Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Dry West Puts on Spectacular Show

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Dry West Puts on Spectacular Show

Article excerpt

Last week I saw several gardens in Longreach while on a bus tour which was part of the town's first Waterwise Garden Expo hosted by Desert Channels Queensland.

Longreach has an array of high-quality private and public gardens featuring many plants unusual to coastal gardeners.

While Longreach is situated on the Tropic of Capricorn, like Rockhampton, both soils and climate are very different.

One of the garden features of Longreach is its botanic walkway between the town centre and the Stockman's Hall of Fame.

This botanic feature runs parallel to the main highway into the town and exhibits the unique range of native dryland plant species able to be grown in the Central West.

The vast variety of plants used here offers a flowering display nearly all year round.

Longreach streets also have a colourful display of flowering shrubs.

Last week it was easy to find a different coloured bougainvillea in full bloom after only walking a few blocks.

Other plants that shone in home gardens included the native fuchsias or Eremophilas, the silver cassias or Senna artemisiodes and a large range of roses.

But it was the garden of Sue Gardiner that caught my eye on the bus tour.

This garden is quite new but followed most waterwise design techniques like being well mulched, deep watered and a selection of low-water-using shrubs and groundcovers.

The feature plant was the Sturts Desert Pea.

I would love to be able to grow this plant in my home garden but it is only for dry land gardens or pot plants.

Over the years many native plant enthusiasts in the Rockhampton area have tried to grow this plant but the humid summers always result in the plant's death.

The Sturt's Desert Pea or Swainsona formosa was formerly called Clianthus formosus and is soon to be known as Willdampia formosa, confused?

This plant is the official floral emblem of South Australia and was named for Charles Sturt who headed a number of expeditions into Australia's arid interior in the mid 1800s.

The Sturt's Desert Pea is a prostate, rambling plant with soft grey green foliage. …

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