Bountiful Beautiful Butterfly Bushes: Buddleias: January’s Feature Plant

My first monthly feature plant for the year are the beautiful, bountiful buddleias, which are in full bloom this month. Also spelt Buddlejas and known as Butterfly Bush, due to its popularity with butterflies; Summer Lilac and Bombsite Plant (see later), they were named by Linnaeus after Reverend Adam Buddle (1660-1715), an English botanist and taxonomist, who produced 36 volumes dedicated to British native flora (volumes 14 to 36 about mosses alone)!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-11 09.56.33They belong to the Foxglove family Scrophulariaceae (Buddlejaceae), with the genus containing at least 100 species (some sources number 140) and numerous decorative cultivars. They hail from four continents: Asia; North and South America: 60 species from Southern USA to Chile; and Africa, with no buddleias native to Europe or Australasia.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 19.02.53Please note that because I inherited my buddleias, which were already well-established in our garden, when we arrived, I do not know their names, though I assume they are all forms of B. davidii, hence my photographs will be identified solely by their colour!

While I will try to be consistent with my spelling, generally restricting myself to using ‘buddleia’, the odd ‘buddleja’ might still slip in, especially when the latter spelling is used in the names of plants or plant collections!

Description

Large, sprawling, deciduous (temperate climes) or evergreen shrubs (tropical areas) shrubs, usually less than 5 metres tall, though they can reach 9 metres tall.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-03 10.24.44Long, narrow, lanceolate leaves, arranged in opposite pairs, except for B. alternifolia, in which the leaves are arranged alternately. Leaf size varies from 1 to 30 cm long. The leaves are often crepe-textured with pale, sometimes downy, undersides. Some species are silvery grey, while others are a dull matte green.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.24.57Buddleias are grown for their flowers. Many have long, nectar-rich flower spikes, but some occur in spherical heads or loose clusters. The Asiatic species have terminal panicles, 10 to 50 cm long, and tend to be pastel pink or mauve, while the American species have cymes, forming small globose heads, which are often red, orange or yellow. Many cultivars have deeper colours, including a rich reddish-purple.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 17.47.45 Each individual flower is tubular and divided into four spreading lobes (petals), 3 to 4 mm across. The corolla length again varies according to the species. Asiatic species have a 10 mm long corolla, while American species vary from 3 to 30 mm, the latter having long red flowers, pollinated exclusively by hummingbirds. Some species are fragrant and strongly honey-scented, attracting not only butterflies, but also moths and bees.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.40.29Flowering times vary according to the species, but generally they flower from Spring to Autumn. We had our first bloom in mid-November last year.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-05 17.17.59The fruit is a small capsule, 1 cm long and 1 to 2 mm diameter with numerous small seeds.

Use and Care

Buddleias are usually grown for their flowers, as a feature plant and as a butterfly food plant, though B. davidii yields dyes (black and green from mixed flowers, leaves and stems, while the flowers alone produce an orange-gold to brown colour); and B. officinalis and B. asiaticum are used in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine and. See: http://www.chineseherbshealing.com/butterfly-bush/.

They are extremely hardy and tough, the deciduous species being hardier than the evergreens, though none will tolerate prolonged severe Winters. They are incredibly easy to grow and undemanding, tolerating salty air, drought, shade, urban pollution and most soil types, though they have a preference for chalky and limey soils.

Best in full sun on a moist, fertile well-drained soil, they grow incredibly quickly and some species can become invasive (more later).

They spread easily by seed and can be propagated easily by half-hardened soft wood cuttings taken in late Spring and early Summer. Cut a 15 cm new shoot, just as it is beginning to harden up, trim below the leaf node and nip out the top, then remove any large leaves. Dip the cut end into hormone rooting powder or honey (though it really doesn’t need it!) and plant in a 50/50 mixture of horticultural sand and compost.

They should be deadheaded constantly throughout the flowering season to encourage more flowers and prevent self-seeding and then pruned back to within 3 to 6 inches of the old wood in very early Spring, around crocus time, removing all dead wood. I am referring to the most common Butterfly Bush, B. davidii, here.

Pests include capsid bugs, caterpillars, nematodes (when grown in sandy soils) and red spider mite (especially during droughts). Neem Oil is a good organic treatment for all infestations. Buddleias can also experience root rot, if growing in swampy ground, and downy mildew, if grown in a cool climate with extended periods of rain.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.16.16Species and Cultivars

B. globosa : Orange Ball Tree

See: https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/2453/Buddleja-globosa/Details

Buddleias are mostly 20th century plants, except for Buddleja globosa, which was introduced to Britain from Chile in 1774. It is semi-evergreen, 5m tall and wide, and produces highly fragrant, honey-scented, orange globular inflorescences on branches from the previous season’s growth.

