Rose Christian Dior.
Rose Christian Dior.

Here's some quirky Valentine's Day history

THIS week, Neil Fisher delivers some great gardening tips, in addition to some flowery Valentine's Day fun facts:

I AM a great believer the gardening term "Trial and Error” and I imagine most gardeners share that view.

Like the British actress and gardener personality Emilia Fox. Who is quoted "When I go into the garden, I forget everything”. "It's uncomplicated in my world of gardening. It's trial and error really.

If something doesn't work, it comes out, and you start all over again.”

Over the years many communities have used "Trial and Error” to establish beautiful parkland and streetscapes. But in these high pressured I-days more and more gardens are designed generically using the same plants from one end of the country to the other.

It does not have to be this way! Sometimes it can be just a matter of a drive in the car or a visit to another garden maybe with a number of questions asked.

Recently I had a meeting in Biloela a community known for gardening outside the box. And in front of the Banana Shire Council chambers are a number of plant species that are anything but generic. Including a tree that should be a first choice in any streetscape that has heavy soils, the tree is Cassia Rainbow Shower.

Cassia Rainbow Shower is a hybrid cross of two extremely well known and popular cassia shade trees. With one of the parent plants is Cassia javonica, which is one of the more impressive pink flowering cassias that is sold in many local nurseries, and has been used for many years around Rockhampton.

The best specimens are probably those at the Rockhampton Botanical Gardens but some gardeners would remember the beautiful specimens that use to be found at St Pauls Cathedral on the corner of William and Alma Street.

The other parent plant is that of Cassia fistula, commonly known as Cascara. Named for the medicinal pulp around the tree, is another excellent example of a summer-flowering tree. With masses of beautiful yellow blossoms that hang like bunches of grapes, then drop to the ground after blooming to form a golden carpet.

This makes Cassis fistula an ideal parkland or streetscape specimen. Being a native of the drier areas of Shi lanka and India, this tree will grow happily in all parts of Central Queensland. Another piece of interesting information about this particular tree is that in its native areas, the flowers are used for temple offerings and the bark for tanning. These have been flowering just recently at in Rigarlsford Park in Elphinstone Street, North Rockhampton.

Unlike all other cassias that have seed pods which become a high maintenance problem, Cassia Rainbow Shower is said to have none of these leguminous seed pods. The tree is best described as being medium sized, growing on average between five and seven metres high, in a sunny, open position. The foliage is glossy green and somewhat similar to that of Cassia fistula. The flowers form a canopy of pink and butter coloured blooms, which, when viewed from a distance, give the tree a peach coloured appearance.

Cassias have been successfully grown for many years in Central Queensland and this hybrid is even more attractive in bloom. But with this parentage it all but ensures that Cassia Rainbow Shower will grow successfully in this area, as well as passing on other favourable characteristics.

What you may not know about Emilia Fox is that she has a plant named after her. It is a red with purple bi-coloured Sweet Pea named Lathyrus Emilia Fox.

Don't forget this coming Tuesday is Valentine's Day.

Did you know?

Did you know that the giving of flowers on Valentine's Day most likely came from the English tradition?

Where a young unmarried girl would strike her forehead with rose petals.

If the petals broke apart, the girl then knew that her valentine loved her.

From this simple custom, came the heavily commercialised Valentine's Day.

Now the tradition of giving flowers to your chosen valentine, in particular red roses, has evolved.

Step forward for Rocky business a 'dream come true'

premium_icon Step forward for Rocky business a 'dream come true'

Trees rejoice as Rocky has its first electronic property settlement.

Adani ‘admin error’ ends in court

premium_icon Adani ‘admin error’ ends in court

It's an issue the resources giant has described as a mistake

Rocky referee to make NRL history this week

premium_icon Rocky referee to make NRL history this week

Belinda Sharpe to become the first female to officiate an NRL game