I think that the most sensational of our winter flowers has to be the Cootamundra wattle; one of the many wattles that start flowering from this time of year.
In our garden the most conspicuous is the Cootamundra Wattle * Acacia Baileyana. Cootamundra is the name of a town in southern New South Wales * where this wattle originates, and the name is derived from an aboriginal word.
This last week our Cootamundra wattle came to its peak, the view above is from the bathroom window.
The two photos above and below show how it looks from the outside.
Wattles are notoriously hard to keep as a cut flower, as they can dry and shrivel very quickly. I am pleased to report that I have had my best success to date, by following directions from a booklet produced by the Victorian Department of Agriculture, Institute of Plant Sciences. 'The Post Harvest Care of Cut Flowers' * compiled by Dr R Jones.
The process was to bring the branch straight in from the garden, re-cut the stem under water and then place it in a deep vessel (nageire vase) containing one litre of warm water (40 Celsius) with 10 mls of vinegar, a level teaspoon of sugar and few drops of bleach. The blossom I experimented with is still looking good after five days in a cool room.
The arrangement above did not last as long, only a couple of days, when I brought it into a warm room that had a heater on in the evening. The green ceramic suiban is by the Tasmanian potter John Campbell * who was active from the 1880's to the early part of the 20th century. It was given to me by my sister-in-law Libby.
I think the method described above, for treating wattle, would be worth trying for other woody stemmed plants.
Greetings from Christopher
31st July 2016