Week 1 February 2017:  Rain = 4 millimetres. We are finding the weather very hot, as is everyone else, and too hot to do much outside work. We spent lots of time watering.

The Lythrum in our patio pond is in full flower. The numerous purple flower spikes are very striking. We have a number of Queensland Umbrella Trees (Schefflera sp) growing as indoor plants. They thrive in low light conditions. We have another specimen growing in our plastic house with our tube plants. One day we noticed that this plant has produced a number of buds, held in spikes. This is the first time any of our Umbrella Plants have flowered. We will be interested in seeing the flowers. The blooms are said to generate large amounts of bird-attracting nectar.

The big news this week is early in the week we picked up a new car. It is a Hyundai I30. This was the same as our previous car but the new one has many more features and costs less than the previous four year old one.

Our neighbour came to visit one afternoon. He was enquiring about our Next G Wireless Link telephone system. He is having constant problems with his landline. At Christmas his phone was off for 11 days. He came bearing gifts consisting of a large bag of home grown plums.

Whilst speaking of plums. This week we enquired, from a fruit tree nursery, about growing plums in containers. There was a positive response and it is possible to grow plums this way. We are thinking about growing two plums in a raised garden bed. We are waiting until ALDI has some more of their garden beds. They are cheaper than any other supplier.

We potted on struck cuttings of Grevillea pinaster and seedling Allocasuarina grampiana.

On our weekly shopping trip to Armidale we noticed that work is progressing on a new library. The library has outgrown its present building and is being moved further west to a building that once housed a Retravision store. We are looking forward to using the new library. Every three weeks we borrow at least 20 magazines and books.

A big storm went through Armidale early in the week and damaged some buildings and brought down a big eucalypt in a supermarket car park.

Wildlife observations: Plenty to report this week. A Red-necked Wallaby was feeding near our verandah one morning. A Bronze-winged Pigeon was sighted perching in a big eucalypt near the house. Mud wasps are building nests, to house their larvae, under our patio roof. One morning a flock of White-winged Choughs were feeding under our bathroom window. It is some time since we had a visit from these gregarious birds. Our neighbour, who brought plums, reported seeing a large goanna near his house. We have never seen a goanna on Yallaroo.


Garden Diary