In the Garden Stamps from Australia

2019-08-19 Mon

Australia Post recently released a set of five postage stamps named “In the Garden”. Each stamp highlights a different type of Garden and their elements such as Rainwater garden, Veggie garden, Nest box, Worm farm and Pollinators. Except for the $2 Veggie Garden stamp, all other stamps in the set bear a denomination of $1.

A rainwater garden uses rainwater and improves the condition of nearby waterways. Rainwater from the roof is directed to the specially designed garden bed using pipes. Excess water is sent to the stormwater system and a filter is used to get rid of pollutants. The garden is made of recycled materials, with sand and gravel at the bottom along with Dianella Caerulea and Green Kangaroo Paw plants. A Blue-Banded Bee carries out “buzz pollination” by releasing pollen from flowers with tube-shaped anthers by vibrating the flower using their fast wing movement.

The veggie garden is grown on a raised garden bed. Various types of vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, pumpkin, broccoli etc. can be grown throughout the year without any pesticides using this technique. These gardens are also safe from pets and pests. Recycled materials and 40 centimetres of good-quality soil are used to make the raised bed. The plantation is thick and vacant spaces are filled with mulch. A marigold attracts bees for pollination while pest-eating ladybirds take care of the garden.

A nest box is built to attract and protect small birds in the garden. The small colourful Striated Pardalote is an insect-eating bird that’s exclusively found in Australia. They are useful for pest control in the garden. It drinks and bathes in a garden pond. The nest box for the Striated Pardalote is smaller in height and longer. It builds its nest inside with a small branch.

Worms improve the soil's fertility and can be used for producing compost. Non-treated timber from pallets was used to make a box. Old polystyrene non-toxic foam fruit boxes act as insulators. The worm farm has a layer for food waste, a layer for the worms to digest and sleep, and a layer to collect the worm “juice”, which becomes liquid fertiliser. The worm castings are used as a slow-release fertiliser. Food leftovers excluding citrus scraps, bread, meat, garlic and onions along with old mulch, small soft garden prunings and shredded newspaper are fed to Tiger Worms and Blue Worms.

Pollination through animals is very important for growing fruits, vegetables and nuts. Birds, butterflies and bees move pollen from anthers to stigma and fertilise the plants. Eastern Spinebill from south-eastern Australia hovers like a hummingbird as it feeds on the nectar of Bottlebrush flowers using its long beak. Brachyscome daisies and Clustered Everlasting Daisy protect gardens from weed and attract pollinators such as honey bees, butterflies and native bees. Pollinators collect pollen on their legs and/or body while collecting nectar and spread them. Certain native bees use the process of buzz pollination.

Image Courtesy: Australia Post

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