Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day December 2014

I love our Brisbane summers: sultry days and fragrant nights, with a wild late afternoon storm often marking the divide. The colours of our summer are red, white, and blazing blue skies as on my driveway with the poinciana, frangipani, and spider lilies in bloom. As the poinciana blooms fall, my visitors walk a red flower carpet to the house in the sunshine and negotiate a treacherously slippery slope after rain.

A fierce afternoon hailstorm that punched holes through the polycarbonate panels in my veranda roof.



Spider lily Hymenocallis littoralis

There are more daylilies in bloom. Each morning after greeting the puppies, I walk down to see if there are any new blooms and make an mental note to write an identifying tag for it. I know I have lost a couple over the past twelve months, and many tags were missing at the beginning of the season, so I am anxiously waiting for each and every favourite to make its appearance. Identification can be challenging. Sometimes the colours vary with the weather, and many of the photos in an old catalogue I have bear little resemblance to their real selves.

'Douglas Lycett' 

'Spacecoast Whiteout'

'Spacecoast Seashells'

'Jordan Verhaert' 

Magnolia 'Little Gem' with the petals full of stamens shaken loose by the bees.


I have let the murraya hedge go shaggy, so I can enjoy the fragrant blooms that follow the rain.

A visitor to the frangipani

I popped a mass of caladiums into my wheel barrow so I could sweep the garage floor. I put a river pebble in each pot so I remember something precious is sleeping when they are dormant and don't throw it out as 'empty'.

Finally, another daylily. This one is 'Frank Teele', a gorgeous cherry red for the festive season.

The deep purple salvia to the left is a new addition 'Love and Wishes'

Seasons Greetings to all and a very happy Bloom Day.  To see more of what is blooming in gardens around the world on Bloom Day - the fifteenth of each month - visit our host, Carol, at May Dreams Gardens.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Kookaburra Cottages

In my previous post on the Great Ocean Road (click here to visit), I mentioned the wonderful cottages where we stayed in Apollo Bay. We had one of the front rooms looking out to a little private garden and the sea. I think the photos pretty much speak for themselves. It really is a magical place.

Our veranda

Summer might have been just round the corner, but the weather was bleak. Both Jayne and I opted for Michelin Man style gear.

Was this a sit-in protest by the local cockatoos to have the cottages renamed Cockatoo Cottages? There were certainly more cockatoos than kookaburras on our visit.

We both clambered up the hill to the first of a series of lookouts.

The cottages are home to more than 60 Shetland ponies.

The little chestnut foal was only about 5 days old and the dark one, even younger.

Cuteness overload!

Jayne purposefully striding uphill to the most impressive lookout.

Inspiration for the throne in Game of Thrones??

The babies were snoozing on our way back.

Was tickled pink to see this little guy waddling determinedly towards the fence. Earlier on the walk, I had come almost nose-to-nose with a fox - too stunned to take a photo. They are the very devil for Australian wildlife, but still so beautiful.

An echidna or spiny anteater.

The vegetable garden

Inside the reception area

The cottages are called Kookaburra Cottages and are on the Great Ocean Road on the Melbourne side of Apollo Bay (and you can like them on Facebook).


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