Week 4 February 2006: Rain = 6.5mm. Monthly total = 95.5mm. Average = 87mm.
We decided to eradicate some couch grass coming up in one of our mown areas. Couch is a creeping grass that is hard to control in garden beds. This outbreak was near one of our gardens. We used Glyphosate herbicide. We try to garden organically but this method, of couch control, is quick, effective and with no side effects.
We had success with Grevillea mollis cuttings this week. A number took root. This is a rare local species and our success was welcomed enthusiastically.
Some weeks ago a tall Stringybark Eucalypt, south of the house, was hit by lightning. The tree appeared to be dead but this week we noticed that it was shooting from the lignotuber (swollen root mass).
Planting is proceeding in our new garden beds. Autumn (or fall) is a good time to plant as the plants have a chance to become established before the onset of winter.
Found some caterpillars on a Wattle sucker (Acacia parvipinnula). The caterpillars were attended by hordes of small black ants. The caterpillars are the larvae of the Common Imperial Blue Butterfly. The ants guard the caterpillars and pupae. The last time we saw this relationship between caterpillars and ants was in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney , about 40 years ago. We followed our wildlife policy of living and let live. The Wattle will soon recover from having a few leaves chewed.
Another Eucalypt burst into bloom this week. Eucalyptus archeri is a native of Tasmania and our specimen is carrying clusters of cream flowers.

Garden Diary