Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

An Emblem in Abundance!

Just 15 minutes walk up the road from my home is a patch of bushland we often go walking in. It isn’t pristine native forest by any stretch, but you can still see quite a lot of native species and some indigenous to this area.

Last weekend we saw the best display of our State’s Floral Emblem, Epacris impressa, the Common Heath that I think I have ever seen.

Maybe it was just that it was such a bright display of colour on a dreary sort of a day, but my daughter and I were as delighted as if we had come across a forest carpeted with bluebells.

Sorry about the splotch, it was starting to rain!

The Common Heath has a scrubby and narrow kind of habit with short spiky leaves. It can grow to over a metre, but to be honest I’ve rarely seen a tall specimen. Common Heath flowers are fluted bells and range from almost pure white through a soft pink to a very vivid, deep pink.

A mid pink example.

It is a very hardy native, particularly if our local bushland is anything to go by. It is growing in rocky clay with little by way of topsoil and only a thin mulch of eucalypt leaves, from the trees that suck most moisture from the surrounding soil.

I now have it on my list for when we finally finish clearing out the old plum trees and my garden of native plants can start going in. Yet I have to stop seeing plants I want as it means I yet again have to resist the urge to get one. I’m gathering quite a collection of plants sitting in pots while I figure out what to do about the old plum tree stumps!

If you are interested in reading more about the Common Heath quite a detailed page can be found here.

cheers,

Heidi

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Comments on: "An Emblem in Abundance!" (12)

  1. I really like the variation in flower color, and not a bad alternative to a forest carpeted with bluebells. 🙂

  2. Wow. That’s even better than bluebells, to me, because I personally prefer pink! I love their shapes, too.

    You have some incredible natives to choose from, Heidi. I think decision time for the new garden is going to be difficult. 😉

  3. Can’t you just go ahead and plant around the stumps? Or will they sprout again?

    This is just as enchanting as bluebells in the wood ;>)

  4. Heidi – what a great treat, to have such natural habitat so close by. Can’t wait to see your developing garden! I do like Diana’s idea of keeping the stumps… could be fun & creative to incorporate them?

    (Illinois’s natural habitat is prairie – flat land with a lot of Switch grass. Not that doesn’t have it’s charm – but I think my neighbors would have a heart attack if I went ‘native’ (with the garden)… 😉 They hang over the fence as it is, wondering what the I’m up to!?! — Really!)

    Great post – great to hear what you are up to! –Shyrlene

  5. Heidi, Mother Nature is one of the best garden designers. She has come up with a lot of winners. Leave the stumps and garden around them like she does. Cut some close to the ground and garden over them. Leave some taller and grow things up and over them.

    Mother Nature has provided you with some beautiful wild gardens.

    Have a great day,
    John

  6. Beautiful! I’ve never seen these before, will have to see if I can find any … they look great.
    Em

  7. Hello everyone and thank you for your lovely comments! It is truly turning in to ‘one of those years’…I haven’t been back to catch up with you all these last few days as we’ve all had a very nasty cold virus in our house – I’ve been asleep for the last three days!

    Hello Clare and Meredith, I still have very fond memories of seeing a forest of bluebells as a child and would love to see them again one day, but I do agree that these are a pretty good local take on the theme!

    Diana of EE – yes, there is a fair chance that the plums will re-shoot. But I might see if cutting back any regrowth will be enough to put them off.

    I hadn’t really thought of incorporating the stumps in the garden John, but as stump grinding really isn’t an option at the moment, it might be just the way to go!

    Shyrlene, I think you should casually mention to your neighbours that you are thinking of installing an open prairie garden just to see the looks on their faces 😉

    Hi Em, I wonder if you do get heath in the bushland up around the farm, I’d imagine that you would in the more open forest. I’d be interested to hear if you spot any!

  8. Very different from our heaths, but beautiful indeed.

    The good thing about plants in containers is that they will sit patiently, waiting for you to place them, provided they are watered regularly. I always have a collection of not-yet-planted specimens sitting around waiting for me to make up my mind.

  9. so exciting to see it in mass and in the wild. I haven’t managed to grow them in my garden but I love them.

  10. Hi there, just wondering where abouts this was? 🙂
    I am making a herbarium as part of my uni assessment and am in need of a heath but I can’t find one! I live in Moe 🙂

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