Saturday, July 1, 2017

July, July, blue sky, a slice of life drama around the garden.

1/July 2017 Photos from this morning.

Winter suits this vibrant climber performing a theatrical show, mixing and climbing up trees and mingling, holding on to shrubs to show off its orange exuberance.


Here out performing a cotoneaster which is quietly good natured and does not mind at all.

A LIFE Performance; the new and the old; 

"Beach Blanket" little Roses not yet touched by the anxiety "To be or not to be"?

Camellia "Pink Gold"  Yes, I could say this is my favourite actress, she performs in the shade, away from the crowds, she pleases herself and does not care if the queen herself would drool over her.

AS, always the morning sun performs her magic turning light into shadows.

Bougainvillea California Gold.

Lookin up...

Looking down..

That's it for today,  all plants were performing this morning just for me....and for you.

5/July/ 2017

Yesterday morning when I went up to the kitchen garden to pick snow peas, I had a bit of a surprise when I spotted (actually Bobby saw her first) this early visitor curled up in the feathery bed of carrots. Waiting for the sun to warm her up. She as a beautiful carpet pattern that gives her the common name of carpet snake. If you leave them in peace they leave you in peace. Not at all aggressive or poisonous. I think it is quite a privilege to welcome wildlife like her in the garden.

Act II
This morning, 19/07/2017 Roses, a new flush, lovely to see;

Roses have played a dramatic role in the Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses 1455 - 1487 were a series of wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, and the House of York. The red rose of the House of Lancaster and the white rose of the House of York.

Rose Mr. Lincoln.
Bred by Swim & Weeks, USA, 1964 this is a very tall growing rose to 1.8 metres.
The dark red blooms are very fragrant and high-centred and the petals have incredible substance and when fading, take a rather dark purple hue. This rose is ideal for the vase and one bush will produce many magnificent long, strong stems.

Apricot Nectar quite pink in winter, photos are showing natural colours.

Apricot Nectar, Floribunda Rose bred by Eugene Boerner in the USA and introduced by  in 1965. It is one of the most popular Floribunda Roses in Australia due to its vigorous growth habit, regular repeat flowering and its consistent performance throughout its growing period. Much recommended for the sub-tropic gardens.

Perfectly aesthetic, Nature's know how for a few glorious days.

The dark side of roses; perfect today and perhaps tomorrow.

A sweet, Orchid has made an appearance, showing of its tiny flowers, Twinkle is its stage name.

Next show...perhaps tomorrow...

20/07/2017 3.00 PM a beautiful sunny day.

A selfie, yes, Roses  do make selfies.

Tibouchina high up, winking, flirting, look at me, pick me,make me a star for ever.

“Non est ad astra mollis e terris via" - "There is no easy way from the earth to the stars” 
― Seneca

see you soon....again. bye for now.

                      ©Photos/Text/Stories around the garden Ts

Friday, June 2, 2017

June; a winter-garden;

Life means more than just being alive. Ts

The softest pink of the morning sun makes the darkest corner glow. Ts

Variegated, dark red Bougainvillea begins to flower now, a flamboyant winter's treat.

Here a pretty pink C.sasanqua growing since many years in the garden. Always a pleasure to see. These are such easy shrubs/trees, no fuss at all.

Colourful leaves are welcome any time. Especially when they are as easily grown as cordylines.

I am asked:"What is winter like in the subtropics?" Sunny, warm days and cool nights. Sometimes the winter witches are let loose and then the wind blows cold, the landscape looks eerie and bland for a day or two mostly three or four and I can't wait until dust motes dance again in the warming morning sun.


Brugmansia; Angels Trumpets;  The plant may grow to a tree and flowers many times of the year with an abundance which amazes me every time. They scent the air at night and early morning. It is just one of those plants you don't want to miss in your garden.

Nature’s might we do not fully understand,  we are overwhelmed and saddened by its 
relentless reasons of cruelty, or we are awestruck by its actions of beauty and serenity. Ts


Dendrobium Orchids are very easy to grow preparing themselves now to flower in September.

