Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Pretty in pink

There is a real pink theme happening in the garden today, courtesy of a couple of new additions and some old favourites.
This is the first of the newbies, Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Sizzle'. It's similar to my two-toned 'Hot Lips'. I haven't had any luck yet tracking down other two-toned colour combinations I wrote about a few months back, but this is a gorgeous shade of pink.
Ixora 'Pink Malay' - I have planted a row of these along my fenceline. They are just brilliant and flower virtually 12 months of the year.
A lilac pink Pentas lanceolata which I love because it attracts butterflies. 
Last year I had double purple Calibrachoa, but this year I couldn't go past this beautiful cherry rose.

Finally, my other new addition, Rondeletia splendens. I had never seen one of these until a couple of weeks ago when I snapped this up at the nursery. Its taller relation Rondeletia amoena is popular in older Queensland gardens, but can be hard to get nowdays, although I managed to pick up one last year that is now in bud. The amoena can grow quite tall, whereas this seems to be a lower (1.5m) spreading shrub.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Tropical island fantasy

It is the most miserable wet day here in Brisbane but it's our last winter weekend, so I am focusing on the bright side. I know that rain is exactly what the garden needs with Spring just round the corner.

I ventured out this morning to the hairdresser, but I will be spending the rest of the weekend hunkering down with the pups on the couch (watching Saturday afternoon cooking programs), a little housework, and getting some study done. But from time to time, I have found my thoughts wandering to sunshine, palm trees, and tropical islands. And I thought I might share some memories of my time working in Tonga. This beautiful island is Pangaimoto, just a short boat trip from the capital Nuku'alofa.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Onslow and Miss Bella

Seems a few people noticed Onslow sneaking into the frame of my photo of succulents, and now I think about it, this blog is named after him so ... here's my boy - having a snooze in front of the telly.
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and with big 'sister', the simply divine Miss Bella.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Ekka

Here in Brisbane, every year in the middle of August, it's show time or, more specifically, the Royal National Agricultural Show, affectionately known at the 'Ekka'. 

The bush comes to the city for ten days of competion: from cattle, show dogs, horses, sheep and sheep dogs, through to cookery, arts and crafts.  I hadn't been for quite a few years but headed along today and had a wonderful time. Here are just some of the highlights:

There were some great 'dos...

...plenty of produce...

...and some superior vegetable carving!

Some events were fiercely contested...
...while others were just there to socialise...

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Bromeliads in flower this week

It seems ages since my last post. Uni has started again and it's all a bit overwhelming trying to establish a routine again to balance full-time work with study, after having a break for 6 months from Uni. I've tried to get ahead a little in the garden - Spring is not far off now - and a little rain would be very welcome. Luckily the broms just power on, regardless of the level of care!

This mantis has a good vantage point from my guzmania.

I posted a photo of this in bud a few weeks back but love the contrasting yellow flower that has now emerged.

The typically insignificant blue flowers seen on neoreglias; this one given to me by my brother is sunhardy.

Not in flower yet, but the cluster of leaves in the centre is hinting that it's close to blooming.

 I actually have two of these and it looks like they will flower at the same time. I think they are a bit special as it is unusual for a guzmania to have variegated foliage, although I have since picked up a small orange flowering one. I first saw this stunner at an open garden at Buderim. I bought a plant there and then, but the dogs destroyed it. Luckily a neighbour had what looks like the very same one, and was kind enough to share. Once it flowers, all will be revealed!


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