Week 1 December 2002: Rain: only 2 mm this week.
Planted a Grevillea Majestic near our back patio. This handsome semi-tropical hybrid has large cream and red flowers. We have a number of these semi-tropical hybrids at Yallaroo. They do not grow as tall as they do in warmer areas, but they do flower profusely and are a source of nectar for honeyeaters.
Our Banana Passionfruit (one of our edible exotics) has suffered during the drought. With some judicious watering and reasonable rain the vine has recovered. One of the mauve tubular flowers attracted an Eastern Spinebill.
We spent time weeding and mulching in two new sections of our Lawn Garden. There has been a proliferation of weeds, triggered by watering, rain and high temperatures. We find that in new beds there are usually two flushes of weeds after planting as the weed seed bank germinates. After that, mulching and dense planting inhibit weed growth.
Acacia implexa plants are flowering at Yallaroo. This tall Wattle has regenerated in large numbers since grazing stock were removed. Some plants flower several times during the year and often carry seedpods and flowers at the same time. Crimson Rosellas are very partial to the developing seeds.
This week we visited an Education Department Field Study Centre, north of Armidale. The Field Study Centre is a valuable resource and provides environmental education for school children. The native plant gardens surrounding the Centre need rejuvenating and we are advising on planting schemes and species selection.
Two books arrived this week. Volume 8 of the Encyclopedia of Australian Plants is the penultimate book in this massive work. This volume covers native genera from those starting with Pr to those starting with So. The book is normally $A150 but we purchased it for $A105. Please email us if you want the name of the bookshop that sells the book at the lower price. The other book is Native Bees of the Sydney Region and is a useful guide to the native bees that visit Yallaroo. Most species that are described are found along Australia’s east coast. We have already identified four species.
The Kurrajongs, Brachychiton populneus, at Yallaroo and surrounding properties are flowering. These beautifully useful trees have creamy-white tubular flowers. The flowers are followed by boat-shaped seedpods. The edible foliage is lopped during drought to provide stock fodder.

Garden Diary