The Botanic Gardens have come through triumphantly!

My mystery shrub/creeper is Burnie Vine, Trophis scandens, an Australian native endemic to the tropics in the fig family Moraceae which explains its ability to, on occasion,  strangle out other trees and shrubs. The birds love the ripe fruit and spread it far and wide, so despite the fact that I’ve given it a crew cut, it’ll spring back undeterred.

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The crew cut clippings. Just one or two, then….

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A perfectly nice little mandarin tree – I think – which was being strangled and now has light, air and nothing wound tightly around it for the first time in years.

It’s lurking in a part of the garden that hasn’t been cleared properly yet, so when I do finally get in there, clad in long pants and sleeves, boots and gloves, I will take it down to a stump. That’s if the green ants don’t eat me alive first… It’s going to be a sweaty and laborious process.

The plan is to remove the palms and lower branches, and raise the canopy of the large ficus a little so you can at least walk under it without leaves brushing your head. There are some nice shade loving plants under there which I’d like to expose a little. This area’s going to be in Chookonia, and the Girls will need some jungly shade to scratch around in and some shelter when the rain’s torrential.

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The jungle that’s waiting to be dealt with. There’s a fence at the back of that lot, about 3 metres back, and I need to find it!

I think I need to get the sprinkler out in the front yard; I was photographing ducks on the front lawn this morning, and now I look at the photo, the grass is looking a bit crispy. It’s a wonder they find it at all appetising. I like these birds; they’re Plumed Whistling Ducks, they don’t have that self-satisfied standard duck quack, they have quiet peeping voices, and they’re slender and a little more delicate in frame than most ducks. They hang around in groups of half a dozen or more, grazing on lawns in the area. What I really want is to get some magpie geese down on the ground, but they’re irresistibly drawn to the lake at the golf course over the road and fly straight over our heads.

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Whistling Plumed Ducks, all nicely lined up for morning inspection!


20 thoughts on “De-Stumped

  1. Kim says:

    I love whistling ducks. There are quite a few that fly over our house in the evening and morning in a “V” formation. They sound so sweet with their whistling.

    • katechiconi says:

      It certainly is, and has more than its fair share of bitey things, hence the planned overkill in the gardening outfit. But I have my secateurs, my pruning saw, my pole loppers, and in a final resort, my chainsaw!

  2. pattisj says:

    If only the things we’d really like to grow were as prolific as the invasive plants. Chookonia, love the name and look forward to seeing the new “neighborhood.”

    • katechiconi says:

      Very true; if that were the case my petrea would be ramping all over the patio instead of struggling for no good reason that I can see. It really had to be Chookonia, didn’t it… after all, what else do you call the chicken house in Chiconia?!

  3. If you do an image search on Google for Trophis scandens there are hardly any pictures of the flowers so its no wonder it was such a challenge to identify.
    Chickens are descended from Jungle Fowl, so it looks like your new girls are going to be more than at home!!

  4. When your jungle is cleared you will get a huge feeling of satisfaction.

  5. tialys says:

    That looks really wild! If you see him, tell Tarzan we’ve missed him.

  6. EllaDee says:

    We thought one of our gardens was a jungle garden but it’s quite civilized in comparison to this… You never know what treasures you’ll find in there 🙂

  7. Kirsten says:

    Maybe you will get some fruit from the mandarin tree, now that it isn’t being strangled!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s covered in tiny green fruit! They’re the size of passionfruit pips, but there are thousands of them. They won’t all mature, of course, but hopefully we’ll hang onto some.

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