Weed out Bluebell Creeper

Bluebell Creeper

Bluebell Creeper

Billardiera fusiformis, Bluebell Creeper, is a vigorous twining shrub grows naturally in WA, but in Victoria is an environmental weed in bushland. The flowers are blue followed by purplish/green cylindrical berries.

The shrubs are flowering now, so are easy to spot to remove. Birds eat the berries and spread the plants. The plant then smothers other plants. They are easy to pull out when small. Recently I have seen it flowering on roadsides in Gordon, Mt Doran, Mt Egerton and Scarsdale. It used to  be called Sollya heterophylla.

Time to control blackberries

Blackberries

Blackberries

This is a good time to carry out control of this invasive weed. If you wait until the berries form, birds and foxes will eat the fruit and continue the spread across the countryside. Don’t put off weed control, start with isolated small plants then move onto the larger clumps. If you can’t afford to spray all the weeds at least start by spraying around the edge of larger clumps to stop the outward spread.

If you like to collect and eat blackberries make sure they haven’t been sprayed.

Avoid the Fried Possum

If you have a power pole at your place, check to see if it has a possum excluder and that it is in the right place. It is a circular plate/disk attached to the wire stay. The one on our pole had slid down out of place.

An unsuspecting ringtail possum jumped from the bushes and was able to climb up the stay wire. It met a sudden death when it reached the main wires and caused a short circuit. The electricity company re attached it when they came out on Boxing Day ( a big thank you for such prompt service)  but that only stayed in place a few days. We have now gone with plan B and will see how long that works.

Blackbirds

Blackbird nest and eggs

Blackbird nest and eggs

I am not sure what side of the fence I sit on when it comes to blackbirds. They are an introduced bird and are now widespread and common in many gardens.

I found a nest of eggs last weekend and the purists would say to get rid of them before they hatch. They are still there.

Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens Conference

Geelong Botanic Gardens

Geelong Botanic Gardens

The next Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens Conference is hosted by the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens on Friday-Sunday 29 April – 1  May 2016. The theme is ‘Geelong – Regional Relevance: Botanic Environments and Their Survival in a Time of Global Warming’.

Botanic gardens play an important role in protection of threatened species and provide habitat for a range of wildlife.

The first activity on the schedule on 29 April is a pre-conference tour to the Bellarine and is augmented by day tours on 2 and 3 May. Non-members are very welcome.Conference information Contact: Tracey and Sally <gardensconference@gmail.com> 03 5222 6053

Volunteers needed for the frog census

The Melbourne Water Frog Census Program needs volunteers to record frog calls on their land or at their local waterways during the months of April, August, October and November.

Volunteers are welcome to submit calls all year round but the majority of frog species are most active during these months. The website also has a handy identification guide. On 4 November there is a frog census event at Werribee Zoo