Monday, June 28, 2010

Dining in the Courtyard Garden.

The Courtyard Garden is my favourite spot in the garden ... it's where I expend most of my gardening energies and it's the spot that is lavished with most of my attention ... although it's not lavished with heaps and heaps of money!   In my efforts to add lots and lots of colour to this space, I've ended up with a whole lot of inexpensive containers filled with lots of annuals and colourful plants like Cordylines.  Right now the annuals are coming into bloom and it's beginning to look quite lovely as our Winter marches on.

While I so love the Courtyard Garden during the day, it's at night that I absolutely revel in the surroundings.  We enjoy many evening meals out there or sometimes just drinks and nibblies.  Last night was our first Winter's dinner evening spent with family and I thought I'd share some photos taken while I was setting up.  As you can see there's nothing extravagant or sophisticated about the table setting ... it's more the homely and unpretentious touch!  Bit like me really!

I like to scatter little candles around the courtyard to light up the lovely flowers.   I plan on getting tall candle holders ... they're on my never-ending list of things to buy one day.

As the evening draws in, it's time to light the candles.

What was on the menu last night?  Well it was a rather cool Winter's evening ... gosh the temperature got down to chilly 17 degrees C / 62 degrees F!  Oh yeah ... time for the warm winter comfort food ....
Beef and Guinness Pie with mashed potatoes, string beans and corn ... and a few glasses of a fabulous red!

Followed by Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice-cream ... then coffee/tea and chocolates.  Oh ... and a glass of Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor.  

Luckily we have enough beds for our guests to sleep over ... it's a long drive back into the city!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flower Flaunt on Friday - Bonny Balsam.

I'm joining in Tootsie's Flower Flaunt today with a flaunt that has a theme.  I've had a wonderful relationship with these beautiful flowers ever since I was a beginner gardener.  Balsam - that's the common name we use for Impatiens - was among my choices when I decided to have potted plants in my first flat.  I've had varieties of them ever since.  I just love the way the petals seem to shimmer and shine in the sunlight.

So here's a look at some of the Impatiens blooming in my garden today in the early Winter.

Impatiens balsamina.

Impatiens walleriana.

Impatiens walleriana hybrid.

Impatiens walleriana double.

New Guinea Impatiens.

New Guinea Impatiens with variegated leaves.

The hanging pots of Impatiens in my Greenhouse/Shadehouse Garden had a haircut just recently and are coming back well.
For many more great Friday Flower Flaunt posts, make sure you visit Tootsie at .........

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mosaic Monday ... Fleetwood Mac and Dragonfly!!

How on earth are these two related ... through an early Fleetwood Mag ..ical song!  The song 'Dragonfly' was written by Danny Kirwan who adapted a poem from the 1920's ... "The Dragonfly" by W. H. Davies

While you're gazing at the mosaic, play the old Fleetwood Mac song titled 'Dragonfly" below ... enjoy!
(For other great Mosaic Monday posts, visit Mary at Little Red House.)

And when the roses are half-bud soft flowers
And lovely as the king of flies has come
It was a fleeting visit, all too brief
In three short minutes, he had been and gone

He rested there upon an apple leaf
A gorgeous opal crown sat on his head
Although the garden is a lovely place
Was it worthy of so fine a guest

Oh...Oh...Oh...Oh... Dragonfly, dragonfly ..


Friday, June 18, 2010

Flower Flaunt on Friday - early Winter in north-east Oz.

When I looked around for flowers to flaunt today, for some reason a Monkees' song came into my mind ... just with different words!!!  As some of you know, Winter is the beginning of the annual flower show in my Courtyard Garden ... and this is what popped into my head when I spotted a few of the annuals showing their pretty blooms!

Here we come ....

blooming in our pots ... 

We get lots of loving looks from ....

that nut who grew us!

Hey, hey we're her annuals ...

we're just beginning our display ....

and she's so busy admiring ....

she can't put the camera down!!!!

For many more great Friday Flower Flaunt posts, make sure you visit Tootsie at Fertiliser Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wildlife on Wednesday ... Dragonflies.

I shall start by stating very clearly that I know absolutely nothing about dragonflies ... except that we see quite a few of them around the property.  I have no idea about the names, be it scientific or common, for these stunning creatures ... so there will be no interesting information to share ... just photos.

Of all the dragonflies we do see around here, there is one type that always catches my attention.  It's hard to take your eyes off it ... it's metallic body just glistens in the sunshine!

Now for some other varieties that I also do not know the name of:

 If anyone can enlighten me about names for these lovelies, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mosaic Monday ... Our Winter Has Arrived!

This is the best time for gardening in my corner of the world.  Usually Autumn is the start of the terrific gardening time ... but not this year.  The showers of rain we received almost daily ... severely restricted the amount of time I could spend out in my garden.  The number of overcast days also had an effect on the growth rate of most plants.

But now, I'm out there every spare moment I can get ... outside working hours of course!  It's not like I'm rushing home from work ... no that's definitely NOT my car you can hear screeching out of the staff carpark maybe a little earlier than I should. Ok, so it is, but you would too if you had glorious Winter's weather exactly like you see highlighted in the photo below.  This is Winter in my part of the world!

With Autumn being a bit of a write-off this year ... I've only just now finished potting my many, many containers for my Courtyard Garden.  It's taken the better part of three weeks to complete ... using whatever spare time I could.  This has been an absolute joy for me, as I love the colourful display that lasts out there well into our horrible Summer!

I only started the potted plant project last year.  My pots are not fancy, not all that chic or sophisticated ... just a mixture of cheap clay pots and plastic pots from those discount warehouses, but they do.  So this year I have pots of petunias, pansies, violas, zinnias, gomphrena, bracteantha, nasturtiums, erigeron, gazanias, verbenas, dahlias, torenias, pelargoniums, cockscomb and snapdragons sitting out in the courtyard waiting to bloom.  I've had to track the patches of direct sun during the day and position the pots carefully to take advantage of the lower angle of the sun's rays.   So here's the Courtyard Potted Garden ready to go for our wonderful Winter/Spring/early Summer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flower Flaunt on Friday - early Winter in north-east Oz.

Our Winter weather has warmed up a notch now ... daytime temps. have been up around 26 deg C (78 F)!  The days remain clear ... lovely blue skies and puffy white clouds.   For those who follow my other blog, you will know that I've spent quite some time re-potting containers for my Courtyard Garden ....
Courtyard Garden - late autumn 2010   ... and there are some lovely new blooms just appearing.

Pelargoniums ...
Dahlias ...

Everlasting Daisies (Bracteantha bracteata) ...

Violas ...

Salvia splendens ...

Portulaca (from last year's cuttings) and Cockscomb.

For many more great Friday Flower Flaunt posts, make sure you visit Tootsie at Fertiliser Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers
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