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

Read more

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

Read more

HALLOWEEN IN THE MISTY MOUNTAINS

HALLOWEEN IN THE MISTY MOUNTAINS

  In the northern hemisphere, Halloween is celebrated during fall, when  landscapes are wreathed in eerie mist. Here in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales we are supposed to be in the full glory of spring, but  there can be some surprisingly  appropriate weather. There are

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

THE OLD CHERRY TREES OF BLACKHEATH

THE OLD CHERRY TREES OF BLACKHEATH

From the Lithgow Mercury on October 12 1953; In 1953, the women residents of Park Avenue in the Blue Mountains village of Blackheath decided their street needed a little beautification.  Let’s face it, the very  word ‘avenue’ suggests a  tree lined promenade.  Perhaps they also felt a

Read more

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

Read more

THE CRANKY CORMORANT OF BLACKHEATH

THE CRANKY CORMORANT OF BLACKHEATH

JUST LET ME BE! Honestly, the resident pied cormorant at Blackheath duck pond  is the crabbiest looking creature imaginable. There is really no cause to be miserable in such delightful surroundings, especially in spring when the cherry blossom is out.   I have no idea if this

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more