27 November 2006


Yum! We have such a wonderful crop of passionfruit coming on. The spring rain came just at the right time and the vine is laden. However for us to have any of the fruit we have to fight back against the birds so the crop is netted, except for this end where I ran out of netting. If we don't net then the cockatoos come in and eat the fruit, leaving none for us. We would be happy to share if they ate one whole piece at a time but they don't. They pull off one passionfruit, then fly to the top of a nearby Spotted Gum, take one bite and then throw it to the ground and go back for another. Very destructive and frustrating for us.

The birds and animals have had a hungry year because of the drought and throughout the winter possums trimmed the passionfruit vine completely of any green leaf. I wondered how it would go after that treatment but once the rain came in spring the vine put out new leaf and flower buds all over it. So I guess they don't mind very heavy pruning!! Posted by Picasa

26 November 2006

Water lily

If it weren't for the blemishes on the leaves this beautiful flower would not look real- but she is.

Our water lily lake is smothered with pink flowers at the moment and will be for quite a few months to come, until the water cools down towards the end of Autumn.

The frogs certainly appreciate the habitat around and on the water lily leaves. Their calls of a summer evening can be deafening. Loud enough to really hurt your ear drums! It sounds unbelievable but it is true. Posted by Picasa

Tamarisk species

Another lovely old-fashioned shrub. Some people think this is a bit weedy - perish the thought. She is tough, loves the dry, flowers a couple of times a year for long periods and is pink!! Too perfect.

My garden is large and finally reaching a stage where it is beginning to look mature, rather than raw and new. Now I am trying to develop planting combinations which are attractive in all seasons; unusual leaf shape and colour and so on. This shrub (I have a few) enables me to make long "sight lines" with something wonderful in the distance because it is quite tall. It stands out and draws you on to see what it is just around the corner.

A very worthwhile plant. Posted by Picasa

Rose 'Felicia'

I wish we had a way that everyone could smell the perfume of this rose at the same time as enjoy the picture of it. It is such a heady, gorgeous perfume.

The rose is a very old-fashioned shrub rose, not one of the new modern roses grafted onto a short stem. This one sends out long canes which flower on the end and send out new shoots at many junctions along the stem. The result is a very large shrub massed with flowers. The thorns on this one aren't too bad, but it is a rose so there are some.

I haven't imprisoned this one behind wire as nothing seems to have found it tasty so far. Fingers well and truly crossed. Posted by Picasa

16 November 2006


I had an area of garden (well, many actually), where the soil is so poor that even with me feeding it up and pampering it nothing would grow. In despair I turned to succulents and bought a plant from a church fete labelled 'Hens and Chickens'. I divided this one little pot up and spread it in a section where it languished for a time, but with a little rain it has gone crazy and is spreading very well.

When you look on the internet these plants are supposed to like a dry spot and will survive drought. I think what also needs to be said is that whilst they will survive a drought they don't really enjoy it, and when the rain comes they grow very quickly, fill in an area and look very lovely whilst doing it. Now that I know what this plant can do I will plant more of it around, pamper it and have much quicker results I'm sure. I can't wait to see what its flowers might be like. Maybe they will help me identify exactly which variety of Sempervivum it actually is. Posted by Picasa

Kangaroo Paw and Rosa 'Felicia'

It's been a wonderful day for photographs today. A cloudy sky seems to enhance all the colours.

The rose in the background is a very old variety called Felicia. It would have to be one of my all-time favourites. It flowers almost all year long, just having a little rest period in August, and has the most wonderful rich perfume (a true old rose fragrance). I've planted it close to an outdoor sitting area along with other old-fashioned varieties of plants (heliotrope, scented geraniums, gardenias and rosemary) all with strong perfumes, so that we can be rewarded with all sorts of pleasant aromas as the breezes blow. Posted by Picasa

Rosa Wichurana 'Dorothy Perkins'

This is a classic. Dorothy Perkins would have to be one of the best known of all scrambling, rambling roses. This one has been allowed to grow as it will over a tall frame. I've never cut it back, just allowed it its head - something which will have to be remedied soon as it is getting just a tad out of control. It's near a pump which waters our garden, so control is necessary because we don't really enjoy being scratched to pieces when repairs are need.

However, that mistake was ours and not the roses. Just at the moment it is a glorious picture of varying shades of pink.

Truly a lovely rose, but only if you have oodles of space. Posted by Picasa

Rose Variety unknown

I reckon this rose is good enough to eat! It's such a beautiful luscious colour.

I was given the initial plant by a gardening friend who said it was an easy to grow, tough, beautiful rose - and she was absolutely right. Mine grows on a clay mound, (discard from a swimming pool which is now a frog pond), no extra water, quite shady and with no help from me at all. It is so successful that I may have to take to it with an axe in future years!

Alas no perfume to match that gorgeous colour but I forgive it that lack. Posted by Picasa

13 November 2006

Backhousia myrtifolia

Commonly called Grey Myrtle according to my reference book, but I've never heard anyone call it that.

Such a beautiful shrub or small tree. It grows along my creek banks and is flowering in abundance this year, so much so that the creek's upper storey is white with blossom, and sooo attractive.

It doesn't appear to have any perfume to speak of and its leaves when crushed release a pleasant enough aroma, very faint, nothing like its relative the lemon myrtle. Posted by Picasa

9 November 2006

Diamond Python

We have visitors from Western Australia today. As Brian was leaving he almost put his hand on this snake basking in the last rays of sunshine on what was a relatively cool day.

This spring we have seen three pythons already, possibly this same one (who can tell?). They all look sleek and well fed. This particular one was about 2 metres long. Although Australia is home to many poisonous snakes this is not one of them.

I think its patterns are really beautiful. Posted by Picasa

2 November 2006

Epiphyllum number 2

This is a continuation of the previous blog showing the flower just past its peak. The smaller pink one in my hand is the more well known Queen Cactus, which is also beautiful, but pales by comparison to my gorgeous deep pink one. Posted by Picasa


Isn't this the most gorgeous colour?! Enormous flowers a handspan wide and simply glowing with an unbelievable iridescent pink. I bought this beauty from Matcham Rare Plants three years ago. The first year I had one flower bud which I watched grow daily. After a few weeks things really looked they were about to happen - and I went away for a few days holiday. Of course the only bloom came and went while I was away. I was so disappointed but in true gardener fashion figured that "next year" I would be home. Last year the buds formed for a few weeks but they fell off with lack of water, so I missed out again. This year I have had seven buds and very high hopes indeed.

Again I watched and watched thinking of the glory to come, and away I went again - at just the right or wrong time. I really couldn't believe it. At least I was home for the first days as the bud slowly opened - as on the right - then home again to see the last day before the flowers ended again for another year. Must make a date in my diary. No going away in late October any more.

Last year I went on a garden trip to the South Coast and visited people who were growing many different colours of this beauty so I bought a cutting of a gorgeous yellow one and a pretty paler pink. So next year once again I am hopeful. Posted by Picasa