The air is full of the scent of honey, the constant flit of manic butterflies, the buzzing hum of hard-working bees and the continuous squawking of cockatoos, corellas and galahs, intermingled with that classic Summer plaintive call of the Storm Birds.The common name of Buddleias is Butterfly Bush and it’s very appropriate! Every time I step out the back door to walk down to the garden, I am assaulted by masses of butterflies and seduced into racing straight back inside for my camera to try yet again to capture that special shot, often to no avail! It is so easy to waste time on these special little creatures. I must admit that I’ve taken to photographing them from the kitchen window, which seems to be more successful, as they are less disturbed!Often I see at least 10 at a time – but it’s hopeless trying to get them all to sit still for a family portrait!!! The brown ones are the worst culprits! They are so flibberty-gibberty that I marvel that they get anything to drink at all!The smaller black and white ones are much quieter and more stable, resting to drink long from the nectar-rich blooms. In fact, one even landed on my shoulder! The bees and even the odd bird – a Silvereye and an Eastern Spinebill- also love the flowers.The Cabbage Whites prefer the vegie garden, especially the broccoli, and we discovered some interesting photogenic beetles in our roses. I don’t think either of them are possibly very good for their host plants! I did make a brief attempt to identify the beetles, but given that there are 350,000 species of beetles and I find it impossible even naming butterflies, I gave up!!!The roses are still superb, even though the Soho Bed is looking a bit ratty with the drying brown poppy plants. I’m waiting till their pods are sufficiently dry to harvest the seed. They are still throwing out the odd bloom.
The David Austin pastels begged to be picked for this soft romantic bouquet, in stark contrast to the bold dramatic vase of roses, dahlias and deep purple buddleias.
Photo 1 and 2 : Fair Bianca (cream) and Alnwick (pink); Blue Salvia and White Stock. Photo 3 and 4: Mr Lincoln (red) and Lolita (orange); Red Dahlias and Deep Purple BuddleiasI have resisted picking the Madonna Lilies though, because they look so beautiful on the plant with the late afternoon sun shining through their petals!The Calla Lilies have formed tightly packed capsules, bursting with seed.The agapanthus heads are starting to open and soon we will be swamped in a sea of Summer blues and whites.The hydrangeas are following suit.The stocks are revelling in their weeded bed and are positively romping, now they have lost their competition.The No-Dig Bed is already awash with white and mauve potato flowers, interspersed with the golden blooms of the rampaging zucchini and pumpkin plants. Not content with filling their own bed, the latter are now sending rapacious shoots towards the other vegie bed! The sunflower is also forging ahead to the sky! I think it has almost doubled in size since last week! We have our first capsicums forming and have been savouring our exceedingly precious raspberry fruits, which are ripening one at a time. They really are a measure of trust!
Equally special are the jewel-like centres of the red dahlia on the corner of the vegie garden.And the surprise finds : Mullein (Verbascum rotundifolium) in the Soho Bed (admittedly a weed, but a very attractive one at that) and a Feverfew (last photo) in the cutting garden – presents perhaps from a passing bird?!As for the birds! The Cockatoos have arrived for Summer Feasting! While the Duranta berries are nice, the neighbour’s apples are even nicer!!!I can see that I will have to watch my crab apples! Hopefully, I will be able to identify the type of crab apple before the fruit is discovered!!! Unless the crabs suddenly turn gold in colour, I am still steering towards ‘Gorgeous’!Its wonderful watching the huge flocks of cockatoos wheeling in the sky, just before settling down for the night!They all intermingle – Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Little Corellas and Galahs- the latter forming the largest contingent of the population- and they have a great time! They are such party animals.
They swoop and dive and career round imaginary corners like teenage hotheads doing wheelies in their souped-up cars. Either they are high on sugar-rich fruit or trying to impress or outbid each other for the girls’ attention! and the noise is incredible! It’s a veritable Cockatoo Cacophany!
Finally, a photo of my creative activity for this week- a full apron for a 5 year old! So cute and I loved making it! Izzie and Ozzie is my brand name for my childrens’ clothing, toys, cushions and aprons.