Sunday, 29 August 2010

Open Garden Haven for Diamond Python Food in Sprinter


Sprinter, or early Spring if you like, means it's time for the gardens to open again. I missed the opening event this year but got to see my first Open Garden this afternoon.

And it's a good one. After only five years, Matt (below) and Kelly, have created a lovely (mostly) Australian plant garden in Mt Kuring-gai. Some colourful and leafy plants, including quite a few trees from the protea family. In fact they call their garden the Woody Pear Garden, even though I didn't actually see a Xylomelum, the local plant with that common name.


On fences, trees and 'hat stands' there are plenty of native orchids, exotic orchids and bromeliads. At the back, a luscious vegetable garden and a cluster of citrus trees. The waratahs and Rough-barked Angophoras will all flower in the next month or so, giving plenty to enjoy. You can read a little more about this garden on the ABC website.

Even better, the garden is a short walk away from Ku-ring-gai National Park where you can see plenty of the local plants blooming in mid-sprinter.


Most obvious were Wax Flower (Eriostemon australasius), Sydney Boronia (Boronia ledifolia) and I think the Common Glory Pea (Gompholobium latifolium), but also some nice clumps of the Spotted Sun Orchid (Thelymitra ixioides) - below- not quite open in the cool, late-day sun.


But let's finish with Matt and Kelly's garden. It had plenty of ponds, nooks and crannies, all encouraging local frogs and furry animals. Matt is also a keen snake breeder and his Diamond Python, enjoying a slither around my neck in the picture above, keeps the rats down.


Interestingly the snake is active all winter - at least on sunny days - but hasn't eaten since April. Which made me a little wary of the end with the head...

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