Posts Tagged With: Queensland

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.

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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

Travel Theme : Wild Wind

Queensland is the sunshine state, beautiful one day, perfect the next.

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The lake at the end of my street is placid, with just a few ripples to ruffle the surface and the air is still.

But Australia has a capricious weather system and it can show its violent side.

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 The storm clouds can roll in from the distant hinterland, dark and foreboding. The wind builds and boils to a ferocious storm.

In the garden the palm fronds bend and twist in a frantic dance to the accompaniment of the wind and lashing rain.

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Branches snap and fall unable to withstand the cyclonic force of nature.

At the beach the ocean is whipped into a frenzy of foam and spray.

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The Pandanus tree, unable to bear the destructive winds, topple and fall.

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This country is subject to intense changes in weather patterns and Ailsa’s “wind” theme made me think of the storms that occasionally lash our coast with disastrous consequences.

Categories: Australia, photos, Queensland, storms, travel theme, wind | Tags: , , , , , | 29 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Vivid

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In Coolangatta, a normally sedate, seaside suburb, on the border between Queensland and New South Wales, the streets were closed to traffic and today the town erupted into a mass celebration of colour, music and nostalgia from that great era of rock-n-roll, the 50’s and 60’s. Thousands of hot rods, custom cars and classic vehicles lined the stunning beachfront

Cooly Rocks On” had hit town.

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Thousands flocked in from all points of the compass. Accent’s from all around the world could be heard joining in the singing and the bouffant skirts showing layers of frilled lace petticoats twirled and flipped to the iconic music of Bill Haley and company. For a day I was transported back to a time when I was a teenager.

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It was time to shake the creases out of the colourful retro clothes of the 50’s and parade around town. Remember those stockings  held up with a garter belt? No panty hose back then, they had a back seam that was notoriously hard to keep straight. I think this lady may have drawn her seam on… 

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So much vivid colour and every where things to bring back memories. Remember the old style skates? I do…

Even a sighting of Elvis, the King…

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 This year is the first time since 2009 that we have seen this rock-n-roll extravaganza. We have been on the road every year since then and especially during our winter we would leave town. It has become much bigger, more cars, more people, but still the same happy, colourful atmosphere. Click here to take a trip back in time to the previous “Cooly Rocks On” or as it was called back then “Winter Sun”

Categories: Australia, Cooly rocks on festival, photos, post-a-day, Queensland, vivid, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 43 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

Weekly Photo Challenge : Rule of Thirds

 

This week Jen has challenged us to compose our subject off-center, obeying the Rule of Thirds.

The Rule of Thirds is a photography concept that puts the subject of the photograph off-center, which usually results in blank space in the rest of the image. If you focus closely on your subject and use a wide aperture, your photograph’s background will also be beautifully blurred in that blank space. The blurred area behind your focal point is referred to as bokeh.

So when it stopped raining I headed into the garden to experiment with the cameras settings. I think some worked, (some were a woeful failure, and I won’t show you those)..

Grevillea Ned Kelly

Grevillea Ned Kelly

Anthurium

Anthurium

Water Lily

Water Lily

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Plumbago

Plumbago

Fungus

Fungus

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Update on the storm.

Cyclone Marcia caused terrible devastation where she came to land as a category 5 cyclone.

 “The BOM said Marcia had weakened to a Category Two cyclone, with sustained winds of 110km/h (72mph) and gusts of up to 155km/h.

It was about 60km west of the town of Gladstone, Queensland and 65km north-northeast of Biloela, and moving south-southeast at 18 kmh but expected to weaken below cyclone strength by Saturday morning.” (For more information and photos go here to the BBC news report)

Hundreds of people in the central Queensland area are now homeless with their homes torn apart and large areas are without power. Thankfully there is no loss of life or major injuries. As it moved south it gradually lost power and by the time it reached Brisbane it was classed as a tropical low, lots of rain and some flooding, but the winds had dropped. It then veered out to sea away from our corner of Queensland. We had approx. 200mm of rain over 3 days, but no wind. As you can see in the flower photos they are flourishing in the rain.

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Categories: Australia, flowers, Goldcoast, photos, post-a-day, Queensland, rule of thirds, storms, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Storm Warning…

 

 Storm warnings are in place for this coast line as Tropical Cyclone Marcia bears down on us. She is due to land later today approx. 600 to 700 kilometres north of here. Then over the next 24 hours she will head our way.

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Cyclone Marcia has formed off Queensland’s coast and is expected to intensify to make landfall as a category two cyclone early on Friday.

Between 200 millimetres and 500 millimetres of rain is expected to be dumped between Thursday and Saturday on a massive stretch of Queensland’s coast, from St Lawrence to the southern border.

Some areas could get more than 300 millimetres in 24 hours and a flood watch is current for the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast, and the Darling Downs and Granite Belt District forecast districts.

About 200 swift-water staff have been prepositioned for the event.

