Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rainbow Lorikeets Pt 3

Mmmmmmm................................ it tastes better further down.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rain, Hail, Or Shine?

Mother Nature sure is handing it out lateley. Yesterday it was hail. For over 10 minutes it pumelled my garden & left an icey white blanket in it's wake. Lucky it was only small so the damage was minimal.

The roses have lost most of their petals.

The geranium baskets were covered in it,

and so were the orchids. The positives are that everything got an icey drink, and the ikky red dust has finally been washed away.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dust, Dust, Dust & Still More Dust

It's spring, & that usually means unstable weather. Yestrday was hot, humid & ikky, the kind of day that will only end in a storm, which it did. Great, cooling rain , cooling wind, & a clear perfect sky the next day. How wrong could I be? Instead we have dust! Thick red dust! From western NSW. Ikky horrible stuff that will not let me breath outside. All the windows are shut, the shutters are still down, and there are draft stoppers at every door, all trying to keep out this fine, red, gritty, ikky dust. The news reports this morning are saying it is the biggest one ever. I have seen dust storms before, only one mind you, but not like this, and never in Sydney. I wonder what Mother Nature will give us next.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The First of the Roses

The first rosebud of the new season comes from my climbing rose on the side fence. So far the only one, but I am sure there will be others soon to follow judging by all the new pink growth that is happening.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The First of the Orchids

My orchids are starting to bloom. This is the first one, just about open.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Winter... Or Is It Spring?

We are in July aren't we? Well, that's what the calendar tells me. July in Sydney usually means lots of coats, scarves, boots, in fact anything to keep away the freezing cold winds that blow off the snow. Anyone in Sydney over the last few days would think that we are in late spring. The days have been nothing but glorious. Temps in the 20's, in fact 23 yesterday. How is that in the middle of winter! Normally we are lucky to make 15 deg. We still have another 6 weeks of winter to go so surely this weather will break soon. I'll enjoy the sun while I can.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Rare Treat

The birds were making a huge racket this morning. Currawongs, noisy minors & the crows were all going to town. Then I heard the cause, a kookaburra. We rarely get to see the kookaburras in this part of Sydney, so it was a treat to hear him. So racing with the camera to see if I could get a pic, I followed the lead of all the birds that were fluttering around in the gum tree and found him. I only managed one pic before the other birds chased him away. You will need to look in the center of the pic to find him & hopefully if you click on the pic it will enlarge so you can see better.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Winter Colour

Well, the roses are pruned and now the garden can showcase my jonquils that were hiding underneath.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The caterpillar story continues.

Contrary to me thinking that he may have drowned in the rain guage, last week he proved me wrong. I had checked the guage in the morning, still a cocoon, but by late afternoon the above moth had emerged.

He sat in the gauge for two days until finally I tipped the guage up & he flew off to do whatever it is moths do.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Very Last of The Roses

We finally got a break in the weather. A dry day last Sunday ( well morning, anyway), gave us a chance to prune the roses. With all the rain we have had they were still blooming profusely, and with the recent rain there were new shoots appearing everywhere. Most of the blooms were spotted with the rain, but I manage to salvage a few to put inside. Not that these will last long either. Cool nights & mornings mean that the air con is on heat & roses will not last long with too much heat. So these will be the last rose pics until sometime in spring.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Last of the Roses - Pt 3

The last of the White Icebergs. Pruning will happen soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Last of The Roses - Pt 2

One of my pink roses from the front garden. There are only a few blooms left.


The weather yesterday was nothing short of dismal. It started with one of those very deep pink sunrises that was spread right across the sky. A little like the colour in the center of this rose, (Sorry, no pics) and I wondered what was in store for us. "Red in the morning, shepherd's warning" & all that. The cloud stayed for most of the day, with intermitant splashes of weak sunshine, and the temperature only made it to 10.9 deg C. Brr.................... Today is looking much better with bright sunshine already.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Last Of The Roses - Pt 1

My roses need pruning, desperately, but with the rain that we have had recently they are blooming beautifully. They will just have to wait a little longer so I can enjoy the last of the season's offerings.

