Thursday, 13 March 2008

An other day....autumn

A cloudless sky this morning at 7AM.

Floppy petals of Hibiscus "Elephant" ear. This Hibiscus always wants to reach the sky. As soon as I pruned it back it"s up there again. The flowers are very beautiful, big, white just with a tint of pink.

I bought vanilla beans to make vanilla sugar. I had Vanilla climate here is not really well suited...excuses!

Vanilla sugar. I whizz the whole vanilla beans with the sugar. The little bits of black one can sieve out, when using the sugar. This sugar has a really intense vanilla flavour. It is not cloying like artificial vanilla which one mostly can taste in bought patisserie.

Bromeliad, Cryptanthus, commonly called Earth stars. This ones grow for ages in this hanging pot. In summer the pot is sheltered from to much sun by a grape vine. In winter when the grape vine looses its leaves the earth stars benefit from more sun which is not as fierce in winter.

In autumn new Banksia flowers are emerging. This is the Coast Banksia and grows very well in my garden, it doesn't mind heat, wet or dry times. Banksias belong to the Protea family.
They are named after
Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS (13 February 174319 June 1820) was an English naturalist, botanist and science patron. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage (1768–1771) and around 80 species bear Banks' name. He is credited with the introduction to the Western world of eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa, and the genus named after him, Banksia.
(exerpt from Wikipedia)

A seed pod coastal Banksia. They have to be burned to open the little chambers to release the seeds.

Galahs feeding. Cracking open the "stone hard" seedpods of a Sheoak or Casuarina. They are very hardy yet graceful looking trees. Some species have a "weeping" habit and look spectacular. I love them!

Serene and quiet.

Believe it or not: Parsley flourishes where the missus is master. (look at my parsley.)

Music to listen: The Best of Kiri Te Kanawa, Hoki Hoki Tonu Mai, Kiris songs are balm for heart and soul.
Books I read: The complete Book of Great Australian Women by Susanna De Vries.
Africa House by Christina Lamb, revised ed. published 2004

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