Posts Tagged With: Goldcoast

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

The angles of the Swell Festival…

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The  Swell Festival is here again. This is the 13th year it has created  an open air, free, art and sculpture installation for 10 days on the glorious Currumbin Beach.

It is quirky, it is fun and it is set against a backdrop of sea, sand and sun

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There are 56 installations this year from Australia and all over the world.

This is called “Googlemon”, Scott Maxwell, the creator, asks you to “weave around the space, head south, find the “sweet spot” and it will all come together”

 I wandered around it looking from all angles. And I thought of Ailsa’s travel theme.

Suddenly, there it was…

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In your face… If you have a spare $18,000 you can put this in your garden.

I will come back later and show you more of these amazing sculptures.

Categories: angles, Australia, Goldcoast, photos, swell festival, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Gold Coast Icons,

Change is inevitable. I look around and see it happening. So before these Icons have gone and been replaced with bigger and better (often debatable) I decided to take my camera for a ride on the light rail/G.link to Surfers Paradise and walk around to show you what is here at the moment.

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This is Pacific Fair at Broadbeach. It opened in 1977 and at that time grew to be the major shopping centre on the Gold Coast. It was the jewel in the crown and a major tourist attraction.

“Pacific Fair opened in 1977 on what was swampland with just 96 specialty stores and two anchor tenants. Since then, Pacific Fair has undergone numerous expansions and grew to have more than 300 specialty stores and four anchor tenants.” (Wikipedia)

But gradually new shopping precincts opened. Robina muscled into the market. Brighter, bigger and all air-conditioned it made Pacific Fair look tired and out dated.

 So in January 2014, work began on a major redevelopment project to meet the predicted regional growth on the Gold Coast. Shoppers will be lured back to ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers from online shopping when the $670 million transformation of Pacific Fair is complete.

Take a look at what is coming….

Click on the following link for a fly-through of the proposed revamp.

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/pacific-fairs-670m-revamp-set-to-make-broadbeach-shopping-centre-a-mustsee-destination/story-fnj94idh-1226785865380

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This is the new look. What do you think? I prefer the previous frontage, as seen in the top photo. I think it has character and a certain style. This new (improved?) look to me is just a generic clone of commercial buildings, all square and chunky, no finesse…

Just a short stroll along the highway, negotiating the crossings and avoiding the trains, is Jupiter’s Casino.

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Jupiter’s Casino was opened in 1986 and has had 2 major renovations in 2006 and 2012.

The seven acre complex includes eight bars, seven restaurants, conference facilities, a ballroom, theatre, health spa, gym, and a monorail which connects the property to the Oasis Shopping Centre across the road. The hotel, with 594 rooms, stands 66 metres (216 feet) and has 21 floors.

But look what is coming…

This is an artists impression of the 6 star hotel complex that is to be built.

JUPITERS Hotel & Casino is embracing the great outdoors with work on the first stage of its $345 million transformation finally under way.  It is expected to be finished before the 2018 Commonwealth Games start.

I hop back onto the G. Link and hop off again at Surfers Paradise, a 5 minute ride.

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Across the road is the famous “Hard Rock Café” sign, but a sign of the times is the “for lease” sign in the window. Business has been hard for the traders in this area as the light rail took 3 years of disruption to construct and many shops simply closed the doors and walked away.

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Caville Avenue is the main pedestrian shopping and tourist mall in Surfers Paradise, but look how empty and quiet it is. The beach is just at the end of this mall.

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Mid-week and it is almost deserted. This is the iconic sign that must feature in millions of photos that go around the world.

The yellow life savers hut, yellow and red flags marking the safe to swim areas and the life savers on duty are icons I hope will never change.

Remember it is still winter,  the weather is glorious, but where are all the people…

Time to head back home…

This is Burleigh Beach and this is where the people are, well a few,  look at all the sun bathers…

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Back home and a walk along Burleigh Beach. In the distance, across the sparkling ocean, the iconic outline of the hi-rises of Surfers Paradise line the horizon. The highest spike, in the centre of the row of buildings is Q1. Last week we visited it and from the top viewing deck could see all the way to this beach. But already there are plans in the pipe line to build another apartment block even higher than Q1.

So change is inevitable…

Well here I am, it is Monday and I am joining Jo’s Monday cyber walking group. I made it on the day, just…

       

Categories: Australia, beach, Burleigh, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, Pacific Fair, photos, Queensland, Surfer's Paradise | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Brisbane, city of the future…

Take a look at what is coming…

Click on this link to see images and a video of the proposed “Super City”

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/brisbane-casino-what-echo-entertainment-development-will-look-like/story-fnn8dlfs-1227449577697

It was announced last night. They promise more jobs, more tourists and it is going to be world-class.

So what do you think? Will it entice you to come here?

Don’t forget the beautiful Gold Coast is only 100 kilometres south and we are hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It is going to be an exciting future…

Categories: Australia, Brisbane, Goldcoast, Queensland | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

On top of the world…

Surfers Paradise is a tourist mecca on the Gold Coast of Australia.  An influx of 10 million visitors pour in every year to soak up the sun, play in the surf and enjoy the many attractions. Locals tend to stay away from this “glitter strip”.