2 deg C in the garden again this morning, but the wind seems to have dropped which makes it seem a little warmer.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Winter Surprises

Well, it's winter, has been for a few days now, and for anyone who doen't believe this then just poke your nose into my garden. The snow has fallen about an hours drive away and the wind is whistling straight off the snow. As a consequence it reached only 13 deg C yesterday, but with the wind chill factor it felt like 5 deg C, so far the coldest day we have had for the year. This morning it got down to 2 deg C, the coldest overnight temp for the year. Mmm...... we are still in June. I wonder what the next few months have in store for us.
On the bright side, my saved dahlia is flowering. Considering this is a summer flowering plant, I am not quite sure what is happening. Adding a cheery smile to the garden in this weather can only be a good thing. I'll take anything.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Caterpillar Tale

Remember the caterpillar from here? At the time I rescued him from my dinner & took him outside & placed him on my balcony wall. I figured it was up to him to crawl away or stay put to be lunch for one of the birds. The next day I found this catterpillar in my rain guage which is attatched to the top of the wall and I am not sure if it is the same one or another one. I have been watching & waiting to see what happens, emptying the guage at regular intervals so he does not drown.
He has changed colour,
and shape, but he has been there a while now & still looks the same. I think he might have drowned. There was one night when we had heavy rain & the water in the guage was way over his head. I'll leave him another week to see what happens. Mother Nature sure works in funny ways.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mother Nature's Rewards

We have had a fair bit of rain over the last few weeks, around 120mm ( nearly 5"). There have been times when the sun is out & then the clouds come scurrying across only to dump more rain. The result is that on occasions Mother Nature has rewarded us with some beautiful rainbows. The top one is viewed from my back balcony, over the gumtrees in the park.

This next one was taken out the windscreen of the car. I had been out to a textile exhibition opening in Western Sydney & was travelling home when this one appeared. At first it was only very short, and as I travelled further it grew until it spannned the sky. The colours were so vibrant, and at one stage it looked like it was landing on the bonnet of the car. I just had to stop the car and take this pic, though it does not do justice to the colours.
Rainbows have been rare over the last few years because of the drought. It is nice to see them again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Could I Resist?

In the nursery, right beside the roses, were these beautiful kangaroo paws. Of course, they just had to jump into the trolley with the roses didn't they. A little differnt in colour than other kangaroo paws that I have seen, and hopefully different that the other two here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A New Rose

Over the last few months, part of the garden has been in the middle of a make-over. Where once a footpath stood, ( that led to no-where following house extentions) there is now all garden. We pondered for a while what we would plant & concluded that it would be roses, daisies, jonquills, & a frangipanni tree, all of which are elsewhere in the garden, so now it all flows. We had kept the labels of the roses at the front so we went hunting to get the same ones. Plenty of the white iceburgs, but no Lorraine Lee (the pink ones), so we had to make a new decision. This one is Leonardo De Vinci, still pink, but a very differnt pink, and a lot more petals than the other pink rose. I think it will still blend in, after all, this section is down the side where the other roses are at the front. The white iceburgs, frangipanni & jonquills will tie everything together.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Who's Dinner Is This?

Nearly got some extra unwanted protein in my dinner last night. Look who was thinking he would have my mint for his dinner instead of me. Camouflage is wonderful, lucky my eyesight is better.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baby Orchids

A new shoot on another of my orchids. This is one that I bought some years back from the local orchid society, but I have lost the tag as to it's name. It comes out in spikes of tiny pink flowers in late winter, early spring. Last year when I was looking for another different orchid to buy, the lady said that these shoots were new little plants & could be planted out on their own. I have experimented with this one earlier this year, but as yet nothing much has happened. There are a few other bumps appearing on this orchid as well, which I am hoping will be flower spikes. Time will tell.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Spent Orchid Bulbs

