Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Day

The last part of the last day of summer was a beautiful evening with the dogs beside Lake Wendouree:
They were so excited it was hard to get a good photo of them.

Such a peaceful evening.

So much to look at.

This was some completely unexpected wildlife:
A black wallaby, in what really is quite a suburban area, surrounded by busy roads. How did it get here? Can it survive here?

A bird I don't think I have ever seen before in real life:
Known since my childhood from a bird card out of Tuckfields "Ty-nee Tips" tea, the nankeen night heron, Nycticorax caledonicus.

Friday, February 28, 2020


Late yesterday my mother left the room with this view:
It's not quite the same view of the next building that she had three weeks ago, but it is still pretty bleak.

Now this is her view:
A bit of greenery and some flowers, and people walking past, will be more interesting for her.

Thursday, February 27, 2020


My smaller Frolic, almost ready to be sewn together:
I've been working on this a little at a time this month, between hospital visits. It is made from the extra bits I had left-over from the main Frolic. I just need to decide what colour the cornerstones should be, then I can assemble this one.

When I did my review of the garden on the 15th, I expressed surprise that no belladonna lilies had come up this year. But I should learn to check my own blog. Last year my first belladonnas opened on 7th March. And this year might be much the same:
Pink belladonna lilies emerging above, and the bud of a white one beginning to open elsewhere in the garden below.
Why ours come up so much later than others in the district I do not know.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Happy Flowers

First flower on the orange dahlias:
This is the dahlia that surprised me by having an orange flower when it should have been purple. Mr Fothergills sent me a replacement purple one, but unfortunately that one died some time after moving here. The orange one has thrived, and now is in a few places in the garden. And I know what it is called now, as I found it for sale back in spring. It is Bonnie Fire.

Another happy-looking flower that wasn't open when I did post on the flowers of February, an alstroemeria:

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Open Violets

Watching this African violet come into bloom has been the brightest part of the last week:

Although watching my mother defy medical science by seeming to get better and better once all medications were stopped, rather than sicker and sicker, has been strange. Last weekend we expected that by now we would be making her funeral arrangements, but she is very much still with us.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Creatures, Welcome and Otherwise

I mentioned recently that there are constant rabbits in the garden this year. They are hard to photograph though, because they tend to either wait until the light is quite dim to venture into the open, or be a long way from the house so I can't get a clear picture. However this one was out on the front grass at 6:00pm, when it is still quite light:
A brazen bunny!

A nicer critter to see owns these two big eyes, captured on the wildlife camera early on Thursday morning:
It is hard to guess what it is when that is all you see, but here it is on a previous visit when it sat further from the camera:
It is an Australian owlet nightjar, Aegotheles cristatus.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Garden in February

It was a rainy morning for taking photos, but here's what is flowering this month. Skip this post if flowers are not your thing - there are heaps of photos here.




Citrus tree




Sedum "Red Setter"

Diggers speedwell


Red hot pokers



Creeping boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium)


A little detour into the vege garden. Strawberries


A bee in a pumpkin flower:

A pea or bean of some variety...

Back to the flower garden. Abutilon.

Salvia (one of several varieties):

Phygelius aequalis "Yellow trumpet":

One of several different buddleias:

Others flowering but not photographed today include the dahlias, lorepetalum (just starting), various pelargoniums, nepeta, and the stringybark messmate trees.

Surprisingly only one of the crepe myrtles even has buds yet. Maybe most of them aren't going to flower this year? None of the daylilies have flowers. And no belladonna lilies have come up this year! It has been a strange summer in the garden.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Blue Lotus

This was the focus of my travel eastward:
Blue Lotus Water Garden. The garden is amazing, and getting there early on such a hot day was a good idea. We were able to see everything before the very hottest part of the day.

Not a lotus, not blue, but this is the plant known as the blue lotus, Nymphaea nouchali:
Native to southern and eastern parts of Asia, and the national flower of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Lotus as far as the eye can see:

Several greenhouses provide sheltered environments for plants from the tropics, which need warmer water than usually found in this part of the world. This is the "crocodile plant", Euryale ferox:
Its amazing leaves unfold into a large flat disc covered in sharp spines that look like rose thorns.

The blue aster waterlily needs water over 24 degrees to survive:
Its leaves are almost as lovely as the flower.

Another tropical waterlily:

Today was such a hot sticky day that we felt like we were in the tropics even outside the greenhouses. Here's my friend enjoying one of the many welcome shade pavilions dotted around the gardens:

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may remember my disappointment last year that the Amazon waterlilies were not on display at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. But thanks to the Blue Lotus Garden, I have now seen one:

A leaf beginning to unfurl, a flower just opening, and what looks like a bud emerging:
The Amazon waterlily was a highlight for me.

We ate lunch at the cafe at Kuranga Native Nursery in Mt Evelyn. The nursery has a lovely display of plants and garden goodies:

I had to restrain myself as I had a long train journey ahead. So my only purchase was:
Melaleuca nesophila, which was labelled with the common name of Western tea-myrtle. (If you are reading this, Sue, this might be the plant in your neighbour's garden.)

When I got back to Ballarat I found that scans had uncovered some new issues with Mum. That bad news made me glad I had taken this wonderful short break away. It was easier to face the situation when feeling refreshed from spending time seeing and doing such interesting things.