Friday, August 24, 2012

Belgrave Platypus Community Count - tomorrow!!

For those of you who live in and around Belgrave, the first of 3 community count events will be held on Saturday 25th August.

From the facebook page:
"The inaugural Belgrave Platypus Community Count will held this year in spring, the peak of Platypus breeding season. 

We aim to determine how regularly the Belgrave Lake Park section of Monbulk Creek is used by Platypus, how many individuals may be using the creek and help to understand how any potential resident population may change over time.
Most importantly we hope to raise awareness of the threats Belgrave Platypus face, and the opportunities that exist to help them!"

Meet at Belgrave Lake Park at 5pm.

Children are welcome, there will be snacks and hot drinks provided, so wrap up warm and join in the fun :)

For more info, you can contact the wonderfully dedicated and irrepressible Vicki Boyle of Southern Dandenongs Landcare on 9754 4505.

PS - Please RSVP to either the facebook page for Belgrave Platypus above, or directly to Vicki.  Not me, as I'm not responsible for this event:)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

SDCN Winter Newsletter Now Online

For those who're not members, the newsletter is now available online - please check it out :)

And, if you're not a member, why not?!

It's only $15 for an annual membership and you save a fortune on plants - plus there's the good advice from the committee members who can generally be found helping out.

You can find us at Birdsland Reserve - see you there Sunday! :)

Birdsland Discovery Day Announced!

I noticed today that Cr. Samantha Dunn has announced the Birdsland Discovery Day on her blog, so I'm presuming that this is the formal date.

Anyhoo... Birdsland Discovery Day is due to take place on Sunday the 9th of September from 11am to 3pm and there's a link to a scanned poster here, thanks to Sam.

It looks like being a fantastic day out and, if it's as successful as the Mini-Beasts Festival was, it's sure to be a great family day.

I will no doubt enjoy it from the nursery where I hope to be as busy as last time!

Perhaps I will see you there? :)

Edible Weeds Talk at Belgrave Library

For those of you who haven't yet come across it, one of the best little reference books I recommend to people who complain about weeds is Edible Weeds and Garden Plants of Melbourne by Doris Pozzi.

For those of you who are interested in learning more and chatting with Doris, she regularly visits the local libraries in Melbourne to give talks and also conducts weed walks throughout the area.

Her next talk at Belgrave Library will be on Thursday 20th September at 2pm.

This is a free event and a very popular one, so please book now if you are interested!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Wattle?

Just a quick plug for the Belgrave South Community House and their What Wattle? course which runs on Saturday 1st September, considered the first day of Spring and of course, National Wattle Day :)

This course is a hands on workshop where you will be taught some simple guidelines to help identify some of the indigenous wattles in the local area, as well as the weedy intruders.

The course is from 2-4pm and includes light refreshments.  Total cost is $10, or $5 concession.

Book now to avoid disappointment! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Fence...

What can I say?  At least it's half done! :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oodles of wonderful wrigglers!

No idea if I've posted this before, but here's what you can expect to see if you look after your soil and keep getting that organic matter in there!

I couldn't remember if I'd posted that particular picture before, but DD1 was asking whether her worms would have had babies by now and how many there would be...  a LOT!

Our soil is a veritable worm spaghetti :D

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Treat Peach Leaf Curl Now! Lime-Sulphur Recipe

For those with peach, nectarine, apricot, plum or almond trees in particular, it's almost time to treat your trees before bud burst in order to prevent any hibernating fungal growths from infecting the new growth.

As soon as you see the pink starting to show on the buds, spray your tree - it is not possible to control the fungus once it's entered the leaf, so don't leave it for the buds to open.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Get your garden growing!

This is going to feel like a bit of product placement, but bear with me!

Recently, I was making a return visit to Heronswood and wondering through the vegetable garden area when I heard a group debating what chemical fertiliser products must have been used to have everything growing so well in winter.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Birdsland Reserve

This area of riparian bushland off McNicol Road in Belgrave Heights is important both from a community and an environmental point of view.

On occasion referred to as "the lungs of Belgrave", Birdsland Reserve is a 75 hectare reserved managed by the Yarra Ranges Council and abuts a further 36 hectares that is currently managed by Melbourne Water.  This latter area is referred to officially as the Monbulk Creek Retarding Basin, but to us locals the whole area is known simply as Birdsland.

Unless you have under 5's in your family, in which case it may be fondly known as Duckland :)

"What? Is that it?!"

Garden Diary

The flowering quince is now in full bloom on bare branches and looks amazing!

I'm also loving the colour we have from the African Daisies (Arctotis NOT Senecio pterophorus commonly known as winged groundsel or ragwort and a declared noxious weed in Victoria), camellias, cornflower and English Violets.

Growing at the moment we have the next lot of pea seedlings at about 20cm; the green manure in the bed that will have corn next year is also about that high; tiny little silvebeet that is not appreciating our cats sleeping on it and growing very slowly in it's low light position; lots of flower and herb seedlings,  including coriander, thyme, rosemary and oregano all over the garden; cosmos enjoying the sun of the past few days and starting to flower; aloe vera flower stalks starting to open, the ornamental cherry has buds all over it, and the various melaleucas, callistemons, Goodia lotifolia and Prostanthera lasianthos are also preparing to flower.

I'm keeping a look out for the flower stalks on the orchids and stylidium this year so I can get some slug and snail bait out before they get munched!

On the downside, the sunflowers finally realised it was winter and the cannas are starting to realise it too, with the flowers taking way longer to develop... The feijoa also finished it's harvest about 2 weeks ago.

Shame, as we really enjoyed it this year, but at least we've been able to give the tree a good cut back so we get lots of new growth next year.  The position of the swale and the downpipe divert near to the feijoa should also mean it gets some more water at fruit set this time, so even bigger fruit.  :)
 The nature strip has now been cleared back a bit as we need to add a retaining wall and clear out the area around the steps.  In clearing it, I found a lot of native rushes and sedges, Lomandra filiformis and L. longifolia mainly, but also what I think is Gahnia radula.  We have these now doing well through out the front garden since we stopped mowing it and it's really cool to see our "bush garden" naturally taking shape.

Finally... the fence IS going to be replaced!!

Everyone involved has agreed this weekend is the one and have also purchased the timber etc.  My concern is that the main neighbour we share the fence with has also chosen today to start building his extension and new deck, so I'm not sure how important the fence will be to him.  Better be high on the list though, as I'm running out of time to get the bare rooted fruit trees in and will have to purchase more expensive potted ones, which I can't afford.