Time has been kind, we have turned grey into green by simply ‘doing it’.
Everyone who drives past our place from town first comes across our #WarrenCatchmentCouncil regeneration project first planted in Sept 22, 2017 and later added to. Well it is just over two years old and a great peaceful place to wander though.
We ended up with over 20,000 seedlings and they are growing beautifully. This place is a reminder of what we can do when we try. The once sad gully, with erosion, a sad swamp and water logged with drying trees has taken on a life of its own and is thriving.
Another first for us is the growing Sandalwood trees. It took three times however the third was successful – we have managed to successfully reintroduce the much sort after fragrant Sandalwood tree to the area. Our first efforts welll …. some little creature dug up the seeds and ate them, good luck to them.
I was out there yesterday removing two Junctus Acutus and took some time to wander through and really enjoy this sacred special place.
Crazy where time actually wanders! We had great fortune a few months ago. We were the lucky recipients of a further 500 seedlings for one of our front regeneration projects from the Warren Catchments Council. This prompted us to think about our driveway and backyard here at Bellalee. After so much regeneration work elsewhere, it was time to look closer to home – near our home!
It didn’t take much to come around to the thought that we want to create a mini-forest. The driveway and backyard all brimming with beautiful flowing flowering trees, bushes and ground covers. The yard is about 1 acre and the house driveway 230 metres long and 3 metres wide on either side. Up the top of the drive up, we have a remnant stand of trees which are delighted to have some grevillea and other plant brothers and sisters join them.
With great excitement and advice from Katanning Landcarewho provided hundreds of beautiful seedling plants that they grow and are all within South West Australia only. Plus more little beauties from a quick trip to Boyanup Botanical which is is a fabulous family-owned nursery with over 600 species of quality plants with a speciality in Australian natives. Plus Boyanup has a vast range of weekly specials (larger plants) for a minimal number of dollars. I have just turned 60 and am eager to see them established sooner rather than later. Yes, I also raid our local nursery Nightingales for some slightly bigger plants. Driving past – I simply must stop! We have planted just over 350 seedlings with more arriving on Friday.
What to do about the weeds. So many people say weed control is everything…. except three cases have gone against Monsanto and more than 13,000 are pending. It didn’t take much for us to say there must be other ways. Yes, they all involved sweat and time. Manual removal of the weeds close to the seedlings, we had added straw around them to give then a further buffer. Plus recently we added the tree guards from Warren Catchments Council. I was initially hesitant …. gravel….. sheetrock ….. and where has the topsoil gone ….. hard, hard hard. We are determined to make the world around us soft once again. Jorn made me a device to hit into the ground to make the holes for the cane sticks. Somehow he was always away when said work was being done…….. It was necessary as the birds and rabbits were thinking easy meal targets. They were not interested in the capeweed and ryegrass.
They are in and protected. We have promised to water our babies weekly for the first summer to help them get established. Plus I know more will be added. We offer our gratitude to both Katanning Landcare and Warren Catchments Council. for the tree guards and your invaluable advice – you are legends.
Landcare doesn’t only apply to big projects, #landcare #driveway #pillarsofbeauty
We are very grateful we made the call! On the lookout for more seedlings after the closure of Blyth Tree Farm we contacted Kristen Mappin and Karrie Williamson from the Blackwood Basin Group and sort advice. They we very generous with their time and helped us with their expertise. Based in Boyup Brook they are close by. Not only did they put us in contact with Parnell’s Nursery in Tincurrin, they coordinated with them an easy delivery on the back of some of their existing project work.
Last week we took delivery of 7,000 plant babies to add to some of our existing Landcare commitment. We consider regeneration assisting the natural environment an essential component of our sustainable agriculture vision.
We are planting into a very wet area of the farm, and we did not want to cause further degradation via soil erosion thus we did not rip or mound the area as we have done with previous projects. We really wanted to plant directly however it was simply hard work. However, this year is a different story as we discovered an amazing groundbreaking tool by Power Planter, it is an attachment that goes on a cordless drill and effortlessly digs holes to the perfect depth! It takes around 3 seconds for Jörn to drill the hole, I follow and drop the seedling down a piece of poly pipe and close the hole! Simply amazing
Jezabelle wondering just where we planned to plant our new babies.
