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  • 15 May 2018 3:34 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    It is now 4 weeks since we left Yallaroo and started a temporary life in the western suburbs of Sydney before moving to the Blue Mountains.

    A walk around the suburb, where we are living, revealed a paucity of native plants in the gardens. “Robin Gordon” type grevilleas predominate. The garden, of our temporary residence, is home to a couple of splendid Blueberry Ashes (Eleocarpus recticulatus) (see image). Both specimens are about 5 metres tall.

    Many eucalypts are being planted by the local council. In fact a team of council workers were planting a line of eucalypts in the median strip of the Great Western Highway at eight o’clock one night. This reveals a dedication to increasing the greenery in the local area.

    Meanwhile the relentless search goes on as we seek a home in the lower Blue Mountains.


  • 5 May 2018 4:13 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    On this 1st week of May we have sold, departed from Yallaroo and are living temporarily with a relative in western Sydney until a suitable house in the Blue Mountains appears.

    Early in the week we visited the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah. We had a splendid day wandering through the extensive gardens admiring the excellent collection of the flora from cool climates.

    Of particular interest were the local indigenous plants. Hopefully at least some will find a home when we establish our Blue Mountain’s garden.

    Lambertia formosa, Mountain Devil, (see image) could be considered the unofficial emblem of the Blue Mountains and will certainly be included in our new garden.


  • 10 Apr 2018 1:53 PM | WARREN SHEATHER (Administrator)

    In this second week of April leaving Yallaroo is fast approaching. There is only a fortnight before we move.

    We are looking forward to new horticultural challenges when we find a suitable property in the lower Blue Mountains.

    During the Easter weekend we found a plant flowering in one of our dams. This was identified as Ottelia ovalifolia, the Swamp Lily and has flowered for the first time just as we are about to leave. This was a rather exciting farewell present.

    We have never planted any Swamp Lilies so perhaps the seed was carried in by water birds.


  • 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.

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