Tea Gardens Grange

Indian Hawthorns are in Full Bloom


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Another sign that spring is here is that the Indian Hawthorns (Rhaphiolepis indica) are in full bloom and looking spectacular in the Tea Gardens Grange gardens. We have a large number of these plants with some planted in mass plantings and others in hedges.

The Indian Hawthorn is an evergreen shrub that usually grows 2-3m tall x 2m wide. There are several cultivars, with one having completely pink flowers. The flowers are generally followed by a black to blue berry. Flowers appear mainly in spring, though there can be some flowers at other times. There is a slight perfume, but I barely notice it.

Indian Hawthorns can be used as specimen plants, tub plants, hedges, in drifts and in coastal areas (salt tolerant).

Indian Hawthorns are best grown in full sun (though they tolerate semi-shaded positions in hot climates) with reasonably fertile, well-drained soil. They will respond well to regular shaping, including the use of hedging machinery.

Plants can be propagated by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.

For more Indian Hawthorn pictures visit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmatthews/sets/72157622203247845/

ONE OF OUR PONDS


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Spring has sprung at Tea Gardens Grange where I work – not that this particular photo shows that really. This photo is a picture of just one of the many ponds we have around the village. There is also a large central artificial lake.

This particular pond is one that requires very little maintenance and that is probably because of the lower light levels, which means fewer aquatic weeds and plant life are able to become established. This is largely due to the many tea trees that surround the pond.

It would be my favourite pond in the village.

More Spring photos at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmatthews/sets/72157622203247845/

SWOOPING BIRDS


 

It was the official first day of Spring here in Australia. However, Spring has really been with us here for quite some weeks now, given the very warm days and bushfires we have already experienced. In fact August 2009 was the hottest on record.

plovers and chicks Given that it is Spring it is time for a new season of new growth in the gardens and of new birth in the surrounding wildlife here in Tea Gardens (though it isn’t that clear cut obviously) and there is plenty of wildlife here.

On the way home from work today I was swooped by a Magpie – several times. The Magpie does this in its breeding season to drive off potential threats to its nest and young. Recently I have also been savagely swooped by the local plovers, which attack with even more ferocity than the Magpie.

The plovers had been defending their nest for some weeks prior to their eggs hatching. Their nest was beside the artificial lake in the centre of the village where I work at Tea Gardens Grange. The nest is just a small spot on the ground on which the eggs are laid. In this case their were four. They seemed to sit on the eggs for between 4 and 6 weeks before the young were hatched – swooping the entire time if you ventured too close, as well as making plenty of noise. One of the adults sometimes seemed to pretend to have a bad leg as it hobbled away from the nest in an attempt to get any threats to follow it.

At the moment there are two remaining chicks that are growing fairly rapidly now. The parents are still defending their young with menace.

MY MONDAY MORNING – ONCE EVERY THREE WEEKS


 

OK – so this Blog is about posting a photo every day and the photo is to capture some aspect of my life/experience that I can share with others. Well, today’s photo provides something of an insight into what I do on a Monday morning at work, once every three weeks. 

100_1667I guess the task that has been photographed can be seen to be something terribly mundane and monotonous. However, it is part of my job and something that is essential in the operation of the retirement village in which I work. It is also plays an important part in providing (granted it is a small part, yet essential part) the overall experience that is living in the over 55s retirement resort at Tea Gardens Grange. It is another task that is taken care of for the people living in the village and adds to that terrific retirement experience that is Grange living at Tea Gardens.

 Is it mundane and boring? I guess it is a mundane task – it certainly isn’t a romantic task. Is it boring – not really. I have the opportunity of interacting with many of the residents as I go about my task, as well as interacting with other staff both involved in the same task or otherwise. Also, the surroundings in which I work are hardly oppressive in any sense whatsoever. So in short, it is a part of my job that needs to be done and is not a task I would describe as particularly burdensome. Sure, you can make it that way if you wish – but I do not find it that way at all.

So what is the task – collecting the garbage bins and delivering them to the garbage pick up location and then cleaning the bins afterwards.