EDITOR DES AND THE SKINK FAMILY

EDITOR DES AND THE SKINK FAMILY

How beautiful Australia’s Eastern Water Skinks are, with their gorgeous, coppery colouring. My associate Editor Des has made friends with the family that live under our old cement terrace, here at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains. There are actually two branches of the same family, one in

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A PIPE & A POT BASE = BIRD PARADISE

A PIPE & A POT BASE = BIRD PARADISE

For years, in the centre of my Blue Mountains garden, I had a bowl of grape hyacinths sitting on an old terracotta pipe. It was an interesting feature; rustic and simple. However, as surrounding shrubbery grew it became shaded and half the bulbs failed to flower. One

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THE CRABAPPLE

THE  CRABAPPLE

When we moved to Blackheath (Blue Mountains) twenty years ago there was a large crabapple in our garden. I suspect it was planted by a previous owner, a professor of architecture who established the garden in the 1960s. The tree scarcely bore any fruit and eventually I

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INSECT HOTEL – ROOM AT THE BLACKHEATH INN

INSECT HOTEL - ROOM AT THE  BLACKHEATH INN

In the spirit of increasing biodiversity, my partner and I bought a little insect hotel for our Blue Mountains garden. Perfectionist owner-builder Rob decided to seal the back panel with Bondcrete and add a waterproof membrane to the pitched roof. Well, we do get a lot of

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JARDINS….LITTLE TREASURES OF THE LOT

JARDINS....LITTLE TREASURES OF THE LOT

It is mid winter here at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, cold and very wet. I have been watching Monty Don’s TV series on French gardens. Oh dear, the longing it evokes is almost physically painful. How long will it be before we can enjoy that beautiful

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A COCKATOO’S REVENGE!

A COCKATOO'S REVENGE!

Now admittedly I have been conducting a campaign against sulphur crested cockatoos. Well not against the birds themselves, but against the artificial feeding of them. Over the past 15 years their numbers have skyrocketed in the Blue Mountains. They are now competing with other hollow-nesting birds here

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DAVE DOWNEY, DOING HIS BIT IN BLACKHEATH

DAVE DOWNEY, DOING HIS BIT IN BLACKHEATH

Just before Christmas, as the bush fires crept ever closer to Blackheath and we all suffered in the heatwave, I photographed a little tractor and water tank in Wentworth Street. I assumed it must be someone’s home fire protection unit. Mind you, I did wonder about the

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HERO HYDRANGEAS – LIKE A HUG FROM YOUR MUM

HERO HYDRANGEAS - LIKE A HUG FROM YOUR MUM

Who would imagine that dear old hydrangeas would hold up so well during the recent fires and heatwave conditions in the Blue Mountains? The origin of the name seems to contradict the very notion that they would! ‘First discovered in Japan, the name hydrangea comes from the

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WANDERING UP TO BLACKHEATH VILLAGE IN THE HEATWAVE

WANDERING  UP  TO BLACKHEATH VILLAGE IN THE HEATWAVE

Time to be out and about now the fire risk has subsided. My own garden is a disaster, with only the natives and hydrangeas holding up. But how is everything else going in this awful heatwave I wonder? Well, to my great surprise an ibis has taken

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CRISIS CHRISTMAS 2019

CRISIS CHRISTMAS 2019

And so Christmas in the Blue Mountains village of Blackheath has come to an end. The saddest, happiest, strangest and scariest festive season I’ve experienced in the twenty years we have lived here. In mid December my husband Rob and I attended a delightful nativity play at

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