Thursday, September 19, 2013

Uh-oh and yay!

Just as I went outside to capture some pictures of the strawberries I managed to plant (finally) I stumbled across a crime scene...


Something had pulled the strawberry plant up and dug another hole nearby. Thankfully it was only one plant out of the ten. I know we get bandicoots, but I suspect the culprits are bush rats. They always attack the strawberries and tomato plants at this time of year.

It wasn't hard to plant it back in the ground and I won't lose any sleep over it. We've had to live with native animals since we moved here - it goes with the territory of choosing the bush as our home. The kangaroos have even managed to crush some new bulbs I planted this year, due to them moving into the garden during winter/spring when there is little feed to be found elsewhere.

Sparaxis tricolour

Here is one of the bulbs which managed to flower (not sure how many will) and its a sparaxis. I was very excited to see it's little cap peeping out from the garden, to shine some colour on my day. Ever so enticing to look at, I even decided to use it as my new header image. There was a mixed collection of bulbs of this variety, so I wonder what colours will emerge next?

A Callistemon variety, named after Australia's first saint
~ Mary MacKillop ~
"I am not afraid of any of the difficulties, they rather make my courage rise" (26/3/1873)

The "yay" part of this post, has to do with the other flowers which are just starting to emerge. Right now it has to be the beautiful callistemon shrubs which are stunning in the morning sunlight. Their red bristled flowers are dripping with nectar, and don't all the honey-eaters love it! I have the Mary MacKillop and Kings Park Special variety flowering at the moment, and of course, many grevilleas which seem to flower all year round. I love seeing the different kinds of birds visit the garden, and it makes struggling to grow anything here, all the more worthwhile.

What is a garden after all, if you cannot share the delicious banquet with other living creatures?

Hardy ground covers

I'm also happy to have discovered two hardy ground covers which seem to do well in our climate. These are the Rhoeo and the Verbena candy cane. The Rhoeo (more commonly known as, Moses in the Cradle) is in the foreground of the image and took a season or two to really settle in. Some kind of small leaf-eater, would attack it every winter but it somehow managed to bounce back - now it has very few predators and needs no attention from me at all.

I love the colour of the verbena too (so happy) and it's as tough as old goat's knees, as the saying goes. It spreads really well, which does wonders for providing natural mulch in this area. Verbena has many different colour varieties and I also read, do well in containers or hanging pots. I love a no hassle, attractive plant.

Anyway, it is the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers this Saturday, and I'm hoping to take Peter to visit the beautiful parks and gardens for the very first time. David and Sarah will be pre-occupied with something else, but I'll share more on that after the weekend.


  1. Lovely flowers, some useful ground covers too, and bird attractors, despite the odd set back. It certainly is an adventure to figure out what works in your local place - I seem to have more "didn't works" but I guess it's still all knowledge. I still suspect bandicoot but then again I haven't seen signs of bush rats (yet) - do they hate red fruit that much they kill it early? My perennial bed has been taken over by strawberries - 1. They barely make any berries (wrong strain or poor fertilising?)and 2. I picked them a few years as summer job at uni so really not interested, but mice and birds seem to chew them once red.

  2. Hi Clare, thanks for commenting - I think for the first time. :)

    The bush rats love the fruits of the tomatoes and strawberries this time of year. It's the end of winter and spring (before the summer rains arrive) that they're running low on food. The rest of the time, thankfully, they leave the garden alone.

    I've had my fair share of "didn't works" too. Over time though, I've noticed as we've left the weeds alone, added mulch here and there, things are getting progressively better. Less things die. But then I've learned to plant in clusters too. I try not to have lone plants any more, they have to be connected to others. We're getting there, even if very slowly. ;)

  3. Why is it critters just love what humans grow? So interesting that yours are so different from ours. Yet they all do the same thing, help themselves!

    1. I think they love the self-service buffets, we so kindly offer, lol.

  4. Thanks for sharing your garden with us. Gorgeous flowers. I am going to look into the verbena for here- just love the colors!

    1. I'm surprised verbena isn't raved about as much, because its quite a hardy plant that is very beautiful. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you try it out in your garden. :)

    2. I looked and it's not hardy to my zone:(
      I'll be on the lookout for more information about it though. Dahlia and other flowers are not hardy either but we pull the bulbs out and bring indoors for winter so maybe there's a compromise.


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