Sunday, October 24, 2010


Grevillea, beautiful flowers, unique filler, fabulous foliage and an amazing plant. This species has amazing growth habits, ranging from flowering groundcover, to beautiful scrubs and hedges, to tall colorful trees. The flowers range in color from white to pink, yellow to red and their size can be small and spider-like or large and bottlebrush-shaped. Foliage can be sharp and needle-like, soft and fern-like, or long branches with colorful jagged edges.

The Australian species of Grevillea consists of approximately 313 different varieties and 200 cultivars, and that number is continually increasing. Named for Charles Francis Greville, one of the founders of the Royal Horticulture Society in 1804, this member of the Proteaceae family is now cultivated by commercial growers and gardeners in many parts of the world. Some of the hardiest Grevillea have been grown in the United Kingdom for more than 100 years. Grevillea is also widely grown in the United States and South Africa, while the tropical varieties are cultivated in warmer parts of South Asia.

Grevillea Flowers

Grevillea Ivanhoe

Grevillea Red Hooks

Grevillea Johnsonii

Friday, October 15, 2010


Banksia is named in honor of Sir Joseph Banks, who collected the first banksia specimens at Botany Bay during Captain Cook’s 1770 voyage.  They are truly one of the best known and spectacular genera in the Australian plant family Proteaceae with nearly 170 species.  These Australian wildflowers grow naturally in and around most of Australia’s coastal regions.  Some varieties have growth habits similar to ground cover, others like shrubs and some trees.  They can now be found in a wide variety of landscapes.  Banksia flowers are generally shaped like a cylinder, large acorn or bottle brush and range in size from 4” to 12”.  Colors range from silvery green through brilliant gold, yellows and orange to violet, deep red and even black tones.  Banksia foliage varies greatly from small and piney to long and narrow to large, leathery and with deep serrated teeth.  Unlike most of southern Australian wildflowers the main flush of flowers come not in spring but in summer, autumn and winter.  Not only are these flowers colorful and full of texture, they offer a long-lasting performance as a single stemmed presentation, weaved into a fall wreath, or combined with other traditional flowers.

Banksia Wreath
Banksia Ashbyii
Banksia Candles
Banksia Speciosa
Banksia Prionotes
Banksia Coccinea

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Fynbos literally means "fine bush" and is a special type of vegetation that accounts for more than 80 percent of the plant species in South Africa's Cape Floral Kingdom. Over two-thirds of these plant species are not found growing naturally anywhere else in the world.  Fynbos, one of South Africa's treasured natural heritages, consists of approximately 100 different plant families.  The three largest families are: the small-leaved ericas, the large-leaved proteas, and the grass-like restios.  It is absolutely incredible to see colorful protea, leucadendron and berzelia growing wild along the roads and hillsides.

The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest of the six plant kingdoms in the world, and occupies a small four percent of South Africa’s land, yet it is one of the earth’s hot spots because of its excellent biodiversity. Currently, more than 1,400 species of fynbos plants are threatened due to human actions such as construction, agriculture and the growing economic value of these plants and flowers. 

Fynbos is one type of vegetation, there are many other types to enjoy which include fabulous trees, plants and flowers that surround us every day!   Make it a point to get outdoors, go for a walk and hear the music in nature.