Monday, 29 September 2008

Blotanical Awards

Thank you dear blotanical friends for voting Yesterday today and tomorrow in my garden, Best Oceanic Blog.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A mysterious fruit and ....

...along the garden path...

This is the mysterious tree. I bought it as a Babaco; Mountain Pawpaw; but it has turned out to be something else! (Naughty Nursery)

This is the fruit which looks and tastes different to the Babaco. The flesh is hard like a pear or apple.

Inside is a lot of pulp with very hard kernels, seeds. The pulp has a very nice taste but it is nearly not edible because of the quantity of seeds.

This is the pulp!

I have cut the fruit and cooked it, like appleslices. It tastes very nice this way but it is practically not edible uncooked.

Yellow Tabebuia is a striking Tree, it is a prolific seeder. It should be planted where the grass is mown otherwise you end up with a Tabebuia plantation!

Persimmon new leaves;
A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees of the genus Diospyros in the ebony wood family (Ebenaceae). The word persimmon is derived from putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from Powhatan, an Algonquian language (related to Blackfoot, Cree and Mohican) of the eastern United States, meaning "a dry fruit".[1] Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color, and depending on the species, vary in size from 1.5-9 cm (0.5-4 in) diameter, and may be spherical, acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped.[2] The calyx often remains attached to the fruit after harvesting, but becomes easier to remove as it ripens. They are high in glucose, with a balanced protein profile, and possess various medicinal and chemical uses. While the persimmon fruit is not considered a "common berry" it is in fact a "true berry" by definition.
If you are interested to know more about the Persimmon fruit please go to:

Pink Bottlebrush; Nectar plants for a lot of birds and Insects.

Red weeping Bottlebrush; Callistemon viminalis.

Yesterday Today and Tomorrow; has its main flowering time in spring, but flowers over summer on and off. It responds well to pruning and grows from cuttings. The flowers have a strong scent to perfume the garden.

Along the garden path;

Along the garden path; Curry plant flourishes all year round and grows from cuttings. The "Hippies" are early too this year.

Abutilon loves spring;

Daylilis are early this spring; this is a miniature double, "Night Embers".

A look through a "window".

Louisiana Iris flower in spring "short and sweet".

Believe it or not: You are not a cat; you have only one life; so look after it!

Organic tip of the week; Macademia Oil.

In general I use for my salads cold pressed Virgin Olive oil. BUT for Lettuce or Coleslaw I use cold pressed macademia oil. It gives the best taste ever.

Macadamia Nut oil is truly healthy and has become famous among the chefs across the world. It is also widely in use as a substitute of olive oil. Its stability and versatility are two of the main reasons for which chefs all across the world are using Macadamia Nut oil. It boasts a higher smoke point than olive oil, which means that its beneficial fatty acids prevent degradation during cooking. Especially, Macadamia nut oil is good when used for salads. Beside culinary purposes, these nuts have diverse use.
The two species of Macadamia are truly hybridized and grown in the South East of Queensland of Australia.
Due to health benefits, Macademia nut oil has become popular. Not only for the nervous system but also for the cardiovascular parts of the body, these oils are essential. Considering the nutritional aspects, it may be said that Macadamia Nut oil consists of 80 % mono-saturated fats. Moreover, the oil has no trans–fatty acids and the rate of saturated fat is comparatively low. For cooking purposes this oil is exceedingly important because it is resistant to chemical alteration which takes place when cooked in high temperature. This makes Macadamia Nut oil one of the healthiest oil. More information can be gathered from

Thank you for your visit and enjoy!

This Blog featured in Reuters;

Copyright: T.S. 08
Photos. T.S.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday

Melodramatic sunrise. Cairns 4.00 AM.

Driving towards Mackay the sun slowly makes her debut. Than...

escalates to this spectacular show!

Enjoy SkyWatch Friday!
For mor pictures please go

Saturday, 20 September 2008

A drying contraption for herbs; fruit and vegetables.

