Tag Archives: plants

In the Australian Bush: Spring is Coming…

12 Aug

Here we are in mid August, and Spring is just around the corner.

In our local parkland, the native flora is bursting into life.

Some of the most charming flowers are the tiny ones that cluster near tall trees.

Here’s a photograph I took just a few days ago, in Sydney, Australia

Australian bushland

Australian bushland

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Enjoy!

What a display: West Australian Red-flowering Gums!

5 Jan

A week or two ago, I decided I’d better be quick: these beautiful flowering gums were passing their prime. So I immediately grabbed the camera and hot-footed it!

Eucalyptus ficifolia, as the botanists call it, is making its presence felt in the suburbs of Sydney these days as a stunning tree, both in gardens and, increasingly, as a street specimen. We are lucky in living close to several trees: and their brilliant displays have become a summer highlight.

I believe there is also a hybrid between these West Australian Red flowering Gums and Bloodwoods, another Eucalyptus. These varieties have bronze-coloured foliage.

Whatever type you see in bloom, my bet is that you’re assured of a glorious sight.

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Red Flowering Gum

Red Flowering Gum

Gardening: Good Therapy

4 Jan

In my younger day, I used to really enjoy gardening. Watching and nurturing the sprouting seeds: at first, delicate, almost invisible shoots popping up after just a few days in the ground: later, turning into often quite robust specimens of flowers, leaves, or veges. It seemed to me to be a most fascinating exercise.

But time moves on, and interests change. More and more, gardening took a back seat. The joy of caring for living plants somehow lost its magic: swept away into the recesses of my consciousness by the pressing demands of life.

Tonight, in the cool of early evening’s  dimming light, I re-discovered the pleasure that hands-on contact with nature can bring. Even in a spare half-hour, much can be accomplished: and I’m not just talking about trimming back the shrubs. No. To my mind, the real benefit is the relaxation of focusing on the natural world: the world of plants. Where would we be, without them?

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It’s Jacaranda Time!

9 Nov

Jacaranda in flower

Here in Australia, it’s Jacaranda time.

While Grafton, N.S.W., is famous for these striking trees, here in Sydney they are also making eye-catching displays.

Driving around the suburbs, one can readily spot the purple/blue flowers still clinging to their maker.  The days will pass: these will fall and form a carpet. Those of us with bare, delicate skin had better watch out for busy bees….

Native to Brazil, Jacarandas come in a multitude of varieties. There is even a white-flowering type named ‘White Christmas’, but it is hard to get in Australian nurseries. Our eyes are accustomed to one known as Jacaranda mimosifolia: and really, isn’t its purple a lovely shade?

This tree has its critics: those who despise fallen leaves and squishy flowers. Please do not count me amongst them.

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The Rose: Queen of Flowers

23 Oct

In many circles, roses are regarded as the Queen of Flowers. Notwithstanding their thorns,  some gardeners devote entire beds to them. Older homes, particularly, are likely to have still stunning examples, soldiering on if needs be.

Red roses revel in an exalted status:  immortalized by poets and song-writers. Few other flowers have achieved anything like such a high level of kudos: sadly, some uniquely pretty ones such as snapdragons and phlox seem to have missed out altogether: though daffodils and daisies can hold their heads up high.

But it is, of course, as symbols of love that give

Red rose, symbol of love

Red Roses the edge. Being what it is in the scheme of humanity: a core desire: an ultimate reward for life well lived: the honour of its symbolism is not to be taken lightly.

Don’t you agree that the charm of  red roses makes them worthy of such a tribute?

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Australian Wildflowers : Here’s More

15 Oct

Tiny white flowers growing near the river

Purple wildflower

A rare park flower

Unfortunately I’m not a botanist, and, since identifying plants solely from reference books is both difficult and potentially flawed, when in doubt I’ll leave it to others to put names to flowers.

Certainly, you don’t need specialist or even general knowledge of such flora to appreciate their beauty. Whether understated and subtle, or unashamedly spectacular, our wildflowers have their own appeal.

These photos have been taken during recent weeks in Sydney, Australia.

Next time you’re in native parkland, why not make a special effort to keep your eyes peeled for our charming native flowering plants? Who knows what you will find!

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It’s Springtime: It’s Wistaria time!

25 Sep

Wistaria

Here in Australia, it’s Spring: the season for lovers, poets, blossoms and , unfortunately, hay-fever.

Let’s focus on something special: the vine, Wistaria.

Here in Sydney, Wistaria seems more at home in old gardens. There’s something so charming about its glorious, pendulous flowers: something that seems to me to be more a-tune with yesteryear.

It’s in our yard: climbing up the tallest trees, seeking to show off its delightfully perfumed glory. Ours is a common variety: a procession of pale purple-lilac shades. In full bloom, however, its beauty is anything but common.

But it’s certainly not for those who are shy of secateurs. Those vigorous tendrils can easily get out of hand! In some places, it’s even considered an invasive weed. Nevertheless, for those who can grow it,  and despite its short flowering season, isn’t it well worth the effort?

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