Monday, 11 July 2016

Too tough for forest living?

Swamp grass trees in flower

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." 
~ Billy Ocean

I think I have made mention in the past that our place is situated in wallum country. Wallum country is native heathlands found  on the eastern coast of Australia. 

Last week, one of my favourite gardeners Jerry Coleby-Williams wrote about Wallum and Kowngan. He said that heathland grows in areas that are too tough for forest. "So" I thought to myself as I read that, "no easy forest  living for me and my husband, we had to pick somewhere really tough." 

Then my heart sank right into my boots when I read that our "Soils are extraordinarily impoverished even by Australian standards....."  

I knew our soil was bad but extraordinarily impoverished? Ouch! 

Although on the positive side Wallum country does have lots of interesting and beautiful plants. And we are lucky to have them pop up over the property. Some of my favourites are the bacon and egg plants, dianella, and the swamp grass trees.

Jerry's article has some lovely photos and a video too, and can be found here


  1. Sherri, we are just the opposite here on the Darling Downs and have excellent soil which I guess is why we have the Carnival of Flowers each year. I am pleased you are able to grow some nice plants though despite the impoverished soil.

    1. Yes you do have lovely soil on the Downs and you are lucky to have the Carnival of Flowers in your area, such a wonder of beauty every year. We have some terrific volcanic soils in the region - beautiful rich red soil and deep chocolaty brown soil. Absolutely picture perfect farms are scattered everywhere. However I love the diversity of our wallum country on the coast, and all the lovely wildlife, even though the soil is such a challenge.

  2. I live in Africa and whilst I know it is known for it's soil fertility where I live it is not.... We are lucky to have moved now but the place we lived before that literally only had one tree in a km radius. When we moved into this house the soil was awful and the previous owner had laid down thousands of rocks for an ornamental garden, I had to dig up every single rock and then lay down endless bag upon bag of topsoil and compost, it seemed to never end. Over a year later I am still digging up rocks! Our garden was a labour of love alright but then when I compare it with the impoverished townships here who desperately want to grow vegetables but can not as the rats eat them all I was grateful for what I have been blessed with. Bonnie x

    1. Goodness Bonnie, what a lot of hard work! Though it is through the hard work in gardens like yours and mine that we gain a sense of achievement and reward. I too feel grateful for what I have been blessed with. I was enjoying watching all the bird life on the weekend, particularly the wild ducks that I call my 'pest patrol' as they moved across the lawn and through the gardens.