We are just 2 of the 515,000 people that live here permanently. How often is it that when you live in an area it is not explored or appreciated. We have travelled extensively all over this huge country. I am always planning the next adventure. So while we are home for a short while I thought it was time I discovered some of the attractions closer to home.

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 We parked our bikes then rode this new form of transport, the new light rail, “G-link” that, after 4 years of very disruptive construction, opened for business one year ago this week. Come for a ride with me.

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The destination today is to visit “Q1” (Queensland number 1) Opened in 2005 for a while it was the tallest residential building in the world.

At 77 stories and 322.5 m (1,058 ft) and with a roof height of 245 m (804 ft), Q1 now qualifies as the world’s third[dated info] tallest all-residential building when measured to the top of its structural point (spire),[7] (Wikipedia information)

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It is a beautiful day for walking and as we walk toward Q1, surrounded by the other towering apartments, I notice the parking police are vigilant and I am pleased we came on public transport. That 3 story “walk-up” apartment in the photo below, is one of the older style accommodation blocks. 

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The media have been forecasting “Arctic conditions” as a low pressure belt sweeps up the coast. Inland the temperatures have dropped to single digits and snow is falling. Last night it dropped to 3C, and I snuggled under an extra blanket, but apart from a slightly cooler breeze it is now a warm 19C here.

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Look up….

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Now that is impressive…

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We take the fast lift that whisks us up 77 stories in almost the blink of an eye. But there is another way to get to the top…

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Here are a group of intrepid troopers ready to scale the outside. I think it will be cool and breezy up there.

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The observation deck circles 360 degrees round the 77th floor and the views are stunning.

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Looking south I can just see our Burleigh Beach.

Before the 1920’s this was an area of swamp or as it is now called “wetlands” and known as Elston. Then in 1933 a man with a keen eye for promotion, Jim Cavill, with the support of locals, lobbied hard until the place name Elston was changed to the more glamorous Surfers Paradise.

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The land was drained and the swamp converted into canals.

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Looking north the canals open out into the Broadwater, a playground for boaties and fishermen

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Far, far below I can just make out the ant-like figures of people enjoying the beach.

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It is not too busy today, it is mid-week and of course it is winter!!!!

400 people are allowed on the observation deck, but it is not that crowded today.

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Looking up I see one of the climbers peering down at us. See how far they went up…

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Time to go back down. There is a dining area and a cafeteria but we have decided to have Indian for lunch. There is no shortage of choice in Surfers Paradise and as we walk by mainly empty restaurants, I wonder how they all manage to survive.

This looks interesting so in we go…

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We are the only customers, but the meal is delicious.

Before we take the “G” back home we walk down to the beach and watch the activity going on.

This is a classic case of “land meets water” on my walk around Surfers Paradise. So I will link this post to Ailsa’s travel theme, and Jo’s Monday walks (even though it is Friday. Maybe I can be early for next weeks Jo!!)

Categories: Australia, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, land meets water, Q1, Queensland, Surfer's Paradise, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

A walk in a Botanic Garden???…

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The Gold Coast Botanic Gardens were established in 2003. When I first visited in 2006 it was still in the developing stages. Since then I’ve visited many Botanic Gardens all round Australia, so it is time I went back to see how our own Botanic Garden compares. 

I was disappointed. This is a lovely parkland with a large lake system and board walks crisscrossing them. But look closer and the water ways are clogged with the invasive Salvinia weed.

 

There were large grassed areas, ideal for picnics and play areas. It was the school holidays and families were enjoying the beautiful sunny day. Children were running, biking, riding scooters and having a great time.

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Notice the Salvinia on this part of the lake? It could easily be mistaken for an extension of the lawn area.

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Further round the water was clear of the weed and look at the reflections.

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Swans, moorhens and ducks enjoyed this part of the lake system.

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A few attractive sculptures of native animals and birds were dotted around.

Further round a sensory garden with raised beds was a riot of colour for sight, another had a herb bed for smell. But it all seemed a bit uncoördinated and also needed some maintenance. Maybe I am being a bit unfair as it is winter and not the best time to view gardens.

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Tucked away at the back of the gardens I found the fountain… I did my best to take a decent photo, but I don’t think I succeeded. It was not very inspiring.

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I found a bench (actually there were a lot of benches dotted around the lakes) and I sat for a while thinking about these gardens. Am I being biased by all the other gardens I have seen? Maybe. Somehow it just doesn’t seem to qualify for the “Botanic” tag. It is a lovely “park” and fits the criteria for that label. But there isn’t that extra attention to detail, not many plants and trees labelled, no unique areas of special plant collections. As for the café, oh dear… I didn’t even take a photo. It was squashed onto a narrow deck around the side of the small information building. Only 4 small tables and hardly any room to squeeze past each table. Thankfully I had brought along a thermos and sandwiches…

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Despite being disappointed with how the gardens have developed it was still a pleasant days outing. I think I will come again in another season. October/November is the best time for sub-tropical gardens, before the heat of summer sets in.

I was expecting to be more impressed. I think maybe the council do not think giving money for a Botanic Garden is very high on their list of priorities.