B. colvilei : Himalayan Butterfly Bush/ Tree Buddleia See: https://lambley.com.au/plant/buddleja-colvilei and http://www.louistheplantgeek.com/a-gardening-journal/802-buddleja-colvilei.

2 to 6 metres tall deciduous shrub or small tree with dark pink flowers in Summer.

B. paniculata   See: http://www.buddlejacollection.com/plants/paniculata/

Deciduous 6 metre tall shrub from East Asia and Northern India.

B. alternifolia:    Weeping Butterfly Bush/ Alternate-Leaved Butterfly Bush or Fountain Butterfly Bush

A weeping, semi-deciduous, 5 metre tall shrub, native to North-West China (Kansu), which also produces flowers on older wood, and whose leaves are arranged alternately along the stems. For an image, see: https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/2441/Buddleja-alternifolia/Details and https://lambley.com.au/plant/buddleja-alternifolia-argentea.

B. asiatica:      Bai Bei Feng     or Dog Tail/ Asian Butterfly Bush.

See: https://wildlifeofhawaii.com/flowers/904/buddleja-asiatica-dogtail/

A 3 metre tall and wide evergreen shrub, whose dried and powdered root is used to make a fermented liquor, used as an abortifacient and to treat skin problems in traditional Chinese medicine.

B. officinalis:  Mi Meng Hua

See: https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/85046/Buddleja-officinalis/Details

A 2.5 to 4 metre tall, early Spring-flowering, semi-evergreen shrub, native to East Asia and Western China, whose flowers (dried or fresh) are used to make a tea used in the treatment of ophthalmic conditions eg Corneal Opacity; Glaucoma and Nebula. The leaves, flowers and roots contain a large variety of flavonoid, triterpenoid and iridoid glycosides, which have been shown to repair damaged cell membrane of lens, prevent protein denaturation in the lens, reduce lens opacity and restore vision.

In traditional Korean medicine, the flowers and flower buds are also used to treat eye problems, as well as cramps and spasms caused by problems with the intestine, bladder or stomach eg Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The leaves are used to treat gonorrhoea, hepatitis and hernias.

The flowers of B.officinalis are also used to dye rice yellow in sticky rice dish, Hao Leng, and Five Coloured Rice, Wu Se Fan.BlogEndofSpring20%Reszd2015-11-19 17.17.04B. davidii (B. variabilis)

The most popular cultivated Buddleia species and a semi-evergreen, open arching shrub, 1.2 to 4.6 metres tall and wide. It is native to Central China (Sichuan and Hubei provinces) and Japan.

It was introduced to Kew in 1896 (180 years after Buddle’s death) and was named after another clergyman, a French missionary called Père Armand David (1826-1900), who travelled over 7000 miles by foot in Asia and was the first European to see it flowering on stony rocky slopes in China. David collected 1500 plants in his travels, including 250 new species and 11 new genera, including the Handkerchief Tree, Davidia involucrata.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.44.01B. davidii is highly invasive and colonises dry open ground very quickly, including railway track sidings (see http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28196221); derelict factories and urban bombsites, hence its name, the Bombsite Plant.

Both the species and its cultivars have been banned in many states in the United States of America (eg Oregon and Washington), and it certainly has naturalised very successfully in Northern Australia.

There are interspecific hybrids like Buddleja ‘Lochinch’, a cross between B. davidii and B. fallowiana; and B. x weyeriana, a cross between B. davidii and B. globosa; and at least 180 B. davidii cultivars.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.04.05Some of the most popular garden cultivars are Royal Red (rich magenta), Black Knight (dark purple) and Empire Blue (small blue spikes), all three being taller older varieties, as well as Sungold (golden yellow) and Pink Delight, the latter bred in Holland in 1990, a compact shrub with silvery foliage and fragrant long, pure pink flower spikes. Dartmouth is another tall hybrid, 5 metres tall, with magenta-purple hand-shaped blooms, whose spikes radiate from one ‘palm’.

There are compact varieties, suitable for smaller gardens, like the pink Peacock ; Purple Emperor; Adonis Blue; Marbled White; and Camberwell Beauty (like a dwarf Dartmoor), the last four named after British butterflies. Nanho Blue (blue) and Nanho Purple (purple) are both dainty hybrids, only 1.5 metres tall, with delicate long slender flower spikes.

