Week 3 October 2004: Rain = 31mm.

Spoke to another group this week. We were invited by the Armidale Independent Retirees to speak to them and extol the virtues on native plants. Our talk went well and generated a great deal of interest. The Group will visit Yallaroo in the New Year.

Saw a male Mistletoe Bird this week picking at the foliage of a Verbascum. This is one of our weeds and is a plant with woolly leaves. The Mistletoe Bird appeared to be filling its mouth with the woolly covering of the leaves. Unfortunately a honeyeater chased the Mistletoe Bird away and we didnít see the completion of its task. We assume that the material was to be used to line a nest.

Found another Grevillea in one of our gardens this week. Some years ago we planted a Grevillea endlicheriana. We thought that the plant had expired but had just been swamped by other shrubs. It is a native of Western Australia and has small white flowers.

Our high density of planting is having a more positive effect. Whilst pruning shrubs in one garden we found a number of seedlings had germinated in the sheltered environment. We found Correa, Dodonaea, Prostanthera and Westringia seedlings. Some we left and a few were transplanted into tubes for later planting in other gardens.

Two Derwentias are blooming bounteously at the moment. Derwentia arcuata is a local species and Derwentia perfoliata occurs in southern New South Wales and Victoria. We have many specimens of both species scattered throughout the gardens at Yallaroo. They are both excellent rockery and native cottage garden plants. Another species, Derwentia arenaria is budding-up nicely and will burst into bloom in a couple of weeks.

We spent a few days at Yamba this week. Yamba is a town situated on the North Coast of New South Wales at the mouth of the Clarence River. We rented a house for our stay. Spent some time bushwalking in Yuraygir National Park and also took a ferry trip along the Clarence River.

We also visited the Country Road Nursery in South Grafton. This nursery has a large range of native plants in tubes. As per usual we purchased a number of plants.

Our trip home was along the Gwydir Highway through Gibraltar Range National Park. This beautiful Park bulges at the seams with rare and interesting native plants. One plant was in full flower. Conospermum burgessiorum was covered in white flowers and lined the highway in a number of areas.

Garden Diary