Monday, 29 September 2008
Sunday, 28 September 2008
This is the mysterious tree. I bought it as a Babaco; Mountain Pawpaw; but it has turned out to be something else! (Naughty Nursery)
Yesterday Today and Tomorrow; has its main flowering time in spring, but flowers over summer on and off. It responds well to pruning and grows from cuttings. The flowers have a strong scent to perfume the garden.
Macadamia Nut oil is truly healthy and has become famous among the chefs across the world. It is also widely in use as a substitute of olive oil. Its stability and versatility are two of the main reasons for which chefs all across the world are using Macadamia Nut oil. It boasts a higher smoke point than olive oil, which means that its beneficial fatty acids prevent degradation during cooking. Especially, Macadamia nut oil is good when used for salads. Beside culinary purposes, these nuts have diverse use.
Thank you for your visit and enjoy!
Copyright: T.S. 08
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Banana plants are of the family Musaceae. They are cultivated primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent for the production of fibre and as ornamental plants. As the bananas are mainly tall, upright, and fairly sturdy, they are often mistaken for trees, when the truth is the main or upright stem is called a pseudostem, literally meaning "fake stem", which for some species can obtain a height of up to 2–8 m, with leaves of up to 3.5 m in length. Each pseudostem can produce a bunch of yellow, green, or even red bananas before dying and being replaced by another pseudostem.
The banana fruit grow in hanging clusters, with up to 20 fruit to a tier (called a hand), and 3-20 tiers to a bunch. The total of the hanging clusters is known as a bunch, or commercially as a "banana stem", and can weigh from 30–50 kg. The fruit averages 125 g, of which approximately 75% is water and 25% dry matter content. Each individual fruit (known as a banana or 'finger') has a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with a fleshy edible inner portion. Both skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. Western cultures generally eat the inside raw and throw away the skin while some Asian cultures generally eat both the skin and inside cooked. Typically, the fruit has numerous strings (called 'phloem bundles') which run between the skin and inner part.
Bananas are a valuable source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.
If you are interested to read more about Bananas please look up
The drying contraption works very well. It has a lot of room, much better and easier to work with than my electric dryer. The Inside is painted black and on the sides it has small ventilation holes. It is easy to carry around. It works very well for drying fruits, vegetables and herbs. Here I am going to dry Italian parsley.Solar power in action.
Tzigane is a new climbing rose I bought in Winter. I thought the colour would be brash. The colour is perfect and the perfume is heavenly. The rose is very simple, holds well...
Tree-ferns largest of the ferns can provide a spectacular addition to most gardens. The tree-ferns Cyathea australis and Cyathea cooperi are commonly grown in gardens for their aesthetic appeal and their hardiness. Both of these species are of the fern family Cyatheraceae.
C. australis is commonly known as the Rough Tree Fern due to the presence of adventitious roots, tubercles (knobbly bits) and masses of hair-like scales on its ‘trunk’. The ‘trunk’ like structure on a tree-fern is actually a greatly enlarged rhizome! The horticultural appeal of C. australis is not only due to its beautiful looks but also because it is an extremely hardy species, even capable of tolerating direct sun when the roots are wet. It is also a robust tub plant and is unusual in that it is tolerant of salty winds. C. australis is thus a popular, cold-hardy tree-fern, adaptable to a variety of climates and soils.
C. cooperi, the Lacy Tree Fern, derives this name from its delicate fronds. It is also known as the Australian Tree Fern as it is one of the most commonly grown Australian tree-ferns.
C. cooperi is quite distinctive from C. australis in that it has a more slender trunk with distinctive "coin spots" where old fronds have broken off the trunk. C. cooperi fronds are bright green and lacy and tend to be very fast growing. There are several major horticultural varieties of this fern including Cyathea ‘Brentwood’ which has paler fronds and scales and C. ‘Robusta’ which tends to be darker in both characters. C. cooperi is the one of the most popular tree ferns, along with Dicksonia antarctica due to its rapid growth form, hardiness and aesthetic appeal.
C. australis is found along much of the east coast of Australia, extending right down into Tasmania. It prefers moist mountain areas and can grow on dryer slopes then most other tree ferns.
C. cooperi is naturally found in tropical lowlands, along the coast of Queensland and New South Wales.
These two species cannot be propagated vegetatively (unlike some other tree-ferns) as they do not produce offsets from the trunk or roots. Propagation from spores must therefore be employed; for detail of these steps please see this page: http://www.blogger.com/ferns/fern.spore.prop.html
Maintenance: Tree-ferns grow best in high humidity and high soil moisture conditions. It is therefore important to use good-quality mulches and to top them up regularly as this will not only keep the soil moist but also provide nutrients to the shallow root system. Tree-ferns usually respond well to organic fertilizers and well-rotted animal manures, C. cooperi especially as it tends to display particularly vigorous growth.
Text by Ali Heydon (Botanical Intern 2003)
Jones, D.L. 1987, Encyclopaedia of Ferns, Lothian, Melbourne.
Jones, D.L. Clemesha, S.C. 1980, Australian Ferns and Fern Allies, Reed, Wellington.
Harvey, R. Fagg, M. Growing ferns from spores, Australian National Botanic Gardens leaflet published online at:http://www.anbg.gov.au/ferns/fern.spore.prop.htmlUpdated 18 July, 2002.
Ian Barclay, Cold Hardy Tree Ferns, Published Online at: http://www.angelfire.com/bc/eucalyptus/treeferns/Last updated: December 8th, 2002.
