Plants Are Some of My Favorite People
The Australian plants have for long adapted to heat, drought and fires such that some species are still identical to fossils that can be found from millions of years ago. Most fruits are hard as stone and protect the seeds from bush fires, which happen on a regular basis. As these fires were usually caused by lightning followed by rains, the plants have learned that these fires cause an optimal condition for young seedlings as there is light (all leaves are burnt) water (because of the rains) and nutrition (due to the ashes). After the fires the fruits open spontaneously releasing the seeds to do their job. As a result, the land is green in no time, even after the most devastating fires. Inflorescences are constructed from thousands of tiny little flowers that together form a splashing beauty full of nectar that attracts pollinating insects and even small mammals.
Some years ago, my wife and I (luckily we share the same passion) moved to an old farm in Neer, Netherlands and transferred the cow sheds into greenhouses, just to grow these unique plants close to home. As most of them are not frost hardy we need to protect them from frost in the winter. We called our place Merrigum after the aborigine word meaning ‘small plain’ which was our property when we bought it. We developed it into a beautiful park in which the Australian natives have found a nice home.
Strategic Project & Program Manager Vegetable Seeds R&D
Our garden is open for visitors and we are happy to tell you all about our passion of gardening and fascination for Australian plants. You can also follow Merrigum on Facebook or check www.merrigum.com (English version under construction).