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BOOTS OFF SUNDAY! – Mittens for the Koalas and Blue Banded Bees?

G’day everyone,

This is the first ‘Boot’s off Sunday’ of 2015! Here are the top 5 highlights from the past week in my garden.

1. I spent my Saturday sewing mittens for all the Koala’s that have suffered from the recent bush fires around Australia. The mittens are made out of 100% cotton and are needed to cover the dressings on the Koalas paws. If you are interested in finding out more information you can click here and it will direct you to the webpage for the Koala mittens on the IFAW website (International Fund for Animal Welfare).


2. My water lotus was in bud only a few days ago. Over the weekend we experienced an extreme storm with strong winds and rainfall and unfortunately the flower was completely gone by the time I went out to have a look. On a positive note, if I leave the old flower head long enough seeds will begin to form. Hopefully I will be able to grow more plants from the seeds.


3. The Blue Banded Bee, Amegilla cingulata, has been buzzing around my vegetable patch and glasshouses. This is the first time I have ever seen the Blue Banded Bee! I have never heard of it before until I did a little bit of research. The males have five complete bands whereas the females only have four. In the photo I have captured there are only four blue bands, making this a female. They are an Australian bee that is highly favoured because of how they perform pollination, called ‘buzz pollination.’ They are fantastic pollinators for tomato, eggplants, chilies and many other crops. I noticed when trying to capture a photo of this bee that she was moving very quickly so I was having a bit of a hard time trying to get a photo in focus.


4. It is that time of year when my Dionaea muscipula, Venus Flytrapstarts to produce it’s death trap structures. It is fascinating to watch these plants in action as they capture their meals. If you are interested in reading up on these plants I have written a blog post on them here.


5. Flowering in my garden at the moment is this beautiful plant called Campanula punctata, ‘Pink Chimes’. These bell shaped flowers emerge throughout spring and summer and are a great way to promote bee pollination in the garden. In the next week I will have some plant cultural notes on this species.


By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs


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