Some years ago, someone so proudly showed me an orchid flower that they had grown from a "dead" bulb. I think that perhaps the term is "spent" bulb. When I split up my orchids earlier this year, I had heaps of spent bulbs & decided to keep one just for an experiment. This pic is the result, and if I wait long enough I am sure I will get a flower spike too. I might also add that I gave a bag of spent bulbs away, & the lucky recipient has lots of shooting bulbs. So maybe it is not so hard to get flower spikes from spent bulbs. After all, if I can do it, anyone can. I wonder how long before I get a flower spike on this one.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Orchid Spike

New growth happening on one of my orchids. I am watching, waiting & hoping that this is a flower spike. I have four others happening as well. A little dissapointing as I have had up to ten in the past. May have something to do with the fact that I split them up & gave lots away.
Cool day in Sydney yesterday. It reached a top of only 15 C, the coldest day so far this year.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Final Showing

We have had some decent falls of rain back in April & again just recently. This has made my roses make one last effort to bloom before the winter pruning.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Loving The Rain

A sparaxis plant has sprung up in the garden, ready to flower when the weather warms in spring. The garden has been loving the rain that we have had this past week, about 3 1/2" in all. The ground is now soft & makes weeding much easier.

The rain that we have had here in Sydney is not nearly as much as the NSW North Coast where it has been flooding yet again, the third time this year. As an ex local to this part of the world, I remember floods every year, but not three in a few weeks. However, I have been talking with another ex local who does remember it flooding three times in a year, just not for a very long time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Exploring Sydney - Circular Quay to Woolloomooloo

Walking from Circular Quay to Wooloomooloo is not only good exercise, but great inspiration as well. Magnificent fig trees edge the pathway around Farm Cove on the edges of The Royal Botanic Gardens.
Spiders make fabulous webs in amongst the trees if we care to look.

On the eastern side of Farm Cove is Mrs Macquaries Point and Mrs Macquaries Chair, where if we take the time to stop & look west, we will see postcard views like these.

The city.

The Sydney Opera House sitting on the end of Bennalong Point, backdropped by The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Who would think that there is a bustling Circular Quay between the two, full of ferries, busckers, locals & tourists from around the world.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Exploring Sydney - Parramatta River

Although I have lived in Sydney for quite some years now, there is still a lot of this city & surrounds that I have not seen. So last weekend we took the rivercat from Parramatta to Circular Quay. The mangroves & the birds line the upper reaches, in between the industries at Rose Hill & Silverwater,

then give way to housing with million dollar views from Rhodes all the way down to the city & beyond.

The views of the city are vastly different looking from west to east, and at some point the name changes from Parramatta River to Sydney Harbour.

About an hour later the rivercat docked at Circular Quay, where with local ferries, train station, & overseas terminal we can go any where. But who would want to when the harbour looks like this?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Autumn Roses

The rain that we had back in April has brought out a few more buds on the roses. So there should be a few more blooms before pruning begins in a few weeks.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Up Close & Personal - Pt 2

One double jonquil flower fully open. I wish we had PCs with smelling capabilies. The perfume of just one of these will fill a whole room.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Double Jonquils

My double jonquils are out. The flower heads get so many flowers with so many petals that they get very heavy & fall over. This is usually when I pick them & take them inside.I have to be very careful though how many I pick & where I put them as the perfume is so stong I can end up with sinus. Usually only one in a small vase is enough to perfume the whole room.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Bug World

Ant bites hurt at the best of times, so I am glad this fellow left me alone. I spotted him crawling all over my climing rose. It is easy to see his size compared to the size of the rose leaf he is crawling on. He was at least an inch long.

I wonder how he liked out 5 degree moring this morning!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bye Bye Birdie

There are only so many camera clicks a bird can take.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Play Time

After hearing a rucus going on in the front garden, I found these Noisy Miners playing in my new frangipanni tree. This tree is a pink frangipanni that has been in a pot for a few years, and when we planted it we staked it, & tied some fabric strips around to hold it in place. As you can see the birds are playing with some of the fabric threads. The weather is a bit too cool for nesting, so they must have been just having fun.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Garlic Chives

Who would have thought that garlic chives could have such a pretty flower? Nearly pretty enough to put in a vase. Take it easy on the chives in food prep though. These garlic chives are very strong & only one leaf is necessary to flavour anything.