Six on Saturday – W33/2020 – Bulbs and other interesting things

This past week has been busy and interesting, and this week’s Six reflects some of those interesting things. We harvested some of our parsley and dried that in the food drier, and then dried organic lemon peel. More on that in another post. In the meantime let us get started with this week’s Six on Saturday. To find out how to join in, visit The Propagator’s blog.

In an earlier post I mentioned that I needed to tackle a little project in the front garden. This involved digging two holes, one for each of the old hardwood fence posts I had bought, and creating an interesting feature. This project got put on the backburner for a while, but recently one of the fence posts was cemented in, and it is now time to dig the second hole. The fence posts will be decorative as well as practical, as they will provide some support to the tall pink tree dahlia as it grows.

Notice the lovely pale pink Brugmansia flower – this weeks featured image

The second fence post has been lying on the little bridge in the front garden. This week we moved the post and noticed a lot of chewed wood where the post had been lying on the bridge. On further inspection we discovered a shiny black bug with its head buried in the sap wood. Here was the culprit!

The bug is at 1 o’clock in the photo

Initially we thought it must be a wood borer, but on closer inspection it looked a bit like a cockroach. We did a search online and lo and behold it is an Australian Wood Cockroach, Panesthia cribrata! These bugs are found in moist areas in forests, and they feed on decaying wood. The reference that I used to identify the bug (http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_cockroaches/WoodCockroach.htm accessed 14/08/2020) has a very clear and close up photo of one of these insects, which clearly shows the verry ragged vestiges of its wings. The article goes on to explain that this is because these insects eat the wings. Yuk!

A little fuzzy as the wood cockroach was trying to escape

2. In second place is Clivia miniata. I have a couple of species of Clivia, but this is the first to flower this season. It lives in a very old concrete pot which I move around the garden into shade depending on the time of year.

3. Heralding in spring are the Tritelia Spring Stars Light Blue. I purchased the bulbs in January 2020, and they are flowering nicely. I have grown them in a pot rather in the ground, as I was not sure how they would do in the clay soil.

4. Other bulbs that are heralding in spring are the Freesias – Hadeco mixed. These bulbs were purchased in February 2018, and this will be their third year of blooms. They have been multiplying nicely and I now have three pots full of bulbs.

5. The walking iris is starting to look green and healthy again, and flower buds are appearing. This iris, Neomarica gracilis, also known as the Apostle’s Iris, has beautiful flowers which unfortunately only last a day. Plantlets grow from the tips of the flowering stems, and when these touch the ground a new plant is established. Because of this the plant spreads quite readily, and should be regularly divided up to contain its growth.

6. One of my potted roses, Mr Lincoln, illustrates clearly what guttation fluid is. This photo was taken in the early morning sunlight. Guttation fluid is excreted from the leaves of some plants when the roots have absorbed more moisture than the plant needs. It can be seen on plants in the early morning. The droplets hang off each point of the leaf.

That is my Six for the week. Wishing you all a very happy and fruitful gardening week!

20 comments

  1. that clivia is very pretty, i like it a lot. if the cockroach only eats rotten wood, doesn’t that mean your post is a goner?

    • I agree about the Clivia. They are beautiful. Luckily the cockroach was only eating the sapwood. The hardwood still remains, so the post will have lots of character now but will be alright to use. I dug the hole for it yesterday, and hopefully we can cement it in later this week. Luckily we saved the post when we did!

  2. Clinic miniata……THAT’S the name of one of my houseplants that is in the corner of my sitting room. I couldn’t grow it outside here. Interesting Six-on-Saturday.

  3. Your flowers are so pretty! Love the last buds on point 4. And I learned something new today – guttation fluid. Thank you for sharing!

    • I tend to see the flowers first, then when I noticed the buds I thought it was definitely worth the photo! I find the process of the guttation fluid very interesting. That’s probably why it has stuck in my memory for so long and why I get excited when I notice it!

      • Not sure if I have observed guttation fluid on our garden but will sure be on the lookout. Does it only happen to specific plants?

          • Aha, I have a couple of roses and will have a look. They are not doing super well in their pots though. Maybe I should just transfer them in the soil.

          • Most of my roses do better in pots here as they hate the clay soil. However, others do well plaNted out. It’s a matter of seeing what works for your growing conditions. Seeing guttation fluid is not common, but do keep a look out for it.

  4. Guttation fluid? That’s very interesting. Never heard that before. And you captured it very nicely.
    The Freesias look great. Lovely to see your spring beginning. Have a great gardening week, a chara.

    • The physiology of the guttation process is very interesting. I learnt about it many moons ago, and I was fascinated by it. Hope you have a lovely gardening week too!

  5. What a good idea to use the fence posts as a support for a tree peony. I love freesia, and tried growing them way back in the past, without success. I might be tempted to have another go, as the perfume is as beautiful as the flowers.

    Until this point, I had never heard of ‘guttation fluid’. I love how I learn something new every weekend on Six on Saturday.

  6. Those Freesias are lovely, far better than my single solitary yellow one that flowered! The wooden post you’ve put in looks great and I hope the cockroach leaves something left of the other one. I’d not heard of the term guttation fluid before.

    • I couldn’t resist picking some Freesias for the vase today. I am really enjoying their delicate perfume and beauty. The post should be ok as it is just the sap wood it has eaten, although being so old it was a shock seeing it being eaten. It has probably spent decades out in all kind of weather, only to be munched by a cockroach! The post should go into the ground soon! A botanist showed me guttation fluid on leaves many moons ago, and I get quite excited when I see it on plants.

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