Week 3 June 2002: There has been 23 mm of rain this week. Started a seed germination experiment. Seeds are sown in 50mm thumb pots. Two pots are used per species. The seeds are sown on seed raising mixture mixed with some river sand. In one pot the seeds are covered with a layer of sand. This will be the control. The seeds in the other pot are covered with smoked vermiculite. The theory is that the chemicals contained in the smoke that enhance germination will be washed out of the vermiculite and carried down to the seeds. We have tried smoked vermiculite before without success. This was due to the quality of the smoked vermiculite. We tried to smoke vermiculite ourselves using coarse-grained material. This time we are using a commercial preparation. This uses fine–grained vermiculite that has been efficiently smoked. A wide range of species are being tested. Results will be posted as they become available.
Spent some time working in our lawn garden. Putting sawdust on the paths and planting and mulching in the garden beds.
Had two telephone calls this week from local property owners. One grazier from Glen Innes (north of Armidale) has some interesting Banksias growing on his place. The other caller lives near Tenterfield (north of Glen Innes). Their property is heavily timbered with a number of Eucalypt species that need to be identified. A trip will be undertaken later in the year and we will visit both properties.
What’s New?  Spotted Pardalote appears in our Wildlife section.

Garden Diary