Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Garden in February;

The world is so full of a number of things,  I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Zebra Grass,

 Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus. Miscanthus, the genus name,   Greek, mischos  "stalk" and  anthos “flower". Sinensis indicates the plant's origin: China. Zebrinus to the stripes on the plant's leaves.

This large ornamental grass grass with its creamy stripes cut across the blades  is arching and develops flower heads of tiny white blooms in late summer.

The flower heads become attractive plumes, tall they lend visual interest to the garden in autumn  and winter. This is a large ornamental grass,  

Nature is very powerful it is able to make a fool of the best human invention..©Ts

Pomegranate soon ready to eat,  Punica granatum; cultivated since ancient times, originated in Iran. Small organza bags protect the fruit from fruit fly, bats and possums.  

Miltonia Orchids flower at this time of year. Many different colours and patterns are available. I quite like this faded lavender with its odd caramel blotches on its upper petals.

Scientists try very hard to tame to bend nature to their liking, in the end all their efforts are worth nothing, their interference a drop in the ocean, because nothing is as strong, unbendable  and  unpredictable as nature. Ts

Summer is Petunia time in the garden. I fill urns and pots with these colourful flowers.

Caterpillar of the five-spotted hawk moth,  Manduca quinquemaculata is a brown and gray hawk moth of the Sphingidae family. The caterpillar, often referred to as the tomato hornworm. 
I have never seen it on the tomatoes. Here 5 of them have a feast on the leaves of a Tecoma plant. I have seen it on the leaves of the olive tree. It is said to be a pest, but I don’t want to kill it. 
What does it mean to be a pest; In its view I am a pest because I am bigger and stronger and could squash it. I do not see them very often. Their body feels soft and silky to the touch of my fingers.  It’s green colour with this striking pattern is beautiful.

Small Asters, so simple so beautiful, they flower on and off all summer into autumn.

The flowers of the Pitaya fruit.  Early in the morning when I go up into the vegetable garden, where these plants are growing, I am always amazed at the beauty of these huge flowers. They have been  open  all night to be pollinated by moths.

Their beauty is  ethereal, but oh so short, comes morning they are ready to fold up their petals and go to sleep.

Nature’s  conflict;  the most  marvellous, most beautiful,  the most cruel. ©Ts

Delicious Pitaya fruit.

Cucumbers are plentiful through summer; this one has a knobbly outside that makes a nice wavy border. the salad maid is a great machine to slice it quickly and evenly.
All surplus goes to the chooks.  With chooks nothing is wasted, they eat and love a  great variety of food besides grain.  I have always kept hens, I like their eagerness when they see me coming with a bowl full of greens.

The golden spider lily, Lycoris loves summer too.This bulb does not like to be disturbed. It takes a few years to get well established and  to flower, but when it does it is a treat.

Abelia  with its  abundance of wonderfully scented  bells is a must have in any garden.
A perfume maker would describe its scent 
"a lilting fragrance composed of  soft rose, appealing vanilla with hints of jasmine and tuberose."

Believe it or not:
You take my life when you take the means whereby I live.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, The Merchant of Venice

© Photos my garden/text  Lavender & Vanilla; Ts

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The garden in January;

Hot, dry and hopefully rain;

14/01/2014 Sunrise  05:06 AM
Over night rain, early morning  woolly, grey clouds were still hanging around soon infused by the morning sun. It looked beautiful.

Intriguing flower of cicorino rosso;

Salvia Coral Nymph is long blooming and reliable. Plant multiples of this sage where you can appreciate the cool pastel flowers up close. 
 In my garden it reseeds regularly, but I do not regard it as invasive, as it is easily eradicated.
It is wonderful in a mixed cottage flower border.

 If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me.
William Shakespeare

Moonlight; 07/01/2014  20:18 PM

A new Year lets your old worries slip into limbo of no return. Titania

Lemongrass; Cymbopogon is a genus of about 45 species of grasses, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Old World and Oceania. It is a tall perennial grass.
Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus)  has magenta colored base stems. These species are used for the production of citronella oil, which is used in soaps, as an insect repellent especially mosquitoesin insect sprays and candles, and in aromatherapy, which is famous in Bintan Island, Indonesia and the Philippines. Therefore, its origin is assumed to be Indonesia. The principal chemical constituents of citronella, geraniol and citronellol, are antiseptics, hence their use in household disinfectants and soaps. Besides oil production, citronella grass is also used for culinary purposes, in tea and as a flavoring.

A new planting project to hide the chicken fence. I plant a mixed border with three grevillias in between to add some height. 

I planted dwarf cannas in red and various pinks, blue Agapanthus, many different tall Salvias,

Catharanthus roseus, commonly also called Vinca

Catharanthus roseus, commonly known as the Madagascar rosy periwinkle, is a species of Catharanthus native and endemic to Madagascar. Other English names occasionally used include Cape periwinkle, rose periwinkle, rosy periwinkle, and "old-maid". 

