Late winter here in the hills of Melbourne, Australia. We’ve had some pretty windy weather this winter. Usually that’s in spring. Hoping that means it won’t be so windy in the months to come. Over the past couple of days we’ve had 20mm of rain. Just over 40mm so far this month. Really at less than half of what’s normal for the year to date. Our planting has been somewhat slow this year too. What with extended summer into late Autumn (hence, no rain), occasional bouts of ill health (colds, and a virus) and bad weather on many weekends when we’d rather be outside planting up! But we’re getting there.
The wind has one good use though – it makes our wonderful windmill go. This was given to us by dear friends last year at our joint birthday party. Isn’t it lovely? The bird you can hear is a corella that lives next door.
Today I put into the ground 6 x hellebores, 1 x cyclamen, 4 x canna lily tubers, 1 x grevillea and 1 x lorapetalum. Graham came out to help towards the end and we put a lilac tree back where we had dug it up over a year ago to make way for the landscapers. The lilac tree is just starting to bud up. Below are three of the cyclamen plants I put into the ground. The variegated leaf plant has a yellow flower.
Wandering around we noted a few flowers had been nipped off here and there. We suspect the wild ducks that have decided to make our home their home for now. I’d been wondering where they had been nesting and had been looking at the trees on our property but couldn’t see any that might have decent sized hollows. However, this afternoon I watched the ducks fly off to a tree just over the fence line on our neighbour’s property which looked a likely candidate for hollows.
Below, one of the cyclamens that has had flowers bitten off. We’ve had similar with jonquils and daffodils too. The tree we believe the ducks are nesting in, and the kniphofias I planted two weeks ago in the rock garden area with a daisy bush and aloes. If you click on each image it will enlarge for a better view.
Later I heard two crows calling high up in the air and looked up to see them either side of a hawk. The ducks below flew off and other birds were calling and scattering. Clearly the hawk was being escorted away from the area. Pity I couldn’t get a shot at the time.
We’re loving seeing wildlife visit our property but also learning we’re going to have to accept we’ll lose some flowers and some plants along the way. The faster we can get planting, the bigger the mass and the less that may be damaged as a result. Especially when we’ve crowd planted – just feels like it’s taking a long time. Of course, the visitors are only looking for food while we’re looking to create a great garden for us and for the wildlife. Hopefully we can get the two mixing well, over time.