Friday, April 27, 2012

Flower Flaunt Friday ... As Our Mid-Autumn Month Draws To A Close.

At this time of year it's hard to spot many blooms around the garden here.  It's that in-between time of year ... the quiet time when the garden recovers from the harsh Summer and wet season, and gets ready for the beginning of the wonderful Winter.

Colour can certainly be found on the foliage plants that flourish here in the northern tropics.  Plants like the Crotons ...

... and the Acalyphas.

There's also sensational colour in the sunrises at this time of year.  Autumn sunrises can be fabulous.

There are brilliant golden yellow Acacia blooms visible out in the bushland around us.   Autumn into early Winter is the time for the Wattle display here in the foothills.  It's a real shame though that thugs like the Lantana camara and Jatropha gossypifolia or Chonky Apple, make life very difficult for the fabulous native Acacias.

Imagine the spectacle if these stunning Acacias covered the hillsides here!  As it is, they are almost like highlight plants in the bush, as if to remind us that they're not completely obliterated by the invaders!!

When it comes to flower power in my garden right now though ... it's a rather weak effort.  Nothing quite as spectacular as those Acacia blooms.  Of course, there's always a red-flowering Hibiscus to be spotted somewhere at my place, no matter what time of year it is.

But I do tend to think of them as the quiet wallflower that stays on the fringes of the dance or the party.   They don't really attract much attention.  I had to make a very determined effort to find some flowers to flaunt today.  There was only a smattering to be found.   Let's see what's out there ...

the Torenia fournieri,

the Zinnia 'Summer Brilliance',

the Salvia farinacea 'Victoria White',

my dwarf Azalea kurume,

the Spathoglottis plicata,

the Ixora chinensis 'Golden Ball',

and the Russelia juncea.

Oh, yes ... I almost forgot.  There are lovely flower heads on the weedy grass that attempts to grow on the nutrient-poor ground here.  Can I include those?   Thankfully the Wallabies love munching on them, so we try do the environmentally-friendly thing and not bother to mow them down too often!!!

I'm joining Tootsie for Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers

Nix for Floral Friday Fotos

and Tina's Weekend Flowers

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lest We Forget ... On This Anzac Day 2012.

Today is the day we mark the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915.  At dawn, on April 25th, Australian and New Zealand troops, as part of the Allied forces, landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey during World War 1.  

They met fierce resistance on that day and during the ensuing battle, which lasted for eight very long months, thousands of lives were lost.  It was the first ever major military action fought by Aussie and New Zealand troops, and they suffered a merciless defeat.  So why do we commemorate a campaign that failed its military objectives?  Because the actions of those very young soldiers left a lasting legacy and helped shaped our identity as a young nation.   It was a defining moment in our country's history when our nation was still very young and finding its place in the world.

The soliders, known as ANZACS, took great pride in that name, and the qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice that were displayed during the long dark days of the Gallipoli campaign gave rise to something that has helped defined Aussies and New Zealanders ever since.   It's what we refer to as the spirit of the 'Diggers'. 

Now, on ANZAC Day, we hold ceremonies all over our country to acknowledge not only the service of those original ANZACs, but all those who have served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations since then. 

 Source: Townsville Daily Bulletin

In cities and towns all over our nation, we mark this special day in two ways.  There's a commemorative service, held at dawn, which was the time of the original Gallipoli landing.  Wreaths are laid and there's a period of two minutes' silence that follows.  At the end of this time a lone bugler plays 'The Last Post', and then the service ends with the 'Reveille'. 

Later in the day,  there's a march through the city or town streets for all servicemen and women, watched by family and community members. 

Of course, here in our garrison city, we have a lot of families with loved ones serving right now over in Afghanistan.  My own particular school has a large number of Defence Force families as part of our school community.  Yesterday during our Anzac Day liturgy there were a number of Defence Force personnel, mums and dads of our students, who were there to be honoured and to honour all those who serve our country.   It was a very poignant moment watching them stand on the stage, at attention and saluting while the Last Post was played.   It was only last year that three of our own Townsville-based soldiers were killed in action.

Here's a link to a newspaper story about the Dawn Service held this morning at our city's Anzac Park, and a reminder about the sacrifices that are still being made by families today.

Garrison town turns out in thousands to remember fallen Diggers

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Celebrating 'Earth Day'

It's 'Earth Day' ... please scroll down to the bottom of the page and stop the playlist first before enjoying these great video clips.


Friday, April 20, 2012

It's Time To Flaunt Flowers ... On Yet Another Mid-Autumn Friday.

The dry sunny mid-Autumn weather continues here.  The days are still quite hot, but at least the humidity is far less and it's not as sticky out there in the middle of the day.  My place is still rather green, as our 'dry' season has only really just begun.

