Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Inspiration Or Home

How about this tree, quite dead, & just left sitting, or should I say standing, in the park. The only reason that I can think of is that it would now be hollow & make great nesting places for some of the parrots. Personally, I think it is a great artform.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yellow Flowers - a Wattle?

Continuing on our walk through the park, we came upon a few trees like this one covered in yellow flowers. I have absolutely no idea what it is but I figure it is a native of some kind. Very pretty. I'll have to do some research & find out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Can See You!

Further down the road from the spider's web of yesterday, is a colony of corellas. There are litterally hundreds of them that make a very loud screeching noise. I really feel for the humans which live close by, they are so loud. They are in every tree, on the road, on the walkway over the road, and even in the air flying. This one was watching me very closely to make sure I did not come too close. I have a few pics from yesterday's walk around the park which I will share over the next few days. So stay tuned to see what I have in store.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Morning Walk

Christmas is over for another year, & feeling like a frump from eating too much, this morning was the time to start the morning walks again. Down the road to the nature strip along one of Sydney's orbital roads, around the park adjacent to the Georges River, then back up the hill to home. I took the camera with me this morning, & first up was this architectectual marvel, shining in the early morning sun.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mother Nature's Colours - The Rainbow

OK, OK, I know I said I may not be able to post much over the next little while, but I could not let this go past without sharing it. It has been another warm day & the storms have been predicted. No storms have eventuated as yet but the rain is around, and combined with the setting sun just a few minutes ago, Mother Nature has produced this beauty. The colours are not quite as vibrant in these pics as they were in reality, but I am sure you can all imagine. Rainbows have been rare lately , it has been so dry. This one was just so nice, be it seen through electrical wires.

NSW Christmas Bush

I am thinking that as we lead up to the Christmas week that I may not have a huge amount of time for posting pics & blogging. So I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas, & Happy Holidays. For everyone taking to the road these holidays, travel safe, so that you can return to read what I have in store for you all. So I will leave you now with a close up pic of my NSW Christmas Bush in flower.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Australian Wood Ducks ?

These ducks were wandering across the paddock on our recent trip up the coast. I have no idea what type of duck they are, but they certainly are not the ducks that I am used to on the lake just down the road from home. They look very similar to the ducks on this site which are Australian Wood Ducks. Considering the distribution map on the site, these ducks could possibly be the same.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Australia's Largest Bird

On our recent trip away, one of the places that we stayed at had a kind of "farm". Me being an ex farm girl, this certanly wasn't a real farm in any sense of the word. It was more a paddock with interesting animals for the tourists that come to stay. There were goats, ducks, alpacas and this emu. To see an emu in the wild, one must travel to the inland areas of our country. Living near the coast as we do, emus can only be seen in captivity, like this one. Emus are our largest native bird, and the third largest bird in the world. They are also flightless. More information about them can be found here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another Hibiscus

Well, the weather people certainly got it right over the weekend. From a cool top temp of 18 degrees on Friday, we got to over 31 degrees on Saturday. Now that is more like the summer that I know. Hot winds from the west certainly helped to remove all that humidity that was hanging around after the rain, but it took just about all day to do it. The wind is still with us but has moved more around to the south now so it is much cooler again. The lovely rain that we had on Friday, combined with the heat of Saturday are just the perfect growing conditions for my hibiscus. This is the flower of my other hibiscus. I actually like this one better than the pink one.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Rain

It's raining again this morning. Not that I am complaining, as my garden desperately needs it. It is just that I am over this cold weather. We got to a top of 19 degrees with an apparent temp of 14 degrees yesterday & in my way of thinking that is winter in this part of the world. It is after all summer in Sydney, & Christmas is around the corner. It really should be sunny & hot, with temps in the 30's. The weather people say it is going to be seriously hot tomorrow, but something serious is going to have to happen for us to get to that. In the meantime, my pots are all out from under cover getting a drink, including this geranium.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Stranger Grows

A few weeks ago I repotted some of my hanging baskets with some geranium cuttings. Last week when I was putting them out in the rain for a drink, I noticed this strange plant growing in amongst the cuttings. Mmmm......................... now I wonder what this could be & how it got there.

