Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tough plants for Perth sun - cactus and roses!

I love to grow food plants but I also love other types of tough plants like succulents and cactus, and since I have worked at a garden centre for so long that sells roses I have also ended up with a couple of roses...just so I can learn how to look after them. One I bought on purpose and the other two I adopted.

This has been the hottest Australian summer since 1978. The sun has been intense and there's been very little rain in Perth, if any, for many areas. However, out there in the hot afternoon sun, the roses and the cactus both look quite happy! Sure I need to water them but the roses are pretty, smell good and do the important job of flowering during summer, when not many other things do.

Tough guys in the garden. 

Flowers provide somewhere for beneficial insects to feed and survive over the summer months. The leaf cutter bees love to cut semi-circles out of the leaf and use it make a nest for her babies.

Leaf cutter 'damage' on rose. I think it look sbetter, myself.

We have one that has passed on using rose petals as well as leaves for their nest linings.We watched leafcutter bees in previous years doing the same thing.

Leaf cutter nest made of rose petals. We had to remove this from a rolled up tent we left out for a couple of days.

Other summer flowering plants include calendula, marigolds, daisies, some Grevilleas, Salvia, dahlias and others. Vegetables with flowers that are good for the beneficial insects and of course bees are all the summer vegetables. Cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, strawberries and lots of the herbs, such as thyme, oregano, and chives have plenty of flowers, too. Petals from roses, calendula, Allysum, cucumbers and chives can be added to salads, too.