Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Native Grasses.

This summer the weather conditions here in Mudgee,  with lots of rain and then the intense heat,  have lead to the rapid growth of our native grasses.  This is proving to be an inspiration.  Wandering around the property and gathering knowledge about the grasses that flourish here  is adding new perspectives on  possible  design directions for the gardens.

Kangaroo Grass, Themeda triandra, photographed here on The Eastern Terrace,  is one of the most widespread and recognizable members of the grass family in Australia. It probably dominated all Australian grasslands before European settlement.  It is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing, with these wonderful rust coloured seed heads appearing in summer, whilst in spring the fresh tussocks provide a vibrant green in the landscape.  Yet it is not much seen in Australian landscape design. Let's hope that changes soon.

Although Themeda triandra itself is not endangered it does grow in Temperate Grassland communities, which have been declared as endangered.  These grasslands are under threat due to loss and fragmentation through inadequate land management practices. As Kangaroo Grass does not tolerate heavy or continuous grazing, it can be a useful indicator of the level of disturbance in an area. These endemic grasses, perfectly suited to our environment,  provide us with an opportunity to explore a truly local style of landscaping across this property.

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