Saturday, 10 January 2015

Demolishing watsonia at Barrm Birrm working bee

Russell Best had spotted two patches of watsonia, with the leaves dying back to disappear till next year, so we called a working bee Saturday in mid-January. Gill, Lydia and Ellena Best, George Wright, Lynley McGlashan, Ross Colliver and Alice Cummins turned up to join the hunt.

Watsonia is an import from South Africa that arrived in the middle of the 19th Century, was cultivated for its blooms, and of course ran away. It has bulbs that multiply each year at the side of the main bulb.

 Fortunately, it was easy enough getting a mattock down below the bulb to lever it out.

We found and dealt with the first patch in good time, but I couldn't find the second. I searched down the drainage line the watsonia had settled in and found a few scattered specimens, but not that other patch.

After working on the sweet Pittosporum in the immediate vicinity, and an outbreak of thistles, I was heading for home thinking we had finished, when I found the second patch. This proved harder to get at, because the plant was growing through fallen timber, but we think we got them all.

Thanks to Gill, Lydia and Ellena Best, George Wright, Lynley McGlashan and Alice Cummins for your excellent digging and sawing.

Ross Colliver