Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 05-08-2014 Contents Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 24
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Do not discount humble, pliant acacia
A winter wattle in full bloom.
In the garden
As the local landscape gradually
becomes bathed in the golden glow of
acacia bloom, perhaps we should
reflect on how much the wattle has
played a part in more than two
centuries of Australian history.
The word wattle'', from the
Anglo-Saxon meaning interlaced'',
became the vernacular when many
pliant saplings of young trees,
including acacia, were used by early
settlers in the construction of their
mud-daubed huts. Wattle names like
gidgee, mulga, myall, brigalow and
cooba reflect the languages of
Mature acacias provided timber for
furniture, mining props, finely turned
bowls and trinkets. Wood from the
mulga is turned into boomerangs and
spear shafts. Gidgee timber makes
good fence posts, walking sticks and
handles for stockwhips. The foliage of
certain inland species provides
valuable fodder for stock in times of
drought and almost any acacia makes
In cultivation, many species of
acacia make good garden plants and
not only for their flowers -- with
careful selection it is possible to have
a species of acacia in flower in any
month of the year -- but for the
diversity of their growth habit, from
screening plants to ground covers.
Their ability to increase the nitrogen
levels in the soil where they grow
benefits all other plants in the vicinity.
A most attractive shrub or small tree
is the butter-yellow, flowered, narrow-
leaved Snowy River Wattle Acacia
boormanii. The Victorian Sticky
Wattle (A. howittii at 3-4 metres) is
quick to grow as a valuable screening
plant, as is the grey-green fringed
wattle A. fimbriata.
Check out your local nursery for
several prostrate forms that will offer
ground cover over banks or spare
ground and the particularly
ornamental, leafy forms such as A.
cognata or Limelight, a stunning
container or landscape specimen that
produces lush, narrow-leaved foliage
on a metre-square plant at maturity.
Watch out for signs of one of
the most troublesome of
weeds -- Cleavers (Gallium
known as Sticky Weed -- a
climbing twiner that smothers
other plants, also a prolific
seeder. Easily identified by
sticky, whorled foliage,
unfortunately it has thin basal
stems that snap off when hand
weeding. Best use a trowel to
loosen roots before lifting.
Though a major component
of an essential compost heap,
there's another use for a
bucketful of weeds. Top it up
with water, cover with a lid and
leave in semi-shaded spot for
about two or three weeks.
Drain off the somewhat smelly
liquid to use as a diluted ''weak
tea'' solution -- a tonic for
growing plants. Add the plant
debris to the compost heap.
The bronze-orange bug, a
major sap-sucking pest of
citrus trees, overwinters as
second stage nymphs on the
underside of the foliage. Use a
horticultural oil spray now to
smother the pests before they
become active again.
With the exception of once-
only-in-spring bloomers, roses
can be pruned from now on.
Time to finish the pruning of
all pome fruits, deciduous
trees and ornamental vines.
Remember to have copper
spray on hand.
Behind the blue line
ACT Policing and the New South
Wales Police Force are executing
Operation Azine, aimed at reducing
outstanding arrest warrants across the
ACT and surrounding New South
Operation Azine began in May,
targeting those people with
outstanding arrest warrants for
offences including theft, driving
while disqualified, and drink-driving.
If a person does not attend court as
directed (as a result of a summons or
subpoena), a magistrate is
empowered to issue an arrest warrant.
A total of 28 people have been
arrested by ACT Policing and the
NSW Police Force, with four
extraditions to the ACT initiated by
NSW Police. Six people were
arrested by ACT Policing and
extradited to appear in court in NSW.
Of the 28 people taken into
custody, six were as a result of
surrenders to police.
Superintendent Rob Wilson from
ACT Policing Judicial Operations
said this was the first time a cross-
border warrants operation had been
conducted in the local region and
highlighted the excellent working
relationship between ACT Policing
and the NSW Police Force.
Behind The Blue Line is a
column supplied by ACT Policing.
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