It is an evergreen herbaceous plant growing to 1 m tall. The flowers are 

white to dark pink with a darker red centre, or with variations with a basal tube 2.5–3 cm long and a corolla 2–5 cm diameter with five petal-like lobes.
In the wild, it is an endangered plant; the main cause of decline is habitat destruction by slash and burn agriculture. It is also however widely cultivated and is naturalised in subtropical and tropical areas of the world The species has long been cultivated for herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant.
 A conflict between historical indigenous use, and recent patents on C.roseus-derived drugs by western pharmaceutical companies, without compensation, has led to accusations of biopiracy.
As an ornamental plant, it is appreciated for its hardiness in dry and nutritionally deficient conditions, popular in subtropical gardens where temperatures never fall below 5 °C to 7 °C, and as a warm-season bedding plant in temperate gardens. It is noted for its long flowering period, throughout the year in tropical conditions, and from spring to late autumn, in warm temperate climates. Full sun and well-drained soil are preferred. Numerous cultivars have been selected, for variation in flower colour (white, mauve, peach, scarlet and reddish-orange.

Such as we are made of, such we be.
William Shakespeare

I like to watch the morning awaken between the trees.

The new year has many empty pages, use them wisely. Titania

Sunset 06/01/2014   19:06 PM

Believe it or not:

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow”
Albert Einstein.

© Photos my garden; some text Ts/ Lavender &Vanilla

Friday, December 27, 2013

A long, hot Summer;

Summer days in the country are butterflies and bees, the rich, green  smell of nature expanding its wings;  wanting to dance to the tune of sun and rain. Ts

Summer days in the city, the hot breath of  asphalt,  the sound of tired feet and fast wheels, empty water bottles and discarded fast food wrappers lay defeated in the gutter. The city retreats into itself shivering from over exposure to sun light.Ts

Sunrise in the Valley;

Self sown miniature Zinnia in the herb garden.

“Summer's lease hath all too short a date.” 
William Shakespeare

Rosa Iceberg, can be propagated from cuttings;
My mother had a beautiful white rose bush in her garden, as a child I loved to bury my nose into the fragrance with the result to be stung by a bee. As I am allergic against bee stings, my nose swelled to look like a small potato. It was very uncomfortable and painful  and I had to get a calcium injection.

Rosa "Elina" is a light yellow Hybrid Tea introduced by Dickson Roses in 1983.
 Cultivars Nana Mouskouri X Lolita.
  • I have grown this one from a cutting.

  •  Small mammals, like Possums use Elkhorn ferns as nesting place.

  • For my birthday the girls gave me a big blue pot, now it has become a fountain.

  • “Life is short, Break the Rules.
    Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
    Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
    And never regret ANYTHING
    That makes you smile.” 
    Mark Twain

  • Giant Heliconia, its spectacular flowers are emerging in summer;

  • Summer days; nothing  in any  season rings so much of careless, fun filled hours of sunlight , like lazy, warm  summer days; Ts

  • Love thy Labour

  •  Mangoes; this variety is called Kwan and is very tasty,

  • The pomegranate, Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between 5–8  tall.
      I covered it with a fine net to protect the fruit from birds, bats and fruitfly; nothig will be left of the fruit if not protected.

  • Cantaloupe Melons;

  • Apples ripe in December in the subtropics.

  • Chllies, scots bonnets; slice finely and add some fire to the salads. They are actually quite mild when the seed and membranes are removed. they are also ornamental.

  • Small, pear shaped Tomatoes; the tastiest tomato around fresh, or used for sauces, salsa and soups, freeze also very well.

  • Morning Symphony;

  • I'm a very early riser, and I love to watch the sun rising over the hill infusing a new day with its light.

  • Mussaenda, a tropical shrub, semi climber finds its way through and up trees, winking from above with its red bracts.

  • “it's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine ... it's summertime!” 
     Kenny Chesney

  • Sunset colours, tall hibiscus from Cuba.

  • Great is the sun, and wide he goes
    Through empty heaven with repose;
    And in the blue and glowing days
    More thick than rain he showers his rays.

  • Though closer still the blinds we pull
    To keep the shady parlour cool,
    Yet he will find a chink or two
    To slip his golden fingers through.

    The dusty attic spider-clad
    He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
    And through the broken edge of tiles
    Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

    Meantime his golden face around
    He bares to all the garden ground,
    And sheds a warm and glittering look
    Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

    Above the hills, along the blue,
    Round the bright air with footing true,
    To please the child, to paint the rose,
    The gardener of the World, he goes.

  • Summer Sun
    from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1885)

  • A basket filled with summer's colour;

  • Believe it or not:
  • One swallow does not make a summer; Aristotle;

  • ©2013 Photos/ some texts and quotes Ts/ Lavender & Vanilla.