Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 February, summer's endings.

The first day February 2017

It is a hot day with just a slight breeze to caress the leaves, to let us believe it is a bit cooler.
In the cooler morning hours I have started to plant Salvia cuttings. I water them every day to keep them going and growing. I am sure some will need to be replaced as the sun is still so strong.  I have many places in the garden which need new plants, I will also plant more native plants to provide food  for native birds and mammals.

Ornaments are part of my garden and this little rabbit has always been around.

A morning walk 01/02/2017

Cordyline rubra, known as the Palm Lily is an evergreen Australian plant. It grows as a shrub to around 4 metres tall. Found in warm rainforests and moist eucalyptus forests. The range of natural distribution is from Lismore to near Bundaberg, Queensland.

I received a few seedlings of this plant many years ago from a girl called Robyn. She worked at the fledgling Eco Village as a garden helper. I think she came originally from South Africa. Well, the Palm Lillies she gave me are called Robyn.

Verbena bonariensis, are as beautiful as they are  tough, finding their ways silently underground  to emerge between Iceberg roses, salvias and other plants, always their head up, here we are and you can do nothing about it and I won't.

White Pentas have a shimmer of stillness about them drawing the eye away from the painted garden to rest on their pure white stars.

Rose Monsieur Tillier has flowered throughout the year and it is still going. The flowers might be smaller in the heat of summer but nevertheless beautiful and very much appreciated. It is completely free of diseases, receives the odd watering but is undemanding  and generally  lives on rainwater.

The Rose was an Elizabethan theatre. It was the fourth of  public theatres to be built.

The Rose was built in 1587. It was the first purpose-built playhouse to ever stage a production of any of Shakespeare's plays. The theatre was built on a messuage called the "Little Rose," The Rose contained substantial rose gardens.
Excerpts courtesy Wikipedia

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo and Juliet 



Early morning,  two shrubs,  pink Lagerstroemia and  blue flowered Solanum rantonnettii are alive with honey bees and many different solitary bees. The bushes resonate with humming, buzzing and droning with their activity, checking out the flowers for pollen and nectar. 

Yes, now "walkies"!

Yesterday has been  and can not be brought back, so enjoy what today has in store for you, because tomorrow it will be yesterday. Ts


The pleasure of arranging flowers

In this case a single stem of bougainvillea, simple in a light blue glass carafe.

...or a bunch of Kurume azaleas in an  old copper vessel. Azaleas are are incredibly long lasting as cut flowers. Photo 05/08 2016

..smiling Pansy faces in a small recycled Dior perfume bottle. Photo 21/07/2016

Old time roses ask to be bunched together as small posies. Photo 23/06/2016

Your own garden lets you cut flowers, stems, leaves every day of the year to decorate your home. 

Some do it on their own whim, petals gracefully decorating  what ever takes their fancy.


The blue pot used to be a water feature but the small pump always clogged up. A little blue rabbit has found a home for now. I might try again later install a pump with sun power.

Salvia madrensis last year,  exactly the same time. This year it has not yet flowered as it was so dry. I hope that this tall, beautiful salvia will still flower later. We had no significant rain or storm in our area this summer.

This time of year we can feast on mangoes. The trees roots go deep into the clay soil and are also irrigated when it is getting to dry. There are always enough to give to family, Neighbours and the garden helper  can take a bucket full home.This year some trees did not bear any fruit.

Tradescantia I have got a few species of these interesting, and beautiful plants

John Tradescant the elder ca. 1570s – 15–16 April 1638), father of John Tradescant the younger,  English naturalist, gardener, collector and traveller. 
His career began as head gardener to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury at Hatfield House. Robert Cecil initiated Tradescant to travel. He send him to the Low Countries to collect fruit trees in 1610/11. 
He was kept on by Robert's son William, to produce gardens at the family's London house, Salisbury House. He then designed gardens on the site of St Augustine's Abbey for Edward Lord Wotton in 1615-23.
Later, Tradescant was gardener to the royal favourite George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, remodelling his gardens at New Hall, Essex and at Burley-on-the-Hill. 
John Tradescant travelled to the Nikolo-Korelsky Monastery in Arctic Russia in 1618. His own account of the expedition survives in his collection. He travelled  to the Levant and to Algiers during an expedition against the Barbary pirates in 1620, returned to the Low Countries on Buckingham's behalf in 1624, and finally went to Paris and (as an engineer for the ill-fated siege of La Rochelle) the Ile de Rhé with Buckingham. After Buckingham's assassination in 1628, he was then engaged in 1630 by the king to be Keeper of his Majesty's Gardens, Vines, and Silkworms at his queen's minor palace, Oatlands Palace in Surrey.

