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A Walk Through Sunny Southbank, Brisbane

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It’s a sunny Saturday a perfect day for a trip to Brisbane and a walk through the Southbank Parklands. It is almost winter but the Bougainvillea are still flowering. Soft flamenco music drifts through the air from the street musicians. I think they have their eyes on the girls…

While further along this African (?) musician strums his instrument.

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Through the Bougainvillea I can see the eye in the sky.

Children play while the adults relax in the shade from the trees.

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Others make the most of the sun. I wonder if they are visitors from a colder climate. I hope they have put plenty of sunscreen on.

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Then I notice a new area. A herb and veggie garden. Last time I came through, about a year ago, this was under construction.

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It has a wide range of herbs that you are invited to sample. A variety of vegetables are growing between the herbs. I spot beans, tomatoes, bok choy, celery and rows of new seedlings just emerging.

This is what their web site says “The Epicurious Garden is a must-visit destination at South Bank for foodies, gardening enthusiasts and all those in-between.

Head along to explore the garden’s exquisite plant life and see what fresh produce looks, feels and smells like; talk to our dedicated gardener volunteers (who are onsite from 7-11.30am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) and learn about inner-city gardening; or read our recipe suggestions and learn how to cook with fresh produce in your own home. All produce in the garden is organic, and is rotated seasonally throughout the year.

If you stop by from 7am-2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also collect free produce from the garden’s harvest cart. The cart operates on first-in, best-dressed basis, so get in early to avoid disappointment.”

What a perfect place for a picnic.

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A fish pond is next to the “Epicurious Garden”. Such a peaceful place to sit and relax.

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The tranquil Brisbane River flows by. While in another part of the parklands the markets are in full swing.

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There is a large choice of places to eat, from take away burghers and chips to fancy 5 star restaurants.

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I almost stood on this little water dragon. He certainly wasn’t going to move out of my way and he posed very nicely.

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I always find it difficult making a choice when there are so many to choose from. But finally I make a choice and we sit and enjoy, for me lasagna and for Jack grilled fish.

After lunch we go to the art gallery. But that will be another post…

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I’m joining Restless Jo’s Monday walkers this week. I’m a day late so I will have to hurry. Do go over and see Jo’s delightful walk in Poland with Meg a blogging buddy, and also check out the other band of dedicated walkers from around the world that have rallied to join Jo’s walking group.

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Categories: Australia, Brisbane, Jo's Monday walks, photos, South Bank | Tags: , , , , | 42 Comments

First bite is the sweetest…

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Remember the caterpillars that nibbled the edges of my young, immature tomatoes? Well they left some for me.

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So small, but so sweet. The fruits of my labour…

Categories: garden, photos, tomatoes | Tags: , , | 32 Comments

Autumn Sunset…

Autumn has arrived, the temperatures have dropped to the mid 20’s. Yesterday it was a drizzly day, the sun hiding behind grey, wispy clouds. Light showers came and went. A day to be inside feeling slightly sorry for myself after a dentist visit. But time spent visiting my lovely WP community lifted my spirits.

Then the sky slowly cleared and I sat out on the back deck to watch this gentle sunset.

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The night cools to a comfortable 18c degrees. Good sleeping temperature.

As a gardener I welcome any rain in autumn as “traditionally” (what is that these days?) autumn is the dry season.

This morning the sun is peeping through those wispy clouds. Time to take a walk around the garden and say good morning to my plant community.

Then I will take a cyber trip around the world to visit my interesting blogging buddies. 

Categories: garden, photos, sunsets | Tags: , , , | 21 Comments

Our snail exterminator…

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Along this western side of the house it is very hot. Jack has created a habitat for our blue tongue lizard. On the right hand side, under the rocks, he put down drainage pipes.

Every morning we share our breakfast fruit with him.

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He is quite shy and if we get too close he will quickly back into his home. So Jack uses a length of wire to pass him the offering.

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Here he is munching his banana. In this close-up you can see his bright blue tongue.

Because we have this little fellow on snail patrol we have very few slugs and snails around, so I don’t give him too much extra tucker as I think he can find plenty for himself.

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I’m linking this to Jude’s “garden photography” that for April has been macro or close-ups in the garden.