Trees are the perfect place to grow many different kinds of Orchids be it in pots or  holding on to branches with their roots.

Pretty Gerberas,  this is one of the old breeds. growing very well in all conditions in the garden.The new hybrids do not last in my garden.

A modest garden contains for those who know how to look and to wait,
more instruction than a library.
Henri Frédéric Amiel 1821 - 1881


Iceberg rose in the wintry, early morning sun. Everything looks the same despite a big shadow has settled over the garden.  It is absurd but a timeless time,we can not see or touch, heals everything to a certain extend. With every family member you lose settles a bittersweet memory.

No winter without annuals in pots, here Petunia, Daisies violas and carnations.

No winter blog post without my favourite Monsieur Tillier. The rose bush has grown very big full of bud and roses in a steady continuation. In winter the flowers are big. In the summer's heat they are tiny and not growing and flowering as profusely as they do now.
I love the old antique roses, their history and beauty, lived through centuries and looked after by dedicated people.

...and then there is this, as a garden never sleeps, at least this is the case in the subtropics..

and this, palm fronds torn to pieces by my JR Bobby.


Pretty and odd, Malaviscus penduliflorus, with brilliant red flowers, also known under the names of Turk's cap which might be not politically right anymore, but I could not care less what the right, left or centre dictate; also known as sleeping Hibiscus which is rather sweet. For all I know it is a tough floriferous shrub. It may grow quite tall if not pruned.
I like it!

Morning dew blushes the  flowers of Euphorbia millii.

I am an early morning person, even in Winter I love to see the first rays of the sun, here gilding the last colourful leaves of a Persimmon tree.The fence is the boundary for the chickens. Many fruit trees are in the chicken yard, as they will eat all the fallen fruit.

Poinsettias are a real winter treat and make a splendid show for many month with their  beautifully  coloured leaves.

This morning;

Brilliant sunrise.

Sunrise begins
Sunset ends
the day
We see the light
We see the dark
In-between we hear our story
A little spark of happiness
Or silence
Our journey with the light and the dark. Ts

Last day in June 30/06/2017

Heliconia angusta "Christmas" is flowering now and these beautiful flowers are crying out to be picked.

It is better to be a young June bug than an old bird of paradise. Mark Twain.
Well the month of June has danced like a butterfly, it has produced  green leaves, pink roses, beautiful dawns and brilliant sunsets. The sunshine, golden softness and the rains plentiful. 
Hopefully I see you in July. Take care and enjoy your garden.

©Photos and stories from the garden Ts 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Oh's Mayday, it's Mother's day...

it's Father's day, i'ts Children's day, its Everyday,
always flowers from the garden.

Ended the last month with roses  and start this month with roses, as this, the time of roses, at least in my garden.

Crépuscule is a reliable rose bred by Francis Dubreuil in France in 1904. It is a Noisette, one of the Old Garden Rose categories.

In my garden practically flowering through out the year. With its decorative small clusters, Crépuscule creates a beautiful rose display with intense, sweet, Old Rose fragrance.

Crépuscule can grow into a very large tall shrub rose up to 4m high and 2 to 4m wide. It is also capable of a semi-climbing habit and can be trained against a trellis or along a fence. Crépuscule is orange, fading to apricot-yellow; the name is French for “twilight”, very apt given its colour reminiscent of sunset.

Quickly to repeat to flower, richly fragrant and very disease resistant; these attributes ensure that Crépuscule is for sure a favourite rose in my garden.

Harvested Jaboticaba. These cherry like fruit are absolutely delicious. These had the perfect ripeness and sweetness. Even the fairly tough skin could be eaten. They are like little health bombs; one fruit contains:
Jaboticaba fruit is low in carbohydrates. It is a rich source of vitamin C and also contains other vitamins like vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid. Minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, manganese and zinc are also present in this fruit. In addition to vitamins and minerals, Jaboticaba is also a good source of several amino acids, fatty acids and many powerful antioxidants that have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies reveal that Jabotica peel is a high source of dietary fiber and phenolic compounds (anthocyanins) that have potent antioxidant properties. Jabuticaba along with its Myrtaceae family fruits have high content of ellagitannins. Jaboticaba peel has one of the highest content of ellagic acid. Anthocyanins content increases with ripening of the fruit.