Gusts of up to 125 kilometres an hour, flash floods, high tides, beach erosion, possible tornadoes and powerful surf are expected from tomorrow to Saturday. (ABC News report)

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When I woke this morning I could hear the ocean pounding and roaring. It was just past high tide and it is another 24 hours before the cyclone reaches here. I grabbed my raincoat and camera and went down to Burleigh Beach

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It was grey and overcast, the wind was whipping up the ocean into a maelström of angry waves.

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Not 3 metre high yet, the storm front is still approx. 600 to 700 kilometres north. But this is just the forerunner of what is to come. It is forecast to reach 3 metre+ swells tomorrow.

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The life guards are already here to close the beaches

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This surf is far too dangerous for swimmers or surfers. The rips will drag out to sea any one silly enough to venture in.

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I think this family may be here for their holiday and they are determined to give their son a beach sand castle building experience. (I wonder if they have seen the sand sculptures at Surfers Paradise)

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Other beach walkers, like me, capture the churning ocean. Most I notice are using their phones as their camera.

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Every time these “weather events” (as the media now call them) strike, the surging ocean washes away the sand. This man is looking at the start of the beach erosion. Previous storms have created 6 to 10 foot drops were the sand has been washed out to sea. (see them here)

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A favourite pastime for many locals is coming down to the beach for a run or walk and followed by a reviving cup of coffee.

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Of course it is also a favourite place to walk the dog. I think this little fellow is telling them to hurry up…

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This is a lovely part of Queensland and that hill is Burleigh Heads National Park, but it is starting to spit with rain so I won’t go along the headland track today. (If you would like to see what it is like on a sunny day click here)

As I write this post it is raining and the wind is getting stronger. I have tucked all my pot plants away in a protected corner. Now will just wait to see what tomorrow brings…

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G’day Jo I would like to join your cyber walking group this week and show you the angry side of my home turf. Click here and come over with me to visit the other walkers from around the world.

Categories: Australia, beach, Burleigh, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos, Queensland, storms | Tags: , , , , , | 74 Comments

Surfer’s, sea, sun, sand and sand sculptures…

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What better way to spend a sunny Sunday. It’s mid summer and we live in Australia’s tourist mecca. The beach is crowded with beautiful tanned bodies and the ocean is the perfect place to cool down.

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The Gold Coast has 40 kilometres of pristine beaches and it’s not often we come to Surfer’s Paradise, preferring our own, usually, less crowded beach at Burleigh, but this weekend we have been drawn here to see the annual sand sculpting competition

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We first pass Peter Pan and Tinkerbell who are sheltering inside the Paradise Centre. Then it is out into the heat to join the crowds admiring the rest of the displays.

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The winner

AFTER three days of battle, a New South Wales person has been crowned the 2015 Australian Sand Sculpting Champion.

Jino van Bruinessen was awarded the title on the Surfers Paradise Foreshore yesterday for his sculpture of Winnie the Pooh and friends.

Interpreting this year’s theme of ‘Magical Friendships’ featuring Disney, the winning sculpture weighed in at more than 10 tonnes and took around 26 hours to create.

Bruinessen pocketed $2500 and also won a second trophy for the People’s Choice Award.

Here are some of the other entries.

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One of the sculptors is still putting her finishing touches to her creation.

No additives are put into the sand, only water. The sand is a heavy grade, also known as “brickies sand” and it comes from the mouth of rivers. It has more squarish grains and will stick together better than the fine sand found on the beaches.

 The finished sculpture is sprayed with an environmentally-friendly biodegradable spray that gives them a water resistant coating.

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This little fairy is fascinated with them.

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I took this photo of the beach and when I downloaded onto the computer I discovered more sand creations. Can you see them?

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I can’t make out what the one on the right is. Any suggestions?

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These young Asian girls have just been out for a surfing lesson. Those are big boards for them to handle.

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Late afternoon and the sun slowly sinks behind the hi-rise buildings giving some welcome relief in the shade.

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It has been an interesting afternoon but I can see the golden arches of Macdonald’s tucked in among the hi-rise buildings.

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Time for a coffee and an ice cream sundae before heading home.

Categories: Australia, beach, photos, Queensland, Sand sculpture competition, Surfer's Paradise | Tags: , , , , | 47 Comments

Sunflowers and then the rain…

Welcome to South-East Queensland.

For days the sun has shone and the heat rose to a steamy, humid, almost unbearable 34C.

It didn’t cool down much during the night. The hottest night in 10 years the media told us. They also said 83% of Brisbane households have an air conditioner, and they estimated nearly all of them were turned on.

We are in the 17% that do not have an air conditioner. It was a difficult night….

But the sunflowers love this weather.

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Then today the storm came. Torrential rain, thunder and lightning

sunflowers and rain pc 010_4000x3000It poured down in sheets and bounced and swirled along the driveway.

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The fish ponds over flowed.

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The paved area round the side of the house became a mini lake.

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And the rain forest area lived up to its name.

I will now be able to roll the hose up and put it away for a few days.

 

Categories: Australia, garden, Queensland, storms, tropical garden | Tags: , , , , , | 56 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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