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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Friday, December 3, 2010


For the first of my 'Garden Surprises - Summer', I couldn't go past the good old Aussie bottlebrush.

Callistemons in various forms appear inmost of temperate Australia, especially down the south-east coast.  The nurserymen have had lots of fun crossing, and crisscrossing calistemons. Some have tiny, insignificant white or cream flowers but they can be mauve, pink or as in this callistemon citrinus, red.    This one is a small tree, but they also come in shrubs, sprawling spreading plants, with straight limbs, or a weeping habit, with smooth leathery leaves like these, or hairier, greyish leaves. 

Red callistemons mean Summer to me.  
At this time of year, you could just chuck on some tinsel and have your Christmas decorating done!

This beautiful specimen belongs to my neighbour and looks magnificent hanging over our fence.

I like callistemons so much I bought four yesterday.  'Hot Pink' splendens x pallidus, 'Lone Ranger' kenmorrisonii, 'Nowa Nowa' nyall ingensis and 'Cherry Time' sublatus citrinus.  I chose them based on their flowering times so there will be a spread.

They will have the job of  hiding the tank and goat shed - but not where the goats can get them.


  1. Beautiful!Mine are just finishing and I have the same ones as you do.

  2. Hi Hazel, Callistemon is such a lovely plant, gorgeous flowers!

    A couple of years ago I gave one to a homesick friend to remind her of home. She's also from Melbourne, Victoria :)

  3. I love the pink of those flowers, they are just so pretty... I have seen streets lined with them up here, and it's just a magnificent display when they are all in flower. Nice summer surprise!

  4. Callistemon are great aren't they? Here they flower in spring for a while and that's it. What a great flower for Christmas.

  5. Hi Hazel, we are lucky having summer now, compared to our fellow northern hemisphere garden bloggers who are already contending with snow. Callistemons are wonderful and such a good idea for an Australian Christmas. cheers, catmint

  6. Yes I love the good old bottle brush too. They are so easy to grow and look fantastic in full bloom. And they come in many colours, but red is my favourite.

    Our trees have finished blooming already.


  7. Your bottle-brush trees look like the Pahutukawa trees I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks back. Do you think they are related? Have you tested whether goats like to eat them or not?

  8. We have tried growing Bottle Brush on a few occasions, have finally come to the conclusion that the conditions here in Aberdeen Scotland are just not suitable. Ah well cant have everything.


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