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.
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!
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!
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!