Monday, 25 August 2014

Flowering in August at Rocky Bend

A team of enthusiasts visited Rocky Bend south of Moonta to check out what was flowering on the reserve. What an enchanting time we had. At least 25 species ranging from tiny herbaceous plants to spreading mallees and trees, including the leafless cherry, were in flower .

The most common flowering plant was Cryptandra amara with the small shrubs making a lovely display.

The Lasiopetalum baueri - slender velvet bushes - were the most vigorous I've seen in the bush. The bush sometimes look straggly and dull, and the beautiful flowers hang down, hiding their beauty.

I'd not noticed Dodonaea hexandra defore - horned hop-bush - it being a small twiggy shrub reaching about 0.5m. The plant was no longer in flower, what we were seeing were the brightly coloured fruit capsules. There were only a few of the plants bearing the fruit and I'll be keeping an eye out for them in future.

The orchids, lily and sundew families were exciting to find.  Diuris - donkey orchid - were flowering, sometimes in groups and sometimes singly. This photo (and the  Lasiopetalum) was taken by David as you can see by the brilliant quality.

And who is this tiny butterfly / moth so well camouflaged among the lichen and pebbles?

Being a roadside reserve, there were possibly 25 species of weeds were flowering as well as all the delightful Aussie plants.  Some of us spent a bit of time pulling out weeds. Maybe we should get out there in a systematic way, while accepting that it will be a constant battle.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Billy Buttons surrounded

There's really been some development around Sandra's Pycnosurus globulosus - billy buttons  - in her garden in Kadina. 
The photo  on the left was taken in January.
It is now surrounded by everlastings - Bracteantha sp -the everlastings just love the gravel mulch.

The picture reminds me of a delightful scene in the Bogong High Plains. The paper daisies there were yellow with orange centre, similar to, or the same species as the ones in Sandra's garden.   It's marvellous that such a scene can be reproduced in limestoney, hot Yorke Peninsula

Sunday, 10 August 2014

August meeting in Kadina

Our NYP meeting on Thursday 14th was most interesting despite our invited speaker being unable to attend at the last minute.

Some of us had questions about suitable plants for our gardens and got some good advice. Lots more grevilleas and eremophilas are likely to be planted.

I wonder what will thrive in gaps in a paved walkway.  The spaces will get lots of summer sun, so the plants will need to be very tough. What do you reckon would be good? 

The conversation about conservation and growing local vulnerable endangered species will hopefully produce some more action on our parts. It will be interesting to identify some of the plants on our walk through Rocky Bend on Thursday morning. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

She-oaks and selective hares.

We have planted maybe 100  she-oaks (Allocasuarina verticillata) at the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) centre between Kadina and Wallaroo. They've had a very chequered time trying to grow because the hares seem to think we've planted the trees just for them.  Grrr.

The odd thing is - they gnaw away at some of the seedlings. (This poor specimen is only 0.5m high and has very few green shoots left)   ........

............ yet leave others just a few metres away completely alone.

These trees are 1.5m and show no sign of being nibbled, not even the new shoots.

I s'pose the good thing is - they leave approx. half of the she-oaks alone.  Some of them have grown to over 2m in three years and look splendid. 

We're putting tree guards back around the nibbled trees and will leave the guards on for a few years in the hope they will recover.

The hares, or possibly rabbits, have eaten lots of Dodonaea hexandra (hop bush) but seem to have no appetite for acacias, melaleucas  and eucalypts. Thank heavens, cos there seem to be more rabbits and gigantic hares about than several years ago.

Another odd thing about the hares is that they appear to have been nibbling the trees over winter when there is perfectly good grass all around the place.  Can understand them being desperate in summer when there isn't a blade of grass about, but in winter???? What is it with these hares????