Sunday, 6 December 2015

Botanical update

I haven't written an update on Mum's garden in quite a while. Things have happened and the garden has rippled through the phases of its life with very little drama.
Things grow, things get severely pruned, things get mulched, things surprise Mum by erupting into a mass of beautiful flowers when she thought they never would, or were on their last legs.

As is only to be expected, Mum's particularly partial to her hoya collection. I would say 'ever expanding' as she keeps buying them, but as is often the case, at the same time, they keep managing to die on her, especially the rare and delicate one. 

Her other ones however have had a blast and seem to be enjoying their patch of the garden...

They were even joined on one occasion by a delightful grasshopper who was more than happy to pose, perch on a hoya leaf. 

Various random things throughout the garden flower and if I remember I bring my camera out to capture it.

This year our loquat harvest was very minimal, possibly due to a biannual cycle or the fact I'm very brutal with my pruning, so there wasn't enough fruit to do more than eat it and share the occasional piece with the birds. That doesn't mean we have been completely un-bountiful though.

Unfortunately I was house-sitting during the height of Orange season, so we ended up throwing more than we would normally. * I need to find some more Orange recipes. Any suggestions?

However the mulberry season was thoroughly enjoyed by family and friends alike (all grubby little pigs). And now, with Mum off travelling, we I am enjoying the blackberries and Peaches. Did I mention, we have a peach tree and it's covered. Mum and I netted it the moment we noticed them, so they're all mine; the birds and the fruit fly can't get to them. Yay!!!

The Desert lime was also in full flower and now covered in baby fruit so fingers crossed.

Earlier in the year, Mum and I spent two weekends cleaning out the pond; its entirety was filled with fibrous roots to the extent that any froggies living there would have been unable to do any more than wander across the top of the pond and hope that their feet got wet.

Before (the sword grass was all connected by a big mat of roots).

After (well, 95% complete)
Most wonderfully, a month or so later (almost as a thank you present) the pond was discovered to be full of tadpoles. Then suddenly they all disappeared.

This happened again only recently and our utter delight soon turned to sadness. We love frogs and it is delightful of a warm evening to hear the entire garden erupt with frogs. One even lives in the drainpipe of my bathroom, its croak reverberating through the pipes. We're not sure if the cause of the tadpole disappearance is a lack of oxygen, something in the water or just the neighbourhood birds realising that this is the perfect all-day buffet. Either way, no more tadpoles!

Two Christmases ago Mum and Dad received an owl box from friends. this was a nesting box for the owls native to the area in the hopes that they'd take one look at our lovely garden and decide to call it home. Unfortunately,before the owls even got a chance to move in (they did take their time) a family of bees decided to commandeer it. It's not an ideal situation, but even Dad admits they're up out of his way so there is less likelihood that they'll take on a suicide mission against him. I'm less impressed as while I love bees, I want the honey and given the location of the box 5 metres up the Jacaranda, this is unlikely to happen.

I'm less partial to the wasps, but we get them anyway, and there's not much that can be done about them.

In this garden we get a lot of mosquitoes from our ponds and the swamp wetlands across the road, so we love our spiders. Unless of course they build their webs across the footpaths and Dad or I end up with a face full of web (Mum manages to walk under them).

The scattering of Californian poppies that fill the garden.

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