RAIN, GLORIOUS RAIN, FINALLY-JANUARY. 2020

Well finally the blessed sound of rain on the roof! some got a lot- 300 ml at Gold Coast-wow! But we have measured about 90 ml -we are so thrilled with that- our dam is over half full- everything coming green as we speak?  but heartbreaking to think of the Koalas- wildlife lost! and of course some people have lost everything in these bloody Bushfires! even some lives lost! So very grateful we have not had any too close at this point!  lot of smoke at times- and some dust haze!  But always someone worse off! it is important to take stock & look at ways of coping - keeping trees & areas going- looking to Mulch -heavier and better- increasing water storage- extra tanks - trying to drought proof our property!  At Bony Mountain we consider we have created a safe haven -and a Sanctuary for our native residents!  We have good Koala kitchen here- with several River Gum corridors- Yellow Box- and for our birds- we have created nesting sites- water points- trying to protect all birdlife -but also our little birds!  I have been planting fresh Grevillias- which are a great food source with their flowers-  and looking at some of the smaller trees after the rain! wow-the Brigalow trees are awesome! tougher than any others- also Sugar Gums- they have thrived in the drought! 

EXOTICS-VERSUS NATIVES!

POPLARS-VERSUS- EXOTIC TREES!

The argument has raged on for many years- Exotic plants versus Native Plants? But I find it fascinating-that recently proof is emerging of the added value of some of these (so called bad trees) ? several credible -news articles have emerged- Poplars- are a proven Fire retardent- they will & have actually repelled flames-bushfire- this story emerged after recent fires!  Willows- 100s- maybe 1000s were removed from River Banks- Water Courses- with disastrous effects!  which they don't talk about! serious damage was done simply removing them? My view has always been -a Tree is a Tree is a Tree? any tree is a good tree. In Britain-Ireland UK- they are along every river-every stream? Also the Tipuana- as I mention earlier is considered a Pest- but it is edible-a Legume- very very tough- very fast growing! it's certainly got my vote after this last drought . Peppercorn, another very maligned tree- I have personal knowledge of the value of the Peppercorn tree-because our Stallion with (Arthritus) used to self medicate on a regular basis on the peppercorns ! Also the Willow bark -contains Aspirin and we had an injured mare once- who often treated herself with willowbark? we do not have a willow here in Qld -but we had a beauty at Uralla-  so some food for thought there?  maybe it's time we revisited all these old predudices!  I am already a convert- I guess my horses educated me- but the Poplar story is interesting!  Certainly Gum trees are proven very volatile indeed in a fire zone!  So rethink which trees you plant close to your home!   

  • MY POPLAR HEDGE!

    I have always loved Poplars- they are such a statement? Nothing looks more magnificent than a big row/driveway- of these stately tall green trees! Sadly -they did not survive the drought! but I intend to replant as soon as possible- with a better watering plan?

  • YOUNG BRIGALOWS

    I am so thrilled with my Brigalow trees- they love Bony Mountain! and are all thriving-in spite of the relentless dry - they have proven to me they are exceptional- and are now totally self sufficient!

  • AFRICAN DAISIES

    Have planted several bushes at Festival site- I love daisies & their happy little faces! So hoping they will be in full bloom at Festival time! to bring a bit of colour to the place.

  • ONE OF OUR WALLABY FAMILY

    One even came into the barn recently- looking for water no doubt- we love our wildlife-like to think we are giving them sanctuary-and a safe place to rear their babies!

  • OUR CHRISTMAS KOALA

    This little darling came in on Xmas day and joined us! We often hear them -but rarely see them-they are pretty private people!

  • PAIR OF KING PARROTS

    We love these guys-they come & go- but pop in for a feed every now & then. Colours are so spectacular!

  • Grown from a cutting! this gorgeous mauve Hibiscus!

    All of my potted garden- I Grew this Hibiscus myself from a cutting- so thrilled with this result- now Flowering in January! Might be a bit frivolous -but I reckon these beautiful flowers are great therapy- in a drought.

  • A product of a Willy Willy- our Gazebo swept away & over our Bungalow- unreal!

    This was a real kick in the head! love my Gazebo -I spend a lot of time out there! We managed to get it back in place! but it was a shock hearing it crashing over the roof! And it has since blown over again? so planning a Solid Gazebo- one that won't move!

  • Mulching- mulching- can never do enough-

    This is back a couple of years! no longer any mulch hay available! all needed for stock feed. However I am planning a big woodchip project- to completely cover all these areas- The hay disappears too quickly- this endless drought has really brought us to our knees! I have lost so many trees, so many plants!

BATTLING THE BIG DRY!

Welcome to 2020- This sunset shot really captures the Big Dry! even the smoke haze!  Now after our big rain- January 2020 temps are cooling now- Our wildlife ? well doing our best- feeding the birds! contrary to some opinions- we believe this big dry was putting everything under stress-  also our birdlife? our Koala family- we are hearing some activity- Wallabies- our Achidna- we can't feed everything - but we do have beautiful birds here- and are trying to keep them safe!  Our trees- our Corridors- a different story! The only high point here is that the toughest & hardiest trees are thriving.

