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.
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.
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.