Week 4 September 2001: Back to earth this week after the excitement of our attendance at Gardening Australia Live in Sydney. On the way home we stopped at a site in the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney. In one side of a road, in a patch of bush, there is a population of Hakea bakeriana. This handsome shrub has light green foliage, clusters of dark pink flowers in autumn and winter and large woody fruits. We collected some cuttings and fruit. On the other side of the road there are populations of Tetratheca juncea. This is a rare plant that is confined to scattered areas in the Hunter Valley. Tetrathecas are in the Tremandraceae family and are known as Black-eyed Susan. The flowers are four-petalled with dark centre. This species has grass-like foliage and would be almost impossible to find without the flowers.
We saw extensive plantings of natives along the Pacific Highway. One plant attracted our attention. Viminaria juncea is a tall shrub with pendulous, grass-like foliage. At this time of the year the branches are smothered with golden pea flowers. This species has wide distribution and great horticultural potential. 
Received some sad news later in the week. A good friend and local nurseryman passed away after a long illness. Charles was a skilled native plant propagator and we have many interesting plants, growing at Yallaroo, due to his generosity. We have lost a good friend.
We saw two Red-necked Wallabies feeding just outside our lounge room window. These beautiful wallabies pay occasional visits to Yallaroo.
There are literally dozens of large tadpoles in one of our ponds. Donít know what species but as they mature we should get an idea.
There are a number of tall wattles beginning to flower at Yallaroo. Acacia diphylla and Acacia cheelii are both small trees. Both species have bright yellow rod-shaped flowers. The former comes from the gorge country east of Armidale and the latter is found on the Western Slopes and Plains.

Garden Diary