Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Wordless Wednesday ... Autumn Sunrises.

I'm joining Wordless Wednesday to show off some of the stunning sunrises I've been fortunate to witness here in the foothills on these last Autumn days.

and Tina's Wordless Wednesday

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flower Flaunt Friday ... On This Strange Windy Raindy Day.

We had a very strange day of weather today.  There were gale force winds and rain all day.  My suburb lost power for pretty much the entire day, as the almost cyclonic winds apparently caused some damage to the power lines on the flats.  There wasn't much to do all day without power, and of course the rain prevented me from getting out into the garden.

The 65mm of rain that fell here today means it's been the wettest May day in almost 25 years.  Rain in May is quite unusual, and certainly the amount we saw today is rather uncharacteristic at this stage of our dry season!

On top of all that, it was a rather chilly day for us.  The mercury never got over 20 deg C today (68 F) and the prediction for tonight is 13 C (55 F).  It's the first taste of Winter!  ... Yes, these are Winter temps for us!!!  I had to break out a jumper today!  Yesterday it was 30 deg C (86 F), so the drastic drop was very noticeable.

I did manage to grab a few shots of blooms today, in between showers of rain.

Looking out from the back verandah onto the courtyard garden, there was some colour to be seen.

Schlumbergera or Zygocactus.

Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' and Azalea.

Impatiens hawkeri 'Celebrette', Colours, Salvia 'Victoria White', Torenia 'Violet Magic', Gomphrena globosa 'Buddy Purple' and Angelonia angustifolia 'Serena White'.


Pentas lanceolata

The first white bracts and tiny flowers have appeared on the winter blooming Euphorbia leucocephala or Snow Flake Bush.

The little pot of Pansies had to be rescued from the rain and brought in to the house today, which was a rather nice change.

Wandering out along the front verandah, I could see some colour in the tiered garden beds.

The Duranta repens shrub is dripping with its orange berries, but it's the Salvia madrensis and Scutellaria suffrutescens that stand out in the dreary conditions.

In the front garden bed the Mussaenda philippica 'Bangkok Rose' is still covered in pink bracts and tiny yellow flowers.

Out in the shadehouse the Dragon Wing Begonias are in full bloom.

Eventually, I just had to venture out under the umbrella once the wind had died down.  I found some lovely blooms on my newly planted dwarf Hibiscus.  The flowers don't open fully on this little shrub, but they still look quite lovely.

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

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mosaic Monday ... There's Two Sides To Almost Every Story!

The Hypolimnas bolina, known as the Common Eggfly or Varied Eggfly Butterfly, is indeed a very common sight in gardens here.   Although I have to admit that I've been seeing quite a few females lately and not many males! 

The females are such lovely creatures, but there are literally two sides to them.  No, I'm not talking personality ... I'm talking about the markedly different colours on the upper and undersides of the female's wings.  

The upper sides of her wings are black with white spots and orange patches. 

But the underside is decidedly brown with a whitish band crossing the wing and little white spots at the edges.  I've often wondered about the reason for this.

I'm joining Mary for her Mosaic Monday meme.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Flower Flaunt ... As Our Last Autumn Weekend Begins.

There's just the usual little splashes of colour here and there in the garden at the moment.  The place is really starting to dry out now as we've had around two months without rain ... apart from that solitary day of light showers last month. 

The clumps of Neomaricas or Yellow Walking Iris out in the shadehouse garden and under the pergola, have started another flowering cycle.  But the blooms are rather hard to notice in amongst the tall green leaves.

Under the pergola my pass-along hot pink Salvia ... unknown ... is throwing out quite a few flower spikes.   Right now the stems are a little thin and wiry, so the tight flowerheads tend to weight them down, almost to the ground.

I do like the contrast between the Salvia and the Ipomea though.

I also rather like the Salvia madrensis and Scutellaria suffrutescens combination that's happening in the tiered garden beds as well.

The colours work well together.

I'm waiting for the Ixora chinensis 'Splash' to finally show its first bloom.  It's certainly taking its time.  Not only is this dwarf Ixora rather slow growing, but it's taken two years for the first sign of a bloom appeared.  I've been waiting for over a week now for the bloom to actually open.

Out in the courtyard the dwarf Azaleas are beginning their bloom show.  They pair nicely with the Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' out there.  

One of my Schlumbergeras or Zygocactus has been blooming for a little while now, and is on show out in the courtyard.

There are Portulacas,

... and Petunias sitting in pots out on the courtyard, adding some lovely colour to the space.

Out in the shadehouse the  Barlerias are blooming again ...

... and the Impatiens walleriana are flowering once more after their rather drastic trim back a while ago, after the end of the wet season.

One of my favourite group of plants that are showing their lovely faces in various little corners of the garden at the moment are the Salvias.  I do have a few different varieties growing in pots out on the courtyard, underneath the pergola or out in the tiered garden beds.  They've only been part of this garden for a little while now.  Some were planted back in 2010, some last year and some just recently, but they're all doing well in their little spots. 

I love the different types of foliage, the variety of colours and forms.  They are wonderful additions to my garden.

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

and Nix's Floral Friday Fotos

as well as Tina's Weekend Flowers

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