Week 2 September 2007: No rain again

Digging holes, planting and mulching continued this week. Planting has slowed down because we are waiting for plants to develop in their tubes. We consider that plants are ready to find a home in the gardens when their roots appear at the base of the tube and the plants are as tall as the tube. Once the warmer weather arrives and plants begin to grow then we will have over 300 waiting for planting.

Saw two Noisy Friarbirds near the house early one morning. This is the first sighting this spring. We also found a White-eared Honeyeaters nest in one of our Calothamnus plants. There were two recently hatched chicks in the nest. Brown-headed Honeyeaters often visit the garden and use our birdbaths. They never seem to stay around and visit the plants. On two occasions this week a flock spent some time visiting a couple of Grevilleas. Hopefully the birds will become a permanent fixture.

This week we potted on some Banksia paludosa subsp astrolux seedlings. This rare Banksia is found in a small area on the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Hopefully in the fullness of time some plants will find their way into our gardens.

Whilst speaking of Banksias. We have a specimen of Banksia dryandroides in one of our gardens. The plant is not exactly jumping out of the ground. A friend mentioned that some Western Australian Banksias grow in alkaline soil and he had been told that treating some Banksias with dolomite had excellent results. We found some dolomite in the shed and treated this Banksia with a solution of dolomite and water. We await the results.

Grey watering continued on some of our newer plantings this week.

We have trouble growing vegetables as our resident Swamp Wallaby had acquired a taste for organic produce. This week we filled a large metal container with soil and placed it, out of Wallaby range, on a bench. We will try a range of vegetables in this container. We also thought that we could use foam vegetable boxes for the same purpose and in the same position.

We mentioned that Grey Thrushes had built a nest in our plastic propagating structure. This week we found two eggs in the nest.

Ranunculus inundatus is one of the plants that are growing in our Patio Pond. This week the plants started to flower. This Buttercup species has small yellow flowers.

One day this week we visited friend’s garden on the outskirts of Armidale. They have an interesting area with lots of native plants. An Acacia longifolia was covered in golden rod-like flowers. They also showed us some photos of a Koala that paid them a visit recently. They had interesting photos of many local ground orchids.  This was another enjoyable visit.

On the way home from this garden visit and shopping we stopped at a property just west of Armidale. They have a row of native plants growing along their fence. Included in the planting was a beautiful pink-flowering Hakea. This is probably a form of Hakea decurrens known as “Pink Lace”. Some photos were taken and fruits harvested.

At the same spot Acacia filicifolia was in full flower and lined the roadway (see image). This necessitated more photos.

We went for a walk around the older section of the garden one day this week. This garden is about 12 years old. Grevillea evansiana was one of the plants that caught our eye. This small to medium shrub has flower clusters that are almost black. We took photos of a couple of flower clusters.

This week we had a call from a Satellite Broadband provider. The sent forms to fill in for access to the Government connection rebate. In common with other providers they are still waiting on Government approval so they can offer the rebate.

New on Site: Grevillea evansiana, Hakea Pink Lace and Hakea sericea.


Garden Diary