Six on Saturday – W6/2020 – Rain Glorious Rain

This week has been wonderfully cool and wet! We have had gentle to heavy showers since Tuesday, recording 12 mm for Tuesday, 26 mm for Wednesday, 48 mm for Thursday, and 98 mm for Friday. The sun peeped through the clouds a few times on Friday, but not for long! Saturday arrived, and it is still raining! My theme for the week is centred around the rain. For those of you who are keen to see what is happening in gardens around the world, visit The Propagator .

Telltale signs!

Last week when we went for our regular afternoon walk around the village, we noticed that there were lots of ant mounds in the lawns and alongside the footpaths. They build up their nest to try and keep the rain out of it. This is a sure sign that heavy rain is coming. How the ants can tell, is beyond me. But we did heed the warning, and we flushed out the first flush on the rainwater tanks, and stowed tools, and made sure the washing was up to date.

Puddles

The slow and steady rain has been just what was needed for topping up the ground water. The dry riverbed I created last year along the water easement began flowing on Wednesday, and the rocks I used to define the riverbed have also helped slow down the flow of water, allowing some of it to seep down into the soil below. As there is still a large amount of over-ground water leaving the garden and emptying into the nearby creek, I have realised that I need to try and slow the flow of water down even more. I’m considering adding a few more larger rocks to the bed to block and divert the main flow, and, if I can find a lovely old tree stump or sculptured branch to use in the riverbed to slow the flow of water, then that would be even better.

Not only is water puddling in the ‘river bed’ but it is also collecting in the leaves of the Crassula.

Rain beads

It looks as if the spiders are also enjoying the rain, as their webs are adorned with raindrops.

Colour palette

The rain and the overcast weather has softened all the colours in the garden, increased the intensity of the greens, and brightened the colour of the soil and mulch so it no longer looks parched. To welcome the rain, the Polyantha Rose is ablaze with flowers, leading the other plants in celebration.

Old Man’s Beard

The Old Mans Beard, or Spanish Moss, Tillandsia usneoides , that I draped around a pine cone is finally looking great as it greens up and clings to the cone. The native Old Mans Beard, a fruiticose lichen, Usnea sp, clinging to a fiddle wood tree, has changed colour from dull grey green to this lovely pale green colour.

Surprise!

And finally, the last one for the week was a surprise! When I was wandering through the garden with camera clutched in hand, looking for some six on Saturday interest, I suddenly noticed an unusual long slender spire hanging down under the banksia at the edge of the walkway under an arbour leading to the road. Closer inspection revealed a wasp nest! These wasps cannot be too aggressive as we had been walking past their nest quite often and not been attacked! However, in case someone with an allergy should come visiting I think we had better relocate the wasps and their nest to another sheltered position in the garden away from humans. I did a bit of research on them and found out that they are stick nest paper wasps, Ropalidia revolutionalis, native to Queensland, and are diurnal and social. They build a new nest each spring. They have a very interesting life cycle, and are useful in controlling garden pests. What good news!

That’s my lot for this week’s Six on Saturday. Wishing you all a wonderful gardening week.

6 comments

  1. So interesting about the ants. I wonder how their cousins here survive all this rain? Did you move the wasp nest &, if so, how? Did they follow your lead?

    • These particular ants are interesting, and infuriating. Locals mow their lawn in the afternoon, and are greeted with brown bumps scattered over the beautifully mowed lawn! As for the wasps, after reading that they are great for controlling garden pests, I began to reconsider the idea of relocating them.i came up with another solution…..which I shall reveal this Saturday 😉

  2. I’ve been getting reports from Caboolture about the cool and rainy conditions, only 24°C some days. She’s in for a shock when she gets back her on Wednesday to a high of 7°C. I wouldn’t have recognized the wasps as wasps, I’d have been wondering what sort of ants they were. Perhaps they’re bigger than I’m thinking they are.

    • Shhh! Don’t mention the max of 7 degrees or she won’t want to leave here!! These wasps are small, about 10 – 15 mm, dark reddish brown, and their wings are folded onto their backs when resting, so at first glance they do look like ants. Their tiny wasp waists are hidden by their wings.

    • The ants can certainly make a mess of a lawn! We used to have them in the back garden, and it became quite hazardous walking out there as their mounds were mainly clay, so very slippery. The two bantams love eating the ants, and their numbers have definitely dwindled in our garden.

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