On all his trips he collected seeds and bulbs everywhere and assembled a collection of curiosities of natural history and ethnography which he housed in a large house, "The Ark," in Lambeth, London. A collection of rare and strange objects, that became the first museum open to the public in England, the Musaeum Tradescantianum. He also gathered specimens through American colonists, including his personal friend John Smith, who bequeathed Tradescant a quarter of his library. From their botanical garden in Lambeth, on the south bank of the Thames, he and his son, John, introduced many plants into English gardens that have become part of the modern gardener's repertory. A genus of flowering plants (Tradescantia) is named to honour him. 
He was buried in the churchyard of St-Mary-at-Lambeth, as was his son; the churchyard is now established as the Museum of Garden History.

courtesy some excerpts Wikipedia

He is the subject of the novel Earthly Joys, by Philippa Gregory. Great novel to read. Ts


Yesterday afternoon 09/02/2017

Koala visits my bush garden.

He is quite at home in my garden as he visits often. I have planted many Eucalyptus trees he likes to eat the leaves. 

He is not tame but he is also not afraid, as he sometimes walks past in a leisurely way to climb up the next tree. 

eek...I am itchy.

I think he has chosen the bush garden as his territory, perhaps one day he will bring his bride and his babies as well.
I left him a bowl of water. It is a fallacy to say Koalas do not drink. When it is very hot they like to have drink.

Along the driveway/ butterfly garden, these beautiful, yellow Abutilon are flowering again.

It was Thursday, very hot and humid, though we had a little rain in between and over night, around 20 ml


Today, 13/02/2017

Despite heat and dryness, a drop of rain triggered this lovely spider daylily to flower again.

This morning 19/02/2017

Oh, sweet Abelia, scent of all summers, warm fragrance touching the core of one's inner self. Ts

Figs fresh from the tree for breakfast.

Slowly but surely summer goes into autumn. It is still hot and dry, but their is a sleight change, nearly not noticeable. Someone who does not know this area would not notice, the changes are so minimal but the sun is retreating its fire, daylight is already shorter.


John Keats was such a romantic.

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” 


Along the garden path;

It was to hot and dry for my Gladioli to flower successfully this year. But now I find a few trying to catch up and make up, as the spikes are tall and the flowers magnificent.. 

The tough and  reliable Catharanthus, Madagascar Periwinkle
Catharanthus is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. Like genus Vinca, they are known commonly as periwinkles. There are eight known species. 

There are many new colours, unfortunately the new hybrids are not as tough  and drought resistant as the old ones.


Good bye February, last month of summer. I am not sad, summer was hot and dry and not much rain. The garden was mostly exhausted but battled on in its stoic way of beating the odds. When the rain gods decided to send some of their precious gift, the plants smiled  and tilted their faces towards the rain; cool and nourishing for a moment. We are promised a whole week of rain so far a few drops equaling  nothing. Well, lets hope it is only Tuesday. 

Last year, the same day I photographed this beautiful Daylily

Today:  the first rose for autumn or the last in summer, just the occasional watering makes all the difference. It is odd that it is flowering now as it is such a temperamental rose in the subtropics.It has stubbornly not shown one flower since probably more than a year. I guess better late than never.

Today; Plants that thrive in the subtropics, Bromeliads and succulents can not be beaten unless you burn them!

...and the tough ones, never watered, just live on what nature provides.

Penta, one of the best. Many colours, easily propagated and bees and butterflies love them as well. Winners in any sense.

Cordylines, splendid green, indestructible unless you tear it out with roots and all.

Orchid Epidendrum, many colours, are available,  looks after itself and thrives on neglect.

Well, lovelies, this is the last of summer. See you tomorrow for the first day in March/autumn for us.

Be kind to each other!

Believe it or not:

Green summer days and month in collusion with the piercingly hot  light of the sun prepare to melt away to make room for a mellow  cycle of autumn as promised by nature. Ts

©Photos/Text Ts mygarden

Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Garden, January; a month in the garden; Happy New year 2017.


Cassia fistula, golden blooms,  behind looming a grey sky. It brought 70 mm of  rain. 
The garden smiles again. 

In the front pink Lagerstroemia, some of them are pollarded to keep them at a smaller size.

In the wild garden/bush garden, Lichen are enchanting.

A few tough pot plants. Front Salvia discolour, its flowers are dark purple/black.

Have a rest here while waiting for the next....

