Week 1 March 2017: No rain again this week.
A couple of weeks ago we had a few falls of rain. Friends who live west of Yallaroo had a massive hail storm that damaged roofs, shredded their garden and knocked down trees. As the crow flies they are only 10 km from us so we were very lucky.
On our usual shopping day we visited friends who live on the northern outskirts of Armidale. They have an extensive garden with a good mix of natives and exotics. They generously allowed us to take cuttings of various plants. We were particularly interested in taking cuttings of Melaleuca laterita, the Robin Red-breast Bush. We have a number of this red-flowered species but in ten years none have flowered. Their plants are in full flower so hopefully their progeny will bloom for us.
Behind our plastic house, containing our tubed plants, there is a seedling peach that came up in some compost. We noticed, this week, that the plant is carrying 13 ripe peaches. On inspection they are not infested with fruit fly and have a delicious taste. In future we will nurture this unexpected addition to our edible plants.
Last spring our Hakea purpurea plant flowered profusely with masses of red blooms. This week we noticed that a number of woody fruits have developed on the plant. We will harvest them with a view to attempting seed germination. There is lots of fresh new growth on the plant so we will also try cutting propagation.
We sent some bird and garden photos to one of our sons-in law. He is giving an environmental presentation to a group involved in a village development on the Central Coast.
We have been propagating the rare Pimelea venosa, from cuttings, for the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) with great success. This week we were given a specimen of the also rare Homoranthus croftianus to propagate from and also to try in cultivation.
Our Alyogyne huegelii is flowering. This relative of the exotic Hibiscus has double lilac flowers.
One the last day of the week we travelled to Armidale and spoke at the local group of the University of the Third Age. This is group of people of our vintage who have a thirst for knowledge. We spoke about our life and relationship with the environment and native plants. Sixty people attended the talk and we had a great time.
Wildlife observations: One morning we saw a small Green Tree Frog amongst our tubed plants. The Bronzed-wing Pigeon visited the mown area near our back patio. This bird is becoming a regular visitor.