Long days, short nights, warm weather with the promise of dry thundery nighttime, increasing the risk of fire. Late-flowering Black Wattles, fruiting bushes and dry grasses for weaving.
Our place is on Kulin Country, and right now, December, is the local indigenous season of ‘Garrawang’ – Season of Kangaroo Apple.
📸 Our Bulbine Lilies enjoying special attention – we transplanted some from wild down the back block up to the house, and they are thriving (the little fence is to stop one of our doggos nesting in the low pot haha)
Over the years of migrants calling Australia home, we have brought cultural notions of season with us from other places. To really connect with our green spaces, and adjust what those seasons describe, it is helpful to understand what is really happening across the country we are on. To do that, local indigenous seasons are super helpful. They and the influence of climate change together surely give us the best guidance about growing food and gardens where we live here in cool temperate western central Victoria.
Wherever you are in Australia, please do seek out knowledge of local seasons. There are links here to great sources of information, and we have included those seasonal signs we observe here at our place each year.
The signs of Garrawang
Local Djulin(tree goanna) and Kadak (snakes)are active now, with the days long and warm. If you have long grasses about, it is time to watch where you step, make plenty of noise as you walk, and be aware of the most up to date snakebite action plan for humans and pets.
Garrawang (Kangaroo-apple) is a perrenial native Solanum, with fruits edible only when bright-red-ripe this month.
Bunjil (wedgetail eagles) are breeding now. We still have a wedgy nest at the top of our big cyprus. They don’t use it much these days – a typical range has a few nests.. but occassionally they chuck out the ravens and rest there a while.
Mating for life, they share nest-building, chick-rearing and feeding. Females are generally bigger than males and their colour darkens as they age.
‘Usually when a storm’s coming, rain birds, black cockatoos, yellow crested, they come down from the mountains. And you can bet on it within two or three days it rains. Never fails. Two days and it rains. And they make a racket.’ Brian Paterson, 1999
Garrawang in our garden
- Fruitlets are developing in the orchard – with apples getting unwanted attention from codling moth – with new compliant netting being insect-exclusion gauge, it might be worth netting them early, to keep out male moths.
- We will get increasingly warm days, and it only takes a few to see young summer vegetables showing the signs of stress – employ some deep watering methods, like the deep pipe method, using bottomless pot collars, or stakes as conduits for water. (more on that another time)
- Snakes will gravitate from long grass to permanent water, so be aware around water features and pet water bowls.
- Greens and brassicas will want to bolt to seed now – they will cross-pollinate if you have more than one variety.
- Alliums will be sending up scapes (flower stems) and if you are quick, you can cut and steam them to eat. yum.