling to Perth and it took well - see picture. Eleven O'clock flower - (so called by me as it opens up at 11am and closes at 3pm each day. Named the Parakeelya (Calandrinia Polyandra). First discovered by William Dampier (British Privateer) in 1699 who took samples back to Oxford where they can still be seen. The winds blow the seeds far and wide and I have hundreds of these plants in my garden which thrive without water. Wild Hibiscus - Not a native but introduced to the region. Drops seeds which take quickly with a tap root which is more than double the height of the seedling above ground. This tap root must be dug out whole or the transplant will fail. It has a white flower with a red centre, which can only be seen up close. I have planted 62 on my property and have supplied many homes in Denham with seedlings that are surplus to my requirements. Aloe Vera- A honey eater enjoys the Aloe Vera in the garden An emu passes by
Bottlebrush - A beautiful bush which flowers in October. Bird of Paradise - In the picture one can see a Staghorn in background to the right. This grows on bark of a tree but I have it on a piece of jarrah wood. Bird of Paradise bush grows well with watering and has a beautiful flower Dracena Maginata. You have probably seen this in many films in pots in a living room. I had one growing outside in City Beach where we lived for nineteen years and it was as high as the house. We just cut off pieces and planted them in pots to bring them on and then planted them out in the garden. All those here came from that one plant which we brought here 9 years ago. I have cut and given away dozens. They are better out in the ground and need lots of sun. Tecomi Smithii -- (John has sent me this picture but I can find no information about it. There is something that looks very similar going under the name Tecoma Stans. I am waiting to hear from John.-ed) Shrubs do well in the Perth garden. Hydrangea