Monday, 22 February 2016

Garden inspiration: found (natural) objects

It's funny what you see when you're wandering around in bushland. Sometimes it's a plant you didn't expect to grow in the area; sometimes it's a weird bit of rubbish (like the amazing tangle of old cars, beds and computers in the forest near Robertson's Lookout above Wollongong); and sometimes it's something you just can't explain. You just have to marvel at it.... 

For example, I saw this fallen hibiscus flower the other day in dense rainforest, with no hibiscus bush or tree to be seen nearby.  
Fallen flower from a Hibiscus splendens.
What was it doing there? Was it dropped there by a distracted bird perhaps? Abandoned by a bushwalker who'd picked it elsewhere earlier in the day? Or caught up in a micro-storm and deposited in the rainforest by chance? I've no idea. 
This natural rock bowl fascinated me too. It was resting among fallen chunks of sandstone, some very large, below the cliffs of Mount Keira, and it had gathered just enough water to set off the leaf that had landed on it. A weathered hollow piece of rock like this would make a beautiful pond or birdbath in a garden (though of course I left this one where I found it). 

Equally miraculous, but in a completely different way, is this nest (which I think belongs to a Yellow-throated Scrubwren), hanging just a metre or so off the ground. It doesn't seem like a safe place to raise young birds, and yet this is a practice that has evidently worked well for many many generations. 
Providing lots of twigs, leaves and other bits of natural 'stuff' in your garden helps to make life easier for birds who build their nests from it. While your garden might look a bit messy, imagine if a breeding pair of birds came through and organised some of the mess into a hidey-hole for a clutch of eggs... 

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