Week 2 June 2008: Rain = 32.5 mm    More splendid rain this week

Planting and mulching continued this week with 36 plants going into the ground.

We started an experiment this week. Two pots were prepared with cuttings of Grevillea Coastal Glow. Both groups of cuttings were dipped in red Clonex hormone dip. The foliage of cuttings, in one pot, was sprayed with a mix of IBA/NAA hormones in 50% alcohol. The other cuttings were not sprayed. We read about a similar experiment with cuttings of Grevillea Royal Mantle where the sprayed cuttings produced roots faster than unsprayed cuttings. The results of our experiment will be reported in the fullness of time.

This week we sowed seeds and prepared other cuttings. Our propagating unit is rapidly filling up with both seed and cutting pots.

Our Grevillea Pink Surprise was watered with soluble sulphate of potash. Hopefully this will encourage flowering.

There is an interesting experiment, at the University of New England, examining the development of the brains of honey bees. The next step is to experiment with native bees. We have offered to provide some of our native bees when they appear in spring and summer for their research.

This week we purchased two books. Native Grasses for Australian Gardens by Nola Parry and Jocelyn Jones is a recent publication that describes not only grasses but other native plants with strap-like leaves. The book is usually about $27 but we found copies in Big W in Armidale for $19. The other book is Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew and describes a new way to grow vegetables in less space. We first saw this book mentioned, in a gardening magazine brochure, for $90. A search on the internet revealed that Angus and Robertson had the book for $31 via mail order. We are going to find both publications very useful.

We also found out this week that Bunnings Hardware is probably going to build a store in Armidale. This is great news as, at the moment, we have only one hardware store. Bunnings usually carry an interesting range of native plants.

This week a large flock of Silvereyes visited the garden. Usually we only see two or three of these cheerful small birds.

At present there are also a large number of Eastern Spinebills visiting the garden. There are always a few Spinebills in the garden but recently we have seen five or six at a time.

A small Eucalypt burst into bloom this week in the garden. We did not know the species but using buds and gum nuts identified the species as Eucalyptus diversifolia. The seeds released from the nuts will be sown in our propagating unit.

More plants were purchased this week. We bought four different Blueberries. They are early, mid and late maturing varieties and will be grown in pots. They were only $9.60 each. At the same time we bought a form of Chrysocephalum apiculatum known as Desert Flame.

This week we potted on some struck cuttings and seedlings including Eremophila biserrata, Eucalyptus nortonii and Acacia leptoclada. This Wattle is a local species with bright yellow flowers and bipinnate foliage.

All our Hakea petiolaris plants are in flower. The plants are covered in creamy-purplish pincushion flower heads.

This week we also a tall native grass that is growing in various places at Yallaroo. The grass is Austrostipa ramosissima and is known as Feather Grass. Seeds have been collected and sown.

New on the Site: Austrostipa ramosissima and Eucalyptus diversifolia.


Garden Diary