Week 4 September 2014: Rain = 16 millimetres
Spring has well and truly arrived. The garden is a blaze of colour. Our large Acacia pycnostachya and Rulingia salviifolia are both in full flower. There is also a flower spike developing on our Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea species). In a few weeks the spike will be covered with hundreds of small flowers. They in turn will attract many insects as well as honeyeaters.
On Saturday we did our three weekly talkback gardening programme on ABC radio. There were about four questions from listeners. We managed to answer the questions.
This week we managed to plant 28 plants in our northern garden. There have been a few losses mainly due to rabbits and kangaroos taking a liking to some of the plants. Spreading blood and bone around the plants tends to keep some hungry rodents and macropods away.
Last week we mentioned some success double dipping Persoonia cuttings. This method consists of dipping both top and bottom of the cuttings in hormone liquid. This week we repeated the exercise using Persoonia cornifolia cuttings. This is a local species with some plants growing naturally in our woodland. Time will tell if this is a successful method for this difficult to propagate genus.
We have had great success with other natives. This week we potted on struck cuttings of: Grevillea jephcottii, Eremophila weldii, Banksia ericifolia and Grevillea diversifolia. We also potted on seedling Callitris oblonga.
Plenty of wildlife observations this week: Our Willie Wagtails are sitting on two eggs in their renovated nest near our back door. The thrushes have two babies in their nest in our propagating igloo. A Scrub Wren is nesting in a pot on our patio. An Australasian Pipit was sighted on our lawn one morning. This ground-dwelling bird is a rare visitor to Yallaroo. The species was previously known as Richardís Pipit. This week we saw our first snake. This was a metre long Red-bellied Black Snake. There are plenty of insects around. Large numbers of Blue Flower Wasps are feeding on the nectar of flowering melaleucas and Raymentís Red Bees are visiting our Eriostemon flowers.