Thursday, 31 July 2008
My grand daughters enjoy flying the kite in the last rays of the sun.
The surf is softly curling along the sand and the evening shadows are getting long.
Please click on the picture for a better view.
Enjoy Sky Watch Friday.
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Snowdrops, Schneegloecklein, Leucojum aestivum, "Irene" is the name of the lady who gave a pot full to my daughter and L. in return offered some corms to me. Irene died in 1990, she was a nice lady and I remember her every winter time I see her snowdrops in flower.
I planted a bougainvillea, my daughter made from a cutting, in this pot. Waiting for the warmer times to grow rapidly. For the moment the little terracotta bird has made its home in this pot.
I couldn't praise more the merits of succulents. They are stylish, elegant, easy to grow, cheap to propagate; look practically after themselves, don't need to be pampered, don't need much water ; always cheerful, never talk back and are great companions around the garden!
The fertile fronds of this fern can grow up to one and a half metres long. They were once divided, with the divisions extending to the rachis (the main axis of the lamina).
The fronds are irregular, leathery and stalk-like with irregularly toothed margins, their spores in a single row on either side of the mid rib (principal vein).
The nest leaves can be up to 36cm long and 8cm wide.
Its distribution is Queensland generally, and northern New South Wales from the coast to the ranges and the tablelands.
The Basket Fern is a very common fern throughout its range that can grow as an epiphyte or lithophyte (on wet rocks).
These ferns can grow to form large clumps, with fronds of two types on one growth. They have small brown leaves that catch leaf litter from the canopy to provide nutrients and larger leaves at the top to carry the spores.
The Basket Fern’s distinguishing features include the pinnate fertile fronds, and the fleshy rhizome (underground stem) bearing fronds of 2 types.
They are easily grown in a pot or basket of coarse mixture.
The Basket Fern forms a micro-habitat of its own as frogs, ants, birds and possums live there and other ferns and plants germinate in the basket.
'Basket fern' or 'Oakleaf Ferns' Drynaria spp. of the family Polypodiaceae have similar habits to the Bird's Nest fern, growing as epiphytes high in trees and catching debris falling down.
Despite their fertile green fronds being much more slight, they still nevertheless catch and retain a lot of debris with quite different looking 'base leaves' that are brown, short and fat.
Basket ferns are common in rainforest in tropical Australia and Asia, but will also grow on rocks in some drier habitats within this range.
I like Echeverias and how they change their colouring. I think they are the most charming plants and easy to grow too.
Steep slopes so water has time to seep in before running off.
Shaded areas, as the plants require at least 6 hours of full or partial sunlight.
Near trees due to the problem with tree roots interfering with turning soil.
Next to streets due to automobile fumes.
Leaving soil bare of plants for longer then 30 days
Stepping directly on planting areas.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Please click on photo to see whole panorama.
Furkapass with view to Grimselroute. Switzerland, Holidays September 07;
Oberalp Pass (Romansh: Alpsu or Cuolm d'Ursera, German: Oberalppass) (el. 2044 m.) is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps connecting the cantons of Graubünden and Uri between Disentis and Andermatt at.
The Rhine springs from a source nearby (Tomasee).
Oberalpsee is located 20 m below, in direction of Andermatt.
Furka Pass (el. 2431 m.) is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps connecting Gletsch, Valais with Realp, Uri.
The Furka-Oberalp-Bahn line through the Furka Tunnel bypasses the pass. The base tunnel opened in 1982 and replaced a tunnel at 2100 m.
Grimsel Pass (German: Grimselpass) (el. 2165 m.) is a Swiss high mountain pass between the valley of the Rhone River in the canton of Valais and the Haslital (upper valley of the Aar river) in the canton of Bern.
It is located near the source of the Rhone at the Rhone Glacier. Also in the area is the Grimsel Test Site.
