Waratahs, and this time they're red, pink and white

My last posting was all about Blue Waratahs and some creative use of Burton Blues low sheen acrylic. This time the blooms were all natural, albeit with a little creative breeding.

I've been up the mountains, at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, helping to open the Wild about Waratahs Festival for 2010.

The Festival runs from today until 10 October and includes a whole bunch of waratah related activities. Today we featured Waratah Passion, and exhibition of works by Jenny Kee, including (amongst some portraits of waratah flowers) a 1.4 metre silk scarf featuring a collage of 24 of Jenny's favorite pieces.

This is Lynda (Entwisle) rather than Jenny peaking out from behind the scarf, but Jenny and her grandchild were both draped in one of these scarfs. Jenny told us red was her trademark colour, and the waratah her 'totem'. She is keen to have something she calls 'Waratah Park', a garden or planting in and around Mount Tomah Botanic Garden celebrating this indigenous spectacular plant.

The Waratah Bloom Competition winners were announced, with Craig Scott of East Coast Wildflowers scooping the pool for another year, including the top prize for Champion Bloom. Community Education Officer Rusty Worsman launched the Waratah School Art project, which include the painting featured at the start of this posting.

Outside the hybrid waratahs were in bloom and our photographer Simone Cottrell was gathering together staff (Rusty Worsman on right), children and pixies for the seasonal pictures.

Down the hill, the bulbs were doing their best, and doing quite nicely, to match the splendor of the waratahs...