Tuesday, March 26, 2013

End of Daylight Savings

Well, this weekend sees the end of daylight savings and those lovely balmy evenings sitting outside watching the birds put themselves to bed. The mornings are already getting darker and waking up at 7 is becoming more and more difficult - for some reason getting up in the dark no matter what the time , is so much less inviting than waking up to a soft bright dawn light.

But, with the colder weather and shorter days comes the rain - and that is very welcome.  Good rain last week and more to come tomorrow - Thank Goodness!!  We got our Summer water bill last week and it was horrific!!  I must ring someone for a quote on installing more rainwater tanks and for cleaning out the dam and putting in a pump.

We've been working a lot in the garden this last week after the rain, tidying up, weeding, doing the garden edges and spreading bark chips. Mark has been out in the veggie garden and between Don and Mark we have had great saving in vegetables this summer.

I love these Japanese windflowers. They thrive in the moister areas of the garden. This single pink pops up all through the front garden

And the first double deep pink one has come out. These were beautiful last year and I am hoping for another good showing soon.
 Around the garden there are late summer flowers still on show with a flush of roses getting ready for April. We have 3 new garden areas ready for new plantings and are just waiting for some more rain before we get on with that work.

This little area where we put up the new bird bath is starting to look quite pretty and by next spring should look even better when the irises and all the salvias are in flower.

See how neat my lawn edges are. Behind this bed there will be a new bed of Australian natives to form a hedge between the road and the garden.

More tidy edges and newly mown lawns.

Such a simple, pretty flower.

Liz Needle

Saturday, March 9, 2013


We spend a lot of evenings sitting in the front garden watching the birds finding their evening feed and choosing the right tree for their night's rest. The rainbow lorikeets love the flowering gum for a feed, then roost in the willows. The galahs and sulphur crests prefer the pines, while the rosellas join the lorikeets in the willows. The magpies also like the pines, but as far away from the parrots as they can.

We also see the Little Wattle birds, New Holland Honeyeaters and the  Eastern Spinebills sipping nectar from the Eucalypt flowers, the salvias and fuchsias. The red browed finches, blue wrens, fantails and the grass wrens love the sprinkler and spent a lot of time in the bird bath before bed, while the blackbirds scratch around in the garden mulch for grubs and insects.

We have a large flock of yellow tailed cockatoos that sweep in every evening to spend time in the pines, while on the dam we see black duck, mountain duck and the occasional ibis. A veritable bird rec centre.

Yesterday evening I was thrilled to be able tocatch these honey eaters bathing in the birdbath just outside the kitchen window. There is a little goldfinch there too. At one time there were 6 honey eaters in the bath, but those photos were not good enough to put up on the blog.

They look so cute when they're wet and fluffy.

Liz Needle

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rain at Last!!

Rain at last.  This summer has been so hot and dry that I have despaired of the garden It all looks so tired and dried up. We have been watering, but ithas been  impossible to keep enough water up to the garden and despite extensive mulching, we are losing plants each day.

Yesterday afternoon, however, the sky grew grey and cloudy and finally we had some rain. Not a lot - probably only 3mm, but enough to revitalise the lawn and freshen up the shrubs. Unfortunately there has been no respite from the heat and the weather is now hot and muggy. I can imagine all the weeds rubbing their hands together in glee, thinking of the growing they are going to be able to do!!

In the evenings, we are able to get out and do a bit of weeding and tidying up. I have been busy with a pair of secateurs, a bottle of weed poison and a paint brush, cutting off rampant blackberry shoots and painting the cuts with the poison. It works a treat, but I always finish up more than a little scratched.

Meanwhile Mark has re-landscaped an area in the front garden which had been demolished by a falling willow tree. Now we are waiting for more substantial rains so we can replant the area.

He has widened a narrow path so the lawn mower can go from the top level to the bottom
Old sleepers have been pullud out and an old path filled in

The old path has  been covered with mulch ready for new trees.
The old bank has been re-terraced and new retaining walls built.

And the results of all Mark's hard labour?

A much more attractive area of the garden. Thanks Mark.

Liz Needle