Week 1 February 2005: No rain this week.
This week the bird netting was removed from most of our fruit trees. The netting keeps the birds from eating the fruit. We harvested two buckets of peaches from one of our peach trees. This is a cutting grown plant that is about two metres tall and produces delicious fruit. We have left a nectarine covered because the fruit is not quite ripe. This tree came up in one of our gardens and this year is covered in nectarines.
Some visitors are coming at the end of the week so we mowed our grassy area, near the house, early in the week.
We erected two wooden sculptures in one of our new garden beds. There are many interesting pieces of wood lying around Yallaroo. They are the remnants of the days when the property was heavily grazed and excessively cleared.
There are a number of birdbaths scattered amongst the shrubs in our gardens. One is very popular and is in almost constant use by many birds. This week, for the first time, we saw Brown-headed and White-naped Honeyeaters bathing in the water.
When plants are purchased we ensure that we propagate cuttings from our purchases. This week a Prostanthera denticulata, bought some time ago, died in one of our gardens. It was a large plant and we suspect that it was root bound. An autopsy will be conducted in the near future. Fortunately we have progeny propagated from this plant.
Before Christmas we visited a garden in Armidale. One of the plants that caught the eye was an Eremophila sargentii. We were allowed to take some cuttings. Fortunately some cuttings struck because this week we heard that the original plant has expired. We will be able to supply a replacement.
Rabbits are a problem at times in freshly planted gardens. They dig holes amongst the new plants. Scattering blood and bone keeps them at bay but needs constant replacement. We noticed that they do not dig where ground covers have developed. We tried scattering branches of our local Cassinia on new garden beds. This method of plant protection seems to work and rabbit damage has been reduced considerably.
Towards the end of the week 50 bird watchers visited Yallaroo from Tamworth and Armidale. Because of the number of visitors we did not see many birds but the bird watchers were happy to have a tour around the garden to see how we have developed havens for small native birds. We had a pleasant day and feel that the bird watchers had an enjoyed themselves.