New plants, toxic plants and climbing plants

Sturt's Desert Rose
Sturt’s Desert Rose

Tuesday and I have Herself at the doctor this morning. I expect to bring her back home and let her lie down for a while.  Our appointment is at 9am, so we should be home by 10:30 and I’ll let her rest until lunch. If she is feeling up to it I may take her out for lunch.   Yesterday I  spent the day clearing the ground – covered it with fertilizer then a Blood and Bone  mix, dug all that through and watered it all in. I planted two new flowering bushes – a Lemon coloured Hibiscus and a new bush called  Mexican Orange Blossom (White flowers) AND I have fenced the area off. Unless they have mountaineering skills ( like some dogs I know)  they should be kept out of the area. Not that I am not thankful for the work in watering they have done, but  I feel this responsibility added to their extensive Guard Duties, is really too much to expect so, fencing it off is for their own good.  I feel that this is a good time to plant these things (black thumb notwithstanding) because whilst it does say  “Full Sun” I am not certain that it means South Australian Full Sun, so, now the bite has gone out of the sun and it is cooler, it might be better and give them time to get established. I have also planted Bougainvillea (Two) along the line of the fence in the hope that they might brighten up the place a bit.  I have two different colours at the moment but I may well get two more during the course of this week and provided they all survive, it should be a nice coloured wall

The doctor appointment well and I think we are clear for a couple of months. Still  waiting to see if we need to go visit the other specialist, 20131008_151606but at the moment, she is not too bad – tired but well.  She should be ok provided she does not overdo things.

Our local hardware store also sells a limited number of plants. Once upon a time we had three Garden Shops – now we have but one. I bought two Bougainvillea  at the hardware store at a cost of $9:50 each. That was the last two they had.  The two I bought yesterday at the Garden shop cost me $16:95 each. This is part of a big chain and since it’s the only place in town they can charge what they like – mainly because the nearest Garden Shop is over 100 miles away. Although— having said that –  I do know a young couple who  had a house built then took a trailer to that particular Garden Shop and filled the trailer with plants for the garden they had started to lay out. In a few weeks I will be going to Adelaide and be there for a week. On the way home I will stop off at Bunnings on Main North Road and have a look to see if I want anything in the way of plants. I’ll probably stop at the Arid Lands B.G. on the way through.  Oh, I did buy one plant the other day and I am unsure what to do with it. I liked the flowers and thought they would look nice. But I decided to look it up on Google and was horrified to learn that it is toxic to dogs, cats, horses sheep and cattle. It also gives off a perfume that  destroys other species of plants around it and encourages the spread of its seeds. It is called Lantana Camara and, I think I may have to be careful where I put it.

We had a little bit of precipitation (not using the other word – don’t want to cause upset)  this afternoon so that helped to get  things settled in – I hope.  In another section I have the trailer parked and I am  digging out the gravel from that area. It is unlikely that I will be able to plant anything there but I will put down weed matting and refresh  the area. There is also a very large area that’s covered in gravel but it’s the cheapest stuff you can get so it does not look all that nice. I will, over time clear all that away and again refresh it  with some decent gravel – granite chips perhaps.

It's a hard life
It’s a hard life

I have never had any problem feeding my associates. Well, not strictly true in that I have to have a gate between them –  one on one side of the gate – one on the other. Chienne  gets right into the food dish as soon as it is put in front of her. She raises her head only when her bowl is empty. The Man, on the other hand, herself calls O.C.D. He has a ritual he has to go through – sniff, walk away – sniff, walk around daddy’s legs, –  sniff, walk around daddy”s legs – sniff, walk away, return, eat. If I fed them together after the first walk away, Chienne would be in there and finished before he came back. Ok, so he’s weird, but I guess he fits in quite nicely. He sleeps a lot and I still carry him when we go for “walks”.

I am still undecided  about accommodation in Adelaide for the State Assembly and I’m leaning towards a hotel closer to town and about equal distance between the two places I have to go. I think that might be the place.

Flowers, dogs and fundraising

Fairly True.

I Believe that the Native Hibiscus comes in a number of different colours and I would like to have a good look at that., something I will do when next I visit the Botanic Gardens. I would like a red and a yellow to go with the blue/purple I already have. I think these would make a nice addition. I know, but I am going with the things that I believe will survive rather than be adventurous

This is a snapshot of our electorate:

Grey is a vast electorate, covering 904,881, or 91.8% of South Australia, an area larger than New South Wales. It includes the agricultural districts of the Eyre Peninsula and the fishing and port centre of Port Lincoln, the iron triangle cities of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie, and since the 2003 redistribution, the whole of the Yorke Peninsula. The greater part of the electorate covers the  arid semi-desert north of South Australia

So there it is – a crushing defeat for the incumbent  government, so many seats lost, others reduced to marginal seats. A new government, a new direction, so let’s see where that leads. At least this government won’t have the added burden of stabbing each other in the back with the defeated leader  and his supporters, undermining  the the winning leader and her government.  But the saddest thing of all was that  even her  own supporters turned on her in the end and we had the ” Et tu Brute?” as her so called friends delivered the final cutting  strike. Yes it was a lacklustre campaign, populist on one side,  controlled and disciplined  on the other and in the end, the controlled and disciplined won handsomely. So, as  some Americans would say ” Upwards and onwards – Confidence is High”          Well, ok, I really don’t know if that’s what real  Americans do say, but they do in the Movies  :o)

The weather has started to warm up a bit so the dogs have been spending much of their time indoors. Once the weather really heats up and we start to get into the high 30 and 40 then they will spend most of their time inside where it’s cooler. Also, I would like to be able to get back out on my bike again and at least with the warm to hot weather, there is not the annoying wind. I had a look at the Pound and there are ten dogs in there – one Maltese, One Jack Russell and eight Pit Bulls. A worry..