Other hybrids include: African Queen (dark purple); Blue Horizon (clear blue); Petite Indigo (lavender- blue); Darent Valley, Nanho White, White Profusion and White Bouquet– all white; and Opera (pink). See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Buddleja_hybrids_and_cultivars; and https://www.plantdelights.com/blogs/articles/butterfly-bush-buddleia-davidii-plant-buddleja for more species and hybrids.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.32.16In the United Kingdom, there are 4 NCCPG national collections, including:

Peter Moore (http://bredbypetermoore.co.uk/) of Longstock Park Nursery (https://leckfordestate.co.uk/nursery) has been breeding more compact (1 to 2 meters tall), sterile buddleias for over 20 years, which flower for a longer period without self-seeding. He produces 50 Buddleia crosses each year, trialling the most promising hybrids in the garden, and spends 10 hours every week, deadheading all the Buddleias in the collection. Longstock Park Nursery has two Plant Heritage Collections, one of Clematis viticella, the other of Buddleias, as well as holding the Gilchrist Collection of Penstemons.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.28.19The Buddleja Collection started as a deer- and rabbit-proof screening hedge along the old tennis court and now contains 160 species and cultivars, some of them tender. The aim is to conserve, grow, document and celebrate buddlejas growing in the United Kingdom. See :https://leckfordestate.co.uk/nursery-plants/buddleja-stock-list for the stock list of Buddlejas held.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.39.19The collection includes:

Sugar Plum: a compact form of B. davidii, with the reddest flowers of all buddleias;

Pink Pagoda: a pale pink form of B. x weyeriana;

Blue Chip: 0.6 to 0.9 metre high compact shrub with lavender-blue flowers with sterile seed; and

Silver Anniversary: A cross between B. loricata from South Africa and the lilac-pink B. crispa from Northern India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China, with the best silver foliage of any hardy buddleja. See: http://www.buddlejacollection.com/collections/  for the whole collection. BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.30.47Here is another useful link for further reading on Buddlejas: http://www.buddlejagarden.co.uk/linx.html.

Next week, we are visiting the beautiful Murrah Lagoon!

 

Bugs and Butterflies, Birds and Bees!

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.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 19.02.53BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.44.01The 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!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-11 10.07.22BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.40.29BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-12 19.06.41Often 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!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-11 09.56.33BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-11 10.03.10BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-09 17.19.24BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-09 17.19.44BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-11 10.52.39BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.39.19The 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.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.15.41BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.16.16The 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!!!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-06 17.47.46BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-08 16.54.41BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-08 16.54.59BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-09 17.23.24BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-08 16.55.19The 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.

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Fair Bianca
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Alnwick
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Just Joey
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Troilus
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Lucetta
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Frau Dagmar Hastrup
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Alnwick
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L D Braithwaite
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Lolita
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Mr Lincoln

BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-08 16.53.06The 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.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 11.05.24BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 11.04.58 Photo 3 and 4: Mr Lincoln (red) and Lolita (orange); Red Dahlias and Deep Purple BuddleiasBlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 19.04.12BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 11.22.23I have resisted picking the Madonna Lilies though, because they look so beautiful on the plant with the late afternoon sun shining through their petals!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.42.37BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-07 09.42.44The Calla Lilies have formed tightly packed capsules, bursting with seed.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-09 17.31.57The agapanthus heads are starting to open and soon we will be swamped in a sea of Summer blues and whites.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-12 19.12.45BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-12 19.11.43BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-08 17.06.07The hydrangeas are following suit.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-12 19.12.07The stocks are revelling in their weeded bed and are positively romping, now they have lost their competition.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-06 17.51.15The 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!

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Pumpkins on the move!
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No-Dig Bed with Pumpkins, Zucchinis and Sunflower on the right
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‘Burgundy Spray’ Sunflower
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Potato flowers
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Capsicum

Equally special are the jewel-like centres of the red dahlia on the corner of the vegie garden.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-08 17.01.52And 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?!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-03 10.26.12BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-08 16.56.22BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-08 16.57.31As for the birds! The Cockatoos have arrived for Summer Feasting! While the Duranta berries are nice, the neighbour’s apples are even nicer!!!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 20.38.13BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 20.31.49BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-09 20.30.03I 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’!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-12 19.11.18Its wonderful watching the huge flocks of cockatoos wheeling in the sky, just before settling down for the night!BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 20.40.10BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 20.44.16BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 20.03.52BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-10 20.40.42They 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.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-09 20.53.10

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Pink Galahs and Little Corellas

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Little Corellas and the odd Sulphur-crested Cockatoo- see left top edge
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A pair of Little Corellas at the end of the day

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.BlogBugsBBB20%Reszd2015-12-11 15.07.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Heaven

