Thursday, 27 November 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday;

Five to one; Village scene in Switzerland, the mountain is called Calanda.
Please click picture for details.

For more SkyWatch pictures please go to

Photo T.S.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

SkyWatch Friday

SkyWatch Friday;

Sky and Sea, Nature at its best.
I took this picture on my way from Cairns to Port Douglas.
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Please click picture for a better view.

Sunday, 16 November 2008


The uppermost leafy level of the garden;

It is 4.35 AM the day is clear, the moon still brilliant hangs on for a little while, the treetops are still filigree shadows.
Please click the pictures for details.

The Mexican Ferntree, Schizolobium parahyba also called Bucurubu. It can grow up to 40 m. It is a typical tree of secondary rainforests.

A tall tree Tipuana Tipu flowers with abundance in spring. In the foreground Noelle one of the Tibouchinas which can reach also a fair height.

Left, Pride of India, Jacaranda and Palms

The very tall Cuban Royal Palms. Be aware and careful when their huge leaves crash down.

This Bull Bay Magnolia tree displays its white scented chalice like flowers in spring.

Tibouchina Noelle and Thevetia.

Looking up one can see great patterns made by sun and shadow.

Marvelling at the huge palm leaves whispering by the slightest touch of the wind.

The New South Wales Christmas Tree, Ceratopetalum gummerifum, loses soon its white flowers. The pink calyx stays put and darkens with age and makes the tree look like adorned with red flowers. You can already see a little pink where the flowers have fallen.
Believe it or not:
In 15 minutes, the sun radiates as much energy onto our globe as humans use during an entire year.
Organic tip of the week;
Green Tea
Green tea a "true" tea, meaning it is made solely with the leaves of Camellia sinensis, that has undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan to the Middle East. Recently, it has become more widespread in the West, where black tea is traditionally consumed. Many varieties of green tea have been created in countries where it is grown that can differ substantially due to variable growing conditions, processing and harvesting time. Over the last few decades green tea has begun to be subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting regular green tea drinkers may have lower chances of heart disease and developing certain types of cancer
You can add Peppermint or Moroccan mint which gives the green tea a refreshing taste.
Green teas have about a third the caffeine content, by liquid volume, of coffee. Green teas contain two caffeine metabolites (caffeine-like substances): theophylline, which is stronger than caffeine, and theobromine, which is slightly weaker than caffeine.[

There is archaeological evidence that suggests that tea has been consumed for almost 5000 years, with China and India being two of the first countries to cultivate it. Green tea has been used as traditional medicine in areas such as India, China, Japan and Thailand to help everything from controlling bleeding and helping heal wounds to regulating body temperature, blood sugar and promoting digestion.

As the days get warmer evenings can be enjoyed outdoors by candlelight.

Thank you for your visit and have a nice week.

Copyright T.S.
All photos from my garden.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


SkyWatch Friday;

Bella, a Carpet Snake, Morelia spilota sky watching. Bella is not a tame snake, she lives in a big elk horn fern.

Carpet pythons (better known as carpet snakes) have a high-tech tracking system for finding their dinner. Heat-sensitive pits on their bottom jaw let them sense and track other animals. Mostly feeding after dark, they munch on smaller animals such as rats, possums and birds. Smaller snakes prefer lizards.
Carpet snakes can be intimidating, growing up to 4m (though most don't exceed 2.5m). But they aren't venomous and live almost everywhere in Australia except Tasmania. Secretive and well camouflaged with their brown skin with cream blotches, they hide among leaf litter in tree hollows, logs and rocky crevices.
Look out for the carpet python in undergrowth, in tree branches or the roof of your house or shed.

Here she goes.
Please click the pictures to see how beautiful she is.

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Sunday, 9 November 2008

How does your garden grow?

We were in the car on our way to visit a garden which participated in the Australian Open Garden Scheme, when my two grand daughters suddenly started to sing...

How does your garden grow?

The very first think that a garden needs is a hoe for pulling weeds,
So here we go a hoeing o hoeing the garden to make it grow.

A spade comes next for digging the earth
So here we go a digging o digging the garden to make it grow.

Put down the spade pick up the rake, rake it smooth like a crumbly cake,
Her we go a raking o raking the garden to make it grow.

It’s time to scatter some seeds around
So here we go a sowing o sowing to make the garden grow.

We think those seeds are thirsty so better we give them an nice cold drink,
So here we go a watering o watering the garden to make it grow.

We had a great time looking at a beautiful garden.

Hope you had a nice time too, thank you for your visit.

Pictures from my garden.
Photos T.S.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

SkyWatch Friday;

SkyWatch Friday;

These candy pink, frivolous clouds tossing and turning in a sea of blue are ignoring an approaching storm. The setting sun is changing the scenery, sharp greens are turning black. The photos are taken north west in my garden in the late afternoon.

For more SkyWatch pictures please go to

Photos T.S.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Do I need more

do I want more plants...YES!

