Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

14 January 2015

Mother and child

This mother koala and her baby have been around the vicinity for a few weeks now.  Before Christmas I mentioned to a neighbour that the pair had been in a river red gum down our driveway and the neighbour said that their family had seen the mother with baby on her back walking down their driveway a few days earlier.  Last week when it was in the forties I saw the mother (with baby on her back) trying to scale a tree with far too much creeper on it to accommodate her.  Then in the past couple of days they've been in the huge river red gum by the carport.  We watched in horror last evening as the baby swayed in quite a strong wind at the top of the tree.  He/she must have realised the peril and carefully crawled backwards down to mamma, clinging on for dear life!  Whew!  This afternoon mother and child were on the very lowest branch so I grabbed my camera and started clicking.  The mother had to size me up as I clicked away and eventually must have thought I was no threat.  She made her way down to the ground (baby on her back) and walked towards me, then circled me and headed for a gate that she clearly wanted to go through (but it was shut).  She waited while I opened it, walked through, sniffed at a few things on the way and finally climbed up a plum tree onto one of our rainwater tanks.  From there she jumped onto the roof of the shed (not easy with a baby on your back and I thought I might have had to help her up at one point).  From there she got onto a Melaleuca and at the moment mother and child are sleeping in that.  This photo was taken just as she was contemplating the leap from tank to shed roof!

13 January 2015

Solanum melongena (Eggplant 'Listada Di Gandia')

I found this eggplant in the wicking bed hiding under its foliage.  Eggplants or Aubergines are a member of the Solanaceae family.  Solanaceae is a diverse and interesting family because it includes such a wide range of well known plants including potato, tomato, eggplant, tobacco, cape gooseberry, capsicum and chilli, goji berry, cestrum and even petunia.  But it also includes the poisonous deadly nightshade and mandrake!

07 January 2015

First sunflower of 2015

Not fully out yet but this is the first sunflower to actually flower this year.

06 January 2015

Gift from a friend

Many South Australians might recognise this plant as the State's floral emblemSwainsona formosa or Sturt's Desert Pea.  It thrives over much of outback Australia in arid, hot conditions. My task will be to keep it alive.  Apparently they like a coarse, sandy, well-drained soil, lots of sun and they tend to suffer Fusarium wilt if watered from above.  Conversely they also like a lot of fertiliser (slow release).  So this will be  a challenge!