Week 3 November 2006: 
Early this week we left Westmead and headed south to visit another of our children who lives in Mittagong. We travelled south via the Freeway that leads to Sydney and then the Motorway that goes further south. This Motorway opened last year and certainly speeds up travelling. It bypasses about 50 sets of traffic lights.
Along the Freeway we saw many Melaleuca linariifolia plants in full flower. Their common name is Snow-in-Summer because of the masses of white flowers in the tops of the plants.
One morning we went for a walk in Mount Alexandra Reserve. This is one of our favourite places because of the plants, views and interesting mining history. The Reserve is named after Queen Alexandra, Edward VIIís consort. The streets around the Reserve are named after their children.
We saw plenty of interesting plants including Waratahs (Telopea speciosissima) and Woody Pear (Xylomelum pyriforme). The Waratahs were flowering but the blooms were rather paltry probably due to the dry weather.
A visit was made to a local native plant nursery where we purchased a few plants (as per usual). These included: Homoranthus flavescens and dwarf form of Acacia amblygona.
During our visit we helped our son plant a large crab-apple in his garden.
He has a large number of plants in pots awaiting planting. A pair of Blue Wrens has taken up residence in this dense, mobile shrubbery.
Late in the week we headed to Putney Park on the Parramatta River. A number of family members have their birthdays this week so Putney Park was the venue for a family celebration. A great time was had by young and old.
We spent a few days with another family member at Gosford on the Central Coast, north of Sydney.
Whilst there we visited Brisbane Waters National Park and observed the beautiful flora that grows on the Hawkesbury sandstone. This included some splendid specimens of Grevillea buxifolia.
Our children have a bird feeder on their front verandah and we were fascinated to see the range of birds availing themselves of the seed and pieces of apple. Among the visitors were Brown Pigeons, White-headed Pigeons, Rainbow Lorikeets and Wattlebirds.
During our visit we observed a mass hatching of termites. This usually happens during the warmer months when male and female termites take wing, mate and hope to set-up new colonies. This was the largest mass hatching we have ever seen and continued for two nights. 
New on the Site this Week: Melaleuca linariifolia, Telopea speciosissima, Xylomelum pyriforme, Brown Pigeons, White-headed Pigeons, Rainbow Lorikeets and Red Wattlebird.   

Garden Diary