What’s been eating my plants? - Apr 09, 2021

Plants make you happy!

Dear gardening friends
Bugs, caterpillars, aphids and beetles are decimating gardens around Macarthur.
When we get great growing conditions like this, the insect population explodes.

Recently you may have noticed that your Lilly pilly hedges are getting eaten too.
The Lilly pilly beetle has moved south from Queensland, and its chewing holes in leaves around Macarthur. It loves the freshly leaves of Syzigium Lilly pillies the most.
Ironically the Syzigium Lillypilly called "Resilience" seems to be the beetles favourite variety to eat.

Acmena Lillypillies like "Goodbye Neighbours", are unaffected.

This green beetle is hard to find.
You can see it in the photo above.
The larvae are green too.

To control this insect spray your hedge with Yates Mavrik. This is a broad spectrum synthetic pyrethroid that kills beetles and caterpillars. You can use it on other plants too. It also controls Aphids, Thrips, White fly and Mealy Bugs and Two spotted mites.
Spray after dark, to prevent damage to bees.

Sally Barz from Narellan Vale won our potted Succulent Garden.
She helped us raise $2,000 for Beyondblue, and lots of awareness for mental health too.
Sally said "she was happy to help such a great cause."

All of us know someone who is effected by mental health. You don't have to look far.
Family and friends, they all need our help at times.

A big thanks to everyone who bought a ticket, and supported us.

A big thanks to Hayden, who used his creative skills, to make such a beautiful prize.

I met Tommy Raudonikis by accident. I'd been invited to a friends business opening, and they sponsored WESTS, so Tommy turned up with his minder.

Tommy was coach of West's that year, they didn't do so good, so I started asking him questions about how he picks a team.

He was very interesting and very knowledgeable. He wasn't the guy you saw later on the footy show.

But as I got talking to him that night he started to tell us stories from the past.

I started laughing, we all started laughing. I laughed so much that night I had a sore tummy the next day. I'd damaged my muscles from laughing.

A week later we were having our staff Christmas party at The House of Bamboo in Queen Street Campbelltown.

We had about 50 people in our group and the place was booked out. I looked up and saw that the owner of the restaurant was turning Tommy and his partner away.
He had no idea who Tommy was.
I jumped up and asked Tommy to join us for dinner.

He was embarrassed, but he remembered me from the week before, so he stayed and had dinner with us.

He was shy to start with but then the staff started asking him questions, and he started to tell stories about his football career. He had everyone laughing within minutes.
He told stories all night.

He had a sparkle in his eye that night that you can see in this photo.
Tommy was no dummy.

I'm saddened by his death this week.
I'm sure my staff will remember him with fond memories.

Spotted this beautiful Tibouchina Alstonville flowering in Ambarvale yesterday. The purple flowers really popped with the brick colour, the blue sky and white clouds.
Yes I'm sounding like an artist.

These amazing shrubs and small trees, flower even better, when we get rain in late summer and autumn.

We have all the varieties here at the nursery including a newbie called "Purple Star".
Purple and green really looks amazing in your garden. Come see.

I witnessed a miracle recently.
We had another group of young adults from Disability Services turn up for an excursion.
They arrived huffing and puffing, because they had walked down Queen Street.

I noticed one of the girls was bent over and she was banging her ears with both hands. She told me that she is traumatised by new situations.

We walked through the nursery and I showed them where our plants are unloaded.

They wanted to know what jobs people do here. We showed them how we pot up plants into bigger pots, and then I asked them why we would do that?

They had interesting answers, and we discussed how potting mix holds the water, so more potting mix, means plants get more water, and more nutrients, so they grow bigger.

We looked at Jacaranda seedlings which we have grown ourselves. They were Interested to learn that plants grow from seeds.

We showed them Succulents that we are growing from cuttings, Crassula ovata and Crassula Gollum.

They got to choose which plant they would like to grow themselves.

The poor girl up the back was still banging her ears at this point, and she reluctantly chose a plant that she would like to grow, after much coaxing.

We continued our tour, and we got to smell mint leaves. We crushed Lavender and smelled our fingers.

We brushed our fingers over a Rosemary plant.

We discussed the use of plants in lotions and hair products.

We smelt Gardenia flowers and realised that flowers are used to make perfumes.

We went out the back and I showed them how to pot up their cuttings.
They had to use their hands.
You could tell that most had never touched potting mix before.

We watched each other pot a plant.
The girl who was banging her ears came forward.
She was last.
She filled her pot with soil.
She planted her Money Tree.

We watered it.
We washed our hands.
We all had a plant to take home.
Everyone was excited.

Their eyes were full of optimism, the girl had stopped banging her ears.
She was calm.

"Have you noticed guys how gardening makes you happy?"
"Yes" they all said as a group.
They left with smiling faces.
Growing plants is magical.

Growing plants will make you feel better too. Growing conditions are perfect.
Come and see us if you need help.

Happy gardening