Sunday, 29 March 2009

Autumn; a new season to grow and to bloom;

The Red Fountain Grass ( Pennisetum setaceum cupreum)is in full swing in autumn.
(Please do click the pictures to see details.)

Signs of autumn are in the air. The sunlight is getting mellow, the temperatures are more agreeable and it is time for the vegetable gardener to get active. The wisteria leaves are golden yellow and start to fall a sure sign the garden goes through a subtle metamorphosis, also not as distinct as in a cold climate garden.

Over summer I grew these tiny capsicums. This is the last crop. I preserve them whole in a sweet vinegary syrup.

Autumn is also a revival for the herb garden.

The native Bangalow- or Piccabean Palms (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana) put on their wonderful "skirts".

My little Angelinas are looking forward to a rest; laying so many eggs over summer.

Camellias can't wait to put on their show and.... youngest grand daughter Fabrizia has started school. She goes to Somerset an International
School. She is already learning Italian and she has a real good accent; I am such a proud and lucky grand ma!

Night falls earlier with gentle sunsets.

Mandarins are filling out, growing big and juicy.

In the wild garden "Hollywood" provides fruits for the birds, bats and other creatures who are attracted to this red golden harvest.

We grow wonderful Pecan nuts. The ones growing in the orchard are all destroyed by the yellow crested Cockatoos. We have planted two more trees in the house garden to better control the crop. So far we had a few nuts which were harvested by US!

We also grow Sweet potatoes in the orchard as they are so vigorous they would take over the vegetable garden. In the orchard they are controlled by cutting around their boundary with the lawnmower.

Tomatoes do well in early spring and autumn. summer is to hot and humid. The one that does really grow well and also produces a very good crop is the ROMA tomato.
This is a little of our autumn time in the garden. I wish you all a happy time in your garden.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

SkyWatch Friday; Sunrise;

Sunrise; Early birds; billowing clouds illuminated by the sun from the back. Please click picture for details.

Photo TS.

Click here for SkyWatch around the world.

Thank you SkyWatch team;


Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Persimmon Tree;

Ripe Persimmons ready to eat; we grow two varieties; the heart shaped Nightingale and the squat Dai Dai Maru.

The fruits are protected by soft nets to keep at bay bats, birds and possums.

A persimmon, known to the ancient Greeks as "the fruit of the gods"[1] 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".[2] 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.[3] 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.

The persimmon also figures prominently in American culinary tradition. It can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads and as a topping for breakfast cereal.
Persimmon pudding is a dessert using fresh persimmons. An annual persimmon festival, featuring a persimmon pudding contest, is held every September in Mitchell, Indiana. Persimmon pudding is a baked pudding that has the consistency of pumpkin pie but resembles a brownie and is almost always topped with whipped cream. Persimmons may be stored at room temperature (20°C) where they will continue to ripen. It is also a native plant in Brazil, South America, where it is referred to as the Caqui. In northern China, unripe persimmons are frozen outside during winter to speed up the ripening process.

Ethnomedical uses
traditional Chinese medicine The raw fruit is used to treat constipation and hemorrhoids, and to stop bleeding.
The cooked fruit is used to treat diarrhea and
The apparent contradictory effect of the raw and cooked fruit is due to its osmotic effect in the raw fruit sugar (causing diarrhea), and the high tannin content of the cooked fruit helping with diarrhea.

The fruits of some persimmon varieties contain the tannins
catechin and gallocatechin,[8] as well as the anti-tumor compounds betulinic acid and shibuol.

Going down to the orchard I saw this Abutilon, its orange bells winking at me.

I could not resist taking a photo of these friends, the subtle mauve petals already fading into a yellow parchment tint.
Believe it or not:
Weather Prediction Folklore
It is said that you can predict the winter by taking the seeds out of some persimmons and then slicing the seeds. The shape that shows up the most inside each seed will tell you what kind of winter to expect. The three shapes resemble three eating utensils.A Knife shape means there will be a cold icy winter (as in the wind will slice through you like a knife).A Spoon shape means there will be plenty of snow for you to shovel.A Fork shape means there will be a mild winter.
I don't think I need a weather station in the future!!

Photos TS.
Source Wikipedia

Thursday, 19 March 2009

SkyWatch Friday; Sunrise;

Sunrise; Wednesday, 18th of march 09; 6 AM

The early morning sky presents a canvas painted with bold watercolour brushstrokes .