I have two theories:-

1. There was something in the potting mix that I used to repot the geraniums.
2. It is the product of some seed that I have collected & put in there at some stage.

Now, there are problems with both these theories. A second plant the same as this has appeared under my lemon tree. If the seed was in the new potting mix, then how did it get under the lemon tree as well? If I had put seeds that I collected into the basket, then that would have been some time ago, and they would have gone out with the old potting mix, which got thrown onto the garden. I did, however, have old cocoanut fibre lining a basket, which we put under the lemon tree to act as a mulch. This could account for the mystery plant appearing here, but not in the basket.

Mmmm............................who am I to question Mother Nature. I will just watch & find out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hibiscus Report

Back in September I posted about my hibiscus. I am pleased to report this morning that it actually is recovering quite well & is now producing flowers again. Only a few I might add, but flowers all the same. This pic shows the first one just about to open.

Notice all the leaves the bush now has!

My Scrub Apple Grows

A week after I repotted my new babies, my Angophora hispida, or more commonly known "Scrub Apple" is already putting out new shoots & leaves. I am rather stoked at this, and am eagerly awaiting what will happen next, & how long it will be before this little tree flowers. I will keep you all posted on the progress.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Corella Family Breakfast

After an afternoon of thunderstorms & over an inch of welcome rain yesterday, this morning dawned very foggy but noisy. It wasn't the alarm that woke me, but these Corellas skreetching. They were feeding on my neighbour's pine tree. This one decided that he wanted to dine alone and not share his food with anyone.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Slimey Things

This morning dawned cloudy & by the time I went for my morning walk, it was raining lightly. So by the time I came home, guess what was crawling all over the garden. A member of my family has a habit of seeing if "snails can fly", and with a toss in the air the snails land on something hard like the road or driveway. Guess who has also picked up the habit, only to find out this morning that sometimes this just does not remove the snails pemanently.

So this morning I returned to a memory of my father, who used to fill an old paint tin that he had (complete with wire handle) with boiling water. He would then go around the garden, in the rain, collecting every snail he found, and drop them into the tin. This was me this morning, with a bucket partially filled with boiling water, collecting every snail I found. I might add that the snails definately did not like the hot water, and are now cooling ready to be manure for my garden.

I might also add that the rain did not last very long & was not even enough to wet the driveway.

Snail pic above courtesy of


There were lots of banksia trees along the walks that we did while we away. I noticed that there were different types, and the buds of the flowers were all slightly different. As I suspected there are lots of different types as I discovered here. There are different colours,

and differnt shapes.
Though I think they all dry off to form the "Big Bad Banksia Men" that are mentioned in MayGibb's "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" series.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Orchid Growth

I noticed the other day that a few of my orchids are putting up new shoots. I admit that I do not know a lot about growing orchids, but I am learning. Maybe they need repotting & splitting up. Some of the pots are becomming very crowded and could do with some TLC. The above pic is of my rock orchid from before, while the one below is a new shoot on a different type of orchid.
The local orchid society has displays at our local shopping center every year & I gather infromation & new plants form them each time. This past year I was told that this orchid should put out new growth from part way up the stem, and now it finally has. The last few years it has only put out new shoots from the base, this year it has done both. I'll just watch & see what happens.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mystery Blue Flower

On my recent trip away, I came across this blue flower on one of my walks. I have absolutely no idea as to what it is & have been searching the net trying to find it. The closest I have come is a "Blue Grass Lily", or a Dwarf Morning Iris", but I really don't think it is either one these. I'll keep searching. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated, just to satisfy my curiosity.

African Violets

This morning I thought I would show off my african violets. I have struggled for years to get these to flower in various spots around the house, but they really like my kitchen window sill. I used to be able to get them to flower all through autumn, winter & spring, but since we put in the air conditioner, they don't flower as much. It must take all the humidity out of the air that they need. I have about 18 pots of these, of varying colour, which are all beginning to bloom. We have had a few weeks break from using the air con so they are obviously happy at the moment. The weather is heating up, and as we are in summer now, the air con will start to go back on again shortly to cool things down, so I am tipping this happy little pot of colour will not last long. We will have to wait & see.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rainbow Lorikeet

Check out this cute little fellow, a rainbow lorikeet feeding on the flowers of this palm. These little parrots can make a lot of noise when they want to too, especially if there are lots of them around. I quite often hear these birds on my morning walks, as they feed on the bottlebrush flowers that line the nature stips of our neighbourhood. I usually hear them before I see them, as they blend into the trees well with their colour. This pic was taken on my recent time away.

