Saturday, 29 October 2011

Jacaranda time

There is so much happening in my own garden and a little further afield that it is hard to know quite where to start. One of the most iconic sights in Brisbane at this time of year is the jacaranda. When Richard, my friend at work, asked me if I knew what that meant, my unhesitating reply was 'Yes -- exams!', but he quoted a Christmas carol I didn't know:
When the bloom of the jacaranda tree is here,
Christmas time is near.

I prefer Douglas Stewart's take:
Where, dancing with pale blue fire, the branches rear
And the dark twigs hold the sky up to the sky.

At the University of Queensland

The University's Great Court

The colour of the jacaranda is often debated. Are the flowers blue or purple? There is a lot of purple prejudice out there, but I am one of its staunchest defenders and feature it in the garden whenever I can.

Cordyline - I think this one is a native variety.

This is one of my favorite daylilies 'Acacia Bella' in my front garden. I'm sure I saw it described somewhere as having a jacaranda eye zone.

Hardenbergia violacea  This has sprung up mysteriously in my garden. I'm not sure if it is from the nearby bushland, or a remnant from previous owners. The most widely grown variety is called 'Happy Wanderer'.

A postscript to my previous post on star jasmine - here Morning Glory has infiltrated a garden bed. It might be the most terrible weed but the colour is divine, and, like the jacaranda, it hovers on the purple-blue cusp.

Purple foliage courtesy of one of the bromeliads Neoregelia concentrica

Well, if you were purple phobic before, I hope I have convinced you of its beauty.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Star performer

The star jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides  is absolutely stunning at the moment and has a perfume to die for.  Here are two pretty examples of its use in my neighbourhood.

Complementing a stained glass window and murraya hedge at a coffee shop in Martha Street Camp Hill

Smothering an arbour in a nearby street

There are also some great examples of it being used on more commercial sites.

As a ground cover with cycads - just the tips of their fronds showing.

Softening a cyclone wire fence at a local school

I've opted for the variegated version along my driveway.

With a 'Little Gem' magnolia and backplanted with agapanthus

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Garden tea party

Last Sunday afternoon I headed along to the Emerging Writers' Festival "The Reader: Writing on Writing" at West End's wonderful Avid Reader Bookshop and Cafe. Usually, their book launches are in the evening after work, so I hadn't noticed their quirky (tea-) potted plant collection in the courtyard. I love it and definitely want a tea pot plant of my own.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

October Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

This is my first posting for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, which showcases blooms and gardens around the world on the 15th of each month. It is mid Spring here in Brisbane and there's so much to love in my garden at the moment, it's been difficult to choose which favourites to share.

I have been very impatiently waiting for this bromeliad to flower, and it was definitely worth the wait.

Guzmania 'Giselle'

This is a recent addition and I am absolutely smitten. It is the most beautiful cherry colour with a purple cast to the centre of the flower. I only planted it in my front garden about a fortnight ago and it is thriving.

Cuphea 'Vienco'

This is an Australian native known as Flowering Lignum. It was a chance purchase about 18 months ago and is also doing very well in the front garden. According to the description card attached, it grows in clay soils on flood plains, so that might be what suits it here. I have patches of clay and rock in the front. (I think the landscapers took too much of the topsoil when I had the front yard terraced.) It also says that it is suited to arid areas, so it will be interesting to see how it fares if this summer is as wet as last year. It is a very straggly shrub with spindly leaves, and masses of these speckled flowers.

Eremophila polyclada

I have taken a number of photos of this pachypodium but none that feature the whole plant show the true colour of the flower - a bright citrus yellow. And yet I don't have the same problem with close ups, which are always true to colour as you can see below. I guess there's a scientific reason for this, but it certainly eludes me.

Rondeletia amoena

Finally, an early morning shot of walking iris blooms before they open for the day.

Neomarica northiana

For more Garden Blogger's Bloom Day posts, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Wednesday's market day

We city workers are lucky enough to have a fabulous Farmers Market right in the heart of the Brisbane every Wednesday. There are thirty or forty stalls selling the best local produce including fruit, vegetables, potted herbs, flowers, bread, cakes, cheeses, pasta, and seafood.

I bought the bunch of waratahs that I featured in a recent post here a couple of weeks ago. Today I came home with a lovely piece of hot-smoked salmon and a punnet of strawberries, and treated myself to a delicious Thai pumpkin pie and Portuguese custard tart for lunch. I'm already kicking myself I didn't get the potted savory or dill. Still, there's always next week!

Waratahs top centre (just)!

The nut ladies

Who could resist?

The sign says it all!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Two pooped pups

Onslow and Miss Bella

Puppy Yin Yang - still in their harnesses after our walk.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

In my poinciana tree

My own garden hasn't featured so much in my last few posts. It's not that nothing is happening; there have been ongoing flowers from my rondeletia, hippeastrums, flowering lignum, and salvias. But my overwhelming impression is that the garden is poised like an athlete on the starting blocks, just about to explode into a riot of colour, once the first of the day lilies are out.

In the meantime, far above it all, are these two elegant beauties.

Dendrobium speciosum
Not such a great photo, but my brother climbed quite high into the canopy of the poinciana to attach this orchid for me, and I am not quite so nimble. The lovely creamy lemon spray is about two foot long. In previous years I have had several sprays, but this year only one because of damage from dendrobium beetles last season (you can see the 'chew' marks on some of the leaves to the left, and the new shoots were seriously damaged).

Further down the tree, on the main trunk and on a completely different scale, is this delicate tick orchid.

Dockrillia linguiformis

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Hibiscus and a handsome stranger

Brisbane's City Botanic Gardens are only 4 or 5 blocks from my office in the City, so I am ashamed I don't wander down more frequently in my lunch hour. The five minute stroll is amply rewarded by the beautiful gardens and river views. On a recent visit, the hibiscus were simply stunning, and this was followed by one of those chance meetings...

Isn't he gorgeous? I came upon this handsome feller alongside one of the garden's ponds, just as I was heading back to work. He is an Eastern Water Dragon, nearly a metre long. I thought he might be a bit shy, but when I started snapping a few photos, he came even closer and posed beautifully for me.  You can see the red chest in the photo below, which identifies him as a male (that, and the adoring females in his harem just out of sight). 



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...