Monday, 31 March 2008

Colourful Monday

Blue is the sky on Monday morning 7.50 am, not a cloud in sight.

The autumn sky is a clear blue, the air is already a bit crisp....beautiful!

Coleus, self sown....

Spring green fern emerging...

Easy to grow Bromeliads, Neoregelia shows her deep pink colour now....

Night blooming Succulent, flowers on and off through summer and autumn. The photos must be taken early in the morning.

Yesterday I saw a myriad of these little yellow dancers. I could only catch one...

Bromeliad, this Billbergia flowers now. The flowers are short lived but very showy.

Bromeliad, this one I use to plant borders.

Neoregelia has settled in the root fork of a Paperbark.

This Bromeliad is called Orchid, probably for the colour.

Native Cassia is a bit of a weed, a beautiful weed! Even the leaves have subtle surroundings of gold.

Green Thoughts!

I garden in a warm climate. Before I gardened in Switzerland with long winters and short summers. Now with the help of blotanical I can follow many cold climate gardeners. I feel with them, their anticipation to see the first signs of life in their gardens emerging from the earth . Small pointy, green tips looking forward to embrace sun, wind and soft rain. Quickly they develop into amazing plants in shapes and colours, the best nature can produce. What a feast for the eyes. Everything goes well, spring is emerging in all corners, the birds are back from warmer regions where they have spend the winter. Suddenly a cold spell, it snows and everything is cold and white again. One would think, the laments are beginning. Wrong. Photos are posted from all over the world with amazing, beautiful scenes. Golden Daffodils wearing little white, knitted hats of snow. Crocus sitting in the snow proudly displaying their stripes and grandly dismissing their cold feet. Shrubs, trees and fields once more covered in a snowy blanket.That's what gardening is all about always making the best of any situation. Because every gardener knows setbacks happen but are quickly overcome by progress which the garden shows on its best days.
I remember two disasters in my warm climate gardens. I think it was in 1983. In spring I had planted many Hawaiian Hibiscus with their amazing range of colours and size of flowers. they were then my main theme in the garden. The following winter was extraordinarily cold. They all succumbed to the frost. I had to cut them down to the roots. A few recovered, but most of them died.
The most I fear in my warm climate garden is hail storms. I was lucky, I didn't have to many disasters. One I remember vividly. My vegetable garden was looking great, beans were nearly ready to harvest, melons grew fat and round. Everything looked healthy and growing well. One afternoon a storm was brewing. The sky took on that particular colour, a greenish-grey which I feared. The rain started and then I heard a few bumps on our tin roof . Suddenly like an explosion, hail, not small pellets, Golf balls or bigger pelted onto the roof. The noise was ear-splitting. It went on only for about 5 minutes. When I emerged from the house I saw a disaster zone. Trees were stripped of their leaves and my vegetable garden was flattened, nothing survived. Trees and shrubs recover in a short time, they grow new leaves and flowers. Where I garden now, since 20 years, I saw a few bad hailstorms brewing, but my garden was so far never touched.

Believe it or not:

Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.

William Shakespeare

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Sunday Garden Medley

The little cradle up there is the moon at 5.50 am (well, I know it is a cradle!)

Surreal sunrise ( explanation: Billy was turning on the garden light automatically behind me, clever dog, I think.) The time 5.30 am.

The small native wasps are now taking over the Peruvian Morning Glory. They have found their dream shrub. This shrub grows on the edge where it goes up to the vegetable garden. It is good that they are so placid, not aggressive at all.

Wire sculpture created by a Star Jasmin. I thought I let it do its own creative work and have a look what it comes up with.

I like to combine shells with my pots, as we live so close to the beach. I have to place them so Billy can't reach them. He interferes with my decorating skills and carries them all over the garden.

Haworthia likes to nestle between rocks and spreads itself on the pebbles.

When a gauzy, purple butterfly,

Softly tilts a yellow flower

It's cool wings ease the summer flame,

As laughter soothes a troubled hour. Courtney.E.Cottam

Honeysuckle, Lonicera flowers on and on. I like how the buds are pink then inside white and finally turn a soft, creamy yellow.

A different Haworthia, nearly black-green an unusual colour, with shells found on the beach.

Flowering time for the Sasanquas, ethereal, papery pink blooms with prominent stamens. Very delicate looking but tough as old boots!

Root of Paperbark.

Carved Rose decorating a wall....and....

"Rosenrot" is not really the name of this Rose. I know it is a David Austin Rose, the name mmh... I think she looks quite pleased with "Rosenrot."

Believe it or not:

If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Miss Flora's Garden

Saturday 7 am mist is hovering over the Eco-Village, the sun tries to break through the clouds, a lot of humidity is in the air....autumn....see it....smell it....hear it.

My grandson Lucian, yesterday, making his garden, now in his second year at UNI, still has a love for plants.

When he was this age I wrote a story for him."Miss Flora's Garden."

Miss Flora's Garden.

On miss Flora Potter's roof
Her green thumbs showing all the proof,
Row upon row
Pots full of fancy flowers grow.
Calendula and Mariegold,
Sunflowers huge, yellow and bold,
Babiesbreath as soft as silk
Anemones like buttermilk.

One early morning again on the move,
Miss Flora Potter went up on her roof,
One heard her gasp, her eyes were wide,
Gone were her flowers her joy and pride.
Miss Flora was puzzled, in shock,
Who took away my hollyhock?
She cried and lamented was very distressed,
What should she do, who could have guessed?