Noisey Visitors

This morning I was peacefully eating my breakfast when this horrendous screetching interrupted me. I knew the cocatoos were around & by the sound,there were lots of them. The noise continued, fading in & out, until it seemed to settle into one spot, extremely loud. They could only be in one spot, the gum tree in my neighbours yard. I have captured about a dozen here, but there were others in other parts of the tree. Thank goodness they only stayed settled for about 5 minutes, before moving on to disrupt someone else's breakfast, and I could continue with mine.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kangaroo Paw

My babies are doing well & have not looked back from being removed from their black tubes & planted in something larger & more nourishing. They have been rained on a few times over the last few days, so hopefully this will help them to establish.

The above pics are of the kangaroo paws that are planted on the nature stip just before the bridge at Tuncurrry. They look stunning, & I fugure if they grow well on a council nature strip, they should go well in my garden as well. After another spell in my own garden, trying to clean out all the encroaching grass, I had a brain wave that I could plant kangaroo paws all the way down my side path. Mmmmm............ something to think about. The local nursery had heaps of them the other day when I went for a visit.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Babies

The storms did evenuate yesterday, one at lunch time & a second late afternoon. Overall a nice little drop of rain for my wall pots that I had left out. Also what these new babies required. I acquired these from a wedding that our family attended just recently. Instead of the traditional almond bomboniere, the bridal couple provided tubed Australian Native Plants, wrapped in florist paper of a colour that matched the bridal party. Very nice! So I now have two kangaroo paws, one NSW waratah, and one Angophora hispida. I have been doing some reading about these plants, where to plant, how to plant, how often to water, etc etc, so for the moment I have just transferred them into lager pots containg a mix specially for Australian Natives. At least that will give me some time to think about where I will eventually plant them .

Friday, November 28, 2008

Caterpillar Party

Yesterday the weather forcast was for late showers & thunderstorms, so being the storm watcher that I am, I was checking the radar site to see if any were on their way. By 4pm there was a whole band of storms along the ranges, so hoping we would get our share of rain, I put all my wall pots out to get a drink. Doing so, I noticed one particular geranium looking a little sad, and on further inspection I found out why. There were at least five of these little creatures having a party on my plant. Needless to say the party was soon over. I might also add that the storms missed us totally.

This morning I noticed a very red sunrise, "red in the moning, shepherd's warning" and all that stuff. So I am hoping for some rain today, the forcast is for storms again, so we will just have to wait & see. There are more caterpillars having another party again this morning so I think it is time to bring out the heavy artillary................. bug spray!


This is one of my most favourite places to be, beside water, watching the sun either rise or set. This is a sunset over Wallis Lake at Forster, complete with pelicans. There are so many options of watching the sunsets here. Fishing in a boat on the lake, fishing off the wharf, sitting on the wharf eating icecream, walking along the wharf, eating dinner at one of the many restraunts along the wharf................... I'm sure you get the picture.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Acacia ?

While we were away I snapped this pic on one of my walks. Something different, & something I had not seen befere. Obviously another Australian Native of some kind, so I just had to find out what it was. I have been doing some research since I came home & think it may be an "Acacia Genistifolia". Maybe someone can help me out here.
On the drive up the coast, we heard on the radio that there are hundreds of different wattles, and on any given day, one of them will be in flower somewhere in this great country of ours. After doing my research I would believe it, somewhere I read that there are nearly 1,000 of them in Australia. I have also found out that they can vary in colour from cream, to pale yellow, gold, even purple & red. Now that was news to me! I have grown up knowing wattles to be only yellow! Also news to me was that wattles are also found in Africa, South America, Mexico & parts of South East Asia. The say that we learn something new every day, and I sure have this week!


