This lovely New South Wales Waratah Telopea speciosissima, the state flower of New South Wales, was flowering in the Australian National Botanic Gardens when I visited in November. A member of the Proteaceae family, waratahs are native to the eastern seaboard of Australia. They are so spectacular that, although initially they were thought to be difficult to cultivate, they are now a popular garden plant and cut flower. One of the roles of the ANBG is to work with garden worthy native plants and develop an understanding of how to propagate and cultivate them, which can be passed on to commercial growers and the public. Their fact sheet for Waratah is here. In the wild the species relies on periodic bushfires to successfully germinate seeds in the open areas created by the burn. Waratah is an Aboriginal word. The New South Wales Rugby team is called the Waratahs.
Susan was born in Victoria, but moved to Queensland when she was 11. Simon was born in London, but moved to Canberra when he was 7, and to Queensland when he was 28. In 1997 they moved to London. Susan worked for a large heritage and nature conservation trust and Simon taught music technology at tertiary level.
Now we live in Preuilly-sur-Claise, a small town with a population of less than 1000 people in the south of the Loire Valley. We write about the restoration of our house, the history of our local area, nature, cooking and anything else that strikes us as interesting. When we are not blogging we run Loire Valley Time Travel, doing individually tailored tours of the Touraine for anglophone visitors in our classic Citroën, Célestine.
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