They certainly can, our first ever projects here at Bellalee have turned five, the area in front of Cockatoo Creek and the Tone River on the western side is a vastly different place today.
The back or eastern side of Cockatoo has turned 2, this was our most ambitious planting – we planed 25,000 seedling in one long week end in June.
Our plant babies out in a paddock bordering the Tone Rd are now four months old. They are thriving, having been aided and abetted by some time summer rainfalls. 28mm last week thanks to the remnants of Cyclone Joyce. They and all our trees and other planting’s lapped it up. The land came alive and every plant on the property seemed at peace.
Despite our best efforts, maybe those summer rains helped, the rye grass came back with renewed vigour after we had sprayed it….. we have been in removing radish and melons from the area. We walk through at least once per week to see our the plants are going and pull out any unwanted ones. My earlier sharp bush removal has paid off, Only two have dared to pop up only to be removed just as quickly with my handy pick…. not at all hard after the monsters I have taken a dislike to and removed previously!
We have determined that more must be done. We intend to fence around many of the old paddock trees and add new plants so they may grow in the wisdom shadow of the old. This way the stories of the land will not be forgotten.
Friday the 15th September we gathered our new plant babies to introduce them to their new home here on the farm in Orchid Valley. With the very capable Jenny Carley from the #WarrenCatchmentCouncil to lead the team we swung into action.
This is a very different planting as the area is subject to water logging. To stabilise the area we have planted out thousands of reeds and grasses to stabilise the area. These are ably supported by mid level shrubs and trees a little higher to fill the area out. They will all merge and grow with flooded gums and white gums already in situ. We are very excited to see how it all grows.
As usual Jezabelle kept herself busy keeping us organised, however graciously bowed to Jenny during her sleeping time.
We here ably assisted by Andy and Murray, two happy quick witted expert planters, better later than never two of our friends Sandy and Michael rolled into to lend a hand.
Originally we had planned to plant one month ago ago the area was seemingly underwater, the rain simply fell and forgot to stop for quite a while. We would have been sinking up to our knees in some areas. Not to mention no vehicle could get there.
Luckily we had time on our side, favourable long term weather forecasts under our belts and hope in our hearts.
Our new seedling friends are settling into their new home, the rain as I write is gently falling assisting them to settle in.
We are delighted to be working with the Warren Catchments Council planting the dream of regenerated waterways here on Bellalee. We have been very fortunate to discover that another 10000 site appropriate native seedlings will be planted here around a creek soon to be fenced. This is very important fringe vegetation.
Fringing vegetation plays an important role in the maintenance of a biologically balanced and healthy waterway. It provides a wide range of functions that are essential for supporting plant and animal life and for maintaining the quality of the environment. These functions include: flood control; bankline stabilisation; sediment, nutrient and pollutant filtering and, most importantly, the provision of food, shelter and breeding habitats for a wide range of organisms.
Today is World Environment Day! This is a day to celebrate our intricate connection with the world around us – from the tiniest creatures crawling below the ground’s surface, to the tallest trees breathing fresh oxygen into our air, day in, day out.
This weekend one of our regeneration projects turned one and another turned four. Big weekends they were as friends gathered to help us plant seedlings. Our one years olds are growing everyday and are looking fabulous. We went out today with one of our friends David who was here planting last year.
Everywhere we looked all our amazing plants are reaching for the skies. Some of the growth has been phenomenal – taller than Jorn and David. Thank you to Carol, Larissa, Hayley, David, Mark, Paul and Tom for making this happen – it is always wonderful to be able to walk among the many thousands of seedlings we have planted together and see how they are thriving.
Take a moment to pause – go outside and look at a tree or up to the sky, simply stand in silence and contemplate how amazing life is.