Photos TS.

SkyWatch click here

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Purple haze;

Tibouchinas are flowering now.

Wisteria growing on Pergola is a joy in spring.

Viola tricolor are welcome self seeders over winter into late spring.

Potato vine, Solanum jasminoides is a wonderful climber; ones its in the garden it's for ever; grows and sets seeds in record time. I have thought many times to get rid of it but it is still growing in my garden. It is such a beauty.
This is only a small selection. My garden is full of purple, mauve, lilac, into rose and blue tints and hues.
Interesting Trees;
Diamante Citron; Citrus medica; Etrog;

The elongate fruit of the Citron tree; Photo TS

The ripe fruit, notice the thick skin suitable to make candied citron.
The Diamante citron (citrus medica cv. Diamante is named after the city of Diamante which is in the center of its cultivation point, province of Cosenza, region of Calabria, at the south-western coast of Italy. That's why it is called by others "Calabria Esrog", which is the Hebrew name for the citron.
However, by most
religious Jews it is called Yanova Esrog, because in the past, they use to buy the citrons from Genoa, which is in northern Italy and much closer to the Jewish centers in Europe.
The Diamante citron was one of the most important varieties
candied by the largest factories at Leghorn Italy; it was gathered from Liguria, Naples, Calabria & Sicily .

Etrog - A yellow citrus fruit, also known as a "citron," that is used on the holiday of Sukkot along with the lulav (a bundle of palm, willow, and myrtle branches). During Sukkot, blessings are recited over these four species. The etrog is usually stored in a container to protect its tip or pistil, which, if not intact, renders the fruit unusable for the holiday.
More to read about Citron click here
Source Wikipedia

Believe it or not:
The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means "the king is dead."
Photos TS

Thursday, 12 March 2009

SkyWatch Friday; Sunset;

Cyclone 'Hamish' has brought wind and rain to our area. He has been tossing around the grey and black billowing clouds. Despite the sun has bravely tried to put up with it and has let me have a few sunset pictures before the red-gold disappeared behind another squall of rain.

Click photos to enlarge.
Photos TS

Sunday, 8 March 2009


I have received this award from Chris, Vincibene; Thank you Chris.
As the rules go I should nominate 8 lovely bloggers to receive it as well.
I am incurable of bending the rules so I welcome you lovely bloggers to come forward and get it yourself and you can nominate bloggers whose blogs you love.


Thursday, 5 March 2009

SkyWatch Friday; Sunrise;

Who does not want to be up early to view this theatrical sunrise? The camera goes click click click the scene changes every minute.
click pictures to enlarge.

The sun is up a golden orb blinding its surroundings.

SkyWatch Friday; enjoy click here for more;
Pictures TS

Monday, 2 March 2009

Native Australian tree; Blue Quandong;

Elaecarpus angustifolius;

I went for a walk with my dog Billy and saw on my way back that in my next door neighbour's garden the Quandong was flowering. This is a spectacular tree, huge, this is a young tree 20 years old and the branches are already over 10 m long. Inside, along the branches are these amazing creamy white bell like flowers. Please click the pictures to enlarge.

Birds enjoy the nectar of the flowers. Here a blue faced honeyeater 'Entomyzon cyanotis' and a Rainbow Lorikeet 'Trichoglossus haematodus'its red breast feathers competing with the the odd red leaf, which is a particularity of this tree.

The whole tree is chock-a-block full of flowers.

The ripe blue berries of the Quandong.

Blue Quandong
, species
Elaeocarpus angustifolius (syn. E. grandis), also known as Brush (or Silver) Quandong, Blue Fig and Coolan.[1] This belongs to a different genus and is usually categorised with the others due to the similarity of the seed in the fruit. However unlike the Desert Quandong, this is a sour fruit, having a texture and aftertaste somewhat resembling an olive. The fruit is only ripe for a matter of hours between the sour under-ripe fruit to the mealy, crumbly and tasteless over-ripe condition. Blue Quandongs are eaten whole by cassowaries, Woompoo pigeon and Spectacled flying foxes, which pass the nut undamaged.[2] It is commonly thought that the seeds may be unable to germinate unless they pass through the animal's intestines. Wikipedia

There is another Quandong tree, Santalum acuminatum, desert or sweet quandong, or native peach. The species is one widely used by early Australians. This tree produces a valuable bushfood.
Thank you for your visit and have a nice day.