Susten Pass (German: Sustenpass) (el. 2224 m.) is a mountain pass in the Swiss Alps. The pass road, built from 1938-1945, connects Innertkirchen in the canton of Bern with Wassen in the canton of Uri.
Klausen Pass (German: Klausenpass) (el. 1948 m.) is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps connecting the cantons of Uri and Glarus. The pass road from Altdorf leads through the Schächen Valley, the pass and Urnerboden to Linthal in Glarus.
According to legend, the border between Glarus and Uri was determined in the year 1315, following prolonged disputes. The two cantons agreed that at first cockcrow, two runners would start from Altdorf and Linthal, respectively, and the border would be where they met. The people of Glarus decided to feed their cock well, so that it might be sympathetic to their cause, while the people of Uri gave theirs nothing to eat at all. The result was that the Glarus cock overslept, while the Uri one, driven by hunger, crowed exceptionally early, and the runner of Uri crossed the entire Urnerboden before the Glarus runner even set out. On the pleading of the Glarus runner, the man of Uri agreed to let him carry him back uphill as far as he could, and the present border between Uri and Glarus is where the Glarus runner fell dead.
As well as being a popular route for cyclists and motorcyclists, the Klausenpass also forms part of the Alpine Pass Route, a long-distance hiking trail across Switzerland.
In 2008 the pass was included on the parcours for the "Tour de Suisse" as a 25km time trial on the western side from the town of Altdorf. It was the penultimate stage and was was won by Czech rider Roman Kreuziger for team Liquigas in a time of 1 hour and 22 seconds. His winning of this critical stage handed him the yellow leaders jersey which he held onto following the last stage from Altdorf to Bern the following day, resulting in overall victory. Wikipedia
Enjoy Skywatch Friday!
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Come on you new, tagless people! I have six (6) free tags to give away! Hurry; first come first served, it's up to you. Any fun and tag loving person is invited to the sweepstakes. Grab one, take off your hat, your gloves and your coat: then disclose your darkest secrets...the truth and nothing but the truth in six short steps.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
The mist has left the greening plain, The dew-drops shine like fairy rain,
The coquette rose awakes again ,Her lovely self adorning.
The Wind is hiding in the trees, sighing, soothing, laughing tease,
until the rose says “Kiss me, please, ”‘Tis morning, ‘tis morning.
Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906
A new morning born of he sun.
Asclepia physocarpa has subtle coloured flowers, creamy white with soft purple. It is host to the caterpillar of the Wanderer Butterfly. It has a balloon seedpod filled with silky filaments. The seeds are attached to the filaments. Once the pod bursts open the seeds fly with the wind and are distributed this way.
Asclepias L. (1753), the milkweeds, is a genus of herbaceous perennial, dicotyledonous plants that contains over 140 known species. It used to belong to the family Asclepiadaceae, but this is now classified as a subfamily Asclepiadoideae of the dogbane family Apocynaceae.
Milkweeds are an important nectar source for bees and other nectar seeking insects, and a larval food source for monarch butterflies and their relatives, as well as a variety of other herbivorous insects (including numerous beetles, moths, and true bugs) specialized to feed on the plants despite their chemical defenses. Milkweed is named for its milky juice, which contains alkaloids, caoutchouc, and several other complex compounds including cardenolides. Some species are known to be toxic.
Carolus Linnaeus named the genus after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, because of the many folk-medicinal uses for the milkweed plants.
Pollination in this genus is accomplished in an unusual manner, as the pollen is grouped into complex structures called pollinia (or "pollen sacs"), rather than being individual grains, as is typical for plant pollen. The flower petals are smooth and rigid, and the feet of visiting insects (predominantly large wasps, such as spider wasps, which visit the plants for nectar) slip into notches in the flowers, where the sticky bases of the pollinia attach to the feet, pulling the pollen sacs free when the pollinator flies off. Bees, including honey bees only gather nectar from milkweed flowers, and are generally not effective pollinators despite the frequency of visitation.
