Long term readers will know that our neighbourhood was at the centre of a major piece of infrastructure development in the last few years. One of the things this meant was the loss of 173 trees in a small part of our metropolitan area, and since the project ended we have lost still more. In the last few months (way too late for it to be a good time for new plants to establish themselves) there has been a lot of mulching and planting. Good as this is–and parts of it are great–the trees that have been planted are a lot smaller than those we lost, and they always will be. In our street, where more than 20 trees were removed, not a single tree has been planted.
The plantings in our street are a little more regimental than I probably would have chosen, but they are hardy, native species that might make it through summer, and that is a start. There are lots of spaces though, and in time this will mean that as the mulch layer becomes soil, weeds will rise. I’ve decided on direct action of a smallish sort. I soon discovered why some parts of the ground had been left bare. There is concrete so close to the surface that my trowel reached it. I put larger saltbush species in where there was enough soil to give them a chance, and smaller species in where they might make it but little else will. I propagated them from seed some time ago and have been waiting a long while to get them in the ground. This felt like such a small contribution–but as I knelt there digging, a chap on a bike went past and called out ‘good girl!’ This was so clearly intended as encouragement I decided to receive it as such and press on.
I also planted some of these. I don’t know the name of this plant. I collected seed when we went to Wilpena Pound
a few years back and these plants are spreading in our front garden even without being watered–they have what they need to be able to survive unwatered on public land. They are among the species being planted in the neighbourhood, so I decided to add some in our street. They have a little pinky-purple flower followed by a pleasing little puff of seed head. Here is the way they look full sized right now.
Well… I have begun planting out my current crop of seedlings and put in a lot more of last summer’s seed collection. They aren’t trees… but we need everything we can get to soften the landscape here and give solace to the smaller creatures. Trees, we won’t be able to consider planting until autumn.