Week 4 December 2006: Rain = 10.5mm
A Happy Christmas to all our readers.
We had contact with a native plant enthusiast in Tamworth. He has had success using smoked vermiculite to increase native seed germination. He sprinkles vermiculite on the seed pot surface. We have used this material previously, to trigger germination, with no success. On those occasions we used “home-made” smoked vermiculite. This time we will run some trials using a commercially produced product.
Our family arrived in the middle of the week and the Christmas festivities commenced.
We received a number of interesting presents. These included: four Western Australian Banksias, a Wollemi Pine and a ceramic bird feeder that we hung from our front verandah. Within a few days, of hanging, Crimson Rosellas were using the feeder.
Early in the week there was a large and destructive hail storm in Armidale. Some houses and cars were damaged and a large shed was demolished. There was no hail at Yallaroo.
Our equipment damaged by lightning, a few weeks ago, has been repaired or replaced.
Towards the end of the week our family members returned to their respective homes. We had a very enjoyable time during their visit. Yallaroo was rather quiet after their departure.
A number of plants are flowering in this Christmas/New Year period. Local Eucalyptus prava and Acacia implexa are in full flower. Callistemon flavovirens (Torrington form) and Grevillea Burgundy Beauty are flowering for the first time in our gardens. The former species is similar in appearance to the “conventional” Callistemon flavovirens except that the brushes are red. This form may be given species status in the fullness of time.
Last week we mentioned the appearance of a pair of Double-barred Finches in the garden. This week we found that they were constructing a nest in a large Hakea drupacea (was Hakea suaveolens) near our family room. We will be interested in seeing if they are successful in raising chicks.
New on the Site: Grevillea Burgundy Beauty.

Garden Diary