Week 4 December 2013: Rain = 22 millimetres more welcome rain has kept our house tank full.
                                     A HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all our readers
On the first day of the week we travelled to Gosford to stay with one of our daughters and her family at Gosford, north of Sydney.
We visited the new local Masters Hardware store in Gosford. This is a massive store that is going to rival the better known Bunnings Hardware. Strange as it may seem we bought some native plants. Two Kangaroo Paws were in peat pots. Plants and pots are planted.
We also did some supermarket shopping. Because of the Christmas period the shops were a trifle crowded.
One afternoon we had a picnic at Umina Beach. A restful beach walk followed our picnic dinner. Lots of Crinum pedunculatum (Darling Lilies) were flowering on the fore dune.
On Christmas Day we had breakfast on the lawn at our daughter’s place. This was followed, after a decent interval, by a beautiful lunch. After an afternoon rest dinner consisted of left overs from lunch.
On Boxing Day we travelled to Sydney and spent a few days with our son and his family. On the Saturday after Christmas we had an enjoyable family get together with all our children, partners and grandchildren. A great time was had by all.
We even found time to watch some of an Ashes cricket match.
Towards the end of the week we travelled home. On the way we stopped at the First Fleet Memorial at Wallabadah, a village south of Tamworth. We recently found out that one of our ancestors, Ann Forbes, was a convict on the First Fleet. Her name was recorded on a plaque in the Memorial. She received a death sentence for stealing a length of cloth but this was commuted to transportation to New South Wales.
Everything was OK at home. There was even a bonus of 22 millimetres of rain when we were away. There were large zucchinis on our plants and our cumquat plant had become covered in buds.
There was some excitement on our front verandah. A male Olive Whistler was having a confrontation with what we think was a young cuckoo. The male eventually chased the cuckoo away.
Potting on commenced again with struck cuttings of Prostanthera incana, a ground covering form of  Grevillea pinaster and Westringia eremicola as well as Hakea verrucosa seedlings finding homes in native tubes.
We are having great success striking cuttings with many varieties taking root. We feel that one reason for our success is using commercial seed and cutting raising mix.
On New Year’s Eve we stayed up until midnight to watch the fireworks on TV. In our isolated area there were no sounds of revelry at midnight.

Garden Diary