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Bushy summery mixed border progress.

Bush mixed border

At least two of the trees out here have to go. Let me explain.

Mixed border, overgrown
Full mixed border

Our mixed border has been a work-in-progress for the past 18 months. Last summer was mainly about cleaning up the weeds and overgrowth, and I’ve been adding plantings here and there over the last twelve months. I even extended the bed and planted an olive tree. There’s still heaps of room to play around with plants, but I think I’ve got a decent base for this section of the garden. It should fill in nicely.

Here’s the thorn in my side, though: two of these trees, the ones furthest to the left, are invasive.

One of them isn’t really a tree; it’s ivy that’s colonised a dead tree for 30 years. I’m definitely aware that it needs to go, like, yesterday. The other one is a sweet pittosporum, which grows tall and fast, and also provides a useful screen. I’d been looking up information on them, hoping to find a source that’d say, NAH IT’S COOL, IT’S TOTALLY NOT INVASIVE WHERE YOU ARE, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING AT ALL. Nope! Common environmental weed in Tasmania. Booooooo.

There’s also the tree that’s not invasive but I just don’t like very much, the juniper (the weird limbed blue conifer up front). Admittedly, I’m the one who botched pruning it, making it look extra out of place, but regardless I don’t think it adds much out here.

Mishka on the lawn

Here’s an image that I feel best represents the silent agony of contemplating unpleasant options.

So. Along with the shrubs, grasses and groundcovers, I added some tall, fast-growing hedge plants to the border: gossamer wattle, purple hop-bush, ‘Starry Night’ tea tree. Once they begin to take off in growth, we’ll remove the problem plants.

This is what’s currently out there:

Mixed border - 1
Mixed border - 2
Mixed border - 3
Mixed border - 4

Small trees / tall shrubs (>2m): Olive, silver banksia, gossamer wattle, ‘Starry Night’ tea-tree, ‘Shady Lady’ waratah, purple hop bush. (The wattle seedling is hiding behind the pittosporum.)
Small-medium shrubs: Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’ and ‘Pink Nectar’, camellia, ‘Beverly Hills’ and ‘Waireka’ hebe, nandina, ‘Jezebell’ correa, guitar-plants, snowberry.
Groundcovers: ‘Mt Tamboritha’ grevillea, New Zealand spinach.
Strap-leaf plants, ferns and grasses: Flax lily, ‘Platt’s Black’ flax, tussock-grass, tree fern, trigger-plants, native flag-iris.

Most plants are Australian native, some are Tasmanian native (and even endemic, like Lomatia tinctoria). I might add a handful of perennial exotics later on, just to get some summer colour happening.

New plants, Feb 2015

A closer look at some of the recent plant-outs: ‘Mt Tamboritha’ grevillea, gossamer wattle (Acacia floribunda), copper-leaf snowberry (Gaultheria hispida), ‘Jezebell’ correa. The mass up at the top started out as a small sprig of New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) and grew 1m wide in the space of a year. Whoa. More of that, please.

Grevillea, wattle, snowberry, correa
1 / 2 / 3 / 4

My small seedlings don’t look much now, but here’s what a few of them should look like eventually. They can pin it on their inspiration boards and plan accordingly.

Pink-flowering eucalyptus
Pink eucalyptus flowers

And then there’s the one thing that’s flowering in abundance right now: the gum tree! It’s beginning to rebound after its big break last year, and the hot pink flowers are pretty nice. It’s cool seeing the garden evolve.

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5 thoughts on “Bushy summery mixed border progress.”

  1. I understand your concern with removing trees, however you are definitely going about it the right way by planting replacements now. Sweet Pittorsporum and English Ivy are terribly invasive so I wouldn’t feel bad about getting them out of there. Your native planting scheme will be such a better result!

    Keep up the great work!

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