Saturday, 19 July 2008

Opportunists...in the garden



Morning
The mist has left the greening plain,
The dew-drops shine like fairy rain,
The coquette rose awakes again ,Her lovely self adorning.
The Wind is hiding in the trees, sighing, soothing, laughing tease,
until the rose says “Kiss me, please, ”‘Tis morning, ‘tis morning.
Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906



A new morning born of he sun.





Asclepia physocarpa has subtle coloured flowers, creamy white with soft purple. It is host to the caterpillar of the Wanderer Butterfly. It has a balloon seedpod filled with silky filaments. The seeds are attached to the filaments. Once the pod bursts open the seeds fly with the wind and are distributed this way.

Asclepias L. (1753), the milkweeds, is a genus of herbaceous perennial, dicotyledonous plants that contains over 140 known species. It used to belong to the family Asclepiadaceae, but this is now classified as a subfamily Asclepiadoideae of the dogbane family Apocynaceae.
Milkweeds are an important nectar source for
bees and other nectar seeking insects, and a larval food source for monarch butterflies and their relatives, as well as a variety of other herbivorous insects (including numerous beetles, moths, and true bugs) specialized to feed on the plants despite their chemical defenses. Milkweed is named for its milky juice, which contains alkaloids, caoutchouc, and several other complex compounds including cardenolides. Some species are known to be toxic.
Carolus Linnaeus named the genus after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, because of the many folk-medicinal uses for the milkweed plants.
Pollination in this genus is accomplished in an unusual manner, as the pollen is grouped into complex structures called pollinia (or "pollen sacs"), rather than being individual grains, as is typical for plant pollen. The flower petals are smooth and rigid, and the feet of visiting insects (predominantly large wasps, such as spider wasps, which visit the plants for nectar) slip into notches in the flowers, where the sticky bases of the pollinia attach to the feet, pulling the pollen sacs free when the pollinator flies off. Bees, including honey bees only gather nectar from milkweed flowers, and are generally not effective pollinators despite the frequency of visitation.

Tillandsia ioantha fits itself into the fork of a Banksia.

Tillandsia ionantha or Sky Plant is native from Mexico to Nicaragua where they grow on deciduous trees and rocks from 600 to 1650 meters. They have miniature rosettes of grayish green leaves reaching about 2 inches (5-10 cm) in height. It is an attractive plant that is great for growing on bark slabs.

Propagation: Tillandsia ionantha are easily propagated by removal of offshoots, www.plantoftheweek.org/




A tree fern seed has found a space to grow from the drainage hole in a pot planted with an orchid, see the root emerging.

Tree-ferns are the largest of the ferns and can provide a spectacular addition to most gardens. The tree-ferns Cyathea australis and Cyathea cooperi are commonly grown in gardens and displays for this aesthetic appeal and their hardiness. Both of these species are of the fern family Cyatheraceae.




A pair of white faced Herons, Egretta hovahollandiae, use this Araucaria since many years as a nesting place. Every Year they rise 1 or 2 babies.



A mushroom grows in the leaf litter and has split to form a flower.


A seed from a " clustering parlour palm" Chamaedorea seifricii has been in the mulch. It has grown to a cluster of slender palms which flowers and has red berries to seed again.


Orchid growing in a pot plays also host to three different ferns, the seeds have established themselves without asking and the plants are emerging through the draining holes.






Black eyed Susan, Thunbergia alata, has taken advantage of an old, broken bottlebrush tree to climb up and show her best side. On the side of the tree is also a Dendrobium orchid hanging on!






Here my favoured pet munching away on tender rose leaves, why not, those tender fresh shoots are so inviting....if I were a grass hopper I would go for them too...



The Queen of the Night makes full use of a Jacaranda tree. The nights when the the queen is out in full glory you don't want to go to sleep.




A pretty, varigated climber has found a ladder to investigate further up, and perhaps reach the sky!




