Friday, 30 September 2016

A Garden Visitor 7

Amid the bright green, ferny foliage of Queen Anne's Lace, a little ladybug is busy. Busy performing natural pest control!

Ladybugs are a welcome presence in our garden.

The orange, spotty presence of these beneficial insects indicates there's a food source for them in the garden. Closer inspection of my Queen Anne's Lace revealed quite a few tiny aphids, those pesty, sap-sucking insects that happen to be one of a ladybug's favourite foods. Rather than intervening, as many a gardener wielding a toxic spray might, I left this sweet little ladybug to enjoy its meal. As a hungry ladybug can eat many aphids in a single day, I figure things are under control. 

Have a lovely weekend.


p.s. If you'd like to attract ladybugs to your garden, you can plant Queen Anne's Lace (wild carrot), cosmos, geraniums, dill, cornflowers or calendula.



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Roaring Meg: A Native Climber

Roaring Meg is a beautiful native climber. It's planted at the base of the retaining wall that leads to our front steps and is wending and winding its way happily up and along its wire mesh trellis. In Spring, it greets everyone who visits our home with stunning clusters of tubular, magenta flowers. What a welcome!
 "Roaring Meg" in bloom this Spring.

Originally, non-natives like mandevilla and wisteria were planted where Roaring Meg is now. But they faltered in the hot, South-Westerly position where this native climber is thriving. (Yes, it's true, I even managed to kill off a wisteria vine!)

A cluster of spectacular magenta blooms.

There's so much to adore about this native climber. It's reasonably fast-growing without being too vigorous. It responds well to a light pruning once it has finished flowering. It grows well in full sun and isn't overly thirsty. It has lovely deep green leaves and, of course, there are these beautiful blooms. 

These blooms are an open invitation for little native bees.

Planted in a hedge, at the base of Roaring Meg's trellis, are fragrant Gardenias. These are all in bud and I can't wait to see the deep pink of these blooms offset by the pure white petals of the Gardenias when they open. (There's always something to look forward to in a garden, isn't there!)

With a name like Roaring Meg, I'm sure there's no way I could've gone wrong with this gorgeous native climber. Even if your name's not Meg, it could be a lovely choice for your garden too.






Saturday, 24 September 2016

Of Rain and Rainbows

Steady rain falling on our rooftop is such a beautiful noise. Even more so when one wakes up to that sound at the beginning of a new day. It feels a luxury to lie quietly, eyes still closed, and just listen to the sound of nature's tears washing the world anew. 

A day of rain offers up certainties and possibilities. Among them, the certainty of much talk about the weather and checking of radar for approaching showers. The certainty of water for the garden and water in the tanks. The possibility of walking and playing in the rain, umbrellas and gumboots or no umbrellas and gumboots. And, of course, the possibility of a rainbow when the sun comes out again. So it was on a day when rain was forecast and fell.

My boy's rain gauge, made from a recycled bottle, ready to catch raindrops.

A wet and somewhat shaggy Sir Steve dog after a walk in the rain with us.
(He was the least wet of the three of us!)
 Our little water tank is full after the rain.
(So is our big tank but it's not as photogenic as this one:)

A hand-dyed rainbow on my knitting needles .
(The closest thing to a real rainbow today.)

Have you had rain at your place of late?  Did you happen to glance a rainbow?