Erythrina bidwilii is a remarkable, beautiful tree with attractive flowers which the lorikeets love and a rough cork like bark. This tree is twenty years old and every spring it is a sight to behold.

The shell like open flowers.

One of my new Daylilies, Ed Brown, It has shiny, gold ruffles .

This is a new one as well. I like everything about this one. The round recurved petals, the colour and the white midribs. I think it is called Jean Taylor, if I have not mixed up the labels!

And this little one with the cheerful face is is a newcomer too. Let me think, it is Hoot, the name suits it somehow.

I could not pass up this cute daisy pot.

Boxes full of plants. Native and exotic.
Melaleuca Miles
, shrub 2x2 m delicate pink brushes.
Doryanthes palmeri, Spear Lily, tall perennial plant with leaves up to 3 m, spectacular red flowers on top of stems up to 5m, attract honeyeaters.
Bulbine vagans, Golden Lily, perennial clumping Lily to 60 cm high.
Lomandra hystrix, Creek Mat Rush, clumping grass like plant 1m with arching leaves and fragrant flowers.
Doryanthes excelsa, Gymea Lily, from Greek, dory a spear and anthos a flower. Sword like leaves up to 1 m. Flower spike crowned with a cluster of bright red flowers each 1o cm across.
Leptospermum flavescens Cardwell, shrub 2.5 m, weeping foliage and small white flowers. (All Australian native plants.)

A few different Salvia suitable to a hot and humid climate.
2 Brugmansias, orange and yellow.
Fragrea berteriana, scented fragrea. Bushy shrub with highly scented flowers.
Heliconia spissa with attractive cut leaves and interesting flowers.
A Hybrid Spathiphyllum.

A new Epidendrum, Cruzifix Orchid, easy to grow, flowers for a long time.

Melastoma affine, Blue Tongue, shrub to 3 m, showy purple flowers and black edible fruits.
Oxilobium robustum, Yellow Pea Bush, shrub 3m, very showy orange yellow pea flowers.
Melaleuca fulgens, Apricot Honey Myrtle, 3x2 m showy apricot spike.
Allocasuarina torulosa, Forest Oak, tree to 25 m.
Melaleuca quiquinervia, red Paperbark, tree to 10 m, red fragrant flowers and papery bark.
Jacksonia scoparia, Dogwood, shrub to 5m yellow pea flowers on leafless stems.
Callistemon Injune pink, slightly weeping shrub to 2 m, delicate pale pink brushes.
Swainsonia galegiflia, Smooth Darling Pea, shrub to 1m bright pink pea flowers.
Alocasia brisbanensis, Cunjevoi, large leaved understorey plant to 1.5 m

A pretty Salvia in a... pretty pot.

Believe it or not:
"If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
- John Wooden

Organic tip of the week:

The goodness of Beetroot

Beta vulgaris, commonly known as beet or beetroot, is a flowering plant species in the family Chenopodiaceae. Several cultivars are valued around the world as edible root vegetables, fodder (mangel) and sugar-producing sugar beet
History Of Beetroot
Although beet remains have been excavated in the Third dynasty Saqqara pyramid at Thebes, Egypt, and four charred beet fruits were found in the Neolithic site of Aartswoud in the Netherlands, it is difficult to determine whether these are domesticated or wild forms of B. vulgaris. Zohary and Hopf state the earliest written mention of the beet comes from 8th century BC Mesopotamia; the Greek Peripatetic Theophrastus later describes the beet as similar to the radish. Beet historians have long argued that the term “Bonbon de Naturel” or “Natures Candy” came into the popular vernacular during this time period.
Beetroot Nutrition Info
An average size cup of beetroot would contain approximately 31 food calories; 8.5g of carbohydrate, 1.5g of dietary fiber, phosphorous, potassium and 1.5g of protein. Cooked beetroot is a great source of folate that can protect you against high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Beetroot Health Benefits
Beetroot is good for the health of the heart as it contains soluble fibre with can help to reduce high blood cholesterol levels. It also contains the phytochemicals carotenoids and flavonoids which help prevent LDL ‘ bad’
cholesterol from being oxidised and deposited in the arteries. Beetroot is virtually fat free and low in calories. It has an extremely low GL which means it’s converted into sugars very slowly which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Beetroot has for many years been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red colouring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer and beetroot also increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400 percent.
Storing Beetroot
Beetroot can be stored in the refirgerator or on a cool, dark shelf. It'll normally keep for a few weeks when it's young and fresh.
Beetroot Trivia
The colour of red beetroot is due to a variety of betalain pigments, unlike most other red plants, such as red cabbage, which contain anthocyanin pigments. The composition of different betalain pigments can vary, giving breeds of beetroot which are yellow or other colors in addition to the familiar deep red. Betacyanin in beetroot may cause red urine and feces in some people who are unable to break it down. This is called beeturia.
(From fresh organic produce)

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Thank you for your visit.