Posts Tagged With: garden

Phew the storm passed us by…

During the night the storm fizzled out, the wind dropped and, thank goodness, so did the temperature. It is still grey and overcast this morning and I’m hoping we get more rain. Only 2mm fell overnight. But it has refreshed the plants. Rain has magical properties that no amount of watering can supply.

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Thank you to all my blogging friends who expressed their concern. The connection and caring of the WordPress community is heart warming.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend whatever the weather and wherever you are.

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Categories: Australia, garden, photos, storms, travel | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Back Home in the Garden…

I said “no more veggie garden”…

BUT…

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The tiny veggie/herb garden is looking quite sad and empty, (do you remember when we built it?) It is very small compared to the veggie patch on the farm. So I couldn’t resist buying some lettuce, rocket and Greek basil from Bunnings.

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This is the “Bali” corner and also my small nursery area. Lurking under the tarpaulin is a mulcher which will soon be getting a lot of work. It has been a good season for rain and everything has doubled in size.

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Here they are, my new babies. I’ve just transplanted them from the cells they came in and will coddle them in here till this present very hot spell (30+ temperatures) passes.

Did you notice the pink behind the shade cloth?

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It is the Crepe Myrtle in full flower.

A sure sign of summer in the tropics is the Frangipani now coming into flower.

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Under the Frangipani is an unusual Bromeliad.

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It flowers for months.

In the week I have been home the temperatures have soared into  30+ and with a hot wind as well the garden can dry out quickly.

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So the hose is in use every night. Notice the handy bench to sit and have a rest on?

The ponds are looking good.

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Over on the door the masks that Jack made are keeping an eye on things.

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Here is a gallery of some other things flowering at the moment.

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Look at the lemons, this tree is only a year old.

So life goes on in the garden. Hope you enjoyed the look around.

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I’ll join Jo’s Monday walk today, come over to visit her. Actually it is more a saunter, and if it gets too hot you can sit and rest on one of the benches.

Categories: flowers, garden, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , | 48 Comments

Garden Gazing, or should that be grazing…

House sitting on a farm is quite different to house sitting in suburbia. It is peaceful, no traffic noise, only the sounds of nature. A background hum of insects, calls of the birds, wind rustling through the trees.

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Then there is the garden…

No tiny veggie patch here. It is almost the size of a Market Garden…

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Looking back towards the house. I have pulled out soooo many weeds, but still they keep coming to haunt me…

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Looking in the opposite direction across part of the potatoe patch down to the tomatoes flourishing on their stakes. Notice the plant on the left?

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It is producing an embarrassing number of these marrows. Help, anyone out there have any marrow recipes?

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To the right of the potatoes is the sweet corn plantation. They are not quite ready yet, but when they are there are hundreds of them…

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Did you notice the beans? Well already I have frozen so many and still they keep coming.

We had an “Oops” moment with them last weekend. After a stormy and windy evening,  when I checked the garden next morning, I found the middle structure of beans blown over flat…

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Can you see that gap and the sad mound of leaves?

Fortunately we had our son staying for the weekend and he helped Jack haul it up and re-stake it.

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So they live to produce another day…

Here are more and more…

 

This is a very dry area as it is situated in the rain shadow of the Blue Mountains. There are 2 large dams on the property to supply abundant water every where. Kim has an ingenious watering system covering all the main areas, worked by timers, and all day they turn sprinklers on different areas in rotation.

The veggie garden has 3 sprinklers that I move around to a different part each night and turn on the timer to water the areas for 5-6 hours during the evening.

I have never tasted such crunchy and delicious vegetables. We are living on the fruits of our labour and feeling so healthy.

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I will end this post with the other member of our animal family. Hippy is very ancient in cat years. I think she is in her late teens and spends all her days lazing in shady spots around the garden.

 

Categories: Australia, farming, garden, house sitting, oops, photos, travel, vegetable garden, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 38 Comments

New Zealand Highlights…

Of course the top highlights of the three-week visit to New Zealand was the wedding of my son and his lovely partner and meeting a new extended family of in-laws. Also spending time with my daughter in Tauranga.