GOLD FROM THE SKY! BEAUTIFUL RAIN FOR 2020

I have moved all my potted plants- my garden under shade cloth- trying to enjoy all those gorgeous flowers- away from burning sun ! before we know it the frosts will arrive- and they'll need protection from the frosts !  

This is now my favourite Geranium - Big Red- such a stunning red! Currently in full bloom- has been flowering since September-potting up as many cuttings as I can- nothing like a splash of colour -to lift the spirits! Also my Hibiscus- this gorgeous Mauve one- grown from a cutting! 

  • APOSTLE BIRDS

    Choofs- I call them-we love them -they alert us to Goannas-snakes & are part of the family! George- our little doggie-runs out if they set up a chorus! Shown here in the feeder!

  • EASTERN ROSELLA

    All our birds love the Casuarinas-these blokes pop in -but seem to more frequent- hope they make Bony Mountain their home!

  • PIN CUSHION HAKEA

    I adore these shrubs-grew one at Uralla- the Black Cockies loved it-ate it every year! but our little birds enjoy this one! its right in my inner garden-very protected! Hoping the Black Cockies come in here at some point! have planted 100s of Casuarinas hoping to lure them here!

OUR LAND CARE PROJECTS FOR 2019

Our Bony Mountain Folk Festival- a Highlight every September! Right here on fifty acres (half) of our Property.  Lots of jobs- we have got piles of (tree pear) to burn now- after major works having them dug out & removed. Roots and all- Maybe through winter months we can burn. Ben (my son)  put permanant water points around the Festival site- for wildlife- birds- this past year has made us more aware of the (lack of water).  Our troughs for horses-provide a water point- but we need to look at Koala-Kangaroos- that don't want to come right in close! So that will be a priority -also more mulching is desperate- mulch dissapears so fast here. I have lost even established trees this year- big Peppercorns?? unbelievable- lost all my London Plane trees- should never have planted them? too sandy maybe- but too dry-just could not keep the water up. So I let them go- the trees I am thrilled with- Brigalow- Wilga- River Gums- Casuarinas- and another (so called) pest tree-(Tipuana) the Racehorse tree. Amazing growth- tough & will survive- it is a legume though -also edible, a fodder tree in desperate times!  great shade -bit messy- but once again-a tree is a tree- is a tree.   Hope your gardens are surviving? 

A BEGINNING-OUR FESTIVAL GARDENS !  (River Grass- Tipuana Tree )

FESTIVAL 2020- SEPTEMBER 18-19-20 .  www.bonymountainfolkfestival.com 

A POST FROM 2017- BUT STILL RELEVANT!

I have had some comments on planting Peppercorns (or Pepperinas) as the locals call them, but I grew up with Peppercorn trees & we learned from (Roc) our old stallion that the peppercorns are marvelous for arthritis!  Horses will always self medicate if they can, and select medicinal plants, Peppercorns (medicinal) and Willow (medicinal) they contain Aspirin. I recall one little Qtr Horse mare (pregnant) used to stop & eat one particular native plant! it was obvious it gave her something she needed. Everyone with cattle or horses should consider what they grow in the paddocks with self medication in mind! makes sense to me. Looking at our corridors now though I have had success with the Brigalow, Kurrajongs, (not many) Bushy Sugar Gums ,are a bit touchy-(need more water) . But as I said the SHEOAKS Casuarinas win the award for the most rewarding ,most suitable trees here!  And a mate stopped the other day to have a yarn and he suggested if I plant enough of them the Black Cockatoos might move in ?  We love Black Cockys, we had them at Uralla in New England but they do live here! They can be a bit destructive they just about ate our Hakeas , but enjoyed having them around. The hakea are a beautuful bush they do grow here naturally and their seeds are great food for the bigger birds, so I should look at an understory of Hakea? the ideal habitat for so many birds . Looking at all we have planted here & with summer looming, it just inspires me to plant even more! Simply because a dense habitat protects all of us, but mostly our birds, our Wallabies, Kangaroos, they really appreciate the shade, shelter and Koalas can pop up any tree as protection instead of covering large open spaces where they become vulnerable! After the tornado we had here a few years ago my Neighbour (in his wisdom) got the bulldozer in and flattened nearly all the trees on his side, our western side which has become a windswept no mans land for wildlife! I do look on the positive though, at least we will never be burnt out from that side.  But no rest ! more planting/mulching/ etc for 2017 when the weather is nicer.

MORE PHOTOS SOON! 

So proud of this western corridor we now have the odd koala using this tree line to travel down to the Condamine river. Previously this paddock was open & bare and provided no protection. (LOOKING UP TOWARD HOUSE)

A HIMALAYAN ORCHID, I know it is a bit off the track, but it is gorgeous!