Week 3 May 2007: 29 mm rain this week. Our tanks overflowed and the rain has helped our new plantings.
We spent two days at Hanging Rock, north-east of Tamworth. Our co-announcer on the ABC gardening programme invited us to stay with her.
We travelled extensively in the bushland surrounded Hanging Rock and made a list of the native plants sighted. Over 50 species were recorded. Some plants of interest were: large specimens of Prostanthera lasianthos, these plants were almost tree size and another area was home to some beautiful specimens of Eucalyptus pauciflora, the Snow Gum. Their white trunks lit up the surrounding bushland. Two other friends, from Tamworth, spent a day with us. All in all an enjoyable time was had by all.
Our co-presenter has a beautiful exotic garden with one specimen of the native Grevillea victoriae (see image).
Another friend gave us a soil steriliser this week. The unit heats water and steam passes through the soil. We will be interested in seeing if sterilised soil influences the growth of our seedlings and struck cuttings.
This week we tried spraying the tops of cutting with dilute root hormone. We read of research indicating that this may influence cutting root development. Some cuttings were sprayed and others were not sprayed. We will report on the success or failure of the experiment in the fullness of time.
Many Correas are flowering at present. One of particular interest is Correa baeuerlenii, the Chef’s Cap Correa. We have over 250 individual Correa plants in our gardens with more being planted on a regular basis.
We use sheets of corrugated iron on the ground to kill weeds before we plant new gardens. This week we moved one sheet and found a juvenile Eastern Brown Snake underneath. The reptile was very lethargic due to the cold weather and posed no threat so we left it alone after taking photographs. In most cases we leave wildlife to live and let live.
We have planted many Western Australian Eucalypts and this week we found a species that was carrying small buds. Eucalyptus macrandra is known as the Long-flowered Marlock. We await the appearance of the yellow or greenish-yellow flowers with great anticipation.
The ABC studios in Tamworth came under attack on a couple of days this week. A flock of White-winged Choughs became interested in their reflections in the studio windows. This is unusual behaviour for these birds that do not often visit suburbia. There is an item, about the visitation, on the ABC website together with a photograph from our site.
Digging holes, planting and mulching continued in two of our newish gardens this week.
We were given some Westringia cutting material, by a friend, from a part of the gorge system east of Armidale that has not been explored botanically. Initially it was thought that it was the same species that occurs in other areas of the gorges. We now think that it may be a new species. The leaves are narrower and the flowers may be white. We will keep you informed about this potential new species.
The rain has brought out the frogs and our ponds are reverberating with amphibian choruses.