Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bluebell and blossom time

Just a quick update for anyone checking on the blog about the bluebells flowering in Roland's Wood - here are a few photos from today to show you what's happening - they are a bit later this year but well underway now...

Here's a link to a post I did a couple of years ago in case of interest about bluebells.

When I went today the Parua Bay Garden Club were visiting the Woods and enjoying a guided tour with John Horrell.


One of my favourite trees in the Woods is the crab apple right by the entrance - it is a cloud of pink and white blossom at the moment, and humming with bees - every little cluster of flowers had a bee crawling over it...


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Melbourne's map of trees

Earlier this year Kevin and I had a short but rewarding holiday in Melbourne and we absolutely loved the city for many and various reasons, including its libraries (the State Library of Victoria is wonderful, and the new Docklands library too) and its trees...

Melbourne has a LOT to recommend it - a city full of handsome buildings with parks and gardens around every corner, free trams in the CBD, brilliant restaurants in Chinatown, little Italy and the Greek precinct, shopping and night markets. Other highlights for us included the Ian Potter Centre of Australian art, the Shrine of Remembrance, the Botanical gardens, the Immigration museum and Kevin also went to the MCG and Sports Museum where he took a (virtual) 4 runs off a Shane Warne over!

Look out for shops full of macarons of every flavour and hue, Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller with a shop full of books and owls (customers buy books and bring owls to add to the collection), the delicatessen at Queen Victoria Markets with gorgeous bread, olives, salami, coffee, chocolate and more, and then there's the trees...

The elms are the oldest in the world now since Dutch Elm disease decimated the northern hemisphere, plus sycamore, oaks, plane trees, gum, pines, palms.  Check out the Urban Forest Visual where each of the city’s 70,000 trees has been mapped with a description of its genus, age and condition – now there’s a city that values its foliage.

Wouldn't it be great to have a map like this for Roland's Wood?

As you scroll down you can read about the steps Melbourne city is taking to increase diversity and reduce risks, which is EXACTLY the same thing that John Horrell is talking about for Roland's Wood.

From the Urban Forest website : 

Increasing diversity

A lack of species diversity leaves the urban forest vulnerable to threats from pests, disease, and stress due to climate change. Currently our urban forest is dominated by eucalypts, planes, elms and gums (corymbias). Many of these trees were planted at the same time during condensed periods of planting activity, and large numbers of elms and planes are now reaching the end of their useful life expectancy.

37% of planes have a life expectancy of less than 10 years.

50% of elms have a life expectancy of less than 10 years.

Reducing Risk

Combined with the substantial losses associated with an ageing tree population, myrtle rust and sycamore lace bug are current threats to the Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Platanus genera. Diversification is a basic rule for reducing risk. A greater range of species will provide greater resilience and long-term stability for the forest as a whole.

Anyway, I'd say if you are looking for a place in Australia to visit for a holiday, go to Melbourne!  It is often voted as one of the world’s most liveable cities, and is a Unesco City of Literature too – leaves on branches, leaves in books...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sophie, full of bounce

It was lovely to meet Sophie, a little Schnauzer, full of bounce and joie de vivre - she comes to the Woods most days with Christine who is looking after her at the moment. 

It was practically impossible to get a photo of this little ball of energy who ran and scampered and investigated here and there, tail wagging all the time - such a happy and busy little dog, most photos were a blur, but here are few in case her owner who is overseas at the moment has a chance to see his canine friend having a great time and being so well looked after... 

And doing what dogs love doing at Roland's Wood - finding a friend to run, chase and play with...

Bluebell time is coming

Hello again, poor neglected Roland's Wood blog!  Are there any readers still out there?

It has been months since I posted but I've been getting a few enquiries from Whangarei and Kaitaia about where things are at with the bluebells and so I'm back here to refresh the blog and add a quick bluebell update for "out of towners" who might be thinking of visiting.

I went along to the Woods today, about 5ish so just the end of the sunlight before it went down over the hill, and here are a few photos - the bluebells are definitely starting, clumps of flowers here and there, but not quite the blue haze yet - probably another week or so...

Still in flower are some bright golden daffodils, as well as a variety of magnolia - pale pink, deep magenta, soft creamy lemon, vivid rhododendrons are going strong, and the cinereria are flowering too - purple, pink, violet, white.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Can you help - financially - with mulching the Woods?

ROLAND’S WOOD  needs your help – urgently!  We are seeking financial donations for equipment hire.

We’ve got mountains of mulch, generously donated, now we just need to spread it…  This is beyond a few buckets and willing hands job – it requires the hire of some equipment - a traxcavator. 

The FNDC has said that if we want to mulch the Woods we’ll have to do it ourselves – there is no funding available from them for this project.

Our target is $5,000 - currently we have raised about $550 through donations.

Weather conditions are perfect for spreading the mulch, and now is the time that the plants need it the most.

Why is mulch so important? It is the lifeblood of the Woods.
  • It retains precious moisture in the ground.
  • It prevents soil erosion, improves soil conditions and plant growth, keeps roots cool
  • It suppresses weeds, reducing the need for sprays and labour.
  • It is pleasant to walk on.
It is vital to keep adding mulch to maintain what we have already created.

If you would like to make a contribution, please use this Friends of Roland's Wood bank account Westpac : 03 0351 0000790 000 
or contact John Horrell - phone 407 8239

If everyone who used and enjoyed these Woods chipped in a little bit, we’d reach our target quick smart.   If 200 people each put in $25 we'd be sorted, or a 100 people put in $50, or ...

Thank you so much!