THE beautiful Australian native wheel of fire tree (stenocarpus sinuatus) has been flowering for some time now thanks to the very warm summer we have enjoyed (or not).
Forgive that little joke, but obviously the wheel of fire certainly enjoyed it, and it is ideal for growing in any reasonable sized garden.
The foliage is quite large and wavy, providing a year-round attractive appearance, while the groups of flowers resemble circles of red Grevilleas - spectacular.
They are excellent for roadside planting, forming an avenue leading to the house on larger properties, as a feature in the front garden, with an under planting of 'misty blue' scaevola, or beside the patio, where you can enjoy it to its full extent.
Main requirements are the good climate we have here, together with moist, well-drained soil, so look for it now.
THERE are many caterpillars of all kinds being supplied to our gardens by their butterfly or moth parents at this time, as you've no doubt noticed. So the brassicas, radishes, swedes, turnips, the cucurbit family of cucumbers, melons, squash and zucchinis, the entire tomato family and almost every other vegetable you can think of, are looking very lacy indeed.
The excellent Yates Success Ultra insect control has a very low toxicity level and will control caterpillars, codling moth, thrips, tomato leaf miner and cherry slug, simply by following the instructions on the container.
See the complete list of pests, directions on usage, and importantly the sentence 'no withholding period when used as directed' for bananas and subtropical fruits, excluding kiwifruit. For other plants, follow the short withholding period stated.
Orchids in April
IT REALLY is an exciting time of the year for most of us, with Easter and all the other events that happen at that time, and for orchid lovers, it's an added bonus.
Orchids in April in 2015 will be held in the Caloundra Uniting Church Hall, cnr Queen and Ulm Sts, on Friday, April 10, 9am-5pm, and Saturday, April 11, 9am-2pm. There'll be ample parking available and it is wheelchair accessible.
Nine orchid societies from Gympie to Bribie Island will provide orchid displays, with talks on orchids, and some in flower raffled daily.
Then there'll be sales of orchids, bromeliads, anthuriums, ferns, foliage and pots, which will all be popular.
Entrance is $3 for adults, $2 per person for bus groups and children are free. Morning and afternoon teas will be available at $4, and lunches for $6. The presentation of prizes will be at 2.30pm on Saturday. Enjoy it everyone.
Yandina Community Garden
THE next free workshop at YCG, cnr Farrell and North Sts is Saturday, April 4, commencing at 9.30am.
How to build a bee wall/bee hotel will be presented by Keith Upward in this hands-on workshop, when he'll demonstrate how to make a small bee hotel from recycled materials with a minimum of power tools.
Cutting aids and materials will be supplied, and someone attending will win the constructed bee hotel as a lucky door prize.
Birds, Bugs and Botanica
AS READERS are aware, we're always interested in anything that may be happening at Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens and the following event will certainly be a good one.
There'll be an exhibition by Nita C. Lester in the Arts and Ecology Centre, in MBBG, from April 3-19, between 10am-2pm daily.
This is yet another good reason to visit our beautiful gardens. Visit the exhibition well named Birds, Bugs and Botanica, and enjoy some refreshments, then have a wander around the many other parts of the unique property.
Don't miss the beautiful reflections in the billabong, have a look at the fern gulley and other well planted and maintained areas; it's a wonderful spot for all the family.