In a desperate attempt to catch up a little, I took four days off work, which, combined with the Easter break and a long weekend to commemorate Anzac Day (when we honour our servicemen and women), ended up as a 10 day break. Can hardly believe that's a more that's more than a month ago now!
On the Thursday before Easter, I headed down to brother Tony's at Ballina, which served as my base for the fabulous Byron Bluesfest. Of course, no visit to Tony's would be complete without a tour of the garden to see the latest Blooms. A very special treat was in store as one of his rarest treasures was in bud when I arrived. Below is just a teaser. Many more photos and the name of this beauty later in the post!
As always, his orchids were a treat...
|Burnished burgundy cattleya|
|I have attached another photo of this tiny beauty below, so you can see its size compared to the plant tag. It is growing on a sandstone boulder.|
|Detail of the beautiful twisted petals|
|Classic Cattelya brought inside to display|
|This is a Laelia anceps, native to Mexico|
|Detail of the Laelia|
The camellias were also in bloom.
And here is the star of my Easter visit. It’s called Worsleya procera and is also known as the Blue Hippeastrum or Blue Amaryllis. I love the curving leaves; it gives it quite an art nouveau feeling. On the day I arrived, it was in bud.
|The next day two flowers were out.|
|And by Day Three, it was in full flower.|
|I felt very privileged to have timed my visit to coincide with this beautiful bloom.|
As always, the bromeliads were a treat.
|Isn't this stunning?|
|Nabbed a pup of this yellow brom for Casa Bella|
|This tall bromeliad is Guzmania witmarkii. I gave this to Tony a while back, but can't remember seeing mine for a while. I hope I haven't lost it.|
|Last of the bromeliads for this post - this gorgeous mini pineapple. I should be able to grow my own plant from this.|
|Another tropical fruit - banana flower.|
|Clerondendrum bloom with green passionfruit in the background.|
Elsewhere in the garden, flowering shrubs were in bloom.
|Fringe flower, which also comes in a pretty deep pink form|
|Variegated boganvillea ("Raspberry Ice"?)|
|Looking across the backyard towards Ballina|
I don't think I am cut out to be a rock photographer, but I had a great time at the Byron Bluesfest. There was a great line-up including Joss Stone, Beth Hart, Boz Scaggs, Buddy Guy, Suzanne Vega and many, many more.
|The tiny dot on stage to the left is Aaron Neville at the Bluesfest.|
I spent my final day catching up with family friends for lunch in beautiful Brunswick Heads. Here's just a taste:
Finally, it was all hands on deck for some serious gardening... cutting out one of the huge bamboos
Well six weeks later and the fabulous weather has continued. Over the past week the day time temperatures have hovered around 27F - hard to believed it is officially winter in two days!