Lots of different, beautiful fungi grow in my woodland garden, where it is moist and rotting logs provide food. I love them and marvel how intricate and beautiful they are.





Mosses grow over bush rocks. In times of drought they disappear completely. As soon as there is enough moisture around they grow profusely.




Blue ants, green ants, jumping ants, tiny ants and more. This is a shiny black specie. They live in the leaves of trees, where they bunch together cobwebs with leaf litter to make nests. It is all right as long one doesn't make contact with their nest, if one does, a confrontation occurs and the ants are very fast!




The climbing Allamanda has huge, sunny yellow trumpets. Bees and other insects take advantage of this opportunity to collect nectar and pollen.



In the wild, Allamanda grow along riverbanks and other open, sunny areas with adequate rainfall and perpetually moist substrate. The plants do not tolerate shade, salty or alkaline soils; they are highly sensitive to frost. Allamanda are otherwise undemanding and with appropriate conditions will grow rapidly, from 1-3 metres annually. The seed capsules are oval and prickly; cultivated forms rarely produce seeds, but Allamanda are easily propagated from cuttings. Discarded cuttings are quick to take root.


Allamanda cathartica is also notable for its medicinal properties: all parts of the plant contain allamandin, a toxic iridoid lactone. The leaves, roots and flowers may be used in the preparation of a powerful cathartic *(hence the name); the milky sap is also known to possess antibacterial and possibly anticancer properties. Gardeners exposed to the sap will develop rashes, itch, and blisters.
The genus name Allamanda derives from Dr.
Frederich Allamanda (1735-1803), a Swiss botanist of the late 18th century.
*Cathartic (from the greek language) a purgative medicine.






One more fern plantlet is emerging from a drainage hole of a hanging pot. It looks like a Pteris specie. Fern seeds are very, very fine and very opportunistic.



In this pot grows a Euphorbia plant. An Euphorbia seedling is growing and a Begonia is the cuckoo in the nest.

It was very wet and these ants are saving themselves and the nest looking for a dry home. They want to move into this pot.





Orchid roots are growing until they find something suitable to hold on to.

A staghorn seed has grown into this monster in around twenty years.

Native, smallish wasps take over the peruvian morning glory shrub to build their hives. The hives hang literally by a thread and the wasps add to it, always building. They are not agressive but when they sting it hurts.





Believe it or not: A hedge between keeps friendship green. Proverb


Organic tip of the week.
Organic Food Is Better For You Says Scientific Study
The largest scientific study of it's kind recently found that organic food really is more nutritious for you than its conventional counterpart.
A 4 year, $25 million dollar European Union funded study found the following with regards to organic food and "regular" food:

There are 40% more antioxidants in the organic food
Milk that is taken from organic herds contains 90% more antioxidants

There were higher levels of beneficial minerals like zinc (something almost everyone is deficient in) and iron in the organic produce
These results were gathered by the researchers by having fruits and vegetables grown, and cattle raised, on adjacent organic and non-organic sites.




Thank you for visiting.

Copyright T.S. Yesterdaytodayandtomorrow in my garden.

Photos T.S. from my garden.

25 comments:

Linda said...

The picture of the plant that the butterflies like is interesting. I have a swan plant in my childhood wildlife post, but yours looks to have larger leaves and more round "swans".

Titania said...

Hi Linda, there might be some variations in the butterfly plants. I know some have red/orange flowers while mine have cream with subtle purple markings.

Rose said...

So much to look at! I can barely take it all in.

I likE plants! said...

Looks like we do grow alot of the same things. The fungi you posted photos of looks alot like the one I posted today Trametes sp.

Katarina i Kullavik said...

A very interesting post about plants using other plants as homes or close neighbours! It's also fascinating how seeds can find its way into samll crevices and holes...
It's the first time I've seen a picture of Tillandsia in the wild - we use it as decorative house plants here in Sweden.
/Katarina

Titania said...

