What’s on the show today?A tiny honeyeater in Wildlife in Focus, sweetness you can grow in Vegetable Heroes. A new series starts in Design Elements, that’s gardening in tight spaces and less value for money cut flowers in the Talking Flowers segment with Mercedes.
WILDLIFE IN FOCUS
Well if you did, you’ll be surprised to learn that there’s a tiny honey eater weighing only 11 grams.
Not only that, the Eastern Spinebill is the only Australian honeyeater that will feed will flying.
So how can you spot them because they’re bound to be terribly shy?
Firstly get up at the crack of dawn, when most birds are out and about then listen to what Holly has to say about them.
Let’s find out more.
America has the humming bird but Australia has the Eastern Spinebill which can hover will extracting nectar from flowers.
Not as spectacular as the hummingbirds, but pretty amazing all the same.
You can spot the eastern spinebill male has a grey black crown, white chest and throat with a rusty patch right in the middle, plus a beautifully curved beak to get the nectar from flowers, particularly tubular flowers.
Listen out for their call which as a few variations. Often though it includes a staccato like twittering.
If your garden is near bushland and you want to attract the eastern spinebill, then think about planting more of those tubular flowers like epacrids ( pictured below) and correas.
|Epacris impressa var, grandiflora|
If you have any questions about beds either for me or for Holly why not email firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.
- Although Stevia tolerates mild frost, heavy frosts will kill the roots of the plant.
- Since the feeder roots tend to be quite near the surface add compost for extra nutrients if the soil in your area is sandy.
- From all that, you could guess that Stevia is evergreen in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical climates, but in cold and arid districts, it’ll lose its leaves in Autumn.
- By the way, I’ve grown my stevia plant in a pot for several years now without any problems and it’s survived several bouts of dry hot summers and lack of watering during spells with a house sitter.
- But, it really isn’t drought tolerant like a
succulent or a cactus and won’t tolerate long term neglect.
- During warm weather don’t forget to water it and if you’re going away for a few weeks put in a dripper system, otherwise you’ll lose your Stevia plant.
- As with drying all herbs you can hang your bunch of leaves upside down in a warm dry place.
- Otherwise, on a moderately warm day, your stevia crop can be quick dried in the full sun in about 12 hours. (Drying times longer than that will lower the stevioside content of the final product.)
- If you have a home dehydrator use that instead.
- Finally crush the leaves either by hand, in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle that you use for spices and herbs.
- The dried leaves last indefinitely!
- If you add two or three leaves added whole or powdered, that’s enough to sweeten a cup of tea or coffee.
Today we’re tackling a tiny balcony situation high up on the 7th floor.
That may not be where you live, but there’ll be something that you can take from this.
Let’s find out.
If you have a westerly aspect that’s under cover, go for anything in the Tillandsia family.
Peter suggests Tillandsia fasciculata hybrids and Tillandsia capitata hybrids.
And the suggestions were if you’re stuck with a tiny balcony, or even courtyard, then do use those vertical surfaces.
Those modular units can be a bit pricey, but there are alternatives if you’re prepared to do your own hand watering. If you have any questions about gardening in tight spaces or have a suggestion either for me or for Peter why not write in or email me at www.realworldgardener.com
True love may last forever, but flowers do not. Some flowers only last a day. But what a day!