Two days ago, just on dusk, there was such a racket going on outside that I could hardly hear myself think. On further inspection I found this sulphur crested cocatoo sitting on the telegraph pole.
He watched me intently, I guess hoping for food. No chance! I have fallen into that trap before & then had them hanging off the house as well as pulling my garden to shreads. After a few minutes he was joined by more of his friends.

They were all a lttle fluffed due to the cool breeze that has been comming up every afternoon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bennett's Head Magpies

Continuing our walk along the coast, right up to Bennett's Head to try & catch a better view of the whales, we came across these magpies.
In this second photo, he bacame a little wary of my being too close with the camera, and decided to fly. Also in this pic you can notice just how high we were & why we wanted to be here for better views of the whales. I am not sure of the angle of the view from the point but it would be at least 250 degrees, and on a clear day you can see for miles.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Home Garden Catch-Up

My own garden at home has become so overgown with weeds, this morning I took advantage of the cooler weather & tackled the bed underneath my frangipanni. Over an hour to clear all the weeds and half an otto bin later, I'm sure you can imagine how overgown it was. This is a pic of my first frangipanni for the summer, just opening this morning. No perfume yet, but in a few days there will be more flowers & I look forward to the perfume floating through my dining room window.
One of the first things I noticed when I came home was that my shasta dasies were all out. This is just one of the little pockets that I have left after the drought, and when they finish flowering, I hope to get some more cuttings to spread them around the garden again. I look forward to seeing the butterflies that they will attract.


Continuing our walk along the coast, watching the whales & the dolphins play in the water, I managed this pic of one of our native bottlebrush . As an Aussie, I am ashamed to say I don't know much about our Australian native plants, but I think that may be about to change. I did know that there were differnt types of bottlebrush plants, but in my reading this morning, I have found out that there are many different types of bottlebrush. This one was only a small plant, whether small by nature, or small because of age I am not sure. It's leaves are different to the leaves that are on the bottlebrush on our nature strip. These leaves were much shorter, & consequently looked a little fatter, while the leaves of the one on our nature strip are much narrower & longer. How the flowers emerge are also different. The fine fillaments on this one emerge from a stem, while the fillaments of the one on my nature strip emerge from the base. Mmmmm...................... an interesting difference.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I am not sure if I have gathered any regular readers on this blog yet, but if you are, you may have noticed my absence over the last few weeks. I have been away spending some time on the beautiful Mid-North Coast of NSW. So the next few posts will be about the life beyond my garden, and that of the life on this section of the coast.
One of my playgrounds during this time was the beautiful Pacific Ocean, and host at the moment to the whale migration along the East Coast. Looking for dolphins, & noticing some splashing in the water just off the coast, we came to the conclusion that these splases where way to big for dolphins, and could only be made by whales. This pic shows Mum & Baby having a great time.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Australian Bi-Centenial Rose

One of my beautiful red roses this morning, once again taken in the drizzley rain. I bought this one quite some years ago & on the tag it was called "Australian Bi-Cenenial Rose". Personally, it is the smell that I wanted, not the name, as one of these flowers in a vase will perfume the whole house. The perfume is just divine.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Colourful Beetle

I found this beetle crawling all over my white roses yesterday. As usual, I am not sure if he is friend or foe. Though with those jagged edges to his antanea thingys I am sure he could do some damage.

I found him very pretty though with that blue/green colour on his back and that bumpy texture. My mind is working overtime how to interpret him into textiles somehow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

White Roses

Something beautiful this morning. Just one of the many white roses at present in my garden. The rain from the last few weeks has brought on a flush of flowers on all my white roses. So in a few weeks my garden has changed from pink to white. This pic was taken in the drizzly rain of last week & if you look close, some of the other blooms on the same bush can also be seen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Curl Grubs

I found these curl grubs yesterday sitting on the top of one of my pots. There were three of them just sitting on the top of all the leaf litter. There isn't anything in this particular pot, but what worries me is that I have a dwarf lemon tree in a large pot not too far away, and these grubs feed on roots.

I have been doing some research this morning & found out that these grubs are the larvae of beetles, which I find very interesting. As these ones were about 4cm long, I would like to see the beetle that they tun into. About an hour later they were no where to be seen. Possibly buried back into the soil in the pot, or maybe lunch for my favourite magpies.