Rose thank you for stopping by.)

i like plants, thank you for your comment. I didn't know the name of this fungus. I just like how they grow and their variey. One thing more to look up and learn about.)

Katarina, thank you for your interest. All tillandsias grow here on trees, but I think they must make very pretty and agreeable housplants as they are so easily to look after.

Kanak Hagjer said...

A great theme to focus on. What a pleasure it must be to walk around a garden as beautiful as yours, taking in everything and even paying tribute to what would be just an obscure thing to a non-gardener! You really have a fascinating collection! And as usual, I've enjoyed my visit, thoroughly.

Pia K said...

What lovely little details, that blackeyed Susan looks spectacular! I have a white clematis who acts in a similar way.

Titania said...

Kanak, thanks a lot for your visit and kind words.)

Pia, thank you for stopping by. A white Clematis, ohh, please show it in one of your interesting posts!

Mother Nature said...

Trudi,
This is a marvelous post about the opportunist in the garden. I saw this particular milkweed for the first time on Martha Stewart. It is unusual. I've been exploring your blog for a while and it is wonderful.
Donna

Titania said...

Thank you Donna, for your kind visit. I appreciate it.

Sunita said...

Trudi, those are lovely, lovely photos. But, I had to smile because some of them echo the photos taken by me over this weekend. Especially, the one of the mushroom 'flower' , the fungii and a couple of others.
Who would've thought that you can garden in two different continents and still have so many similar things showing up? : )

Titania said...

Sunita, thank you for you visit. Yes, I think this is interesting, perhaps kindred spirits?

Julie said...

That staghorn is absolutely a monster but he looks just sooo healthy. Living in an inner-city working man's terrace, I can but envy you your garden. I have two pocket-handkerchiefs.

Nicole said...

You have such a beautiful woodland garden, it must be wonderful to be so surrounded by nature. I also love how you allow many things to grow -so that the flora evolves in an organic way. I also leave or keep many of my self seeded plants. A friend of mine in Trinidad has this magnificent 100 foot tall palm from a seed a bird must have deposited 20 years ago!

Titania said...

Julie, thank you for visiting. Well, I guess for inner city living you have to sacrifice a big garden, but I am sure your pockethanderchiefs are very prettily embroidered!

Titania said...

Thank you for visiting, Nicole. Yes, Nicole, I leave a lot to nature, I don't interfere to much, and I love to let plants seed by themselves. But still, I never run out of work, there is always something which needs attention; now!

Marie said...

Great post :)

Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

I just found your blog and I love it. I try to put plenty on my blog as well. I wish my pictures had some of your plants in them. It was an interesting read and I will now check in often.

Titania said...

Thank you Bob for visiting.

Barbara said...

Täusche ich mich oder bewegt sich da mein Lieblingstier auf dem ersten Bild nach links (natürlich kein richtiger E.)?? Wahrscheinlich doch eine Fata Morgana....das Bild ist zauberhaft!
Wunderbarer und vielfältiger post! Baumfarne habe ich erstmals in natura an der Expo vor drei/vier Jahren gesehen. Waren beeindruckend schön!

Titania said...

Liebe Barbara, Ja das ist mein kleiner "Babar". Nein, du hast dich nicht getaeuscht, er hat sich wirklich bewegt, manchmal zwinkert er auch nur mit einem Auge. Baumfarne versaehen sich hier, wenn es eine Weile nass ist. Ueberall fangen sie an zu wachsen. Ich liebe sie auch. In meinem kleinen"Rainforest" hat es mal immer noch einen Platz.

HaBseligkeiten said...

...was für ein wunderbarer "Urwald", mit Elefanten, bunten Riesenraupen, Schwarzäugigen Susannen", Farne und Pflanzen, die ich noch nie gesehen habe.
Vielen Dank für die fantastischen Einblicke in Deinen betörenden Garten.....und das bedeutet bei Dir Winter!!!

Liebe Grüße Heidi

Titania said...

Danke Heidi, fuer deinen Besuch und deinen netten Kommentar.