Between visiting and socializing I did find time to see some interesting places to explore and, naturally, a garden was top of the list.

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Wrights Water Gardens has been created in a disused quarry covering 7 acres. The gardens are rustic, rambling and wild. tracks meander around the ponds and waterways and through the different levels leading to the 30 foot Mauku waterfall. I fell in love with this garden and spent nearly 3 hours wandering around and, of course, the photo opportunities were endless. The light was perfect and I took almost 200 shots. Hard to pick my favourites.

I hope you enjoy this walk around with me and my camera…

It is mid spring and I was amazed at the colour and diversity of the leaf colours and the way the light shone through them highlighting the veins and making them glow.

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The tracks wind through the abundant drifts of perennials and shrubs opening up to ever more delights.

The flowers are in full bloom, the very best time to be in a garden.

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Wisteria flowers create a carpet of purple. Can you see that strange figure? (no not Jack!!!) This one is sitting down.

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What an imaginative way to use old phones…

I think it is time to take a seat and just enjoy the surroundings. This bench is for you Jude. They had put lots of benches around.

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There were also lots of sculptures, but this was my favourite, she looks so relaxed.

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Around another corner and I find an oriental garden.

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A water wheel trickles water over the bank into  the waterlily ponds below.

 

 

The water lilies are just starting to come out and the lotus flowers, that this garden is famous for, are still waiting to burst into bloom.

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Tracks follow the stream trickling over rocks and swirling into ponds. Everywhere the plants jostle together creating drifts of colour and the weeping willow branches droop daintily down to the streams surface.

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The rocks were covered in fascinating forms of lichen and I thought of Meg who shares all the delightful flora and fauna from her part of Australia on her blog, enjoy it here, “snippets and snaps“.

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After seeing tantalising glimpses of the waterfall as I slowly savoured this magnificent garden I now stood and enjoyed the full force of its beauty.

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Restless Jo takes us on fascinating walks every week and she has a happy band of followers, so I would like to join you again this week Jo with a New Zealand garden walk.

 

Categories: garden, garden, Jo's Monday walks, New Zealand, photos, Wright's water garden | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

Just Ducking Through…

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Look what was wandering through the garden this morning. Almost camouflaged.

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He popped out to say “Hello” when he saw me.

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Of course I had to rush inside, get him some bread, and grab my camera. Can you see all the bread in the side of his beak? And look at those lovely turquoise feathers. Almost like a splash of paint.

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Then with a “quack, quack, thank you”, they meandered over to the neighbours.

Categories: Australia, birds, ducks, garden, paint, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Home From the Hills…

Back to the flat terrain of the Gold Coast.

What is the first thing I do? Go for a walk around the garden.

Would you like to come with me?

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This is the view from the kitchen window and the bottle brush is in full flower.

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Tucked away under the bush is a clump of Pentas rivalling the bottle brush in colour.

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Further round the rocket and coriander have gone to seed, but still taste good in a salad.

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The nasturtiums are climbing every where.

In front of this bed the tropical lilies are showing off.

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Above the pond the Hoya twine through the bare branches of the frangipani tree.

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Overseeing this area the Bougainvillea create a canopy of colour.

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A swamp orchid has burst into flower in the shade of the “Bali corner”.

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Peer closely at this unusual plant. It is only about 6 inches high but is deadly to any insects that come near.  Drosera Carpensis.

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Watch it here in action.

Now I will go into the front garden to see what is flowering.

Just look at the silky oak, Grevillea Robusta.

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It is covered in flowers. I wanted to have the top pruned but because it is a native it cannot be touched. I hope it doesn’t grow much taller.

Clustered around its base is the pretty pink pelargonium.

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Tucked behind is a red geranium and the lobelia and primula are still flowering on.

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Under the trees in the shade the Clivia is a burst of orange.

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Finally I stand in front of the powderpuff lily pilly ( Syzygium wilsonii ). I love the way the branches droop and drip through all the other trees and plants in this bed and each branch finishes with a burst of fluffy red.