She climbed down the ladder
Grabbed her hat with the feather,
A blouse with red polka dots
and a flowery skirt with forgetmenots.
So attired she strode out in a hurry
Her whole being in such a flurry,
To the empty pots a quick last glance,
With a glimmer of hope, she saw a chance.*

Azaleas are flowering now, once in spring and once in autumn. This is Mrs. Bolton, (nothing against Mrs. Bolton, but what a name for this beauty!)

I planted the Bromeliads about a month ago. I had a blue flowering groundcover but I had a lot of work because it needed all the time a haircut. This planting scheme will be easier to look after.

Her destination for today,
The police station not far away,
Behind the desk friendly and kind
The police man mister Mc'Bride.
Mister McBride had a lot to do,
He asked Miss Flora how can I help you?
She told her story quick and alert,
The flowers are gone but no one was hurt.

Mister McBride made not much of a fuss,
He listened intently like he must,
He took Miss Flora by her hand
Went back to her house where it all began.
It was short and quick a hike
On Mister McBride's motorbike.
Actually it was just a skip
She would have enjoyed a longer trip.

He took out his glasses, his notebook, his pen
and asked MissFlora how was it again?
A serious look on his kindly face,
Writing down quickly the facts of this case.*

Miss Flora Potters Garden.

Here they were blooming in splendour,
The petals so soft and tender,
White, yellow, red and pink
And when you looked closely the daisy's would wink.

The flower contest is on now,
I haven't any blooms to show,
It makes me so dreadful sad
I am upset really bad.
Miss Flora please don't upset yourself with grief,
I will find the flower thief.
He looked close at his notes and said with a grin,
I know now exactly where to begin.

See, Miss Flora I found a clue,
The imprint of a little shoe
I'll trace it further in a hurry
so you must not longer worry.

Mister McBride drove away very neat,
Miss Flora on the pillion seat,
They followed the road where children go
It leads to the school, where they are now.*

Miss Flora in shock!

The children neat and tidy,
In front stands little Heidi,
Singing with voices clear and nice
Happy Birthday, dear teacher, Miss Price.

Mister McBride knocks on the door,
The children stop singing what is this for?
Miss Flora, startled, still,
There they are on the window sill.

Her flowers blooming in splendour
The petals so soft and tender,
Her eyes with tears they blink,
She barley sees the daisy's wink.
Calendula and Mariegold,
Sunflowers huge, yellow and bold,
Love in mist, and agog,
Here is too her hollyhock.

Look and search picture....Silky Oaktree, Grevillia robusta hiding a yellow crested Cockatoo.

Children please hold your chatter,
What is all this, what is the matter?
The flowers are the cause of this
Cry the twins Meg and Liz.

Mister McBride's face very grave,
Children why don't you behave?
Who took the flowers? Be quiet Bill!
And placed them on the window sill.

This beautiful Dichorsanda thyrisiflora is easely propagated from stem cuttings.

Mexican sage, Salvia leucantha, easy to grow, flowers for month, it's a great plant to have in a mixed border.


The children now quiet and red in the face,
Knew they did something out of place.
Kate Miller held up her hand, twice,
It was for your birthday Miss Price.

You all will be punished said Mister McBride,
His eyeballs rolling his mouth set wide.
Miss Flora felt sorry, don't be to severe,
The plight of the children was weighing on her.

I have a thought, the school ground is bare,
I want you to plant many flowers there.
The children worked hard and hoed a lot,
They planted , watered and weeded the plot.
They are under Miss Floras command,
Their green thumbs are much in demand
Row upon Row
The most wonderful flowers grow.

CopyRight T.S.

Now I am happy I had my little whimsey, comes the serious stuff! Mulch...

Loads of it for the garden beds.

Believe it or not: A gardener's work is never at an end. John Evelyn 1620-1706 from Kalendarium Hortense.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Raindrops falling on my leaves

A monochrome sky on Friday, 11 am.

Bromeliad, Tillandsia Cyanea, is starting to flaunt its showy flowers, like the bracts wouldn't already be attractive enough.

Showy Penta, easy to grow, easy to propagate.

The dangerously, beautiful Thevetia belongs to the Oleander family.

We are TWINS, Euphorbia Milii, apart from the Poinsettia, the Crown of Thorns is the most grown Euphorbia.

The debutantes are still the rain. The yellow Allamanda couldn't stand it any longer and has left, she sighed...promises, promises...

Native Alexandra Palm greets the rain this morning with a new bunch of flowers.

I love this old fashioned Daylili, its colour, it's texture and the raindrops.

The papery, wet flowers of Camellia sasanqua. This Camellia doesn't mind the sun.

Curcuma sp. Someone had a seriously good meal out of this plant.

Always liked Elephant Ears, Colocasia esculenta, likes to soak up the rain. Various cultivars exist.

I like the feathery brushstrokes on these leaves. It likes to be admired in the shade.

The Lorikeets always come as couples. When they feed, their breast feathers get sticky so they go to the birdbath and wash themselves. If their is no "bathroom" around , the wet leaves of the trees are used. They are real clowns in the water, doing all these contortions until they are clean.
It is really fun to watch them.

Rainbow Lorikeet feeding on the nectar of Banksia flowers.

Angel Wing Begonia, Begonia coccinea. I love everything about this plant. It is easy to grow from cuttings. It has a graceful habit, long canes, beautiful flowers, the leaves are very attractive as well. This is a must have plant in my garden.

Thunbergia alata, Black-eyed Susan, I am watching you!

Believe it or not:

Come into the garden, Maud,

For the black bat, night, has flown

Come into the garden Maud,

I am here at the gate alone.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Maud" 1855