There's still not all that much colour around the place.  Out in the courtyard garden, I'm behind in getting my little annuals potted up.  They're still rather tiny seedlings sitting in the shadehouse garden.  I'm looking forward to having some great potted colour out in the courtyard garden this coming Winter and early Spring.

My pot of Zinnias is out in the courtyard, but not looking great.  They are dwarf Zinnias, but they're being munched on by something and they're still looking a little anorexic to me.

I'm seeing new plumes on my Justicia canrea 'Alba' and there are gorgeous little blooms appearing on the white Impatiens I added to the pot.  I do so love white in the garden!

After the long 'wet' season we had over our Summer and into early Autumn, I found lots of little volunteer Coleus and Torenias popping up in between the pavers out in the courtyard.  I managed to save some before the whipper-snipping weed control effort of hubbie, and potted them up.  They're looking very happy after the move.

The white Angelonias are still powering on, although the Gomphrena globosa 'Buddy Purple' have almost come to the end of their flowering time.  They usually self-seed in the pot though and come back again later in the year.

Now I know this in not the best shot I've ever taken, but the batteries died in my camera so there was no chance of taking another shot for this post.

Anyway, it seems that my Pilea cadierei, or Aluminium Plant, is blooming for the first time. It may be hard to spot, but that blue arrow points to the beginnings of the small cream flowers that appear at the stem tips. Maybe it's not the first time this plant has flowered, as I never really take much notice of this poor little no-fuss plant.  It's not really at the top of my plant care list, as it just sits out in the courtyard in the background never really demanding attention.

Another bloom I noticed this morning ... is the flower spike on my Cordyline 'Black Night'.  I can't wait for it to open up.

Elsewhere around my place ...

the fuzzy lemon caterpillar-like flowers of my Acacia are on show once more,

the first powder puff blooms of my Calliandra are here,

the Pseudomussaenda flava, syn Mussaenda lutea, also known as 'White Wings' continues to show its creamy white bracts and yellow flowers,

and the largest of the Duranta repens shrubs down the driveway is now back to its normal scheduled blooming cycle.

One of the disappointments recently was the battering my lovely Cosmos 'Purity' took during the couple of weeks of high winds we had at the end of March/beginning of April.  The Cosmos was only planted out in the tiered garden beds a few weeks ago, and the stems are now bent and broken and lying on the ground.  There are still flowers appearing on the broken stems however, and I haven't had the heart to cut the plant back just yet.  I'm enjoying the blooms even though the plant looks in bad shape.

I'm joining Tootsie for Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers

Nix for Floral Friday Fotos

and Weekend Flowers

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flower Flaunt Friday ... Our Mid-Autumn Month Has Begun.

There's no stunning Autumn colours or noticeable change of seasons here though, despite this being the beginning of mid-Autumn for us.  There are still quite a few blooms around the place though, even after the punishing 'wet' season, which has just finished.

In the Shadehouse Garden, there are the beautiful perfumed blooms of the white Ginger, Hedychium coronarium ...

 ... along with the blooming cones of another Ginger,   Costus productus,

... and the Ginger known as Globba winitii.

There was a surprise bloomer out in the tiered garden beds in front of the shadehouse.  Completely out-of-season, the Hemerocallis 'Picotee Bubbles' has suddenly bloomed.  I'm not sure why this is so.  It's never happened before.  Imagine my surprise when I spotted this yesterday!

In the same garden bed the last of the Lagerstroemia indica flowers are on show ...

... and there are still flowerheads appearing on the Callistemon 'Pink Champagne'.

Elsewhere on the property ...

I've been taken aback by the length of the flowering period for this patch of Cosmos sulphureus.  They just keep on keeping on.

The Ixora 'Golden Ball', out in the driveway rock garden, is finally blooming and I just love the creamy yellow.

Mussaenda philippica 'Bangkok Rose' is coming to the end of another blooming cycle.

The various Pentas lanceolatas continue on, as they are all-year round bloomers.

Scutellaria suffretescens blooms in cycles all year round too.  It's coming into another full bloom period.

The Golden Rain Tree has both yellow flowers and the peachy coloured bracts on it at the moment ... blooming and seeding all at the same time.

Out under the pergola next to the Courtyard Garden, I've spotted a couple of Jasminum officinale flowers.  It's fantastic to see the climber coming back after its ordeal last year.

There's still have one remaining Marigold planted in late Autumn last year still growing and flowering.  It just has a whole life of its own.  I'm keeping the seeds of this one!

The delicate sweet perfume of the Fiddlewood blooms stills wafts around the courtyard ...

... and our native Sterculia quadrifida or Peanut Tree growing the middle of the courtyard is now flowering and dropping its leaves.

Out in the surrounding bushland the magnificent Melaleucas are blooming, and these stands on the hillside across from our place are quite noticeable with their brilliant creamy white flowers.

I'm joining Tootsie for her Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers meme.

I'm also joining  Weekend Flowers

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