Also made shortbread biscuits today. Recipe from the "Great Dixter Cookbook"
As I have a habit to change recipes to suit me,  I used a bit less butter and added  some white wine to moisten the dough.
350 g plain flour, 175 g Rice flour,  175 g of caster sugar and I used 300g butter instead of 350 g but added  1/3 cup of white wine. Mix  it all together  and roll out on baking paper. Bake 180 C for around 30 min. Cut the shortbread  while still hot but leave it on the tray until cool. The bikkies are delicious.

OK I think that's it for today. 
I worked for about 4 hours in the herb garden, cleaning up. Not yet finished, as there is so much to do. It already looks much better again. 

Many herbs find any nooks and crannies to lodge their seed. Here Mexican Tarragon has seeded into the gaps of the concrete tiles.

Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair 
Playing in the wanton air.  

See you soon again.

When I wrote see you soon again I did not know that there was a terrible change on its way which my family and I did not expect to be so quick and final. Today is already the 25. of May and I was not able to continue the garden in May. Today I make myself to continue...

If nature is not broken in its core it has the great tendency to bounce back. This Dahlia was battered and crushed by rain and wind, when Cyclone Debbie was let loose. I thought it might take a year to recover if it does recover at all.. Yet in a short time it has flowered again on crooked, broken limbs. So if nature wants it we can come out of the darkest and saddest corners and flower again.Ts

The roses were just blooming and the next day I picked them for his timeless journey.

This morning one open bloom of this Geranium winked at me and smiled; red Geraniums were Peter's favourites.


Because I could not stop for Death.  Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886

 Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labour and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –

Today is the last day of autumn. May went and left its mark, I will never forget. I take now every day as it comes, slowly, after my motto "tomorrow is another day". Cooler nights and mornings, brilliant sunny days...winter in the subtropics.

All the pictures were taken this morning around 11AM 31/05/2017 in my garden.

Late autumn and winter provide fresh lemons and Oranges like Washington Navel.

Hibiscus Fiji

One of the newer Poinsettias. This one has a subtle powder pink  middle, very pretty. Received this plant from my daughter Lilli.

The lovely, tough Pentas flower through all the seasons.

A look over the fence.
Miss V's Oak leaf Poinsettia is again in full flower,
 and her giant Eucalyptus tree, soaring into the sky, home of Koalas.

Pretty Poinsettia  "Snowflakes";

There is still a blue banded bee enjoying the new flowers of Salvia "Majestic Towers".

Can not think of a winter in the subtropics without remembering a brilliant blue sky and pink Bougainvillea.

Tomorrow is winter;

Succulent Donkeys Ears, flowering on tall stems. Kalanchoe gastonis bonnierii.

Flowers of Flap Jack; Kalanchoe thyrsifolia.;

As Dad is not here  anymore to  sow and plant  vegetables, which he enjoyed in his own regimental and scientific way, the girls will help  with planting and harvesting.  I am sure Peter would be happy to know that his vegetable garden is still in full production  and very much appreciated.

In the Kitchen garden department sugar peas are growing  plus many brassicas, onions, aubergines  and tomatoes.

Fennel and Kohlrabi are also ready to be planted out.

Even in the subtropics, winter is a time for comfort food. Thick soups and apple pies. The days are short. It is the time for invitations to share food and stories, Ts

Red Plumbago in full regalia climbing up and mingling with long fingers into the next tree.

Pretty Vriesia catching the sun.

Finishing May with the pink roses of Monsieur Tillier. An old rose bush brilliant for the subtropical rose garden.

Next entry will be in June. Stay tuned and enjoy your life. Take care.

Poetry used by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Ralph W. Franklin ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Photos/Text #myGARDEN Ts