EDITOR DES ON A NATURE RAMBLE

EDITOR DES ON A NATURE  RAMBLE

Hello, Editor Des here. Well it’s springtime where I live in the Blue Mountains. All the flowers are out and the  birds start  singing so early  they wake me up while I’m still dreamin’. I thought it might be a nice time to go on a little

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LAUREL’S LITHODORA

LAUREL'S  LITHODORA

Like most people, I have a  garden full of plants given to me by friends and neighbours.  They are all very special. Some years ago I went on an outing to the home of Laurel Phillips, a life-member of our local garden club at Blackheath, in the

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SPARROWS OF BLACKHEATH – CHERRY BLOSSOM TIME

SPARROWS  OF BLACKHEATH - CHERRY BLOSSOM TIME

There were  some  special (feathered) visitors at Blackheath recently, stepping off the Cherry Blossom Express from Sydney. And goodness me, what a sight greeted them! A misty day, but utterly lovely nevertheless.   Oh the joy of burying one’s beak in those blossoms by the platform. Just

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LOVE YOUR BONNETS, GRANNY! (Aquilegias)

LOVE YOUR BONNETS, GRANNY! (Aquilegias)

How very beautiful are old-fashioned aquilegias, or colombines.   They are also known as granny’s bonnets. Bees love them.                   Here is an interesting piece on the plant’s name, published in 1927; A new explanation of the derivation of

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Lily-of-the-Valley; So Sweet and Gentle.

Lily-of-the-Valley; So Sweet and Gentle.

Lily-of-the-valley (convallaria) is surely the most ethereal of the spring flowering bulbs, with a delicate fragrance.  The botanical name is from convallis, which is Latin for valley. It thrives in a cool, semi shaded position.  Here is some cultivation advice published in 1930, but which is just as relevant

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AJUGA; HERO OF THE GARDEN!

AJUGA; HERO OF THE GARDEN!

Because much of my garden is in at least semi-shade  I grow lots of the shade-loving ground-cover ajuga. Its bronze foliage contrasts well with silver grey lambs ears or dusty miller.  It will thrive in the most challenging of locations.   After good spring  rain recently  the

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WHACKY WOOD DUCKS!

WHACKY WOOD DUCKS!

Patrick  and Polly, the Australian wood ducks are a very entertaining couple.  Patrick is just a little bit of an Aussie bogan. He loves his mullet cut;                 They reside at Blackheath duck pond in the Blue Mountains of New

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WHAT A CLEVER BOWERBIRD!

WHAT A CLEVER BOWERBIRD!

EARLY DAYS AT THE BOWER It was mid August when I first spotted a satin bowerbird’s boudoir in Memorial Park, Blackheath. I was very impressed by the location. It was secluded and private, but just a short flight to the village shops and cafes. The bower itself

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THE SILVEREYES OF OLD SYDNEY

THE SILVEREYES OF OLD SYDNEY

THE SWEET SILVEREYES   It’s hard to believe that many of these tiny birds migrate annually from Tasmania to as far north as southern Queensland. What an epic journey for them.  Back in the mid 19thC a wild  storm swept a flock to New Zealand, where they

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THE STORY OF THE SPIDER STUMP

THE STORY OF THE SPIDER STUMP

WARNING…..INCLUDES CONFRONTING SPIDER PICTURE! It wasn’t until my friend  Dianne told me about her battle to get rid of ivy in her new garden that I realized my own ivy problem had become super-serious.  Stupidly, I  had deliberately  spread the variegated variety around. I’d considered it more

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