Thursday, 30 April 2009

SkyWatch Friday; A glimpse of the sun;

The Cathederal of Santa Maria in Sevilla, Spain.
Photos TS.

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Sunday, 26 April 2009

Ananas Comosus; Pineapple;

After the cut has dried for a few days this pineapple top will be planted.

The planted tops are growing.

The fruit is maturing.
Pineapples are best suited to humid coastal lowlands in tropical and subtropical regions of northern and eastern Australia. But in a warm, sunny, sheltered and frost free position, they will tolerate cool nights for short periods.

Pineapples contain a compound called bromelain and eating a fresh pineapple full of bromelain induces a feeling of well being.

Cut the ripe Pineapple in small pieces. Mix sugar with finely shreded mint leaves. Mix the Pineapples with the sugar and mint and let stand for a couple of hours. This is a delicious dessert.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is the common name for an edible tropical plant and also its fruit.[1] It is native to the southern part of Brazil, and Paraguay.[2] This herbaceous perennial plant grows to 1.0 to 1.5 metres (3.3 to 4.9 ft) tall with 30 or more trough-shaped and pointed leaves 30 to 100 centimetres (1.0 to 3.3 ft) long, surrounding a thick stem. The pineapple is an example of a multiple fruit: multiple, helically-arranged flowers along the axis each produce a fleshy fruit that becomes pressed against the fruits of adjacent flowers, forming what appears to be a single fleshy fruit. Pineapple is eaten fresh or canned and is available as a juice or in juice combinations. It is used in desserts, salads, as a complement to meat dishes and in fruit cocktail. . Pineapples are the only bromeliad fruit in widespread cultivation.

The word pineapple in English was first recorded in 1398, when it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit, they called them pineapples (term first recorded in that sense in 1664) because of their resemblance to what is now known as the pine cone. The term pine cone was first recorded in 1694 and was used to replace the original meaning of pineapple.[3]

Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which breaks down protein. Pineapple juice can thus be used as a marinade and tenderizer for meat. The enzymes in pineapples can interfere with the preparation of some foods, such as jelly or other gelatin-based desserts. The bromelain breaks down in the canning process, thus canned pineapple can generally be used with gelatin. Pineapple is a good source of manganese containing significant amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin B1

Click here if you like to read more about this luscious fruit.
Source Wikipedia


Photos TS

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Bromeliads in my garden;

family of monocot flowering plants of around 2,400 species native mainly to the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and one in tropical west Africa.[1] The family includes both epiphytes, such as Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), and terrestrial species, such as the pineapple (Ananas comosus). Many bromeliads are able to store water in a "tank" formed by their tightly-overlapping leaf bases. However, the family is diverse enough to include the tank bromeliads, grey-leaved epiphytic Tillandsia species that gather water only from leaf structures called trichomes, and a large number of desert-dwelling succulents.
The largest bromeliad is
Puya raimondii, which reaches 3–4 m tall in vegetative growth with a flower spike 9–10 m tall, and the smallest is probably Spanish moss.

Bromeliads are easy and colourful plants to grow in the warm climate garden. They do best if they have some shelter from the midday sun. They need light and some sun to bring out the colours in their leaves. They produce pups, their offspring, which one can cut off and plant again. Once the plant has flowered it will die, but not before it has produced one or several pups. I grow many different types,

Neoregelia, Nidularium, Vriesia, Aechmea, Tillandsia, Guzmania and more.

are one of the more recent plant groups to have emerged, presumed to have evolved at the close of the
Cretaceous, over 65 million years ago. Fossilized bromeliads have been dated back to roughly 30 million years ago. The greatest number of primitive species reside in the Andean highlands of South America suggesting a beginning there. The west African species Pitcairnia feliciana is the only bromeliad not endemic to the Americas, and is thought to have reached Africa via long-distance dispersal approximately 12 million years ago[2].

Humans have been using bromeliads for thousands of years. The Incas, Aztecs, Maya and others used them for food, protection, fiber and ceremony, just as they are still used today. European interest began when Spanish conquistadors returned with pineapple, which became so popular as an exotic food that the image of the pineapple was adapted into European art and sculpture. In 1776, the species Guzmania lingulata was introduced to Europe, causing a sensation among gardeners unfamiliar to such a plant. In 1828, Aechmea fasciata was brought to Europe, followed by Vriesea splendens in 1840. These transplants were successful enough that they are still among the most widely grown bromeliad varieties.

Photos TS.
Source Wikipedia.

Friday, 17 April 2009

SkyWatch Friday; candypink and duckegg blue;

This evening the whole sky from east to west and from south to north was a canvas of candypink and duckeggblue.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

One more.....April flowers;

April is the month when Aloes start to flower. I think the closed buds are as attractive as the open flowers. The birds do not think so they like to hang on to the small , open bells and sip the nectar.

I do like this Coleus, golden yellow infused with green. An added attraction are the scalloped, wavy edges of the leaves. This plant is easily propagated by cuttings. (Please click the pictures to see details)

This floriferous small shrub is a mutation of the bigger one I have in the garden. The Name got lost. The leaves of the tall shrub are slightly hirsute, while the leaves of this plant are glossy. It self seeds sparingly.

A creeper exits as well which is awfully self seeding like a weed, so it looks beautiful with red bells.

Hibiscus, I call Carnivale, it is nearly over the top with its starry, dark red eye looking from the soft yellow-white petals.

A small Orchid called Doritis, sounds like a disease, does it not? The orchid is a little blurred but I do not mind it, it gives the 'jungle' behind a certain ambiance.

Thunbergia, black eyed Susan, is scrambling all over the shrubs. It has taken hold of a Banksia, a small palm, a tall Bromeliad and a few more. I was ready to tear a good portion away when the friendly, golden flowers were nothing else doing than what they are doing best, climb, crawl and tumble over other shrubs and trying to soar to the very top. So I let them be for a while longer!

Love the Rose of Sharon. Until now the rain has not yet spoiled the flowers. Easily propagated by cuttings.

One of the tall Salvias, yellow flowers. Grows up to 1.20m, a soft leaved perennial shrub.

My all time self seeded favourites. Miniature Zinnias. This colour matches well the pebbles in the herb garden.

Photos TS.
Believe it or not:
Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.: Buddha - Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta

The beehive in the garden; be happy, enjoy and thank you for your visit.

Friday, 10 April 2009

SkyWatch Friday; The ghost of the rainman;

This picture shows the ghost of the rainman taking his leave. This is my first and only picture of him. He is very elusive and shows up only once in a life time!
(Believe it or not!)

After all the rain the sun comes up.

There are still some clouds lurking over the ocean.
Enjoy and click SkyWatch

I wish you all a very happy Easter.

Monday, 6 April 2009

A "leafy" day;

The pretty new leaf of a Banana. It is a cross between a Ladies finger banana and a Cavendish. It makes a small tree, produces many Banana hands, very sweet and tasty, and it is easy to harvest the Bananas.

Part of the huge fronds of the giant King fern.

Happy Plant, Dracaena, the sun enhances the golden varigation.

Coleus, Solenostemon, looks pretty with its " lime coloured crochet" around the burgundy leaves.

Philodendron selloum; has very attractive, huge leaves up to 90 cm.

Elkhorn fern, Microsorum punctatum cristatum, growing on the trunk of a native Bangalow Palm.

Believe it or not:
"There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need -- but not for man's greed." - M. Ghandi.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

SkyWatch Friday; Before the rain;

It is raining, raining, raining.... It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He bumped his head and went to bed
And couldn't get up in the morning.

SkyWatch Friday click here