Wednesday, 30 April 2008


Evolvolus pilosus, blue daze, does like a sunny, dry spot. I have planted out large areas also partly in the shade, grows well, flowers practically all year round. From time to time they need a haircut.

Cuphea rosea lavender lace is an excellent groundcover.

White Cuphea as groundcover and a self sown daylili peeks out.

I use a lot of Bromeliads as ground covers. I have a fairly shaded garden so they do very well as long as they get enough sunlight to get the good colours.

From my trees, I have many, I collect all the shed leaves, twice a year. Australian native trees shed leaves in spring and exotic tree shed theirs in autumn. I use all the dry leaves in my garden also to suppress weeds from growing. I am not so much plagued with weeds any more. Now I have only a couple of areas where I have to be vigilant, the sunny areas are much more prone to weeds.

Bromeliad Aechmea Orlandiana, brilliant red bracts with yellow flowers. The edges of this plant are saw like and sharp. One has to be careful when handling this one. Nevertheless it is a splendid ground cover. Also when not in flower it is an attractive plant.

Spend Camellia flowers falling to the ground can look attractive for a short time

Varigated Bromeliad, Aechmea Apocalyptica has striking flowers pink tipped sky blue. This is a very good plant to use as a groundcover. It is easily propagated from pubs growing on the side of the mother plant. The leaves are smooth it grows well but is not invasive.

Rhoeo bermudensis variegata now renamed Tradescantia spathacea variegata. This is an excellent groundcover also easily to propagate. It prefers to grow in half shade.

This Platypus was made by Lilli. It should hang on a wall but it has found a home in the herb garden leaning against a rock

The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. It is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record.
The bizarre appearance of this egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate fraud. It is one of the few venomous mammals; the male Platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the Platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognizable and iconic symbol of Australia; it has appeared as a mascot at national events and is featured on the reverse of the Australian 20 cent coin.
Until the early 20th century it was hunted for its fur, but it is now protected throughout its range. Although captive breeding programs have had only limited success and the Platypus is vulnerable to the effects of pollution, it is not under any immediate threat.

This attractive Vriesia works also well as a groundcover. Propagates well from pups. Vriesias generally like to grow in the shade.

Mexican Sage, Salvia leucantha is strictly speaking not a ground cover. I have found if it is planted densely it does a good enough job in this regard, and it is such a beautiful, hardy plant in full sun. I propagates easily from cuttings or from root divisions.

I saw this lovely moth sticking to my "dotty" pants, in the morning when I went out to hang out the washing. I was so pleased when I saw this pretty night flyer I had to get the camera and it was obliging. I think, what you see, sees you too!

Bromeliad Neoregelia with smooth leaves. If it gets enough sun it colours well with lime green blotches. This one too I have propagated from pups many times.

Rhoeo also renamed to Tradescantia spathacea. The underside of the leaves is dark purple. A good reliable groundcover that increases reasonable well and is also easy to propagate from small plantlets that grow on the side of the mother plant.

Sansevieria trivasciata dwarf Silver Hahnii makes an attractive, hardy and quickly growing groundcover.

Neoregelia is a supberb groundcover. Deep red nests in flowering time, quick growing and increasing for covering big aereas.

Helichrysum italicum is a silver grey groundcover susceptible to wet feet! Propagates well from fresh cuttings.

Erigeron groundcover, perennial, sets seed, this plant can make good thick mats with myriads of daisy flowers. It also threads itself, if you let it, through other plants and looks always attractive and never without flowers.

Believe it or not:

Any man that walks the mead In bud, or blade, or bloom, may find a meaning suited to his mind.~Alfred Tennyson

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sun and Shadow

Sun and shadows mark a scented day,
Bold fingered strokes tremble and fade away,
Sun dazzled petals glisten and wait,
For a lingering breeze to let them play

Copyright Trudi S. April 08

Softly, softly morning is approaching.