Tillandsia ionantha or Sky Plant is native from Mexico to Nicaragua where they grow on deciduous trees and rocks from 600 to 1650 meters. They have miniature rosettes of grayish green leaves reaching about 2 inches (5-10 cm) in height. It is an attractive plant that is great for growing on bark slabs.
Propagation: Tillandsia ionantha are easily propagated by removal of offshoots, www.plantoftheweek.org/
Tree-ferns are the largest of the ferns and can provide a spectacular addition to most gardens. The tree-ferns Cyathea australis and Cyathea cooperi are commonly grown in gardens and displays for this aesthetic appeal and their hardiness. Both of these species are of the fern family Cyatheraceae.
Orchid growing in a pot plays also host to three different ferns, the seeds have established themselves without asking and the plants are emerging through the draining holes.
Black eyed Susan, Thunbergia alata, has taken advantage of an old, broken bottlebrush tree to climb up and show her best side. On the side of the tree is also a Dendrobium orchid hanging on!
Here my favoured pet munching away on tender rose leaves, why not, those tender fresh shoots are so inviting....if I were a grass hopper I would go for them too...
The Queen of the Night makes full use of a Jacaranda tree. The nights when the the queen is out in full glory you don't want to go to sleep.
A pretty, varigated climber has found a ladder to investigate further up, and perhaps reach the sky!
Lots of different, beautiful fungi grow in my woodland garden, where it is moist and rotting logs provide food. I love them and marvel how intricate and beautiful they are.
Mosses grow over bush rocks. In times of drought they disappear completely. As soon as there is enough moisture around they grow profusely.
Blue ants, green ants, jumping ants, tiny ants and more. This is a shiny black specie. They live in the leaves of trees, where they bunch together cobwebs with leaf litter to make nests. It is all right as long one doesn't make contact with their nest, if one does, a confrontation occurs and the ants are very fast!
The climbing Allamanda has huge, sunny yellow trumpets. Bees and other insects take advantage of this opportunity to collect nectar and pollen.
In the wild, Allamanda grow along riverbanks and other open, sunny areas with adequate rainfall and perpetually moist substrate. The plants do not tolerate shade, salty or alkaline soils; they are highly sensitive to frost. Allamanda are otherwise undemanding and with appropriate conditions will grow rapidly, from 1-3 metres annually. The seed capsules are oval and prickly; cultivated forms rarely produce seeds, but Allamanda are easily propagated from cuttings. Discarded cuttings are quick to take root.
Allamanda cathartica is also notable for its medicinal properties: all parts of the plant contain allamandin, a toxic iridoid lactone. The leaves, roots and flowers may be used in the preparation of a powerful cathartic *(hence the name); the milky sap is also known to possess antibacterial and possibly anticancer properties. Gardeners exposed to the sap will develop rashes, itch, and blisters.
The genus name Allamanda derives from Dr. Frederich Allamanda (1735-1803), a Swiss botanist of the late 18th century.
*Cathartic (from the greek language) a purgative medicine.
One more fern plantlet is emerging from a drainage hole of a hanging pot. It looks like a Pteris specie. Fern seeds are very, very fine and very opportunistic.
In this pot grows a Euphorbia plant. An Euphorbia seedling is growing and a Begonia is the cuckoo in the nest.
Native, smallish wasps take over the peruvian morning glory shrub to build their hives. The hives hang literally by a thread and the wasps add to it, always building. They are not agressive but when they sting it hurts.
Believe it or not: A hedge between keeps friendship green. Proverb
Organic tip of the week.
Organic Food Is Better For You Says Scientific Study
The largest scientific study of it's kind recently found that organic food really is more nutritious for you than its conventional counterpart.
A 4 year, $25 million dollar European Union funded study found the following with regards to organic food and "regular" food:
There are 40% more antioxidants in the organic food
Milk that is taken from organic herds contains 90% more antioxidants
There were higher levels of beneficial minerals like zinc (something almost everyone is deficient in) and iron in the organic produce
These results were gathered by the researchers by having fruits and vegetables grown, and cattle raised, on adjacent organic and non-organic sites.