Come over to visit “Restless Jo” she is our intrepid leader and inspires people from all over the globe to join her cyber walking group each week.

Categories: Australia, Gold Coast Botanic Garden, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos | Tags: , , , , | 34 Comments

Thursday Challenge : Street Photography

I have just discovered this “challenge” when I saw blogging friend Tish had put in a post, and it is a beauty, such happy smiling faces. (Take a look at it here)

So it has intrigued me.

I enjoy following along with Yvette and love her street portrait themes so when I noticed she was the guest blogger for Paula I couldn’t resist joining in.

Sorry folks I am a day late…

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When taking photos for a post about my suburb of the Gold Coast, Burleigh, this stranger saw me pointing my camera in her general direction and started a happy, spontaneous dance. I just love it…

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Further around and along the beach front this lovely lady in the coffee nook saw me point my camera and gave me a big smile and the victory sign. (This is part of a Monday walk with Jo).

I may be home for a while so will enjoy joining in these challenges.

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Categories: Burleigh, Goldcoast, photos, Street photography, Thursday Challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 27 Comments

Off- Season Lifestyle Decisions….

It is now 18 months since Matilda left us.

Goodbye Matilda

Goodbye Matilda

The decision was made not to buy another vehicle straight away as the next year, 2014, was to be spent house sitting. It was a fun and interesting year driving all different types of OP vehicles from an old rusty, manual, 4WD Land cruiser , a neat, zippy Hyundai Getz to an almost new Mazda 6 with all the bells and whistles.

Then early in 2015 it was cruising to New Zealand and 4 weeks spent over there.

Back home, still without a car, I now use my faithful “Giant” bike to get around. This is the first time in over 60 years that I have not had a vehicle.

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The shopping centre is only a 20 minute ride, the beach is 5 minutes straight along the end of the road  and the library is 10 minutes in the other direction. With 2 good saddlebags to hold the groceries and any other equipment I need to carry, plenty of off-road bike tracks and flat roads, not a hill in sight, biking is a breeze. It is also off-season on the Gold Coast so not so much traffic on the roads.

There are lots of benefits to biking. Keeps me fit, no parking problems and saving lots of money.

There are also a few cons. Windy weather,  rain and it can get very hot in the summer time. These are only minor annoyances. The other option is to use the bus.

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Without a car more time is needed to get from A to B and planning is necessary. Bus time tables must be studied, extra time allowed if an appointment is to be met. Life slows down to the speed of my wheels.

BUT all that is to change…

Watch this space…

Categories: Australia, biking, photos | Tags: , , , | 36 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

CALAMITY, catastrophic caterpillars.

 

Oh dear what a disaster and disappointment. Overnight the kale crop has almost been decimated by dozens of greedy green caterpillars.

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How did they infiltrate through the netting I so carefully put in place?

I’m devastated. Carefully I pick as many off as I can find and feed them to the fish.

Look at the lettuce.

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Despite all my loving attention they are bolting off to seed.

Then I walk round to the back garden and my lovely big Cycad is in tatters. A small blue moth has laid its bugs which are now powering through the fronds.

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With all the rain we have had and the heat and humidity the garden is a breeding ground for all kinds of voracious bugs and beetles.

But there are still some highlights to bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart.

Look at the sunflowers…

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I can see a little ray of sunshine peeping out of the green foliage. So far so good.

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The bat plant loves this hot humid weather and has rewarded me with this amazing flower. 

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In the shade of the frangipani tree the Hoya winds its tendrils around and today I noticed this delicate beauty. The first of the summer display.

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Another Heliconia has come into flower. This is a dwarf variety, I think it is called Red Christmas. It only grows to approximately three-foot where the other varieties tower up to six-foot and over.

Gardening is always a mine field of ups and downs. Challenges and rewards that make gardening an endlessly absorbing addiction.

Finally I would like to show you this strange-looking flower. Can any one identify it for me?

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In August 2012 we stayed in a camp ground in a small town called Pine Creek in the central out back area. As we walked round the town I noticed a lady watering her garden and we hung over her fence chatting.

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It was a riot of colour and stood out from all the other dry, dusty out back gardens along the street.

I commented on the strange-looking red flower growing profusely around her garden and like all generous natured gardeners around the world she gave me some seeds.

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I carefully carried them back home and eventually the seeds were scattered in a pot, then moved into the garden and true to what that generous lady told me, they grew like weeds and are now spreading all over my garden. I did take a note of their name but that bit of paper disappeared.

Can anyone help me?

Thanks to Toni , one of my blogging buddies, I have found out that this plant is cocks comb. this is what Google says

“Cockscomb flowers are also known as Wool Flowers or Brain Celosia, suggestive of a highly colored brain. The flowers belong to the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. Cockscomb blooms with a compacted crested head 2-5 inches across, on leafy stems that are 12-28 inches long. The flower’s name is suggestive of a rooster’s comb. The Cockscomb flower blooms from late summer through late fall. The Celosia plant is an annual dicotyledon.” (For more information click here)

Categories: Australia, garden, Goldcoast, Northern Territory, photos, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , , | 53 Comments

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