He has a much more extensive garden than me (not hard really when I am just on a regular suburban block), and, in addition, despite Ballina being only a two-hour drive south, he is blessed with wonderful chocolatey volcanic soil and more frequent rainfall. It's always great fun exploring his garden. This is what was happening on Christmas Day.
|This butterfly on the buddleia was just that bit too high to get a good photo.|
|Luckily, a much more obliging one was also visiting. I think the spots and stripes are very chic!|
Tony always has masses of bromeliads out in bloom.
The two little grey-foliaged bromeliads below are tillandsias or air plants, because they don't require any soil to grow in. The second is coming into bud and the Spanish Moss on the left is another kind of tillandsia.
|One of his frangipani Plumeria rubra. This soft pink is one of my favourite colours.|
|Probably the most widely grown of all bromeliads, the pineapple.|
|Lovely mix of colours in the bougainvilleas|
I love the combination of the erigeron daisy and the cherry tomatoes, but I can't believe that I forgot to pick a supply of the tomatoes to bring home with me.
This bougainvillea was growing on the vacant block next to Tony's, and below it is the view north from the top of his road towards Lennox Head, though it's hard to see the sea in the photo.
A few properties further along I spotted this Illawarra Flame tree Brachychiton acerifolius, which always has a particularly festive look to me with its red bell-like flowers. I have posted about them previously here.
The walk wore out the pups who needed a bit of a lie down in the patch of Panda Grass that was such a favourite with them last year.
|Hoya, one of my Dad's favourites.|
|This tall copper-coloured bromeliad is Aechmea blanchetiana|
|Still more broms under the bamboo|
I am rather taken with this blue-flowering bromeliad (above and below) at the moment. I think it is another Aechmea and will definitely put my hand up for a pup on my next visit.
But then again, this white form is rather lovely too.
This is the standout performer among Tony's bromeliads this visit. His ten-year old Alcantarea imperialis rubra is in flower. Onslow kindly popped himself into the picture so that you can get an idea of scale. It must be nearly 7 foot high.
There were different Alcantareas in flower at Tony's in-laws, where we descend like the ravenous hoards that we are, each Christmas Day for some of the best country cooking I have ever tasted thanks to the very wonderful Joyce and Leo.
Just a couple of glimpses of the scenery between Cumbalum and Wollongbar. The rows of trees running down the hills in the second photo are part of a macadamia nut plantation.
And finally, for my Christmas snaps this year, how could I go past this bevy of beauties: my nieces Yasmin, Bethany and Eliza.
Eliza is the next chicken to leave the nest, so Mum Leanne made her this beautiful quilt for Christmas with special memories in every block and love in every stitch.