The leaves of the Cuban Royal Palm cast a grass like shadow on the massive trunk.

Alexandra Palm leaf reflecting sun and shade.

Archontophoenix alexandrae (Alexander palm, Alexandra palm, King Alexander palm, King palm, Northern bangalow palm; syn. Ptychosperma alexandrae F.Muell.) is a palm native to Australia. It is often used as an ornamental plant

Waiting for the sun...

Tropical Climber catching the sun in its shaded corner.

Sunlight playing with camellia leaves.

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, towards winter the ends of the leaves colour dark red, sun and shade play on its thick, fleshy leaves.

This small orchid climbs all over the pot. At this time of year it bears many of these tiny blushed flowers. On the label it says: L.Milleri BLrichard Mueller (4N) It hangs in a rather flat pot in semi shade.

Tree aloe with diamonds...

A blue banded bumblebee is enjoying the nectar of a Russelia sitting in the shade and catching a little sun light.

Succulent with "curls" has its leaves xrayed!

The fresh growth of this Dendrobium Orchid hanging from a branch makes most of the temporary sunlight.

I know this Cypress bt the name of Lucasi. Boldly displaying sun and shadow.

Believe it or not:

Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest. ~Douglas William Jerrold, about Australia, A Land of Plenty

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Flowers speak any language

This morning a forgetmenot blue sky with two black birds. I didn't think I got them on my picture as they were so fast, but...alas here they are!

A yellow rose in the garden for the blind people.

Plenty of Juniper berries were still ripening. Make your own GandT!

Silver Thistles.
Pink and red Geraniums, a house in the Toggenburg.

Cow bells have embroidery of swiss mountain flowers like Edelweiss and Enzian.

Hotel Schweizerhof on Lake Vierwaldstaetten had a wonderful display of Roses and window boxes filled to the brim with flowering plants.

Our hotel in the middle of Paris had the windows decorated with red Geraniums and Ivy.This is a really nice hotel to stay. The rooms are decorated with antiques and beautiful paintings of flowers.
An early "tasse au chocolat chaud" busy Gare de l'Est Paris, displaying greenery on the windowsills.

The bridges in Strassbourg France were planted with flowery, green and grey leaved plants, it looked so summery so it was already September.

In Loule, Algarve, I saw these small honey pots decorated with hand painted flowers.

In Silvias Loule garden was this fantastic palm displaying flowers of an intense orange.

Small blown glass flowers decorate a balcony on the Island of Murano.

Mainly the ornamental, wrought iron balconies are full of flowering pot plants.

This grand Palazzo has window boxes planted with red Geraniums.

The small balcony of this house looks lush with flowering plants in pots.

Believe it or not:
One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns, The Passing Show

Friday, 18 April 2008

A super duper healthy DIY MUESLI

This morning the sky looks blue. While taking this photo I can feel some raindrops. Now at lunchtime the whole valley is lashed by heavy squalls of rain.

A nourishing, healthy breakfast makes the day.

Organic eggs, preferably from your own happy, free range chickens. Mine are called Angelina,(little angels).

And some flowers on the breakfast table. This Epiphillum , I saw this morning, is the first to open silvery, pink petals.

Organic Ingredients for DIY Muesli:
250 g oats
100 g almonds ground
2 tbl spoons lecithin granules not GM
2 tbl.spoons linseed meal
50 g raisins
50 g sultanas
50 g pepitas ground
50 g sunflowers ground
50 g desiccated coconut
50 g rye flakes
50 g barley flakes
Mix it all together and keep it in the fridge in a closed container.
Soak the portion to be used in some milk over night to soften the flakes.
Sweeten with organic sugar or honey.
Mixed Muesli. You can add fruits or berries different nuts and yogurt for breakfast.
3-4tbl.spoons per person.
It is said: More than half of everything we eat introduces some pesticides into the body.


Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. New Zealand flax is only distantly related to flax, although they bear a similar name. Flax is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent.[1] It was extensively cultivated in ancient Egypt.
It is an erect annual plant growing to 1.2 m tall, with slender stems. The leaves are glaucous green, slender lanceolate, 20-40 mm long and 3 mm broad. The flowers are pure pale blue, 15-25 mm diameter, with five petals. The fruit is a round, dry capsule 5-9 mm diameter, containing several glossy brown seeds shaped like an apple pip, 4-7 mm long.
In addition to the plant itself, flax may refer to the unspun fibres of the flax plant.

[edit] Uses
Flax is grown both for its seeds and for its fibers. Various parts of the plant have been used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets and soap. It is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.
[edit] Flax seed

Flax seed
Flax seedNutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 530 kcal 2230 kJ
28.88 g
- Sugars 1.55 g
- Dietary fiber 27.3 g
42.16 g
18.29 g
Thiamin (Vit. B1) 1.644 mg
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.161 mg
Niacin (Vit. B3) 3.08 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.985 mg
Vitamin B6 0.473 mg
Folate (Vit. B9) 0 μg
Vitamin C 0.6 mg
Calcium 255 mg
Iron 5.73 mg
Magnesium 392 mg
Phosphorus 642 mg
Potassium 813 mg
Zinc 4.34 mg
Percentages are relative to USrecommendations for adults.Source: USDA Nutrient database
Flax seeds come in two basic varieties, brown and yellow or golden, with most types having similar nutritional values and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called Linola or solin, which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3. Although brown flax can be consumed as readily as yellow, and has been for thousands of years, it is better known as an ingredient in paints, fibre and cattle feed. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed or linseed oil; it is one of the oldest commercial oils and solvent-processed flax seed oil has been used for centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing.
One tablespoon of ground flax seeds and three tablespoons of water may serve as a replacement for one egg in baking by binding the other ingredients together. Ground flax seeds can also be mixed in with oatmeal, yogurt, wafer (similar to Metamucil), or any other food item where a nutty flavour is appropriate. Flax seed sprouts are edible, with a slightly spicy flavour. Excessive consumption of flax seeds can cause diarrhea.[2]
Though flax seeds are chemically stable while whole, ground whole seeds or oils become rancid much more quickly upon exposure to oxygen, and require special storage (generally refrigeration or in sealed packaging) to remain nutritious for even a short period of time.[3][edit] Possible medical benefits
Main article: Linseed oil#Nutritional supplement
Flax seeds contain high levels of lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans may benefit the heart, possess anti-cancer properties and studies performed on mice found reduced growth in specific types of tumours. Initial studies suggest that flaxseed taken in the diet may benefit individuals with certain types of breast[4][5] and prostate cancers.[6] Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels.[7] There is some support for the use of flax seed as a laxative due to its dietary fiber content[2] though excessive consumption without liquid can result in intestinal blockage.[8] Consuming large amounts of flax seed can impair the effectiveness of certain oral medications, due to its fiber content.[8]
Raw flax seed contains the chemical hydrogen cyanide (HCN) or cyanogenic glucosides which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.[9]
[edit] Flax fibers
Flax fibers are amongst the oldest fiber crops in the world. The use of flax for the production of linen goes back 5000 years. Pictures on tombs and temple walls at Thebes depict flowering flax plants. wikipedia


