, , , , , , ,

Today we have Cindy Tomamichel on the blog today. Cindy’s an Aussie gardener/writer from “down under.” Welcome to the blog Cindy. I think you might be my first Aussie gardener guest. I’m anxious to see what you’ve got to tell us today.

Catherine, thanks for having me! What a great idea to find out about a garden from a writer’s perspective. I do enjoy reading about other people’s gardens, so I hope that my garden from Australia has some interest for others as well.

I am a member of a local gardening group that promotes growing Australian plants in suburban gardens. This has many benefits, in helping provide food and shelter to wildlife, they need less water than exotic imports, and they are generally hardier. However, I cheated a little with some of my favourite exotics in the back yard!

I planned out the garden to encourage visits and hopefully nesting of native birds. As you can see from the photo at the top of the post, I am often visited by cheeky lorikeets that love the grevillea flowers. So for birds, they need food such as grass seeds, nectar from flowers all year around, and also insects. Every year I have several wattlebirds come in to clean up spiders in hanging baskets, so they can feed their babies. I also have several water trays out and keep them filled. Summers in Australia can get very hot, and all manner of creatures such as birds, insects, lizards and possums will need a drink.

Insects can be regarded as a pest, however I have found most plants will recover from an insect attack. I encourage the predator insects, so I don’t use pesticides. Insects do however need a few things, such as shelter in spots where you don’t clean up too much, water, and a food source of nectar. I have found a mix of herbs, fuchsias, native plants and succulents provide a year round source of nectar for birds and insects.

The picture above shows one of the Australian blue banded bees on a fuchsia. The fuchsia fairy bells is my favourite. I have also included a Sturts desert pea with a preying mantis below.

I enjoy propagating plants, and here exotics have the advantage for they are much easier. Herbs such as rosemary and fuchsias are my favourites, and succulents are also easy. I have been propagating for some time now, and it’s a great way to fill up your yard with generally tough plants.

Gardens have made it into a few of my short stories, and I often get inspiration from insects, or some new fact about herbs. One of my favourite quotes is from Cicero “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” There is nothing better than sitting down in winter with a good book, a cat on your lap and watching the rain bring the garden to life.

I also blog on Australian native plants as ‘The Potting Bench’ at http://www.apswilsonparkberwick.org.au/ which also appears in ‘Growing Australian’ magazine.


About the Gardener/Author:

Cindy Tomamichel is a writer of action adventure romance. The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

She can often be found wandering about gardens, photographing insects, flowers and fungi. Will try and propagate anything.

Druid's Portal: The First Journey by [Tomamichel, Cindy]Her first book, Druid’s Portal: The First Journey will be out with Soul Mate Publishing on May 17th, 2017. An action adventure time travel with a touch of romance set in Roman Britain. Its genre is time travel romance with some violent scenes, and a moderate heat level.

Learn more about Cindy on her Website: