Every country has its own authors who write for children – here in Australia May Gibbs became famous for her children’s stories and her use of the native flora and fauna as an inspiration for the characters in her books

My children weren’t raised with May Gibbs but there are many Aussies (young and old) who remember the stories about the gumnut babies, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

This ‘nasty’ looking character is the Big Bad Banksia Man who is one of the villians in these books

This is my Banksia bush at the bottom of my garden
From recollection its a Banksia spinulosa and has the most beautiful candles
to see these best click on the photo to enlarge
The poor old thing has led a troubled life
When we rented the house out in 1994 he was quite big, as tall as the fence and really healthy. However the renters’ children seemed to think its branches were great to use as a step ladder to get over the fence so when we came home in 2002 he really needed some attention
We cut him down nearly to the ground and he is just coming into his own again
You might like to see what his candles look like
I haven’t removed any of the old candles so you are able to see them
From fairly young fresh ones

Through the different stages

This is one thats maybe from a couple of years ago and is drying off

This one is a year older and the seed pods are just becoming visible
See the resemblance to the drawing above

This is a clearer view of the seeed pods

And now one that’s nearly ‘naked’ cept for the big pods

And heres one that I love
All those pods are ready to burst

So even if it appears there isn’t much life in my garden – it turns out that if you look here and there you might get a nice surprise