a few garden snippets
I see this little lizard around from time to time. In winter it hibernates in my study in between sheets of paper. During warm weather I glimpse it round the compost and other spots in the garden. The other night it dropped around to check out how I was doing.
I thought it was a common garden skink or pale-flecked garden sunskink (Lampropholis guichenoti), a species only found in Australia. In commenting on this post Serena Bates kindly corrected me. "Generally skinks have claws but geckos have little suckers on their feet so they can climb vertical surfaces including glass. This is something skinks can't do."
Now I think this is likely a Marbled Gecko (Christinus marmoratus), a gecko species sometimes kept as pets. It's not an albino. I took the photo through the window at night and this was the result. I guess it would have been better to take it from outside in, but by then it would have scarpered.
Skinks and geckos are great to have around because they're cute and because they eat small insects like slugs, flies and cockroaches.
Just one flower on the Crabapple, looks like a rose. I don't recall it ever flowering in summer before.
A feather, exactly the same shape as the leaf, carefully stuck on. What creature did this? And which came first? Did it find the feather and then choose a suitable leaf? Since there are more leaves than feathers in the garden, I suppose that would have been the most likely method. And those red petals have been transferred from somewhere else. Never seen anything like this before, and couldn't find anything like it in Google images.
I sent a photo to the Melbourne Museum. Simon replied promptly. He thought it wasn't made by an insect at all, and was 'incidental', by which I understand 'accidental'. So maybe a couple of feathers drifted through the air and just happened to land on this leaf. Disappointing if true, because for a while I thought maybe I'd observed something scientifically significant. And I wanted to say something funny about feathering your own nest.
But I guess that's science. It doesn't pay to become too attached to your hypothesis.
Many years ago a workmate gave me some Canna Lilies from his garden. He grew them with Plumbago and found they worked brilliantly together. But I was always wary of red because at the time I visualized the garden mainly in soft pastels, so I planted them in the back garden with the Ginger Lilies. I don't encourage them but they keep coming back every year, looking very dramatic.
This is blue fescue grass, a cultivar named Elijah Blue. It's a perfect garden plant, tidy but relaxed, predictable, reliable. And it's a brilliant blue, bluer than the ordinary blue fescue. I use it mostly to line paths. It doesn't seem to mind a fair bit of shade, either.
When my 4 year old grandson grows up, who knows what the world will be like? I'm sure he will grow up loving and protecting plants and nature. You can never start too young ... and he might have been happy even if it wasn't called the Jelly Bean plant (Sedum rubrotinctum).