December 2011 - Two

As you can see from the photo above, we had a sizeable tree fall down across the road,
with a second trunk of this triple trunked eucalypt falling across our fence into the garden.

This part of the bottom of the garden has always been a bit of a wilderness, with me trying
to at least annually remove as many of the bad grasses, to encourage the native
microlaena (weeping grass) to get established.
Many of the shrubs down here are very old with wizened, spindly banksias and hakeas
which I just try to cut the dead wood from. I was so surprised to find this lovely
persoonia pinifolia flowering happily among the debris from the tree.
I shall be keeping a very close eye on it in future, and wonder why the one I planted
at the west end of the house and have cared for now over several years
has never shown any inclination to sprout even one flower!

The flowers begin at the top of the branch, and gradually open downwards
with the stem lengthening as it progresses. It will be flowering for months at the current rate.

Another surprise was the three hardenbergiason the front fence, which I thought were totally dead
with a fungal disease. I cut off every visible leaf (and burned them), sprayed with mancozeb
and planted two new hardenbergias in between the original three, hoping they would use
the dead framework from the original plants to climb.

But they weren't dead after all! And are now looking quite healthy, as the new ones mingle
through their branches. It will be interesting to see what they look like in spring
as the original three are white (with slight purple centres) and the new ones
will have purple flowers.

I don't think this little ground cover is an Australian plant, but it was growing so well to cover a bank
at my sister's garden, that when she was pulling heaps of it out last winter, I brought home a couple of bags full
and although it was the middle winter, I just went all around the garden, poking holes and stuffing in sprigs of the plant.
I didn't really expect it to do much good, but it surprised me by popping up in just about every spot I'd put it
and was flowering before the end of winter, and has continued to do so ever since.
It's definitely earned a place in my garden, even if it isn't truly native.

And to cap the year off, another surprise, courtesy of the Christmas Day storm.
A huge eucalypt fell across the garden, with its top branches covering the bower bird's bower.
Jonni and I quickly went to work to clear away the most obstructive branches -
and an hour later 'Himself' was back in business, calling the females to witness the restoration.

next - A Whole New Year

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