Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Starting work…sort of.

I’m not exactly off to a flying start, but the weeding is starting in what I’m now thinking of as the ‘Elder bed’  and some little surprises are emerging, such as the clematis in the photo below which I thought had curled up and died.

As for the name sake of the garden bed, it is fruiting at the moment and I wonder if anyone could tell me how Elder Berries taste. I’ve often heard of recipes for Elderberry Wine, but don’t know if people eat them straight off the plant. As they don’t look too inviting I haven’t been game to try!

A burgundy clematis found flowering under the weeds!

The reality is that, apart from weeding and mulching, what I really need to think about is the design of the garden. There is very little by way of design evident in my garden. I tend to just find a bare-ish patch and throw in a plant. While I’m looking to create a shady oasis I still love my roses, so I need to think of how I can make sure they get their place in the sun. Over winter I’m going to have to move a few of them as ‘Mother Maple’ is spreading her canopy over the edge of the Elder Bed and eclipsing the sun. This has resulted in five or six roses looking a little insipid and producing less and less flowers.

Visitors to the Garden

We are woken most mornings by the sound of some Galahs trying to encourage their young to become independent. Unfortunately they seem to be having very little success. Young Galahs make one heck of a lot of very unpleasant noise. So unpleasant that even their Mothers seem to tire of it eventually and give them a peck on the head when they can’t take it anymore!

Rainbow lorikeet waiting for me to leave him to the plums

Another set of noisy visitors at this time of year are the Rainbow Lorikeets who delight in the plums. I adore the Lorikeet in the photo above, he was glaring at me from every angle to try to get me to move away from the plum tree just a couple of feet from where he is perched! The Lori’s eat the plums straight from the tree, but the Rosellas tend to eat what hits the ground, which can be a little fermented. Hic.


We have had lots of butterflies fluttering around the Butterfly bushes. Mainly Common Browns and Bright Eyed Browns, but we’ve also spied a couple of Australian Admirals which are very pretty. I think I’ve spotted a Painted Lady too, but it was moving too fast for me to even get a good look, let alone a photo. I’m reading up on butterflies and their food plants at the moment as I love having butterflies in the garden. We already have several Buddleias (Butterfly Bushes) and I’m going to be on the lookout for a Swan Plant too, but I need to get much wiser as to what the local flutterers like to dine on!


Comments on: "Starting work…sort of." (2)

  1. I just came across your site, and am reading it from the beginning. In case you haven’t already found out, elderberries fresh from the plant don’t taste good. They need the sugar to be palatable.

  2. Hello Helen, thanks for updating me – I had forgotten that I was curious about the berries and probably would have only remembered when they appeared again! At least I know now not to sample one off the plant 😀

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