Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Spectacular Winter; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Spectacular Winter; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Article excerpt

NO matter where you live in Central Queensland there are a couple of spectacular flowering creepers that are just starting to become noticeable.

But these creepers have also been noticed by some of the US Service men and women currently in Rockhampton for the Talisman Sabre joint military exercises at Shoalwater Bay.

A few years ago during one of the joint military exercises at Shoalwater Bay I received a very unusual phone call, from a US serviceman about a number of flowering plants seen around Rockhampton.

He had spent a good deal of his life in San Diego where a couple of our most spectacular flowering Creepers are also used to brighten the winter garden.

San Diego has a very simular climate to Rockhampton and most of the plants grown there are the same as here. In fact about a quarter of plants species found in San Diego nurseries are Australian native plants.

The two Creepers that had caught his eye in Rockhampton as he called them were the Prince's Vine and the Flame Vine.

These Creepers are a favourite to San Diego's children as they attract the beautiful little hummingbirds to the garden.

He told me that the number one requirement for a hummingbird garden is moving water, then rich nectar plants like the Prince's Vine or the Flame Vine and finally a viewing spot to watch these little birds hover and dart from flower to flower sipping nectar.

He told me the classic hummingbird flowers are trumpet-shaped blossoms, as hummingbirds have long tongues that can easily reach nectar that is too deep for other animals to reach.

The Prince's Vine or Ipomoea horsfalliae is sold in local nurseries under the same name but most gardeners would know this Creeper by the common name of the Cardinal Creeper. The Flame Vine is sold as Pyrostegia venusta in San Diego, here in Queensland it is known as Pyrostegia ignea, or the Golden Trumpet Vine.

The Ipomoea horsfalliae or Cardinal Creeper is a Creeper that deserves to be planted in more Central Queensland gardens. …

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