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Spring Revisited

22 Feb
Bluebells

Bluebells

Spring revisited!

Here in Sydney the days are shortening, signalling the arrival of cooler weather. Our Maple tree is turning gold, and even shedding some of its bountiful foliage. The last of the summer flowers are soldiering on.

Yet why not re-visit Spring?

I guess that many of my readers actually live in those areas where Spring is just around the corner.

Hope these images of my Spring flowers bring a smile to your face!

Fancy Jonquils

Fancy Jonquils

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Where Did They Come From?

18 Feb

One of the mysterious Petunias

One of the mysterious Petunias

Another mysterious Petunia

Another mysterious Petunia

Where did they come from?

I’ve asked myself this question time and time again.

Three of four months ago I first observed some interesting-looking seedlings emerging in freshly-cleared ground in our front yard. Their appearance intrigued me, and so I let them grow.

It didn’t take long before their species became apparent.  And then my curiousity really piqued.

Where did they come from?

Without question they were Petunias. Yet equally without question their seeds did not come from our place.

Casting my mind back I realised that there were three possible sources, yet each seemed so improbable that I simply couldn’t resolve my feelings of mystery.

Way, way back (I’m talking more than thirty years ago) our next-door neighbours grew beds of these lovely flowers only metres from these newcomers. But was it even remotely possible that the seeds could last so long?

Second: going back about ten years, a friend who lived four or five houses away invariably grew these in her front garden. But again, could the seeds have remained viable all this time?

Third: until two years ago a little old lady who lived half a block away grew these in  her front garden. Conceivably the seeds could last this long, but isn’t that quite a distance for such tiny, fragile specks to blow and settle?

Even now I am raising my eyebrows. I guess this will remain a mystery forever…

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Flannel Flowers: Tapering Off?

12 Feb
Flannel Flowers

Flannel Flowers

In our local bushland park, the Flannel Flowers seem to be tapering off. No longer are the blooms so vigorous and plentiful. It seems as though the plants are soldiering on rather than bursting with exuberance.

Nevertheless, it’s been a very fine year for these icons of Australian flora. Who remembers the early Australian postage stamps that featured them? As a former philatelist, my hand goes up!

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Four O’Clocks: Here’s More!

4 Feb
Rose-red Four O'Clocks

Rose-red Four O’Clocks

Yellow-apricot Four O'Clocks

Yellow-apricot Four O’Clocks

So many people said how well they enjoyed my post about the Four O’Clocks of my childhood that I’ve decided to show some more of my recently-taken  pictures of them.

Their diversity of colour, and their marked habit of responding to the conditions of light, certainly grab my attention.

Aren’t they quite amazing plants?

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In the Pink: Frangipanis

2 Feb
Pink Frangipani

Pink Frangipani

Our glorious pink Frangipani  is  now in bloom.

It stands opposite the wonderfully-scented yellow and white variety that I featured in an earlier post.

The delightful, tropical feel that these striking flowers bring to a garden is magical!

But these are amazing plants, for in the winter, their bare, thick branches create an effect like sculpture.

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The Four O’clocks of my Childhood

25 Jan

Few flowers remind me of my childhood more than these charming and unusual plants.

I guess some consider them to be little better than weeds since they grow so readily and spread so well.

Be that as it may, they are a sweet and colourful reminder of my childhood: where I lived when I was small.

It was near the city, and gardens were not in abundance.

There hardy plants soldiered on, year after year, dying back over winter: to return again every Spring.

They are quite intriguing. They open their petals to show their lovely colours only when the light is not too bright. Hence their name: Four o’clocks.

Four o'clocks

Four o’clocks

I’m sure that there’s another title that purists give them, but to me this fits the bill nicely.

Do they grow where you live?

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Fragrant Frangipani and Memories of Childhood

14 Jan

One of my most vivid childhood memories is participating in the delightful pastime of collecting the fallen flowers of the Frangipani tree.

The tree in question lived (and thrived) in the front garden of my Aunt and Uncle, who lived several doors down the street. It was in a suburb where gardens were small, and flowers of this quality were in short supply. Deliciously fragrant and pretty flowers were a treasure, especially through my childish eyes.

As time went by, my parents, sister and I moved away to the house where I currently live. Frangipanis all but disappeared from my life, until one day, Dad brought home a couple of small, bare trees. These he planted in our front garden.

This photo is of the variety identical to that of my Aunt and Uncle. The other specimen– a glorious pink– is also doing well.

Fragrant Frangipani

Fragrant Frangipani

I only wish that you could savour the perfume…

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