Tuesday, 14 May 2013

MAY has entered through the back door;

Nature’s force we do not fully understand, 
 we are overwhelmed by its relentless reasons of cruelty,
 or we are awestruck by its actions of beauty and serenity. Titania

Sunrise in the Valley;


Allamanda cathartica is also notable for its medicinal properties: all parts of the plant contain allamandin, a toxic iridoid lactone.  Iridoids are a class of secondary metabolites found in a wide variety of plants that function as defensive compounds. 

 The leaves, roots and flowers may be used in the preparation of a powerful cathartic; the milky sap is also known to possess powerful antibacterial  properties. 

The genus name Allamanda derives from Dr. Frédéric-Louis Allamand (1735–1803), a Swiss botanist of the late 18th century.

Cat's Whiskers; Orthosiphon aristatus
Plant Type: sub-shrub
Plant Height: 1.2m
Plant Spread: 1m
Sunlight: hot overhead sun to warm low sun
Soil Moisture: dry between watering to constantly moist
Plant Uses: informal hedge, mass planting, border
Plant; Prune after flowering.


“So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” 
 William Shakespeare, 

Iceberg roses flower all year round in my garden.

By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem 
For that sweet odour which doth in it live. 
W. Shakespeare

Billy, my friend and companion, in the garden he chases away the snakes!

Angel wing Begonia, slivers of sunlight make its leaves glow.

Camelia sasanqua  Plantation Pink, with its papery petals is an asset to any garden.

Camelia sasanqua has the  distinctive advantage of tolerating both full sun and partial shade. Camelia sasanqua are the most robust and versatile of all the camellia species - a finer choice for a hedge, topiary or espalier could not be made. The first of the camellia species to flower in abundance in autumn.

Camelia sasanqua. Wahroonga;

“Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?” 
 William Shakespeare,

Tree Dahlia, highlighting  the garden in autumn through winter.

The tree dahlia or Dahlia imperialis is a dramatic, fast growing perennial from South America. It grows three to five metres high with tall, sturdy bamboo-like canes topped with large lavender flowers in autumn and winter. The best time to cut them back is in winter after they have finished flowering.

* Remove all the dead wood.

* Cut down the canes that flowered last autumn; these are the ones to use for propagation.

* You can see a big bulbous bit at the bottom. That is the bulb of the dahlia that will shoot in spring and be three to five metres high again by autumn. 

* Cut canes into 50 centimetre lengths. Ensure you have at least two nodes per cane, because they’ll actually root and shoot from those nodes.

* Choose a site that’s sunny, protected from the frost and wind and dig a trench 10 centimetres deep. 

* Lay a cane horizontally along the trench. They shoot from the nodes and in no time at all, you’ll get a lovely clump.

* You could put three canes in the ground to get a nice thicket of plants.

* When new growth gets to a metre high, nip the tips out. The canes won’t get as tall but will be sturdier and more resistant to wind damage.

Sunset in the Valley;  

Believe it or not:
A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.
Charles Darwin

©Photos/Text Ts