Mary Wise

I live in Western Australia. Summers are hot but we usually don't get many days over the old 100 °F. (37 °C.) mark. Our winters for the past few years have been remarkably mild with few frosts and even less rain. The South African bulbs and hybrids of, generally speaking do very well here. In fact in older farming areas around there is huge amounts of Amaryllis belladonna growing wild plus Babiana, Sparaxis, Ixia, Chasmanthe, Watsonia and Gladiolus. Romulea and Oxalis proliferate on the roadsides and in the cleared paddocks.

The soil in the area that I live is a black sandy/loam which goes away to a water resistant powder when it dries out, so summer is a messy time whenever the wind blows. I suspect that the soil ph is probably neutral to slightly alkaline. I keep the garden beds well supplied with compost and manure and mulch heavily in summer to try to retain the moisture as the light soil dries out very quickly. As we live near the forest edge there is many plant predators so anything particularly precious I keep in pots, also have one garden bed surrounded with rabbit mesh.

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