Categories: blue tongue lizard, Garden photography challenge, photos | Tags: , , , | 40 Comments

Caterpillar update…

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Remember this caterpillar that was in yesterday’s post? Well Desleyjane (DJ) from “musings of a frequent flying scientist” has identified it for me. In fact she did a post about the trials and tribulations of her lime tree and this strange fellow a year ago. Do go over and check it out

It is the larvae of the Orchid Swallowtail Butterfly, commonly called the Large Citrus Butterfly. Such a pretty thing and I have seen the butterfly fluttering around the garden, but never been able to get its photograph. I’m pleased I didn’t squash it.

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Taken by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au Canon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 – Own work

This is an image I found on the Wikipedia site with more details.

Thanks DJ for the information…

Categories: caterpillar, garden, photos, vegetable garden | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

Mini backyard veggie plot…

When we finally settled back home after 6 years of roaming around I made two decisions

  1. I would not have a vegetable garden…
  2. I would not grow things in pots…

I would keep the garden easy care…

But 3 months later just look…

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If you have seen previous posts about my garden (here and here) you may remember the front garden is a tropical style with lots of trees and palms shading a large area. Ferns, bromeliads and other exotic species cluster in the shade. It is riddled with tree roots and tends to get very dry. Not the best conditions for growing vegetables.

But, the back garden’s smaller and gets the sun most of the day, especially near Jack’s fish ponds. I’ve suggested we take out the ponds and turn that area into raised beds. But Jack loves his fish and water lilies.

So the solution : veggies in pots standing around the fish pond…

Above is my tomatoe forest, planted 6 weeks ago with parsley and rocket to keep them company.

This is the second crop of lettuce. Autumn and winter are the best time to grow vegetables. Summer is just too hot and humid and all the pests and diseases proliferate and consume or kill the produce before we can.

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Tish over at “Tish Farrell” did an inspirational post about growing her radishes in pots, accompanied with mouth-watering photos (take a look). So here they are Tish only 6 days old. The garden in pots is expanding in all directions.

Another cluster of seedlings sun themselves under another tomatoe. Waiting to be potted on into larger permanent pots. Silver beet, land cress, more parsley, the radish sharing the container with coriander and at the front pansies being hardened off before going into a garden bed in the front garden. My nod to spring in the tropics.

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But just a minute what can I see…

Let’s look closer…

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Oh no!!! Some thing has been nibbling.

I look around and next to this tomatoe is my lemon tree in a pot and the lemons are starting to colour up.

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But then I see it. I have never seen anything like this before. I imagine it will be a beautiful butterfly. So I am happy to share some of the tomatoes with him.

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I’ve also put a mild chilly plant in a pot.

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Spinach does not like the warm tropical climate. To grow well it needs a colder winter. But I have found a species called Ceylon Spinach ( Basella alba is an edible perennial vine in the family Basellaceae) It is not a true spinach but tastes similar and is used in the same way. But most importantly it thrives in the tropics. It is a vine and I have put it beside a post it can climb up.

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So I guess I have tied myself to the garden for a while. Winter is traditionally the dry season in this area, so I will need to be here to keep pots watered.

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I have included some close ups to join in with Jude’s “garden photography challenge”. This is the last week for her close up theme.

Categories: Australia, garden, Garden photography challenge, photos, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , | 58 Comments

Thursday Doors : Mooball…

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Can I put this in Norm’s “Thursday Doors” challenge? Technically I think it is a gate. But I couldn’t resist taking its photo and I had to go through it.

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I’m sure all Australians will know where I am going, but I wonder how many other people who visit this post from around the world will know where I am hurrying to.

Today we went for a country drive and I am in the quaint village of Mooball. With a population of approximately 300, they have embraced the idea of the cow in the name of their village and everything that doesn’t move has been decorated with the black and white splodges of the Friesian cow.

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Even this old tractor has been given the treatment.

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They also have a collection of motorbikes in a shed alongside the café. Jack was quite taken with this one…

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But he had to leave it behind, it was too big to get on…

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Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time)

Categories: photos, Thursday Doors | Tags: , , , | 43 Comments

Chinese New Year Dinnertime : Weekly Photo Challenge…

The Gold Coast China Town precinct has only been established for a short while, but it is expanding and now extends through 2 streets. Just in time for the celebration of the Chinese New Year the first set of traditional Han gates arrived.