Bananas have grown over winter and are now ripening in the shed. This is a hybrid between Ladies finger Bananas and Cavendish Bananas. This B'tree does not grow tall and is easier to look after and to harvest the Bananas. After the harvest the whole Banana tree is cut down and is composted. These Bananas have a fantastic taste; bought Bananas are no comparison.

Banana plants are of the family Musaceae. They are cultivated primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent for the production of fibre and as ornamental plants. As the bananas are mainly tall, upright, and fairly sturdy, they are often mistaken for trees, when the truth is the main or upright stem is called a pseudostem, literally meaning "fake stem", which for some species can obtain a height of up to 2–8 m, with leaves of up to 3.5 m in length. Each pseudostem can produce a bunch of yellow, green, or even red bananas before dying and being replaced by another pseudostem.
The banana fruit grow in hanging clusters, with up to 20 fruit to a tier (called a hand), and 3-20 tiers to a bunch. The total of the hanging clusters is known as a bunch, or commercially as a "banana stem", and can weigh from 30–50 kg. The fruit averages 125 g, of which approximately 75% is water and 25% dry matter content. Each individual fruit (known as a banana or 'finger') has a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with a fleshy edible inner portion. Both skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. Western cultures generally eat the inside raw and throw away the skin while some Asian cultures generally eat both the skin and inside cooked. Typically, the fruit has numerous strings (called 'phloem bundles') which run between the skin and inner part.

Bananas are a valuable source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.

If you are interested to read more about Bananas please look up


The drying contraption works very well. It has a lot of room, much better and easier to work with than my electric dryer. The Inside is painted black and on the sides it has small ventilation holes. It is easy to carry around. It works very well for drying fruits, vegetables and herbs. Here I am going to dry Italian parsley.Solar power in action.

Tzigane is a new climbing rose I bought in Winter. I thought the colour would be brash. The colour is perfect and the perfume is heavenly. The rose is very simple, holds well...

and fades away gracefully.

Tomatoes are looking good so far not like the last crop which was a complete flop. Why? Winter was cold and wet.

Tree-fern; Cyathea australis

Tree-ferns largest of the ferns can provide a spectacular addition to most gardens. The tree-ferns Cyathea australis and Cyathea cooperi are commonly grown in gardens for their aesthetic appeal and their hardiness. Both of these species are of the fern family Cyatheraceae.
C. australis is commonly known as the Rough Tree Fern due to the presence of adventitious roots, tubercles (knobbly bits) and masses of hair-like scales on its ‘trunk’. The ‘trunk’ like structure on a tree-fern is actually a greatly enlarged rhizome! The horticultural appeal of C. australis is not only due to its beautiful looks but also because it is an extremely hardy species, even capable of tolerating direct sun when the roots are wet. It is also a robust tub plant and is unusual in that it is tolerant of salty winds. C. australis is thus a popular, cold-hardy tree-fern, adaptable to a variety of climates and soils.
C. cooperi, the Lacy Tree Fern, derives this name from its delicate fronds. It is also known as the Australian Tree Fern as it is one of the most commonly grown Australian tree-ferns.
C. cooperi is quite distinctive from C. australis in that it has a more slender trunk with distinctive "coin spots" where old fronds have broken off the trunk. C. cooperi fronds are bright green and lacy and tend to be very fast growing. There are several major horticultural varieties of this fern including Cyathea ‘Brentwood’ which has paler fronds and scales and C. ‘Robusta’ which tends to be darker in both characters. C. cooperi is the one of the most popular tree ferns, along with Dicksonia antarctica due to its rapid growth form, hardiness and aesthetic appeal.
C. australis is found along much of the east coast of Australia, extending right down into Tasmania. It prefers moist mountain areas and can grow on dryer slopes then most other tree ferns.
C. cooperi is naturally found in tropical lowlands, along the coast of Queensland and New South Wales.
These two species cannot be propagated vegetatively (unlike some other tree-ferns) as they do not produce offsets from the trunk or roots. Propagation from spores must therefore be employed; for detail of these steps please see this page:

Maintenance: Tree-ferns grow best in high humidity and high soil moisture conditions. It is therefore important to use good-quality mulches and to top them up regularly as this will not only keep the soil moist but also provide nutrients to the shallow root system. Tree-ferns usually respond well to organic fertilizers and well-rotted animal manures, C. cooperi especially as it tends to display particularly vigorous growth.