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I hope you have enjoyed this stroll around my garden. I love this time of the year as spring is the best time. In another couple of months summer will be here and in the heat the plants will go into shut down, survival mode, and so will I…

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I’m joining Jo’s cyber walking group this week, pop over to see where every one else is taking you this week.

 

 

Categories: Australia, garden, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

Goodbye Garden…

Today we leave home for 3 weeks to do a house sit, so I went round the garden to say goodbye.

Would you like to come with me?

It is now spring over here and a beautiful time of the year. The weather is mild, 23-24deg, but it is getting dry so I hope we have some rain while we are away.

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The Rock Orchid, Dendrobium speciosum. It is just starting to open and as you can see it has lots of spikes still to open fully. It is spectacular in full flower so I hope it is still flowering when I return home.

The annual Primula and lobelia have been putting on a cheery show for weeks now, but as the weather gets hotter they will fade.

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The nasturtiums are taking over, but they are good ground cover.

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The compost bin is full and I’m sure when we return it will all be ready to spread around.

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Now round to the back garden and the bottlebrush is just starting to flower, it will be a riot of blossom while we are away.

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Finally you may like to sit for a while and watch the fish in the ponds and if you look up into the frangipani tree (which is not flowering yet) you will see tendrils of Hoyas twining through the branches covered in buds, only one is open, but they will be a show when I get back.

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Categories: garden, Goldcoast, photos, Queensland | Tags: , , , | 49 Comments

Signs of Spring.

Two days ago we had a night storm. Lightening flashed and lit up the sky, the thunder rumbled and crashed and 15 millimetres of rain soaked into the dry earth. Next morning the temperatures had risen to 27C, that is 5 above the average for August.

Now the sap is flowing. It is 4 days to the official start of spring, the buds are forming and once again the miracle of rebirth is taking place.

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The bottle brush (Callistemon) is covered in new buds.

Look closely they look like Brussel sprouts. (“They” tell us that Brussel Sprouts are the new super food)

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It is a grey and overcast day today and more rain is forecast.

I went for my walk around the garden and I will share what is happening in our patch of paradise.

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This photo shows what a grey day it is, but look at all the Grevillea buds outlined high up against the sky. This is “Moonlight” a delightful soft yellow.

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This Noisy Miner bird has found one of the Grevillea flowers already open and is tucking in to a feed of nectar. 

The noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) is a bird in the honeyeater family, and is endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia. It is a notably aggressive bird, and chasing, pecking, fighting, scolding, and mobbing occur throughout the day, targeted at both intruders and colony members. They even attack and harass the Kookaburra. Since a colony has established in this area we, sadly, no longer have the beautiful native lorikeets and Rosella visit the garden.

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Because I have been at home through the planting season for spring annuals I put a patch of Primula and lobelia along the roadside. I love the variety of colours, and can you see behind them?

The nasturtiums  self seed every year and their happy faces have colonized every bit of spare ground.

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I’m not sure if this is a member of the caterpillar family, but there are large numbers of them that seem to be eating the fungus like growth on the kale. I think the kale has reached its use by date and will be going into the compost very soon.

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The sweet perfume of this dwarf lemon wafts through the air as I walk by.  “Lot’s o’ Lemons” is a dwarf variety bred for pots and I have only had it for a short while and these are the first flowers it has had. In the past I have not had much luck growing traditional lemon trees so I am looking forward to seeing how this one survives.

Categories: Australia, garden, grevillia, photos, spring garden | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

My Garden, My Muse : Weekly Photo Challenge

Brie Anne asks us this week

So what’s your muse — what subject do you turn to frequently, more inspired each time?”

This is so easy for me to answer. I am surrounded by “my muse”. Every day I walk round the garden noticing the changes, marvelling at the beauty and colour, seeing flowers slowly fade and new ones take their place.

This morning I took my camera for a walk with me, as I often do, and these are just a few of the things I noticed.

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This apricot poinsettia has been flowering for weeks and shows no signs of wilting.

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The sun throws vibrant shadows of this crucifixion orchid on the new fence. Below it a new bud is opening to take the place of the slowly fading flower.