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“And, as befits an auspicious addition to the precinct, a consultant ensured the gate’s feng shui was appropriately adjusted. We had a feng shui master examine the gates and his analysis showed we needed to put a lucky charm in each of the gate’s towers,” Cr Crichlow said.

“So we buried a set of eight Chinese coins connected with red Chinese knots in each tower.

“Eight is the luckiest number in China and because the towers are twins we had to get two sets of eight.

“We also had to bury them at a particular lucky time and date to maximise the feng shui.” (Gold Coast Bulletin)

It was February 20th 2016, Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey. China Town was crowded, parking was at a premium, so we went there on the G:Link, the new light rail system.

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The stall holders were busy preparing the food.

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And the hordes of people, locals and tourists, tucked in…

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On a stage traditional Chinese dancers entertained the crowd.

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I even managed to get a photo of a very rare 2 headed Chinese lady…

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Meanwhile round the corner a magician was enthralling both children and adults with his sleight of hand.

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It is getting darker but still the food stalls are supplying dinner for the crowds.

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The fairy lights are twinkling and some people find a seat.

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Others squeeze on to whatever they can find to sit on…

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While others have to be content with sitting in the gutter.

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But everyone seems happy.

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This week, Michelle asks us to focus on dinnertime: share a meal with us, or shoot during your dinner hour. Blogger’s choice!

I hope you enjoyed sharing dinner in China Town and celebrating the start of the year of the monkey.

Categories: Australia, Chinatown, dinnertime, Goldcoast, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

7 Days of Nature photos : Day 7…

How quickly the 7 days have whizzed by. For this last day I am going to indulge myself with a walk around my garden to show you what is in flower and thriving as autumn sets in.

We had a reasonable amount of rain at the beginning of the year. Summer is usually the wet season, but, of course, you can never rely on weather patterns. Now the dry season, autumn and winter, is here and it is still hot, so I am watering most days.

I’ll start with a wander along the western side of the house, it gets all day sun and is very hot This is were our resident blue tongue lives. But he is hiding today.

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Through the gate and into the front garden.

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The Brazilian Red Cloak provides a lovely splash of colour and you can see I have just finished watering and not put the hose away.

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The small raised herb bed is starting to fill up.

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The trees in the next photo are young paw paw trees. Unfortunately it is not possible to tell which is male and which is female until they flower. I have been carefully nurturing 8 and was quite disappointed when 2 produced male flowers so I pulled them out and put them in the compost bin, so now I have 6 and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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Past the front of the house. Notice how the Grevillia is still flowering.

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Round to the cooler eastern side of the house and you can have a sit down in the Bali Corner for a while.

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Did you notice the small ornament on the table? Jack designed and made him. He is blowing his own trumpet.

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Do you remember the blue ginger had just started flowering a month ago? Well look at it now.

The Spanish moss, or old man’s beard, loves the hot humid weather.

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So does the crucifixion orchid.

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I did say I would not grow vegies or put things into pots. But just look what I have been doing!!!

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Yes those are tomatoes in pots. I couldn’t resist. Winter is the best time to grow tomatoes in this climate, not so many pests and diseases affect them. But wait that’s not all.

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This first crop of cos lettuce are getting past their best, but look behind them and you will see the second crop coming on.

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Thank you for the nomination Gilly (Lucid Gypsy) I’ll now sink back into less regular blogging habits. For my last nomination I will throw the invite to anyone who is left that has not taken part in this challenge yet.

 

Categories: 7 day nature photo challenge, garden, photos | Tags: , , , | 46 Comments

7 Day’s of Nature Photography : Day 5…

The next street over from where I live is called Banksia Broadway and amazingly, last year, the council in their wisdom (?) decided to plant Banksia trees as streetscape specimens. Now I love the Banksia and in a bushland setting they are superb but as they get older they tend to be rather scruffy and quite high maintenance. But now these neighbourhood trees are into their second year they have just started to flower. They stopped me in my tracks as I biked past. I just had to take a photo.

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Gilly (Lucid Gypsy) nominated me for this challenge and now into my 5th day I would like to pass the baton onto Sue (Dreamwalker’s garden). Sue has a beautiful garden and her allotment is a sight to be seen with all the vegetables she produces. Coming into spring I’m sure you will have lots of nature photos to show us Sue. Hope you can find the time to fit this challenge in.

Categories: 7 day nature photo challenge, banksia, photos | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

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