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Thursday, March 2, 2017

March, in- and around the garden.



March means the start of autumn. Today is the second and we were promised a week of rain. The sky is sky blue, still hot but in the early morning is this tinge of coolness..ahh. Our gardener/helper Calvin is here and does a lot of hard yakka, pruning and cutting down some trees which are shading our new solar panel to open and close the gate automatically. Later I will plant some low growing grevillias, food for birds, insects and mammals alike, to compensate for the trees who unfortunately had to be cut.



Grevillia



The gate operates with  sun power. A few trees had to be cut out to let enough sun onto the panel to charge the battery.



Ready to plant  a few low growing shrubs.



They all can stay!



The very beautiful Banksia , empty seed pod. In time I will find seedlings .

05/03/2017

   The most wonderful gifts of nature Fruit



Persimmon, always looking forward to the harvest, I love their squishy sweetness.







Nothing compares to home grown Bananas.


Plants, the tough ones prevail...rain or shine



Groundcover Evolvolus.





Salvia blue Peru, a favourite





Pretty, white Buddleia




Fine blue Tradescantia pallida.




...and the sweet lollipops,  Catharanthus,
 All these plants are growing and flowering now in the very dry drive way/butterfly garden. Never hand watered just live on the sparse rain they received this summer.


Sunday, 12/03/2017



I am preparing the roses for their next flowering period autumn/winter. Above a carpet rose, flowering nearly all year round. Many are growing in big pots.  Once a year they need special care, pruning,  some fresh soil. fertilizer, mulch, and wow for their hardiness.



I heart colourful leaves, like here on Cordylines, they are a must have in my garden.










Bowls with marbles, for bees to land to get  water.



Sunday, is still very special to me, I have never grown out of liking this special day mankind has made up to enjoy and cherish.


💚
Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



14/03/2017 Tuesday




Basil

Bouquets from my herb garden

Garlic chives




My friend Epicurus 340-270 BC---- Letter to Menoeceus.

Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul. And to say that the season for studying philosophy has not yet come, or that it is past and gone, is like saying that the season for happiness is not yet or that it is now no more. Therefore, both old and young alike ought to seek wisdom, the former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come. So we must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed towards attaining it.



24/03/2017

The days pass quickly and we are nearly at the end of the first month of autumn. We also have received a lot of rain so far more than 300 mm and it is still raining intermittently.



Fungi have the time of their life ...my fungi garden is flourishing in the constant rain.




Beautiful shelf fungi and ...








all sorts of fern spores deposited a long time ago are starting to show signs of life.





They are all freebies, and I hope they will grow into adult life.




Some orchids like to flower now...







and I am waiting for the first lemons to ripen.








The beautiful Angel Trumpets, Brugmansia is again in full flower, their exquisite  fragrance reawakens when the sun goes down.

Henry David  Thoreau said: “I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”  

 I may say:" I agree".

Happy days, see you all soon again.


©Photos/ Text Ts

 Text Ts

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 


♫ 

4/02/2017





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



06/02/2017

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.





08/02/2017




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.” 


24/02/2017




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.


28/02/2017

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