Some gardens leave an impression for ever.
 One of them my mother’s garden. She had two gardens, one a vegetable garden, I still can see her digging potatoes for our dinner, a  green, striped  apron over her lovely, white summer frock. Her favourite, a flower garden surrounded by a wooden picket fence faded to silver grey.  In one corner,  growing a rose bush with small, wonderfully scented white roses. She grew dark red peonies, purple, pink and dark red asters, white lilies and Zinnias in bright Summer colours. An endless blue sky, a hoe and rake leaning on the fence, white socks taken off, small toes feeling the soil, the warmth, the fragrance of a hot summer’s day…never forgotten. Ts

All pictures taken 03/01/2017  Ts

Anita, Fuchsia growing in a hanging pot. Does pretty well despite heat and humidity. I have others which are not so successful  here.

This Melon coloured Daylily is nearly a relique, been here for ever. Tall scapes, floriferous, never shows any rust, a very beautiful and tough baby. This is the second flush.

Gardeners are in general a happy lot. In a relationship with nature’s bounty, sun, wind and rain. One might hear the odd grumble, why does it not rain, oh this wind, I wish it would stop,  it is so hot a bit of shade would be a blessing, it is to cold for this time of year etc etc… But all in all they are trying to keep the planet habitable in a world choking on plastics and unessential consumerism.  

Photos 05/01/2017

Beautiful Kahili Ginger flowering now, perfumed and exotic.

One must not let it uncontrolled grow. 

Alcantarea,is a group of extremely large Bromeliads,some reaching sizes of  1.5m across with flower spikes 2.5m high. In their natural habitat they are often found perched on the beautiful high rocky cliffs of Brazil.    
Photos Ts 09/01/2017

11/01 2017


Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, an evergreen tree. it is native to tropical regions of the Americas and is widely propagated. It is in the same genus, Annona, as cherimoya and is in the Annonaceae family.
Adapted to areas of high humidity and relatively warm winters; temperatures below 5 °C will cause damage to leaves and small branches, and temperatures below 3 °C can be fatal. The fruit becomes dry and inedible.
The flavour of the fruit is flavoursome like strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavour notes,  underlying a creamy flavour reminiscent of coconut and banana. It is  a really  exotic fruit taste.

Update preparing Soursop fruit.

#yesterday; I had 4 big Soursop/Anona muricata, to prepare. they must be used as quick as possible once they are ripe. I am so glad to have a Thermomix, on the reverse cycle it takes out all the seed, which are enclosed in little pockets and make a lot of work to take out manually. The fruit pulp is delicious, with a lemony, banana, tropical taste not overly sweet but a very agreeable taste. Very morish. It is also a health bomb which is also a plus. The tree took a few years to bear fruit. The fruit is very big 1-2 kg looking a bit like a jack fruit. The skin is thin and can be easily peeled off. Our smallish tree bears about 5- 10 fruit. It fruits twice a year, but the summer fruit are better. the pulp freezes well and can be used later. To use the Thermomix on the reverse cycle was Lilli-Marlene Clemens's idea, she used it the same way to separate the seed from Passionfruit.) Brilliant!! Saved me so much time and work. Ts

Photos 25/01/2017

Morning light on the beautifully flowering Cassia fistula.

©All photos Ts #mygarden 10/01/2017


Keep smiling...

Summer, hot, humid and sometimes bone dry.

Hibiscus schizopetalum, hanging like lanterns on a tall shrub.

Over summer the herb garden becomes a jungle until mellow autumn arrives when the plants can be pruned  to look tidy and neat again.

Clarence River Baeckia has moved with me from the Clarence to the Gold Coast. It always reminds me of the beautiful Northern Rivers area I have left behind.

Sights and scents of nature  transport you back  to an exact moment of a memory. Ts

I love Buddleia, a summer treat.

Once upon a time…the food my mother cooked was grown in her garden. Some of the vegetables, berries, fruit were preserved for winter time. The cellar was filled with potatoes from the garden. Apples were also stored. 

We did not have much tinned food, or sweets. My father baked a cake for Sundays, he liked to  cook too. In summer when I received 20 cents to buy an Ice cream I was very happy, it was not an every day treat. As a snack after school I ate an apple. Ts


The end of the month is closing in; tropicals always start to flower later in summer here are a few of these flamboyant exotic flowers.

GingerX orange

Bromeliad Aechmea fasciata

Bromeliad Neoregelia 

Verdant after rain.

Morning walk in the garden with Bobby on a petal strewn path. 


If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me.

William Shakespeare

The last day of January 


These were the sparklers for Australia Day 26/01/2017

...fallen blossoms

Love these showy  flowers of  a tall grass

It was a happy day when I met this beautiful blue salvia. If a simple flower has the power to bring you joy, then nature has achieved its purpose, its message, you are alive. Ts

This dark blue, tall growing Mexican  Salvia loves summer and is in full bloom

....and at last but not at least, Bobby enjoying a little nap in the sun.

Believe it or not;

A heavy shower after a hot day saves many trips with a watering can. Ts

©Photos/Texts mygarden Ts