Monday, December 31, 2012

December in the Dandenongs

The volunteer tomatoes that popped up everywhere in September are fruiting

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bye bye bee bee, bye bye!

Recently our wonderful, garage dwelling, feral bees ran out of space and a drone cut a hole through the interior wall into the garage.  Bees not being the brightest, they then congregated around the rear window to the garage hoping that somehow the glass would disappear and they'd be able to go on their merry way. 

With nothing to do but wait for a mating flight, one drone decided to create a new exit and gets berated by a female worker for leaving the back door open

Unfortunately, we didn't enter the garage for a couple of days and it was cool and wet overnight.  As the bees only knew of their main entrance to the nest, they couldn't work out what to do and few hundred of them died from exposure over night before we realised what had happened.

We covered up the hole they'd made with copper slugga tape as it was all we had to hand, then covered the window with a tarp and opened the door so the surviving bees could make their way out.  Which they did, slooooowly, over the day.  My DH then had the sad task of sweeping up the deceased.

Just to show that they're not fast learners, a couple of days later the exact same thing happened and again we lost a few hundred bees.

Fortunately, I know David the bee man! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ode to The Digger's Club

Oh, Digger's Club you are the best,
By far a step above the rest,
So I just renewed my membership,
After a slight lapse in it.
Unlike others we won't mention,
You always pay attention,
To your members far and wide,
And keep them on the happy side.
Despite having lapsed for months times two,
You didn't hesitate, no, not you,
You give, and then, you give some more,
With a better deal than before.
A welcome gift you did bestow,
That's hard to rhyme when not in prose,
But I'll try and give it a go,
Some seeds from the tom-a-to.
Then just because that is your way,
Another gift made my day,
A book that is pure platinum,
All about the solanum.
So, thank you Digger's, Clive et al,
I promise you that I shall,
Renew my fees when they fall due,
So I may be as loyal as you.

Not a Digger's Club member yet?  You really should be ;)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pumkins and lemon trees...

I've written this post for Margaret of Stone's Throw Cottage, who is making a fantastic effort removing environmental weeds and enhancing her already wonderful garden by planting some delicious edibles! :)

Margaret has the perfect location for a forest garden.  She has many established trees in an upper canopy, several fruit trees in the middle layer, different levels, a slope, sunny areas, cool areas and lots of native vegetation.

She has decided to clear away a big area of environmental weeds (Wandering Trad and English Ivy) and replace this with indigenous plants for attracting wildlife, providing habitat for local species and also increasing the biodiversity in her garden.

Yesterday, I saw her and her partner (well, mostly her partner!) struggling to rid an old veggie bed of a bad infestation of Wandering Trad, both being desperate to plant out some pumpkins.  When I suggested that they relax, take their time, and plant the pumpkins under the nearby lemon tree instead they thought I'd gone a bit bonkers.

They wouldn't be the first! :)

So Margaret, get yourself a cuppa and let me explain...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Those of you with a wildlife pond have no doubt been hearing the fantastic noise of the Eastern Bango Frogs (Limnodynastes dumerilii) calling for some time now.  The wonderful sound of the frog has given it a very evocative common name in the Dandenongs, the Pobblebonk.

L. dumerilii subspecies dumerilii
L. dumerilii subspecies dumerilii
the most widely spread subspecies
and common in Melbourne suburbs