Spent all day yesterday (Saturday)  at a fundraising event for the RFDS. I think we

Support Group
Support Group

did pretty well for the day but I left before the end to pick up herself and go off to vote.

The Tin Man and Native Plants

2013-01-21 08.55.49
The Tin Man

Halfway between here and Adelaide is “The Tin Man” an institution in this part of the world. The Tin Man is a BP Service Station, Motel, Rest Stop, but it’s more than just that, it’s a crossroad for travellers in this region. Almost everyone stops there for fuel, comfort, food. It’s one of these things where no explanation is necessary – everyone knows what you are referring to.  I remember one time when the older son and I were coming back from Adelaide and we stopped at the Tin Man only to meet the younger son and friends travelling to Adelaide for a concert.  People wanted to know if this was a family reunion  :o) What’s this got to do with anything, you ask?? Well simply this – I have been travelling back and forth to Adelaide so often recently that some friends have suggested that the only way they can get in touch with me is to leave a message at the “Tin Man”

Native Hibiscus

About six or seven months ago I planted a Native Hibiscus  that I bought at the Arid Lands Botanic Garden. Since then it, like the Desert Pea, has taken root and grown like wildfire. I have had to trim it back somewhat since it was spreading branches over the pathway and Herself  was having to push through it to hang out a washing. The  Seedling is very tiny but it certainly grows high enough. I am particularly happy with that and the other Arid Lands plants. Some of them are still on the small side but they are supposed to grow to a reasonable height. I am impressed with the Hibiscus but even less so with the Sturt’s Desert Rose, which does not seem to have taken at all. When I get the opportunity to go through to the Arid Lands BG I will buy two more of the Hibiscus plants and replace the desert roses, which have done nothing.  I don’t mind waiting for results if I feel that I am going to get results but the desert roses have not  progressed in any way, shape or form since they were planted and they were planted before the Desert Pea.

This morning I had to step in  quickly and break up a nasty fight between my

This is my Main Man - the MalteseTerrorist!
This is my Main Man – the MalteseTerrorist!

Associates.  Actually, the little man is very lucky he still has his head on after what he did . Just picture a dog sleeping peacefully on her bed, not a care in the world, stretched out and completely relaxed. Suddenly there is this white blur as the little man goes charging past my legs, takes a flying leap, lands right on top of Chienna and bounces off on the other side of the bed. Struth did she go ballistic!! I mean, I can’t blame her, poor thing, and there’s me trying to keep them apart while laughing. I know, it probably hurt her a bit as well as scaring the living daylights out of her, but it was so funny. Talk about living dangerously!!

Arid lands` and Isolation

The upper area of the Spencer Gulf with the Flinders Ranges off to the left.

I enjoyed my visit to the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. It has a well stocked shop and a small, but interesting nursery with a good range of native plants – and the prices were very reasonable. And I became a member.  It’s a 150 klm round trip but it does have a nice dining area – it is a good morning out and a nice, peaceful drive.  I bought 4 small (1.5 metres) silver leafed Eremophila  and have planted two out front and the remaining two in large planter pots. We will see how they go. I think I have mentioned before that the term “Full Sun” really does not consider the  heat of this area. Two days of 40c and they are dead, irrespective of water and mulch.  So I thought it is time to go to the Eremophila and see what we can do.

Our inter-state visitors arrived yesterday afternoon and will be here for a few days before setting off further north, then into the Northern Territory and Alice Springs. At least it will be a lot cooler than a few weeks ago.

Mid spring is the best time of the year to  travel up into the Flinders Ranges – everything is still green and there is a massive abundance of wild flowers. Then summer comes and everything is burned off.  My problem over the last week has not been the heat but the wind, which has hardly let up for weeks. I have never known for it to be so breezy.  Provided it’s not a North Wind, it does have a cooling effect but the  disadvantage is that  around this place all you have to do is sneeze too hard and leaves come down by the bucket load. I left a fairly clean place and came back from Adelaide to find everything covered in leaves again. I mean I understood ; spring – leaves grow;  summer – leaves develop and flourish; Autumn – leaves start to die and fall; winter- leaves come down. Is there something wrong with this logic?

Still in the middle of nowhere

Depending on how the Eremophila do I will go back to the Arid Lands Garden again – only next time I will take a camera with me. This could be as early as next week, but I doubt it – although I will be going down to Adelaide next week to  pick up my brother-in-law (my sister died two years ago) and bring him here. His carers are going away on holiday and since there is no one to look after him, he will be coming here. He has serious heart problems so John is coming down with me to help if we run into trouble. It will be a long, slow drive back. I will also be good to have John spell me on driving – it will be a 930 klm round trip. It  will depend on time if I get to the Gardens. If not I will try and get through in a few weeks. I hope the dogs behave for the ten days he is here!!! But then, the dogs live here – he does not  :o)

Oh and it’s not really in the “Middle of Nowhere” the photograph was taken from the pathway of the Botanic Gardens as was the one above but they do serve to illustrate the isolation of this area.