Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I really hate uni right now.

I'm failing at chemistry and it's making me feel really depressed about the whole thing. If I fail chem I'll have to redo it. The work that I want to do has absolutely no need for chemistry.
I thought I was smart until I started doing this unit. I hate maths and the lecturers may as well be speaking Greek or something. One lecturer almost was, speaking fast with a heavy Chinese accent, not pronouncing half the words properly so many of us have no idea what the hell she was on about. I am frustrated and angry and feel like giving up. It's really bad. I go to lots of extra help classes, but it's not helping. I just wan to make people plant local species of plants. Why the hell do I need to do chemistry for????

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A list of the Grevillea's in my garden.

Grevillea brachystachya - low growing, has many pink flowers starting in late autumn.
G. "Winpara Gem"
G. "Winpara Gold"
G. "Apricot Glow" - shrub to 2 metres.
G. "Coastal Glow" - spreading 1-1.5 m shrub. Gorgeous red toothbrush flowers from winter to summer.
G. thelemanniana - local coastal variety. Grows to only a metre or so. Good for coastal sands.
G "Pink Surprise"
G "Honey Gem"
G. species ground-cover on verge. From Lullfitz.

All doing well in poor Fremantle soils and with coastal conditions. I rarely water these, if ever, once established.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Public tree planting.

One of my favourite eucalypts is Eucalyptus macrocarpa, also called "mottlecah" or 'the rose of the west'. It is a West Australian tree from a little north of Perth. I have snuck one onto the verge near my house so I will be able to see it from the front window.
It's very drought hardy once established and needs hot dry summers to grow successfully, so I think it will be happy where I put it. The leaves have a silvery powder on the leaves which helps them deflect heat in their desert habitat.
The flowers are very big and red, sometimes pink. It will be interesting to see how much bigger it gets by the end of winter.
I had been thinking of planting something there for a while, as it is an exposed area that could do with some brightening up; plus I figure that if there's room for a small tree then put in a small tree!
Mottlecah is also not a visual block or able to hide bad-guys as the mallee habit and leaf arrangement makes it easy to see through. They also rarely get very tall as they sprawl. Being a mallee also means if the plant needs to lose a limb that is in the way it can grow new ones from the lignotuber.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Education is what people need.

Due to having lived an "alternative" kind of lifestyle, I am actually quite out of touch with how the general population feels about environmental issues. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people who don't really feel anything about it, despite the news and current fairly obvious situations going on in the world related to how people are damaging the planet.
However there is a good proportion of folk who do want to do something but don't really know just what they can do. It would be better if people could take on change as their own idea than be forced to when (if?) the governments of the world decide we'd better get serious and drastically cut our consumption of resources.
There are lots of small things that we can do and hopefully enough of us are doing it to show it makes a difference. Hopefully we also get to pass on our ideas to others in our families or circle of friends. Living a more environmentally friendly life makes me feel more positive about the future. Other people living a more envrironmentally friendly life would make me feel even more positive about the future!
Growing some herbs at home, catching a bus to work or school, turning lights off when you're not in the room..there are hundreds of small thing to reduce consumption of resources. They easily fit into or lives and may even save you some money in the short term, while helping the planet in the long.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

It's been a while.

Learning chemistry at university has been getting the better of me lately and I've not had much of a chance to write. I don't actually get into the garden a great deal to be growing any vegetables. Some of the other interesting plants that I have are happy enoughafter another summer in Perth. The potted citrus are growing and a few of the grevilleas I put in last winter are still alive with very little care. A few of the native plants are coming along really well, hopefully some will flower this year.
The Chinese elm had been infested with aphids again recently and getting all sticky from the aphids' honey dew. The aphids have supplied a big supply of ladybirds which have bred to predate the aphids. Good old biological control! The birds have been feasting on ladybirds and their larvae too so it's a good little cycle, completed when the birds poop in the garden, leaving some of the nutrients back where they came from.

Packaging has been something that's bothering me lately. I've had a couple of conversations with people where they think the recycling bins should get emptied every week instead of every fortnight. It's an unfortunate side effect of our culture that people want trucks to drive around every week to collect all the daily crud we all produce just by buying stuff.

Ideally, by buying in bulk, buying fresh foods, such as fruit and vegetables and cooking from scratch (not just taking some processed junk out of the freezer and micro-waving it, we produce little in the way of wastes, recyclable or intractable. Food wastes can mostly be turned into compost. Electronic goods is the big baddy. Replacing any or all the electrical and electronic items in a house leaves electronic waste, termed e-waste, which cannot be recycled. Heavy metals and plastic compounds make this kind of waste as an environmental disaster in the making, as leachates from these products get out into the environment in the countries to which e-waste is shipped.

I'm not saying I'm a green angel. I do eat out at least once a week, sometimes two, but not at multinational fast-food places (have proudly not eaten any KFC, Muckdonalds or Hungry Jacks for 20 years). I try and avoid getting takeawy containers but if I do they get reused for packed lunches.