Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Confident Azalea #1

Azaleas always bloom in abundance. They are particularly good for hedging as it grows strong, quite dense and richly green with a curtain of perfect healthy flowers.


These look as though they are the 'George Lindley Taber' variety - a pretty feminine confident pink!
They have distinct bright pink markings on the top petals and long pink stamens.


Azaleas are actually from the genus rhododendron.
Many from the genus have similar bushy trees and an abundance of flower clusters.
Although rhododendron means 'rose tree' they are nothing like the rose!



In Korea wine is made from the flowers.
Interestingly Azaleas are highly toxic to horses, sheep and goats!


Below the tree bush is seen in full view, healthy with very little maintenance needed if you don't feel like doing anything! Otherwise pruning it down to create a denser shrub might be a good idea.
The Azaleas also come in white.

White Azaleas will be in a separate post.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Girl Child - La Niña 13/Oct/2010

This is seeming to be a lucky time in Australia.
The La Niña effect is dominating the weather causing frequent rains. 
Although La Niña doesn't guarantee rain it certainly helps our chances of getting it which is why I'm so excited to show you what may seem to you a gloomy day (and the thunder crackles right now). 
It might look gloomy but I'm certainly loving it!
Australia is notorious for droughts and these rains are a blessing.
It is usually the opposite El Niño (which means 'the boy') in times of drought. 
El Niño usually causes a period of drought and sometimes lasts for years making conditions terrible for farmers or maintaining adequate water supply.
Compare the above photo to last year during backburning
Both these weather patterns relate to the southern oscillation index (SOI).
Again the relationship between the two is a bit sketchy and having a high index doesn't always mean La Niña will form or vice versa but it is a good indication for predictions.

It's time to enjoy the rain...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When the world goes round.

These are a bunch of flowers from my dear friends.
I received these last Thursday.
How generous, thoughtful and nice!
 Gerberas, hyacinths, roses, gardenias, freesias...





So sorry I haven't been posting! And for the terrible photos.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What's happening? # 2

I thought an update was in order so that I could explain some things in short. Here it goes...

  • Well about those birds, the noisy minor chicks...All of the chicks have disappeared. KABOOM! I have no idea where they went. I can only guess that something ate it. Now, the nest is still there and the other day the mother has been sticking around. They haven't been kicked out and they are too young to have flown away. The only remains are a few feathers. On the other hand if the mother is sticking around there could be more chicks, fingers crossed. If they are dead (which I assume they are) I shall forgive the mother for swooping. Dear O dear...
So for a remedy here is the last picture of the chicks taken a few days after the last post. 
Rest in peace little ones...

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Babies =P

(Video below!)
Remember those eggs I showed you?
Just 2-3 weeks and they have hatched!
All four have survived and appear to be doing well.
They are all cute though are a bit bare because they are so young.
Unfortunately the mother seems to always make herself scarce when ever any of us are around.
I will continue to take pictures over the coming days and weeks. 
Hopefully we'll see some feathers sprouting.
Here is a short video of the chicks.
They have such an adorable cheep!
Seems that blogger has compressed the file but the full video looks quite cute.
video
I will be sure to keep updating you guys on how they are going. 
It's rare to see such an occasion and to see these chicks grow up into adult birds.

Friday, October 1, 2010

White Daisies

Daisies are flowers often seeming to have the virtue of simplicity and are close to my heart.
They are hardy flowers that are easy to grow and are widespread across the whole world in the form of the Asteraceae family.
I believe these to be Swan River Daisies.
The specie is Brachyscome iberidifolia.
They are native to Australia. They originated from Western Australia.
The centre of the flower is a vibrant prussian blue with contrasting bright orange pollen.
They flower all the time, almost the whole year.
Each flower lasts a long while too!
They grow into a large bush and germinate everywhere.
When we first grew them they were seeds from a packet. 
They grew easily since they are a hardy plant and adapted to this native climate.
When they first flowered they had quite blue petals but have since breeded out in a way, to the white petaled form.
Did you know that the latin word "aster" means star?
(something I learnt in Year 4!)
Daisies do look like stars and suns and are very appropriately name.
And like sunflowers they open and close at sunrise and sunset. 
Look here, they close at sunset!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Freesia Revisited

Last year I made a post about the sweet smelling freesia and it was such a delight to show you.
But it was a meager offering and I would agree that although they were beautiful, one photo does not truly justify their magnificence and one clump of flowers is hardly enough. 
Well this year without encouragement the freesia has spread like wildfire and have formed two great bush like clumps and at the most obvious spot in the garden.
The weather has been cool as the freesia has bloomed so although there are many of these beautiful plants the sweet scent has not been overwhelming. I think they need the weather to be warmer for the scent to become accentuated, and a slightly windy day to sweep the nectar sweetness to our noses.
I still continue to enjoy this plant. Unfortunately they are quick to open and wither away so I have to enjoy it as much as I can while it lasts. It's really worth planting and waiting for and they self propagate with little care.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's happening?

Exciting things are happening over here. I have a few surprises that I'm sure you'll all enjoy.
I've never done this but I will be putting a short video that I hope will upload.
Hope you all stay around to watch!
????
I will be trying to post some daisies, orchids, roses, freesias, azaleas, lilies and some other unidentified plants.
As always comments are greatly welcomed! 
If you have any ideas of what type of plants the unnamed plants are that would be appreciated!
Any ideas for requests or what else I could put on this blog would be nice too.
I would love to do something that would spice up the blog!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Magnificent Magnolia

Magnolia is one of the earliest blooming flowers in the spring time. It is some of the oldest flowering plants on earth!
This is Magnolia Liliiflora (Nigra)
This specie has petals shaped like rabbit ears. Apparently magnolias evolved to encourage beetles to pollinate the flowers before bees came into being.
I remember hearing a story that a magnolia seed was found in an archeological dig in Japan having been sitting among rice grains buried in a pit for more than 2000 years! Perhaps it could even be used to cultivate the variety which could be interesting.
There is a range of shapes of the Magnolia from finger size petals to large head sized blooms. Having survived for so long the spread and evolution of the magnolia is complex and can be found in wide reaching places.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beauty in the thorny shrub. - Flowering Quince

Pretty photos below!
These bright blooms bring life to the bare thorny shrub.

They are truly beautiful with delicate petals.
Elegant simplicity.
And the thorns that shield the shrub?
They need no care and so easily grow!
What is this plant? Any help is appreciated!
EDIT - SOLVED!
A Flowering Quince, thanks to the Anon below!
I also found this out after travels in China in January 2012 where the Flowering Quince is a very popular Chinese New Year plant. New plants are bought as part of tradition!
What a beautiful coincidence!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What do you see in a tree?

Spring time has sprung as they say and something special, a gift from the sky has made itself comfortable amongst a tree.
What is it?
Come closer!

It's a bird's nest!

Look at the intricacies of the nest that was built. The bird was hard at work to construct the weaved layers of brushes to house her future children.


In between the glossy green leaves of a Camellia tree lies a surprise that has infinite value - a bird's nest filled with beautiful spotted eggs!
Four beautiful eggs! It even has some peculiar soft padding inside the nest (probably taken from man made materials).
The lady who made them seems to be an Australian noisy miner. If I can take a picture of Mother Bird I will be sure to post it up!
Hope you enjoyed this special treat from nature!
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