Insects

Baby praying mantis

Baby praying mantis

A recently hatched young praying mantis. These guys hunt and eat other insects which is generally a beneficial trait.  insect 
Beneficial insects

Beneficial insects

Insects play an import role in the health of our gardens and the wider ecosystem. By creating a conducive environment we can encourage the tiny helpers to hang around. Insects prey on others, pollinate plants, are food for birds and generally add to the richness, complexity and diversity of a healthy ecosystem.  insects 
European potter wasp

European potter wasp

Ancistrocerus gazella is a species of potter wasp. As an adult they eat nectar and aphid honeydew. The female collects as many as 20 caterpillars which the hatched lava eat. Each nest consists of a single cell which is sealed with mud.
Ladybird

Ladybird

A positive site in the garden, the common ladybird is a beneficial insect as it consumes aphids. Shown here on a sunflower leaf they are also fond of the flowers of parsnip, coriander and celery. A quick audit of a small section of the garden revealed over 120 of these wonderful creatures.December 17, 2015
Bumble bee working

Bumble bee working

Details  We love our hard working bumble bees. Here one explores the solomon's seal.Date  November 06, 2013
Phacelia

Phacelia

Details  Quick growing manure crop or as a sanctuary for predator insects to feed and plan their assaults from. Dig or plough in anytime. Sow from September through to April at a rate of 30g per 10m2 or 1kg per 300m2.Common name  PhaceliaLatin name  Phacelia tanacetifoliaHeight (m)  1Forest layer  herbaceousDate  July 08, 2013Propigation method  Sow directTags    bees  Shade / Sun  Full sunSoil type  MostFlowers  PurpleSource  http://www.kingsseeds.co.nz
The bees are back

The bees are back

This year we have seen an impressive rebound in bee numbers. It is unlikely due to anything we have done but it is wonderful to see them working frantically on all the things we have planted in the last couple of years. So we are helping them in some way.January 13, 2013  bees 
Wild-flowers spreading

Wild-flowers spreading

As part of our commitment to the humble bumble and our general enjoyment of displacing grass, we have established a bunch of micro pioneer gardens. These are bubbles of hardy, self seeding, bee friendly blooms that will (hopefully) expand and spread until they join and fill the available space.December 14, 2012  flowers  bumblebee 

Bumblebee nest

Our efforts to create a hospitable environment for bumblebees seems to be paying off. The fuzzy little creatures can be seen on almost any of the numerous types of flowers we have spreading across the property. To top if off we discovered a nest inside the concrete block wall of the chook house and piggery.

There is a contented buzzing humming emanating from the wall and every now and then individuals can be seen bumbling in and out.
November 20, 2012  Bumblebee  nest  hive 
Stage 1 - Trees, shrubs, ground cover and climbers

Stage 1 - Trees, shrubs, ground cover and climbers

The first part of planting is complete with over 150 new substantial, long lived plants finally in the ground.
Selected species include:
  1. Silk tree
  2. Tree Lucerne
  3. Winter Sweet
  4. European hazelnut
  5. South African tree heath (pictured)
  6. Shining gum
  7. Flowering ash
  8. Hybrid witch hazel
  9. Green flowered hellebore
  10. Golden rain tree
  11. Amur maakia
  12. Kobus magnolia
  13. Fraqgrant epaulette tree
  14. Japanese fodder willow
  15. Chinese sweet box
  16. Chinese wisteria
  17. Black Locust
August 01, 2012
Bumblebee house

Bumblebee house

I got excited and threw together this little wooden box intended to shelter bumblebees. A flap of thick rubber as a roof allows for taking a peek inside. However it turns out, as the spiders inside know, bumblebees like to find their own secretive hiding places.September 11, 2011