Thank you for visiting.
Copyright T.S. Yesterdaytodayandtomorrow in my garden.
Photos T.S. from my garden.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Lake Hiawatha and Minnie Waters are two of the least disturbed coastal dune lakes in New South Wales, and are important and characteristic representations of coastal dune contact freshwater lakes.
Lakes Hiawatha and Minnie Waters are dune contact Freshwater Lakes. The lakes are located in depressions in the underlying bedrock of New England metasediments, which have been blocked by coastal dunes. The two lakes are only 500m apart and at times of exceptional flooding become joined and flow into the Wooli River. Lake Hiawatha is clear and sandy, while minnie waters has a high organic content and is turbid. A sedge LEPIRONIA ARTICULATA is the major emergent shoreline plant of both lakes. The bottom of Minnie Waters is covered by a dense mat of aquatic plants such as Chara Tibrosa and UTRICULARIA FLEXUOSA. A variety of waterbeetles are common in both lakes. The dominant zooplankton are CALAMOECIA TASMANICA, MESOCYCLOPS LEUCKARTI and BOSMINA MERIDIONALIS. Twelve species of fish have been recorded in the two lakes, with fire tail gudgeon (HYPSELEUTRIS GALII) and the introduced mosquito fish (GAMBUSIA AFFINIS). The lakes are the source of the local water supply. http://www.aussiheritage.com.au/
Enjoy Skywatch Friday
Saturday, 12 July 2008
PINK is a pale red color that was first recorded in the 17th century to describe the pale red flowers of pinks, flowering plants in the genus Dianthus. This color stands for beauty, grace and goodness. The color pink itself is a combination of red and white. Other tints of pink may be combinations of rose and white, magenta and white, or orange and white.
Roseus is a Latin word meaning "rosy" or "pink." Lucretius used the word to describe the dawn in his epic poem On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura).  The word is also used in the binomial names of several species, such as the Rosy Starling (Sturnus roseus) and Catharanthus roseus
Cryptanthus, Earthstars are true terrestrials. If you would like to know more about them go to:Cryptanthus Online:http://members.iinet.net.au/
An early flowering Camellia sasanqua.
Grevilleas grow and flower all year round. It is actually hard to prune them because their tips are always crowned with flowers. There are many species. Some are only for dry areas. They don't like wet feet. (Who does?)
Lipstick pink Horsefallia loves to climb. It is a summer bloomer. End of winter it has lost all its leaves and is ready to be lightly pruned for its next exuberant display. It also plays host to a myriad of Nectar seeking insects. From the tiniest native bee, ( if you enlarge the picture, you can see a tiny trigona carbonaria on the top left flower.
Camellias are adding a lot of colour to my winter garden. They are excellent to plant under trees as they have only a small root system. They are not demanding plants. They may be pruned or left alone.
They are evergreen shrubs and small trees 2–20 m tall. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, thick, serrated, usually glossy, and 3–17 cm long. The flowers are large and conspicuous, 1–12 cm diameter, with (in natural conditions) 5–9 petals; colour varies from white to pink and red, and yellow in a few species. The fruit is a dry capsule, sometimes subdivided into up to 5 compartments, each compartment containing up to 8 seeds.
The genus is generally adapted to acidic soils, and does not grow well on chalk or other calcium-rich soils. Most species also have a high rainfall requirement and will not tolerate drought. Some Camellias have been known to grow without much rainfall. Wikipedia
Some plants emit chemicals from their roots or leaves, called allelochemicals, which repel pests. As an example, tomatoes repel caterpillars from diamondback moths, which like to use cabbage leaves for food.
Other plants attract insects that prey on pests that would otherwise damage nearby plants. As an example, beans attract insects that eat corn pests, such as leaf beetles. You can learn a lot more about how to fight specific pests organically at the Organic Pest Control web site.