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Spring Sings

Spring is one of my favourite times of the year.  All those beautiful flowers blooming, baby everythings everywhere you look (finally got some GORGEOUS broods of cygnets at the local lake – I just want to squeeze them!), blue skies and glorious sunshine (well, some of the time anyway…so far we’ve had a pretty cold and wet Spring).  I love how the evenings change – there’s that particular feeling in the air.  The feeling of change and of warmth coming.  The days are longer and the mornings brighter.

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My garden, such as it is, also changes with the coming of Spring.  The majority of my plants are in pots – I just haven’t had the money or energy to create a proper garden yet.  I mostly have weeds.  Lots of weeds.  I’m a bit ashamed of them, to be honest.  My neighbour’s gardens are all pristine, well-manicured and tidy.  Mine is the feral one.  I try not to look at it.  My back has been playing up such a lot lately that I daren’t do any weeding or any activity that requires much bending in the garden.  So, weeds it is.

This weekend I was surprised to find this glorious bloom in my courtyard.  An Apostle’s Iris.  So pretty!  I got this plant about 18 months ago at a Quiz Night and had no idea what it was.  I figured it was probably an iris of some kinds, but I wasn’t sure.  I have neglected it totally and haven’t even repotted it into a decent sized pot.  Then, yesterday morning, this beautiful flower appeared.  The plant also has a baby that has taken root in another pot, so I’ll have two plants soon.  Yay!

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My pelargoniums are always cooperative and do very well, even with my slack gardening efforts.  I have had this one for a few years and the flowers are just gorgeous.  So bright and cheerful, and long-lasting.  I’ve taken lots of cuttings over the years and so the original plant is now growing in lots of different pots and other people’s gardens!

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I often go for a little walk during my lunch break and the bushland nearby has lots of pretty natives (and a few non-native interlopers) blooming.  I love the bright and cheery wattle – I don’t suffer from hay fever like so many other people – and the colour is always so lovely against the greens and browns of the bush.

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I believe this lovely purple climber is called “Happy Wanderer”.  It’s from the pea family, so it creates its own food by bringing nitrogen to the soil.  It’s so pretty.

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This bright pink beauty is a type of wild geranium.  It grows pretty prolifically and is common around coastal areas as it is very hardy and doesn’t mind a bit of salt air.

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And then we have good old freesias.  I LOVE the smell of them.  I pick lots and lots in Spring time and have them in the library.  Their scent is so gorgeous and fresh.  They are not a native, and in some states are considered a pest.  So I can pick as many as I like 🙂  I even had them in my wedding bouquet, a million years ago.  They make me happy.

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The best thing about Spring, besides the flowers and baby critters, is the promise of Summer.  THAT is my favourite season.  The heat, the sunshine, the balmy nights (that everyone else complains about but I love because it’s warm, warm, warm) and the blue skies.  But, Spring is a pretty close second.  It’s Mother Nature’s party time, her extended prom night, her chance to show off a bit.

Do you have a favourite season?  Does spring bring you joy or does it spell runny-nosed-sneezy-wheezy hay fever hell for you?

Either way, hope you’ve got some spring in your step today (or some Autumn Attitude for our Northern Hemisphere pals!) 🙂

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Quote for the Day : Risk and Change

“…Proverbial wisdom counsels against risk and change.
But sitting ducks fare worst of all…”

— Mason Cooley

PS I really wanted to use this photo for something… Every year we have a pair of ducks having a pit stop in a very tall tree outside my work.  They don’t nest or stay there – it seems to be a rest point and a chance to survey their environment.  They only stay for a couple of hours and then they’re gone, until the following year.  But it always make me smile to see this enormous tree with two ducks, perched up high and quacking loudly 🙂

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Shelduck, Perth Western Australia
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Quote for the Day : Bees

“… the world is really one big bee yard, and the same rules work fine in both places: don’t be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don’t be an idiot… If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates, while whistling melts a bee’s temper… Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved…”

— Sue Monk Kidd : The Secret Life of Bees

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Kings Park 3 (Guess That Plant)

Kings Park 3 (Guess That Plant)

Final post in my series on “Flowers and Plants I Don’t Really Know Anything About”.  Our trip to Kings Park was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t say educational because I forgot to learn anything about the plants themselves and their names.  I was going to take photos and then take a pic of any info next to the plant.  But I did that only once.  And then forgot for all the others.  So I’m just guessing from here on in.  Except for the first picture 🙂

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The Wooly Banksia. It was indeed wooly like a little sheep.  It looked like one of those microphone things news crews are always waving about in outside interviews.

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Kangaroo Paw.  If I got this one wrong, I would be in trouble.  And possibly not Australian.

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This is West Australian Edelweiss.  No, it isn’t – I am making that up.  It’s very dainty and pretty though.  You could sing about it in the Alps, I’m sure.  Wearing a dress made out of curtains – that sort of thing.

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This is the lovely Native Hibiscus.  I know this one.  It is otherwise known as the West Coast Gem.  I didn’t know that.

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This is also a Kangaroo Paw.  An underipe one.  Kidding. It’s a Black Kangaroo Paw –
Macropidia fuliginosa if you want to be posh.

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This is a Morning Iris.  I know this because I searched four million flowers on Google before I found it.  The colour is quite beautiful and is striking against the colours of the bushland.

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Pink (Lipstick) Boronia.  Know this one too.  I am a horticultural genius!  Boronia has a strong smell (not unpleasant) and these lovely bell-shaped flowers.  It is becoming more common to see it amongst flower arrangements at florist shops. 

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Another beautiful blue specimen.  I’m sure it has a lovely name.  If only I knew it!

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Grevillea.  I used to call these “Prawn Plants” when I was a kid.  Many people called them “Those bloody Grevilleas!!!” because they are allergic to them.  Coincidentally, lots of people are also allergic to prawns.  I’m just being silly now.

