Week 2 January 2011: Rain = 33.5 millimetres
Plenty of Orchard Swallowtail Butterflies around Yallaroo at present. They are large, beautiful, black and white butterflies. They lay eggs on citrus plants. We have a double grafted lemon/lime plant in a pot and it is a target for the butterflies. Fortunately we have a bush lemon plant growing in one of our gardens. We are happy to move the caterpillars from one plant to the other.
We have less welcome visitors appearing at Yallaroo. There has been a proliferation of Scarab or Christmas Beetles eating the tops out of many planted Eucalypts. Over the years we have found that if trees are healthy and growing well then the plants recover quickly.
The remaining third of our family that did not visit over Christmas spent a few days with us this week. As per usual a great time was had by all.
There was time for more planting this week with 16 plants finding homes on one of our new gardens.
We potted on some rooted cuttings of Grevillea iascapula this week. This is a very rare species from southern New South Wales. Although not common in the wild this species is one of the easiest Grevilleas to propagate from cuttings.
This week we also prepared some more cuttings. These were rare species from northern New South Wales that will be included in the Rare Plant Collection at the Tamworth Botanic Gardens. This area will be established and maintained by the Tamworth Group of the Australian Plant Society. The cuttings prepared were: Callitris oblonga, Asterolasia species and Callistemon pungens.
We spent some time picking rhubarb from one of our vegetable rings. The leaves were placed in our rotary composter. We find that the large rhubarb leaves compost very quickly.
Our Melaleuca nesophila has be blooming bounteously for the last few weeks.
This week we found that our regularly visiting thrushes have built a nest in a Wonga Vine (Pandorea species) growing against our shed. The nest contains three eggs. We have lost count of the number of times that the thrushes have nested near our house and shed.
A pair of Striated Pardalotes is raising chicks in a nesting tube under the roof of our back patio.