As the flowers come and go the foliage, in many shades and hues, fill the garden beds with colour the whole year.

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

Gertrude Jekyll

 

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These ants are only about 1 centimetre long and they were covering the flower buds on this jade plant. Do you see that other strange-looking spiky caterpillar? It is so small I only noticed it when I downloaded the photos.

Finally I went round the corner to say hello to our blue tongue lizard as he lay draped over the rock sunbathing.

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He was almost camouflaged among the bromeliads and rocks.

The glory of gardening:

hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.

To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin

Categories: Australia, garden, muse, photos, post-a-day, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 38 Comments

My Queensland garden on the first day of winter…

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The Frangipani tree knows winter is here. Only a couple of rusty leaves still cling to the top most branches. It is a true tropical native and goes into hibernation at the slightest drop in the temperature. But mostly in this Southeast corner of Queensland there is not much difference in the seasons.

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The bromeliads encircle the frangipani trunk only needing a small amount of water in the centre of their leaves to survive season after season. I recently gave Buddha a wash, it has been a wet Autumn and he was turning a delicate shade of green. Now he sits in pristine splendour and contemplates the fish pond.

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A lone lily reaches to the sun.

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It has been a good year for spiders and this guardian orb spider hangs hopefully in the Grevillea tree waiting for passing insects to be ensnared in his web. Look how big he is…

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Another timid spider hides in a leaf he has carefully curled around to make a hiding place.

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Come round with me and see how the garden grows as winter here on the Goldcoast settles in…

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The camellias are flowering well this year, thanks to the wet Autumn. In fact the garden is looking the greenest it has been for many years.

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Did you notice this pot of lettuce in the previous photo? Autumn and winter is the best time for growing vegetables, not so many bugs.

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More lettuce and the lavender starting to flower. In the back pot is a new dwarf lemon, it has been a bit of a struggle during summer with chewing things stripping the new leaves as they appear, but I think it is now on the road to recovery.

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Now I am taking you into the front garden. Sit for a while on the bench and absorb the 50 shades of green!!! In the back of the border the Euphorbia “Snowflake” has burst into an exuberant impression of a winter snow storm.

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But the Poinsettia bursts into a blaze of glory.

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Can you see that touch of vibrant red behind the poinsettia?

Now I do know the name of this one, it flowers all year round, but I’m having a seniors moment and though it is on the tip of my tongue, well I’m sure you know what I mean!!! Maybe some one can name it for me…

UPDATE…. Thanks Lyn for reminding me that the elusive name of this plant is PENTAS. They are a perennial and come in many colours.

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Remember the vegie patch Jack built for me last year? Well there it is.

Remember the kale mutilated by caterpillars? Well look at it now…

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In the background is the “blues structure” or Jack’s hideaway for his meditation.

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Known as the “blues” because sitting on the side is a small blues band that Jack created. Can you see them? Sit and listen for a while, use your imagination and sing your favourite song

The compost bin is round the corner and it is full to overflowing with all the pruning I have done since I arrived back from 2 weeks on the cruise followed by 4 weeks in New Zealand.

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These are some of the flowers still showing. Now I will take you round the side of the house into the “Bali Corner”.

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Follow me….

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These stone pillars have been constructed by Jack. There are 6 of them and they are carefully covered with gem stones, crystals, opal, agates, thunder eggs and many other beautiful stones and minerals that have been found and fossicked for all over Australia on our many trips. Then cut by Jack to reveal the amazing colours and patterns concealed inside them. It was a labour of love that took almost 6 months.

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Finally I would like to introduce you to our resident slug and snail terminator and very welcome visitor, Bluey, the blue tongue lizard.

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Well we are lucky here. It may be winter in name but it is certainly not winter as many of you living in the Northern hemisphere know it. In fact I love our mild winters. No humidity, lots of clear fresh days and cooler nights that make sleeping a pleasure tucked under an extra blanket.

Thank you for taking the time to have a look around the garden with me.

Categories: Australia, garden, Goldcoast, photos, Queensland | Tags: , , , , , | 41 Comments

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