Habitat: Gullies of tall, moist forests
Season: All year
Aboriginal People used the soft, starchy pith from the top part (0.5m) of the stem. They split the stem, scooped out the pith and ate it raw or roasted in ashes.
The Tasmanians preferred the Rough Tree-fern, Cyathea australis, because it tasted better than the smooth Tree-fern. The smooth Tree-fern is the one which is usually grown in home gardens.
Organic tip of the week: PEPPERMINT
Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). The plant is indigenous in Europe and now widespread in cultivation throughout all regions of the world. It is found wild occasionally with its parent species.
It was first described by Linnaeus from specimens collected in England; he treated it as a species, but it is now universally agreed to be a hybrid.
It typically occurs in moist habitats, including streamsides and drainage ditches. It is usually sterile, producing no seeds and reproducing only vegetatively, spreading by its rhizomes.
Peppermint is sometimes regarded as 'the world's oldest medicine', with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago
Peppermint, like many spices and herbs, is believed to have medicinal properties when consumed. It is said that it helps against upset stomachs, inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, and can help soothe and relax muscles when inhaled or applied to the skin. Other health benefits are attributed to the high manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A content; as well as trace amounts of various other nutrients such as fibre, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, tryptophan, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin, and copper.
Peppermint flowers are large nectar producers and honey bees as well as other nectar harvesting organisms forage them heavily. A mild, pleasant varietal honey can be produced if there is a sufficient area of plants.
Peppermint generally thrives in shade and expands quickly by underground rhizomes. If you choose to grow peppermint, it is advisable to plant it in a container, otherwise it can rapidly take over a whole garden. It needs a good water supply, and is ideal for planting in part-sun to shade areas.
The leaves and flowering tops are the usable portion of the plant. They are collected as soon as the flowers begin to open and then are carefully dried. The wild form of the plant is less suitable for this purpose, with cultivated plants having been selected for more and better oil content. Seeds sold at stores labelled peppermint generally will not germinate into true peppermint, but into a particularly poor-scented spearmint plant. The true peppermint might rarely produce seeds, but only by fertilisation from a spearmint plant, and contribute only their own spearmint genes.
Have a nice Day!
Thursday, 18 September 2008
My daughter L. has send this picture which she took from her garden in Mermaid Waters. The black swans bring their cygnets for a snack of shredded lettuce.
Pleas click picture for a better view.
European explorers were amazed (Vlaming in 1697) to discover that in Australia swans are black.
They are common birds across all of coastal Australia, and nest in swamps or river estuaries. They are not common in the North West.
They make their nests out of coarse reed stems on a dry bit of a small island, or on a river bank. They lay a clutch of about five eggs which are greenish white in colour, usually in autumn (March-April) or in winter.
They can travel in enormous flocks and move from one feeding ground to another. They will feed in the shallows, or eat grass on the banks.
Swans are a protected species in Australia.
For mor pictures please go to http://skyley.blogspot.com/
Sunday, 14 September 2008
BEAUMONTIA GRANDIFLORA Herald's Trumpet
Pictures cannot even begin to describe the sight of a mature Beaumontia in full bloom.
FAMILY : ApocynaceaeORIGIN ; HimalayasTYPE/USES; large vine; LIGHT REQUIREMENTS ; full/partial sun; WATER REQUIREMENTS; averageMIN. TEMP; low 30's;FLOWER S in spring; fragrant flowers.
Bauhinia is a genus of more than 200 species of flowering plants in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the large flowering plant family Fabaceae, with a pantropical distribution. The genus was named after the Bauhin brothers, Swiss-French botanists.
Many species are widely planted in the tropics as "orchid trees", particularly in northern India, Vietnam and southeastern China. Bauhinia blakeana is the floral emblem of Hong Kong, and a stylized orchid tree flower appears on the Hong Kong flag.
Bauhinia trees typically reach a height of 6-12 m and their branches spread 3-6 m outwards. The lobed leaves usually are 10-15 cm across.
The five-petaled flowers are 7.5-12.5 cm diameter, generally in shades of red, pink, purple, orange, or yellow, and are often fragrant. The tree begins flowering in late winter and often continues to flower into early summer.
Believe it or not:
Tous va pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes. (Voltaire in Candide.)
It is much cultivated as a kitchen and medicinal herb. Common sage is also grown in parts of Europe, especially the Balkans for distillation of the essential oil, though other species, such as Salvia triloba may also be harvested and distilled with it.
It is also called Garden sage, Kitchen sage, and Dalmatian sage. The word sage or derived names are also used for a number of related and non related species.
In Western cooking, it is used for flavouring fatty meats . In the United States, Britain and Flanders, sage is used with onion for poultry or pork stuffing and also in sauces. In French cuisine, sage is used for cooking white meat and in vegetable soups. Germans often use it in sausage dishes, and sage forms the dominant flavouring in the English Lincolnshire sausage. Sage is also common in Italian cooking. Sage is sautéd in olive oil and butter until crisp, then plain or stuffed pasta is added (burro e salvia). In the Balkans and the Middle East, it is used when roasting mutton.
The Latin name for sage, salvia, means “to heal". Although the effectiveness of Common Sage is open to debate, it has been recommended at one time or another for virtually every ailment. Modern evidence supports its effects as an antihydrotic.
Thank you for your visit.
Copyright: 2008 T.S.