Well, that was the end of my playful romp through Kings Park.  You should go there yourself one day.  If you live in Perth.  Otherwise it might be a bit far.  But you could probably come to Perth for other stuff as well and make a proper trip of it.  We have a River and a City and roads and all sorts of stuff with silly people like me milling about.  Plus we have lots of sunshine, which is important.  Especially as I am always cold.

The End 🙂

Kings Park 2

Kings Park 2

More pics from our visit to Kings Park.  All the yellows and golds  this time.

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I think this is a Vertichordia.  But don’t quote me on that. 

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Banksia.  Fairly sure it is an Ashby’s Banksia…

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A Eucalypt.  Of some kind.  I don’t know *looks sheepish*

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A Yellow Powder Puff Plant.  Ok, I am making that up. 

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Hoorah!  A Wattle.  I know this one *pats herself on the back*  I believe it is a Hedge Wattle. 

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Another Banskia.  A prostrate form.  Not “prostate” like my Mum would say.  It doesn’t have to have uncomfortable proctological examinations at the doctor.

So, there you are.  Just a few of the lovely native plants on display at Kings Park Botanic Gardens.  Beautiful at any time of year but even more stunning in Spring.  Nature is a clever clogs 🙂

Lavender Farm

Lavender Farm

During our trip to the South West last month, we travelled to lots of pretty places, through still-green-and-lush countryside.  One such place was the Lavender Farm in Balingup (about 240km from Perth).  My Mum and I had been there before, about ten years ago and were eager for our UK visitor to see the property and perhaps share some delicious tea and scones.  We were disappointed to find they no longer serve lunches (I’m absolutely convinced that they used to – but maybe I am muddling them up with a different places…) so we just looked around the garden instead.  Sadly, the lavender itself was not out, having been pruned back to small clumps.  Disappointment again.  But, we made do with the rest of the garden which was pretty and colourful, with a few individual lavender bushes, California poppies, bulbs and other beautiful blooms.

The property is nestled in the hills of Balingup and the countryside itself is gorgeous.  It’s kind of an Aussie version of a English dale.  Green and lush, rolling hills dotted with fluffy sheep and little farmhouses.  So pretty.

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I love lavender – its smell and colour and just the look of it when it is in full flower.  It’s a shame we didn’t get to see the farm in full harvesting bloom, but the little amount we did see was lovely nevertheless.  The bees seemed to be happy enough 🙂

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The California poppies were gorgeous – that orange is so sunny and bright.  I loved the just-opening ones.

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We saw lots of these Scillas on our travels.  Scilla Peruviana to be precise.  I only know this because I looked it up ha ha.  SO pretty.  That bright, bright blue-purple is dazzling.  Another favourite with the bees.

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Lots of irises.  The icy white complemented the purple ones – very beautiful.  When we returned home, Mum was pleased to see hers had flowered in our absence – they are stunning.  Such a favourite in the garden at this time of year.  They are elegant without being too showy.

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I wasn’t sure what these flowers were called so I had to look them up when I got home.  They are everywhere at the moment.  Blooming on the side of the road, in people’s gardens, and in council displays.  They are so bright and cheerful and pretty.  They’re Ixias, or African Corn Lillies.  Native to South Africa, these bulbs seem to like our warm climate and flower beautifully in the Spring.  The colours range from yellow to red, pink to purple, with every shade in between.  Lovely.  They also make a nice cut flower – lasting well in a vase for a pretty arrangement.

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So, we had a nice hour at the Lavender Farm, despite the general lack of Lavender, and got lots of gorgeous flower photos.  Mum even got to see a Blue Wren, her favourite little bird, so it was worth the trip even for that.  I’ll write up about the bird life in a future post.

A beautiful part of the South West 🙂

Butterfly (It’s like love, apparently)

Butterfly (It’s like love, apparently)

Happy Monday everyone!  I wouldn’t often say those words because, ugh, Mondays!  Normally a pretty rotten day and not exactly joy-filled.  But today is a public holiday so I’m not at work.  Instead, I am procrastinating and getting nothing done in the house.  Nothing new there, right?  I have yet another rent inspection this week so I am supposed to be sorting stuff out and getting thing tidy, but I’m not.  So far today I have done one load of laundry, put away two items of clothing and watered my plants.  That’s pretty much it.  Sigh.  I have chronic slacker’s syndrome today.

I am also very much behind with regards to posting any blog stuff.  Sorry about that.  No excuses – just been busy and also a bit down in the dumps.  I try not to post when I am crabby or sad or mopey.  It doesn’t make for good writing.  I have also been away for the last few days (more on that later).  But, really, no valid excuses.

I was going to write a post about my weekend trip away but then I got distracted (as is my wont) and took some photos of a lovely little butterfly in my garden.  I’m sure he is some sort of succulent-ravaging beastie, but I think he is cute.  Look at those eyes!  And the jaunty way he holds himself!  I don’t know what kind of butterfly he is – lepidoptery isn’t exactly my forte.  But he is cute and made me smile, so that will have to do.

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I’ve had the song “Love is like a Butterfly”  in my head for the past couple of hours now.  If you don’t know the song (because you’re not old like me), here’s a couple of links to people singing it :

Dolly Parton Check out the outfit! 🙂

Clare Torry Theme song version from the show “Butterflies”

And the lyrics if you’re so inclined to sing along ;

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicoloured moods of love are like it’s satin wings

Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing
I feel it when you’re with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicoloured moods of love are like it’s satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Everyday is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side
How precious is this love we share
How very precious, sweet and rare
Together we belong like daffodils and butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like it’s satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

So that’s my silly post for today.  I will try and do better next time, I promise 🙂

Have a great week x