Nutty Fruit Squares

1 cup wholemeal SR flour
½ cup raw sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups mixed fruit or sultanas
2 eggs
4 oz. butter
2 level tablespoons honey
Sift flour into a bowl, add sugar, walnuts and mixed fruit
Beat eggs, add to mixture
Melt butter, stir in honey and allow to cool slightly
then stir into fruit mixture
Pour into a greased 26x17cm lamington pan
Bake in a moderate oven 160° for about 30 minutes
for serving cut into squares

 

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Gardening day

There is something quite satisfying in viewing your efforts after a day spent gardening. Mowing the lawn, trimming back shrubs, opening up overgrown pathways and then sweeping away all the cuttings to reveal a lovely space is very rewarding.
Perhaps the nicest part of the day is enjoying your surroundings, while holding the hose, filling up the birdbath, watering the garden and watching everything being refreshed.

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Bee Hotel

Bee hotels can encourage native bees to your garden.  Ours is made from untreated hardwood, interesting pieces of bark, some gum nuts and a few Banksia seed pods.  Suspended in a sheltered position (under the roof of our  verandah), we have noticed many small visitors buzzing in and out of the varying sized holes which have been drilled in the hardwood.
Native bee habitat is beneficial for pollination in your garden, and you can help by encouraging bees.  There is often a shortage of suitable nesting places and building materials, so native bees will readily take up “artificial” housing if you provide it.

Some new inhabitants are checking out the bee hotel in our garden.

Above left: Trying to find the best accommodation
Above right: Safely inside

 

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Hornsby water clock

This amazing sculpture, entitled “Man, Time and the Environment”, is located in the centre of the pedestrian mall in Hornsby.  The clock sculpture, designed and engineered by Victor Cusack weighs approximately 20 tonnes and stands 8 meters tall. Unveiled in 1993, the bronze, stainless steel and glass construction took 2½ years to build and cost over $1m.
Lunch with family and friends at the adjacent Blu Water Grill was, as usual, a great experience.  Choosing from a tapas plate, crispy fried zucchini flowers, salads, a lovely selection of mains or from the specials of the day, we were sure of a delicious meal.  A special dessert and the perfect coffee rounded off this enjoyable occasion.

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Garden glimpses

Sprays of lovely mauve flowers and strappy leaves, the Liriope makes a gentle display in late summer. Growing quite happily in a pot it also makes a good border plant.
Our Glossy Laurel or Cryptocarya laevigata, is a small shrub which has only grown to about 2 metres.  It has, as the name suggests, beautiful glossy leaves and recently produced eye catching red berries.
The sound of bubbling water in a garden has a very calming effect and attracts dragon flies and fogs.  This water bowl, home to some goldfish, is a nice addition to our deck.

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Bouddi National Park

Visiting Bouddi National Park, we took the coastal walk to Bullimah beach and were surprised to see these little rock pagodas decoratively arranged over a wide area.  The coastal boardwalk from Putty beach winds along the cliff-top, providing amazing views of the coast and the Tasman Sea.
With a wonderful swimming beach, the booked sites at Putty Beach camp ground are very popular and can be reserved from NSW National Parks.

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Belladonna Lily

The Amaryllis Belladonna pink lily is a surprising plant. The plant starts growing from an onion like bulb which protrudes from the ground. Delicate, long pink buds open into beautiful lilies which appear before the leaves. Remarkably, the plant thrives in full sun.
I was surprised to find these pretty flowers – which attract tiny native bees – suddenly appear one morning.

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Strangler Figs at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre

The strangler fig starts life as a tiny seed in the rainforest canopy.  It begins to grow on the forest floor and as it grows, the fig gradually wraps itself  around a host tree.
These strangler figs we viewed from the boardwalk at the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre near Port Macquarie, make an interesting pattern on their host trees as they grow and widen, their size and strength evident as they slowly surround the host’s trunk.

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Epiphytes at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre

Look up into the canopy as you walk on the boardwalk at Sea Acres Rainforest centre, and you can see the Staghorns, Elkhorns, Birds Nest Ferns and Ribbon Ferns growing high up on the tree branches.  These plants are called Epiphytes and grow on host trees but are not parasitic.
The long leaves of a Ribbon Fern in my photo are growing from an Elkhorn, while another tree is supporting a Birds Nest Fern.

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