Sunday, 22 July 2012

Garden glory in July;

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Robert Frost

Nutmeg bush; Iboza riparia;

Nutmeg bush (Tetradenia riparia or Iboza riparia).This pretty plant, with its fluffy, scented flowers, has had multiple name changes, so it is safest to stick to its common name, nutmeg bush.It should be pruned straight after its winter flowering and, is  only suitable for mostly frost-free areas.
Has nothing to do with the real nutmeg, to me it does not smell of nutmeg. 


Through winter into spring flowers this gorgeous AzaleaXRhododendron. It can grow into a  very big shrub covered in these silvery pink flowers. Easily propagated from cuttings after Christmas.

Narcissus Early Cheer;

A bunch of flowers ,Cuban Royal Palm;

It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.
Rachel Carson

Aloes are a great winter treat. I especially like these  red bells tipped with grey-blue.

This Aloe was a gift form my neighbour. It is a prolific grower, its flowers form a crown with  a profusion of orange bells  with slightly darker tips.

Peaches and Nectarines are flowering now;

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

Blow, blow, thou winter wind 
Thou art not so unkind 
As man's ingratitude; 
Thy tooth is not so keen, 
Because thou art not seen, 
Although thy breath be rude. 

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: 
Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly: 
Then heigh-ho, the holly! 
This life is most jolly. 
William Shakespeare

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana;  sunny yellow in winter;

Strawberry plants are filling out and beginning to make flowers.

We cannot command nature except by obeying her.
Francis Bacon

Fennel is a fine vegetable and grows very well through winter.

Lettuce a staple through winter;

Not to forget the Kurume Azaleas and Camellias who paint the garden pink in winter.

Flowering Grevillias providing nectar and pollen for birds, insects and mammals.
Spot the little Australian miner bird enjoying a sip of nectar from the flowers.

Believe it or not:
...everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence.
George Santayana

© Text/Photos Titania

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Camellias have their time of life in winter;

Camellias smile in the garden
To brighten the day;

I won't add their names now, it is not here nor there! So many beautiful ones to choose from....

This blush beauty is one of my favourites;...heck, they are all my favourites..

Purplish and frilly, a good combination...

"What 's gone and what 's past help should be past grief"..Act III, Scene II ; W.Shakespeare Winter’s Tale;

 Whispers in the deepest, farthest nook,
 where  mosses, ferns  and lichen took
  to moist and watery rocks
 to catch 
rays of light  scribbled on bare limbs. ©Titania

Camellia facts;
Camellia, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalaya east to Japan and Indonesia. It is said, there are around 250 described species.
The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel from Brno, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia. This genus is famous throughout East Asia; 

A feast for bees!

To unpathed waters, undreamed shores.  W. Shakespeare Winter’s Tale . Act IV Scene 4

Camellia facts;
The most famous member – though often not recognized as a camellia – is certainly the tea plant (C. sinensis).
Among the ornamental species, the Japanese Camellia (C. japonica) (which despite its name is also found in Korea and Eastern China) and C. sasanqua are perhaps the most widely known, though most camellias grown for their flowers are cultivars or hybrids.

"You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely". 
 W. Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale 
Act I, Scene I

Camellia facts;
Camellia flowers throughout the genus are characterized by a dense bouquet of conspicuous yellow stamens, contrasting with the petal colors. The "fruit" of camellia plants is a dry capsule, sometimes subdivided in up to five compartments, each compartment containing up to eight seeds. Camellias  are generally well-adapted to acidic soils rich in humus, and most species do not grow well on chalky soil or other calcium-rich soils. Most species of camellias also require a large amount of water. The plants will not tolerate droughts. 
 The experience I have made with Camellia j. and Camellia s. in my garden they are quite  tolerant, once they are established.  I never water them, unless there would be a drought  in the hottest time of year.

Camellia plants are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species; see List of Lepidoptera that feed on Camellia. 

Camellia facts;
While the finest teas are produced by C. sinensis courtesy of millennia of selective breeding of this species, many other camellias can be used to produce a similar beverage. For example, in some parts of Japan, tea made from Christmas Camellia (C. sasanqua) leaves is popular.
Tea oil is a sweet seasoning and cooking oil made by pressing the seeds of the Oil-seed Camellia (C. oleifera), the Japanese Camellia (C. japonica), and to a lesser extent other species such as Crapnell's Camellia (C. crapnelliana), C. reticulata, C. sasanqua and C. sinensis. Relatively little-known outside East Asia, it is the most important cooking oil for hundreds of millions of people, particularly in southern China.

The camellia parasite Mycelia sterile produces a metabolite named PF1022A. This is used to produce emodepside, an anthelmintic drug. Mainly due to habitat destruction, several camellias have become quite rare in their natural range. One of these is the aforementioned C. reticulata, grown commercially in thousands for horticulture and oil production, but rare enough in its natural range to be considered a threatened species.

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Evening falls in the valley;
Clouds gather, low and sullen;
The light is pale and distant; 
A feeble sun casts  shadows in the trees
Glides away’ till’ morrow;   ©Titania

Believe it or not:

The happiest time is NOW!  Titania

Photos/Text © Titania