The white, fleshy part of the seed is edible and used fresh or dried in cooking.
Sport fruits are also harvested, primarily in the Philippines, where they are known as macapuno. They are sold in jars as "gelatinous mutant coconut" cut into balls or strands.
The cavity is filled with coconut water which contains sugar, fibre, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Coconut water provides an isotonic electrolyte balance, and is a highly nutritious food source. It is used as a refreshing drink throughout the humid tropics and is also used in isotonic sports drinks. It can also be used to make the gelatinous dessert nata de coco. Mature fruits have significantly less liquid than young immature coconuts; barring spoilage, coconut water is sterile until opened.
Coconut milk is made by processing grated coconut with hot water or milk, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It should not be confused with the coconut water discussed above, and has a fat content of approximately 17%. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate out the milk.The milk is used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removing the oil fraction. Virgin coconut oil is found superior to the oil extracted from copra for cosmetic purposes.
The leftover fibre from coconut milk production is used as livestock feed.
The smell of coconuts comes from the 6-pentyloxan-2-one molecule, known as delta-decalactone in the food and fragrance industry.[7]
The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is fermented to produce palm wine, also known as "toddy" or, in the Philippines, tuba. The sap can also be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy.
Apical buds of adult plants are edible and are known as "palm-cabbage" or heart-of-palm. It is considered a rare delicacy, as the act of harvesting the bud kills the palm. Hearts of palm are eaten in salads, sometimes called "millionaire's salad".
Ruku Raa is an extract from the young bud, a very rare type of nectar collected and used as morning break drink in the islands of Maldives reputed for its energetic power keeping the "raamen" (nectar collector) healthy and fit even over 80 and 90 years old. And by-products are sweet honey-like syrup and creamy sugar for desserts.
Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.
In the Philippines, rice is wrapped in coco leaves for cooking and subsequent storage - these packets are called puso. wikipedia

Oats are an excellent source of thiamine, iron, and dietary fiber. Fiber is helpful in reducing cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Oats are also the only source of antioxidant compounds known as avenanthramides; these are believed to have properties which help to protect the circulatory system from arteriosclerosis. Oat products also contain beta-glucan, which may help Type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar level, and might also help stimulate the immune system to fight off bacterial infections.[1]

Edgar Cayce, a man regarded as the father of American holistic medicine, also highly favoured the almond. In his readings, Cayce often recommended that almonds be included in the diet. Claimed health benefits include improved complexion, improved movement of food through the colon and the prevention of cancer.[16] Recent research associates the inclusion of almonds in the diet with elevating the blood levels of high density lipoproteins and of lowering the levels of low density lipoproteins.[17][18]
A controlled trial showed that 73g of almonds in the daily diet reduced LDL cholesterol by as much as 9.4%, reduced the LDL:HDL ratio by 12.0%, and increased HDL-cholesterol (i.e., the good cholesterol) by 4.6%.[19][20]
In Ayurveda, an ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent, almond is considered a nutritive for brain and nervous system. It is said to induce high intellectual level and longevity. Almond oil is called Roghan Badam in both Ayurveda and Unani Tibb (the Greco-Persian System of Medicine). It is extracted by cold process and is considered a nutritive aphrodisiac both for massage and internal consumption. Recent studies have shown that the constituents of almond have anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and anti-hepatotoxicity effects.[21]

Health benefits
In addition to linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium,calcium and zinc.[6] Additionally, they are rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.[7] They are also a good source of calories(205).

The seeds (and seed oil, see below) of pumpkins, such as Cucurbita bepo varieties and Cucurbitae semen, have been subject to a great deal of research (especially into the treatment of prostate ailments)[4] and have been shown to be especially rich in steroidal compounds,[5] in addition to their nutritrional value.
One gram of pumpkin seed protein contains as much L-tryptophan as a full glass of milk, making it of interest to researchers studying the treatment of anxiety disorders.[6] Some eat the seeds as preventative measure against onset of anxiety attacks, clinical depression and other mood disorders.
Some studies have also found pumpkin seeds to prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and to regulate cholesterol levels in the body.

Tilia cordata.

In countries of Central Europe, linden flowers are a traditional herbal remedy (linden flower tea), considered to be of value as an anti-inflammatory in range of respiratory problems: colds, fever, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, cough and others[5].
A valuable monofloral honey is produced by bees using the trees. The young leaves can be eaten as a salad vegetable.[6]

Passionflower produces fruits from spring into winter.

Pawpaw, Carica Papaya

Believe it or not:
The day, water, sun, moon, night-I do not have to purchase these things with money.
Plautus c.254-184BC