Text by Ali Heydon (Botanical Intern 2003)
Jones, D.L. 1987, Encyclopaedia of Ferns, Lothian, Melbourne.
Jones, D.L. Clemesha, S.C. 1980, Australian Ferns and Fern Allies, Reed, Wellington.
Harvey, R. Fagg, M. Growing ferns from spores, Australian National Botanic Gardens leaflet published online at: 18 July, 2002.
Ian Barclay, Cold Hardy Tree Ferns, Published Online at: updated: December 8th, 2002.

Soft Tree-fern
Dicksonia antarctica
Habitat: Gullies of tall, moist forests
Season: All year
Aboriginal People used the soft, starchy pith from the top part (0.5m) of the stem. They split the stem, scooped out the pith and ate it raw or roasted in ashes.
The Tasmanians preferred the Rough Tree-fern, Cyathea australis, because it tasted better than the smooth Tree-fern. The smooth Tree-fern is the one which is usually grown in home gardens.

A simply, lovely daylily; Ash Rose.

The interesting fluffy flowers of Jaboticaba growing and flowering all over the tree.

If you would like to read more about Jaboticaba please go to my post
July is the middle of Winter 2.July 08.

Believe it or not:
In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king:

Erasmus c.1469 - 1536

Organic tip of the week: PEPPERMINT

Peppermint tea hot or cold is delightful to drink. Use Peppermint in Asian soups, coleslaw or other salads; it helps the digestion and is super tasty!

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). The plant is indigenous in Europe and now widespread in cultivation throughout all regions of the world. It is found wild occasionally with its parent species.
It was first described by Linnaeus from specimens collected in England; he treated it as a
species, but it is now universally agreed to be a hybrid.
It typically occurs in moist habitats, including streamsides and drainage ditches. It is usually
sterile, producing no seeds and reproducing only vegetatively, spreading by its rhizomes.
Peppermint is sometimes regarded as 'the world's oldest medicine', with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago
Peppermint, like many spices and herbs, is believed to have medicinal properties when consumed. It is said that it helps against upset stomachs, inhibits the growth of certain
bacteria, and can help soothe and relax muscles when inhaled or applied to the skin. Other health benefits are attributed to the high manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A content; as well as trace amounts of various other nutrients such as fibre, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, tryptophan, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin, and copper.
Peppermint flowers are large nectar producers and
honey bees as well as other nectar harvesting organisms forage them heavily. A mild, pleasant varietal honey can be produced if there is a sufficient area of plants.
Peppermint generally thrives in shade and expands quickly by underground rhizomes. If you choose to grow peppermint, it is advisable to plant it in a container, otherwise it can rapidly take over a whole garden. It needs a good water supply, and is ideal for planting in part-sun to shade areas.
The leaves and flowering tops are the usable portion of the plant. They are collected as soon as the flowers begin to open and then are carefully dried. The wild form of the plant is less suitable for this purpose, with cultivated plants having been selected for more and better oil content. Seeds sold at stores labelled peppermint generally will not germinate into true peppermint, but into a particularly poor-scented spearmint plant. The true peppermint might rarely produce seeds, but only by fertilisation from a spearmint plant, and contribute only their own spearmint genes.

Have a nice Day!

Copyright: T.S. 2008
Photos T.S.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday

My daughter L. has send this picture which she took from her garden in Mermaid Waters. The black swans bring their cygnets for a snack of shredded lettuce.

Pleas click picture for a better view.

I thought this was a nice springtime picture and I would like to share it with my skyWatch friends.

The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia.

