Australia feels the heat

Mon, Jun 9, 2008

Australian Climate Change

Australia has just experienced the driest May on record and the government is seriously concerned about water supplies. They issued a drought statement on 31st May which clearly explains how dire the water situation is

Presumably, plants like this native Bottle Brush are thriving in the drought? My blog is visited by many Australians and I would really love to hear how you are coping with the lack of water in the garden. Please do e-mail me stories and pictures about what is happening and how you are planning for a future with drastically less water in your gardens to [email protected]. I know that UK gardeners will be keen to learn from your experiences – particularly as we are growing so many of your native species.Like this thriving Bottle Brush specimen I saw in a tiny front garden in Lewes – it is growing in full sun, right next to a busy road but seems very content.


These woody evergreen, drought-loving shrubs certainly are zero-maintenance and with the right conditions can reach up to 2m tall. They are now a common sight in the UK, thriving in full sun and tolerating most soils, apart from strong akaline. Their bold colours flowers and architectural shape are perfect for making a statement plus they boast unusual seed-heads.

Most are hardy to around – 5c but if you are unsure about hardiness in your area, always plant in a pot and bring under cover over winter to make sure it survives.

Their full Latin name is Callistemon and there are around twenty different varities in total. Trevanacross specialist nursery in Cornwall offers a wider range as well as many other international drought loving plants.Their 35 acre site at Helston, not far from Penzance, is home to numerous greenhouses where 90% of the plants sold are grown from cuttings or seeds.

I am planning to visit the nursery this summer to write a review for the Global Gardening Climate Change Nursery Guide. Parts of Cornwall have a micro-climate which is ideally suited to plants that need tender care and less frost.The result is an abundance of specialist nurseries throughout the county .Think I will need a couple of weeks to fit them all in – sounds like my idea of heaven!

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

Contact the author

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Neil Says:

    Hi Debbie,

    I am trying to identify your bottle-brush. Is it a Callistemon citrinus Eastlands? Many are very drought tolerant, choose species from Victoria, where I live, as these are more hardened to the dry conditions than Queensland plants.

    I will send more info to you

  2. Tessa Says:

    Good post.