Garden diary

Long term members, Warren and Gloria Sheather, share regular updates on their Northern Tablelands garden, Yallaroo. 

What's happening in the garden

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  • 17 Mar 2018 4:15 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)


    Last time we described a westringia seedling growing between the bricks on our front steps.

    This time more “conventional” ways of regeneration will be described.

    Over two decades ago we planted a couple of Black Cypress (Callitris endlicheri) near our front gate. Over the years the trees have matured, produced cones and dropped seeds. On a very rocky area there is now a forest of Black Cypress seedlings ranging in height from 6 centimetres to 2 metres (left image). The ground where they have germinated is so rocky that to plant there a crowbar would be needed to break up the ground.

    Also near our gate we planted an Acacia deanei. This tree has also produced a forest of progeny. In this case no seeds were involved. The forest is due to root suckering (right image). The parent is now surrounded by suckering plants. Some suckers are 3 metres from the parent.

  • 8 Mar 2018 1:12 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    In this second week of March we noticed a healthy seedling growing between the bricks on our front steps. Close inspection revealed that this was a seedling Westringia. Our garden is home to many Westringias and on rare occasions seedlings appear in the garden. How a seed managed to lodge between two bricks, germinate and survive is one of nature’s horticultural mysteries.

  • 3 Mar 2018 5:07 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    In this first week of March, after good rain, we walked around the garden admiring our revitalised plants. In our newest garden there is a Banksia integrifolia, about two metres tall, planted three years ago. On close inspection we found that the plant had presented us with seven flower buds. We have a problem growing Banksias and to see this one burst into bud was very heartening.

  • 26 Feb 2018 4:34 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    Our summer has been very dry and hot. The garden was looking rather forlorn. Because the garden is so large, we had to confine our watering to our new plantings. The Prostantheras (Mint Bushes) were a trifle wilted, especially the Prostanthera lasianthos plants.

    In this 4th week of February everything changed. In the course of three days we received 53 millimetres of very welcome rain. Plants are revitalised, our house tank filled and there is run off into our dams. What more could we ask.

    The photo shows a revitalised P. lasianthos.

  • 22 Feb 2018 10:09 AM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    Wildlife of all shapes and sizes visit our garden.

    In this 3rd week of February the most recent visitor is a St Andrews Cross Spider that has taken up residence in our shade house.

    This handsome spider spins a web with a bluish-white pattern in the centre. It is thought that this cross attracts prey.

    Female spiders are very decorative with silver, yellow, red and black bands on the abdomen.

    Males are smaller, less colourful and are usually found on the edge of the female’s web.

  • 11 Feb 2018 3:06 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    In this 2nd week of February, both Acacia calamifolia (illustrated) and A. subulata are in full flower. These wattles have botanical differences but horticulturally they are similar in appearance. They flower for most of the year but have a rest in spring and let the other wattles take over.

    These wattles will extend the spring feel to your garden all year.

  • 7 Feb 2018 3:25 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    During hot summer evenings after the cicadas have finished their daylight cacophony, a new sound is heard from beneath the ground. This sound, at about 200 pulses per second, is the mating call of the mole cricket. They are robust brown insects with their front legs developed into efficient digging implement. Watering the ground will sometimes trigger vocal activity.

    Their serenade starts about 7 pm and usually lasts for an hour or so.

  • 31 Jan 2018 4:21 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    Correa Coliban River is a naturally occurring cultivar of C. glabra.

    It is a beautiful small to medium shrub that will reward you with flowers throughout the year.

    In this last week of January our plants are covered in blooms.

    If you only have room for one Correa in your garden then this may be the one for you.

    See under shrubs in Plant Database for more details.

  • 22 Jan 2018 8:14 AM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    In late January our Kunzea axillaris plants have burst into bloom. This species, previously known a K. sp A and K. Middle Brother Mountain, will grow to a height of about eight metres. At this time the pendulous branches are covered in fluffy white flowers. More information is available on the Plant Database in the shrub section under K. Middle Brother Mountain.

  • 16 Jan 2018 6:42 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    Of the 90 or so bird species that visit our garden one of the most visible and audible are the White-winged Choughs. In this 3rd week of January a flock of 15 Choughs visited and foraged on one of our mown areas. They are constantly talking amongst themselves so we always hear the Choughs as well as see them when they are visiting.

    European Choughs featured in an episode of Doc Martin, the TV programme.

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