Cotton_bush.JPG (32512 bytes)Week 3 November 2007:   Rain = 4 mm

We have a pink-flowering Callistemon in one of our gardens. At the moment the plant is covered in brushes and they have attracted many insects. There are Blue Flower Wasps, Leaf-faced Bees and Big Black Resin Bees plus a host of other insects. Last spring one of our Templetonia retusa plants flowered. This week we noticed that the plant has developed large pods. We will harvest them when they ripen and sow the seeds. We have propagated this native pea from cuttings.

Last week we mentioned that Myxomatosis was reducing or rabbit population. This week there are more rabbits sickening with the disease. There was a sighting of more welcome wildlife this week. A pair of Double-barred Finches was active in the shrubbery near our back patio.

One morning we arose at 3am to see a meteor shower. This was a bit of a fizzer as we only saw three meteors in 30 minutes.

We were given a Myer Lemon by our son a couple of weeks ago. This week the lemon was planted near our north-facing deck. We enclosed the plant in a mesh cage as our resident Swamp Wallaby has developed a liking for citrus foliage. Hopefully the lemon will survive and thrive.

We spent some time digging holes in our Coolatai Garden. The area is very clayey because in the distant past we had the area levelled. This would have been the display area for the nursery we thought of starting. Fortunately we rejected this idea. We are digging narrow holes in the clay (too hard to dig our normal-sized holes). These will accommodate individual tubes. It will be interesting to see how the natives progress in the clay.

Outside our bedroom window we have a large Grevillea Pink Surprise. The plant was rather slow to flower so it was watered, a couple of times, with a Sulphate of Potash solution. The result was rather satisfying. This week we counted over 100 buds and flowers on the plant. Eastern Spinebills and White-faced Honeyeaters are constant visitors to the nectar-rich blooms.

Monday was our official 70th birthday. We celebrated the occasion, a couple of weeks ago with a family get together at Katoomba. We are not really old just born a long time ago.

This week we visited the new supermarket complex in Armidale. We now have more shops than you can poke a stick at; some operating and a number empty.

We installed a new pond in June of 2006. Recently frogs started calling near the water and this week we saw a number of small tadpoles in the pond. We have planted Myoporum parvifolium around the pond perimeter. This dense ground cover has now grown into the water. This will provide an easy exit for juvenile frogs.

Around one of our dead Eucalypts some seedlings germinated. We thought that they were Solanum seedlings from seeds dropped by birds. This week we had another look and discovered that the plants were flowering and they are Gomphocarpus fruticosus, Narrow-leaved Cotton Bush (see image). This is an introduced species. We are going to leave the plants for three reasons. Firstly the species is not invasive, secondly they have unusual flowers and finally but importantly the leaves are the food source for Monarch Butterfly larvae. There are no caterpillars on our plants yet, but we have high hopes as we have sighted Monarchs flying around the garden..


Garden Diary