Week 2 March 2005: Rain = 1.5mm
Received seeds and cutting material in the mail this week. Firstly some Eucalyptus pachyphylla seeds arrived from Glen Innes. A chap who has visited Yallaroo collected the seeds in central Queensland. They have been sown and hopefully this Eucalypt, known as the Red-capped Mallee, will be planted in one of our gardens.
Our son, Lachlan, who manages a large exotic garden in the Southern Highlands, of NSW, sent the cuttings. He sent some Skimmea cuttings for us to try to propagate. Skimmea plants are difficult to find in nurseries and he needs some for the garden. Skimmea is a member of the Rutaceae family in company with the native Correas. We havenít heard of this genus before. Hopefully the cuttings will strike.
We went on an interesting drive this week. We headed east of Armidale along the Waterfall Way and returned via Guyra along the New England Highway. We received a photo of a red-trunked Eucalypt that is growing along the Waterfall Way and our first stop, on our short expedition, was to identify this Eucalypt. It turned out to be Eucalyptus dalrympleana, a White Gum. The trunk was no longer red. Apparently the trunks sometimes become red just before the bark is shed.
Our next stop was at Sandy Creek, a very original name. Two interesting plants grow here. One is Callitris oblonga, the Pygmy Pine and the other is a form of Grevillea juniperina. This form has grey foliage and develops into a dense, mounded ground cover. We collected cuttings, as this form will have great horticultural potential.
Lunch was partaken in Cathedral Rock National Park. After lunch we went on a short walk to sample some of the botanical features of this beautiful National Park. We came across Derwentia arcuata and the very rare Styphelia perileuca. This latter plant is a medium, spreading shrub with short, stiff, grey leaves and flowers and is only found in Cathedral Rock National Park.
Our trip was rounded off by a visit to a Guyra nursery where we purchased a number of native plants including a Grevillea, Callistemon and a couple of Banksias. This was an interesting and instructive trip.
We are still planting the western extension of our Lawn Garden. This week we dug holes, filled them with plants and then mulched with sawdust.
A Prostanthera expired in one of our gardens this week. It was an advanced specimen in a large pot. Fortunately we had struck cuttings from this plant before its expiration. When we pulled the dead plant out of the ground we found it was root bound. The roots were confined to a small ball that was the shape of a 50 cm thumb pot. The plant had been potted on direct from a thumb pot without teasing out the roots. If possible buy your natives as tube stock. They are less expensive and have much greater survival rates.    

Garden Diary