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

Where was I?

Yes I’m still here…but thinking of changing the name of my blog to ‘A Yearly Post from a Gippsland Garden’.  It would be more appropriate perhaps.

To be honest the joy of a trip overseas was followed up by a very melancholic few months. It took me by surprise, but thankfully I’m feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed again now 🙂 Thanks to those lovely bloggers who dropped me a line to say ‘Hi’…it might have taken until now to get a response out of me, but I appreciated it very much!

Well, it’s heading into late spring in the Gippygarden and it has been a wet one! The pattern seems to be four days rain then a day or two of blazing sunshine, so you can imagine what the garden is like. The weeds have never been happier. Thankfully some of the intentional plantings are pretty happy about it too and the garden is lush if unruly.

My personal bane the Harlequin Bug (dindymus versicolour)  is also pretty chuffed about all the lush new growth. So my post work relaxation routine seems to consist of carrying around a bucket of soapy water and picking off the bugs to drop into it. I can be heard muttering darkly to them as I find them clustered on my roses. Yes it’s a bit gruesome, but it is the only thing that seems effective without using toxic sprays that will equally hurt the good bugs (the soapy water that is, not the muttering).  It is requiring quite a bit of vigilance. Every day there are plenty of new bugs and my ultimate aim is to keep the population down before my tomatoes grow and produce ripe fruit.

No precious tomatoes for you, nasty little buggies...

In other garden news the garlic I planted in the garden bed has stunned me by growing better than what I potted up, which is a surprise, particularly when it has been so wet. None of it is growing fantastically, but it is all still alive and growing reasonably well.

Some garlic around Christmas...perhaps.

Lately I’ve been focusing on digging some more vege beds and planting for the bees, but more on those later. I’ll leave you with a couple of current bee favourites for now…

Bees love Borage and so do I. Who could resist that colour?!

Not a good perspective shot, but this is a tiny native bee. It is about a third of the size of a honey bee and is clearly enjoying our callistemon!

See you soon,



Comments on: "Where was I?" (14)

  1. Good to see you back, hopefully you won’t wait another year before you post again, lol.

  2. I wondered where you were, but know how sometimes real life has to take precedence over blogging 😉 Good to see you back! I’m sorry about the Harlequin bugs. It sounds like my crop of cabbage worms at the moment. Every morning, the same routine. Lift the row cover, pluck said worms, turn around, and hand the wriggly beasts directly to the chickens. Oh, maybe you need chickens? Much more fun than soapy water, unless of course, they run amok in your vegetable garden and eat all your seedlings! I experimented with some flowers in the herb garden this year for the bees, and yes, they do love borage! They seemed to love fennel, and tomatillo blooms a lot too. I’m a little worried about the borage popping up all over the garden now, but it is a lovely blue, and the flowers are edible and look fabulous on salads!

    • Hello Clare 🙂 I’m not even sure if the chooks would eat the Harlequin bugs…they don’t call them ‘stink bugs’ for nothing, but maybe chickens don’t care?! I will still get those chooks one day though! I’ll have to try some tomatillos for the bees too – thanks for the tip 😉

  3. HI Heidi: Missed you, welcome back.

    Hope to see you again soon.
    Have a wonderful day,

  4. hi! made me laugh. Spring has a way of bring even the most recalcitrant of us back to the sunny side.

    ps if muttering worked, I would have a perfect garden (and life, for that matter)

  5. It is a good day indeed when the “Gippsland Gardner” is back in the Blogosphere!! Welcome back, Heidi ! You know you were missed.

  6. Heidi, I am glad to hear from you! Spring is indeed the time for renewal. I wish you success against the bugs! And the weeds. As we are in autumn, approaching winter, I look forward to fewer bugs and weeds, but I know the strong ones are always out there, lurking unseen until a warm day brings them out. That’s life!

    • Hello Deborah 🙂 Invariably when I am anticipating spring I forget the work that comes with it! We’ve just had yet another day that started with an absolute bucketing of rain, then ended in blazing sunshine and a week more like that predicted. So fabulous conditions for exponential growth and no rest for some time to come! But still, like most of us, I wouldn’t be without spring!

  7. Welcome back, Heidi! When I opened my Google Reader and saw a new post from you, I bypassed the other 350+ in the queue to come here first :-)! I am well acquainted with the soapy water drowning technique for dealing with undesirable insects (mostly exotic beetles in my garden). I keep quart yogurt containers with soapy water tucked away under the beetle-favorite plants so that my murder instruments are ready at hand when I need them. Your foxgloves (Digitalis) look wonderful.

    • Hello dear Jean and thank you for such a lovely greeting 🙂
      You know, I’m starting to hyperventilate at just the thought of 350+ posts to read, so that you were able to come and visit me at all is lovely!
      I think I’ll adopt your idea of placing some strategic little containers about the garden. There has been more than one occasion when I’ve spied a bug and had to run for the bucket…only to return to find the little horror has disappeared (of course!)

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