Hog Bristle Native Garden
The origins of the garden as it appears today began in the 1990's and in the years that have since passed the garden has continued to grow and evolve. Today there are several distinct areas - that around the house, the vegetable garden, and the studio garden.
The vegetable garden, which provides a decent harvest over the warmer months in particular, was started from scratch around 2003. Using old railway sleepers raised beds were set up with the soil created over time from lawn clippings, newspapers and kitchen scraps. One aspect that a vegetable garden certainly requires is sunlight and to allow this the pines that grow along the northern side have been trimmed, using hand held shears, into spheres.
The original area of native garden was adjacent to the northern side of the garage and this was expanded in 2006 and again in 2011 with new planting comprising primarily of native species.
The beds that are around the house rely on a layer of thick mulch, and in most cases weed mat, to restrict the never ceasing growth of weeds . These beds also have a significant proportion of Callistemon together with some Grevillea, Correa, Lommandra and a single Banksia, intermixed with a selection of older non natives.
The construction of the studio in 2013, in what was a paddock of phalaris, created the opportunity to further expand native garden. Over several months the phalaris was removed by hand, with a mattock, and this allowed less aggressive forms of grass to establish. Given the heavy soil , not to mention frost, the Callistemon proved to be a very suitable species and as such this area is dominated by them. The first of the these plantings around the studio was in November 2014 and remains an ongoing project with more included each year since.
There are now more than 150 Callistemons growing - comprising 11 species and 22 hybrid varieties. Many of the shrubs, although not all, are subject to some form of pruning on an annual basis to create shrubs that are both bushy and healthy. Flowering for the most part, which occurs only on new season growth, is from November through to March - providing an abundant source of food for nectar feeding birds and insects.
The garden is a place of both work and enjoyment that offers a certain satisfaction from season to season and year after year