Do you have a guilty spot? I do, actually a few. They are the neglected corners or patches in my garden that I just haven’t made time for because they are out of the way or just plain old hard work to garden, but as you know it is that time of the year not only for making resolutions but for planning your autumn and winter planting, seed and cutting propagation and importantly preparing the soil. So this year I am determined to makeover some of these guilty spots, primarily these are dry, rocky and sloping sites down the back of the garden but also under the pine trees where there is a horrible trifecta of being dry, shady and soil deprived with the suppression of pine needles making it very difficult to grow anything (except more pine).
With this in mind I made a head start by planting some cuttings of Yellow Buttons (Chyrsocephalum apiculatum) is also known as Common Everlasting, is a member of the Asteraceae, the daisy family native to southern Australia. Yellow Buttons grows naturally throughout Australia in a variety of habitats. I highly recommend it for your garden as it is drought tolerant, fast growing and will cover over neglect areas that we all have somewhere in our gardens. It provides a happy splash of colour, keeping down weeds and best of all will give you lovely posies of butter yellow flowers that will dry and last for many months for which they get their name.
Propagation is easy from cuttings taken at any time of the year and once rooted didn’t need much care or watering. The plant can vary depending on growing conditions, but is usually a small, somewhat prostrate low growing herb 30-40cm high and up to a 60cm round, but if you are impatient like me I started mine only 30cm apart and a patch of six plants that have nicely covered about 2sq meters. It has silvery or greyish, hairy leaves and clusters of bright yellow flower heads on stems to 15cm long. Flowers are produced in spring, summer and often throughout the year.
This plant is in the dry garden with rosemary, echium and diosma so I am starting to get great form and colour for this neglected part of the garden with little work or effort. Now I need to focus just a bit more as there are still some dust bowl patches that need filling.