Saturday, 9 October 2010

Planting bee and other things

Today we had the last planting bee for the year at the Botanic Gardens - it is too hot after October.  We had about 15 Friends planting - and watering - and about 200 small plants and trees were placed in the ground - not a bad effort for a morning's work.  Most of these were replacing plants which were lost either in the floods at the beginning of last year or the cyclone earlier this year.  Fortunately plants grow really quickly up here.  This area was completely bare three and a half years ago, so provided we don't have more cyclone damage, there should be a lovely display of plants in another few years.

I don't do any of the actual gardening - most of it is on slopes and my knees and feet will not cope with that, but I get the smoko (morning tea to those of you who are not Aussies).  I am told that that is the most important part of the morning anyway!    Today everything had to be carted quite some distance from the Admin building so I took my camera with me.  This case moth was on one of the shrubs - I assume they exist around the world, not just in Australia - I hadn't thought of that till now.  This one is not very big yet.

Then I saw this caterpillar of the monarch butterfly on the desert rose bush

Here is the chrysalis - we used to collect these as young children, the silver colours were the big drawcard.  They loved the oleanders we had growing in our garden.  These days we are told not to plant them in home gardens as they are so poisonous, but we grew up with about 8 of them and no ill effects.  We would have been devastated if Mum had got rid of them and we lost our annual supply of chrysalises.  they also made wonderful shangais (slingshots), completely illegal these days.  I don't recall that we ever hit anything much with them - we were on the edge of town with lots of open paddocks around us, so there was lots of scope for us.

Here is the beautiful desert rose flower, definitely not a native, but it is growing in the Malta garden, in honour of the Maltese community.
Time to take Jock for a walk.  He thinks it is past time and has been trying to persuade me to go for a while now.


  1. Wonderful photos Robin. The case moth is fascinating - it's incredible to think an insect has made that construction. The chrysalis is gorgeous, no wonder you collected them as kids. Our laburnum trees have suffered the same fate as your oleanders. Common sense has no place these days. In a newspaper this week there was an article about horse chestnut trees being cut down because a child had been injured trying to get at the conkers. We also played with catapults and conkers as kids, and grew up in a garden with a laburnum tree and possibly other poisonous plants, not to mention two fish ponds. No one was injured because we were told of the dangers and for the most part, did as we were told.

  2. The case moth is amazing Robin. I have never seen anything like that before and if I had I am sure that I would have thought it was just a small bundle of twigs. Sounds like you had a fun childhood. Pity that they have to miss out on so much of the fun today.

  3. I love the desert rose Robin, it's just beautiful. You see so many wonderful 'creatures', and thankfully photograph them for others to see. I am sure your help as 'smoko lady' is invaluable, it's a VERY important part of any group exercise........LOL..... The gardens must be a delight, such a shame the weather isn't always helpful, too wet, too dry, too windy, you get my drift.


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