European explorers were amazed (Vlaming in 1697) to discover that in Australia swans are black.
They are common birds across all of coastal Australia, and nest in swamps or river estuaries. They are not common in the North West.
They make their nests out of coarse reed stems on a dry bit of a small island, or on a river bank. They lay a clutch of about five eggs which are greenish white in colour, usually in autumn (March-April) or in winter.
They can travel in enormous flocks and move from one feeding ground to another. They will feed in the shallows, or eat grass on the banks.
Swans are a protected species in Australia.

For mor pictures please go to

Happy SkyWatch Friday

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Bold and Gorgous into spring;

A golden door into the garden; early morning;

Pictures cannot even begin to describe the sight of a mature Beaumontia in full bloom.

A big plant can be covered with many large flowers. To produce the best display, this heavy climber with large leaves will need a strong structure. Beaumontia is a tropical vine. It can tolerate a light frost for short periods but it is better to protect it if the temperature goes below freezing.
FAMILY : ApocynaceaeORIGIN ; HimalayasTYPE/USES; large vine; LIGHT REQUIREMENTS ; full/partial sun; WATER REQUIREMENTS; averageMIN. TEMP; low 30's;FLOWER S in spring; fragrant flowers.

Native King Orchid, Thelychiton speciosus; is fragrant and a sight to behold.

The wonders of australian plants; a freely flowering native Grevillia;
(please click the picture to see it in its glory.)

My gorgeous darlings "Apricot Nectar" and...

"Bewitched" both are doing well in the subtropics, through winter, spring and autumn; in summer they decline and go to "sleep". Both are easy to propagate from cuttings during winter.

My daughter ML has grown this Azalea border from cuttings.

A beautiful bold Aloe (this one grows in my daughters garden she promised me a "baby" of it.

This easy and fast growing Bromeliad wanders up a tree.

Bauhinia Orchid tree;

Bauhinia is a genus of more than 200 species of flowering plants in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the large flowering plant family Fabaceae, with a pantropical distribution. The genus was named after the Bauhin brothers, Swiss-French botanists.
Many species are widely planted in the tropics as "orchid trees", particularly in northern
India, Vietnam and southeastern China. Bauhinia blakeana is the floral emblem of Hong Kong, and a stylized orchid tree flower appears on the Hong Kong flag.
Bauhinia trees typically reach a height of 6-12 m and their branches spread 3-6 m outwards. The lobed leaves usually are 10-15 cm across.
The five-petaled flowers are 7.5-12.5 cm diameter, generally in shades of red, pink, purple, orange, or yellow, and are often fragrant. The tree begins flowering in late winter and often continues to flower into early summer

Believe it or not:
Tous va pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes. (Voltaire in Candide.)

Organic tip of the week:
Use Sage in your cooking. It has like many other herbs very beneficial properties.
Sage Common sage (Salvia officinalis) is a small perennial evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region.
It is much cultivated as a
kitchen and medicinal herb. Common sage is also grown in parts of Europe, especially the Balkans for distillation of the essential oil, though other species, such as Salvia triloba may also be harvested and distilled with it.
It is also called Garden sage, Kitchen sage, and Dalmatian sage. The word
sage or derived names are also used for a number of related and non related species.

Culinary use
In Western cooking, it is used for flavouring fatty meats . In the United States, Britain and Flanders, sage is used with onion for poultry or pork stuffing and also in sauces. In French cuisine, sage is used for cooking white meat and in vegetable soups. Germans often use it in sausage dishes, and sage forms the dominant flavouring in the English Lincolnshire sausage. Sage is also common in Italian cooking. Sage is sautéd in olive oil and butter until crisp, then plain or stuffed pasta is added (burro e salvia). In the Balkans and the Middle East, it is used when roasting mutton.


The Latin name for sage, salvia, means “to heal". Although the effectiveness of Common Sage is open to debate, it has been recommended at one time or another for virtually every ailment. Modern evidence supports its effects as an antihydrotic.

Thank you for your visit.

Copyright: 2008 T.S.

Photos: T.S.