Now that the Peony Poppy season is over, my new obsession is … Butterflies!BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.24.57BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.25.02BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-05 17.20.39BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.28.19BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.29.08BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.30.47 With the Buddleias in full bloom, we have so many flutter-bys of many different varieties, as well as lots of busy bees!!!BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 08.45.49BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-03 10.24.44BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.32.16BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.04.05BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 15.31.21BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-05 17.17.59The latter also enjoy sunbaths in the few remaining poppies.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%ReszdIMG_1764The wasps are also very industrious, building their hexagonal nests on our house walls.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-11-27 18.08.20We saw a beautiful, delicate dragonfly resting on the Dogwood, as well as a tiny white spider on our new purple rose in the Soho Bed.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.00.33BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 09.20.35The roses have been stunning in the Soho Bed.

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Copper Queen
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L D Braithwaite
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Mr Lincoln
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Lady X

I couldn’t resist cutting them for the house! Two new bouquets for the week!

Photo 1: Icegirl (white), Lady X (mauve), Just Joey (pale pink), Children’s Rose (pink), Alnwick (pink)BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 09.27.52Photo 2: Mr Lincoln (red), LD Braithwaite (deep red), Copper Queen (gold) and Lolita (orange pink).BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-03 12.46.47Lamarque is also blooming again in front of the house.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 18.59.02Mutabilis (1st photo) has a new lease of life, as does Archiduc Joseph (2nd and 3rd photo) by the shed.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-03 10.27.46BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-11-30 18.03.01BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 09.23.43The Dahlias are still mind-blowingly stunning!BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-05 17.29.09And the Tree Dahlia is now halfway up the window!BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.14.26The army of Acanthus and Agapanthus is steadily advancing, with its numbers swelling every day and has been joined by a surprise contingent of orange Canna Lilies.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.15.28BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.15.47BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.16.06BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.18.38BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-05 17.29.53My Madonna Lily, also known as Peace Lily (Lilium candidum), will certainly have its work cut out! So will its Praying Mantis!BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.19.25BlogButterflyHeaven 20%ReszdIMG_1774BlogButterflyHeaven 20%ReszdIMG_1775BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 08.43.39The first of the hydrangeas is flowering – another beautiful white bloom!BlogButterflyHeaven 20%ReszdIMG_1768The main garden tasks this week have been watering, weeding, manuring and mulching, as well as planting out Cosmos seeds in the tulip/stock bed and zinnias in the Calendula bed.

Down in the vegie garden (1st photo), the Burgundy Spray sunflower is growing taller (2nd photo). The 3rd photo shows the back of the sunflower (left foreground), with pumpkins and zucchinis, then Dutch Cream and Desiree potatoes, all in flower, and the cutting garden in the background.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 17.22.53BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 17.20.36BlogButterflyHeaven 20%ReszdIMG_1767The old-fashioned Sweet Peas are starting to flower and smell divine!BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-03 10.26.56BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-11-30 17.58.42I love the attractive star-shaped fruit of the Pomegranate.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-11-30 18.00.01The thyme has almost completely surrounded the sundial.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 19.01.47These African Spoonbill Daisies (Osteospermum ‘Whirlygig’) also remind me of clock faces and the passing of time.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-11-29 16.19.57Time seems to stand still, when relaxing on the front verandah and looking out into the different layers of green in the background. We feel so fortunate to be sheltered by this wall of green, unbroken by houses or traffic!BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-02 18.51.26Little wonder that this area is so rich in birdlife! We love hearing and watching the huge flocks of Corellas flying over the garden in the early morning and late afternoon, with the sun shining through their wings. Here are some photos of their newest recruit with his mother in the gum tree in the lane way behind our house.BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 09.17.46BlogButterflyHeaven 20%Reszd2015-12-01 09.17.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s Here!

I love the start of Summer! The warmer temperatures before it becomes too hot; the longer daylight hours, so you can still garden at the end of the day after work; the excitement of watching the fruit develop and ripen; and the amazing colours in the garden!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-26 16.40.36BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-26 16.40.27BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-26 16.41.26BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-26 16.41.36Roses love Summer too! Here are photos of the roses blooming this week :

In the Soho Bed :

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Lolita
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Mr Lincoln
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Fair Bianca
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Alnwick

In the Moon Bed :

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Windermere
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Golden Celebration
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Heritage
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William Morris

By the shed :

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Countess Bertha
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Archiduc Joseph

On the Main Pergola (desperately waiting for its construction and madly growing in the mean time!) :

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Devoniensis
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Devoniensis

And in the rose hedge behind the vegetable garden :

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Mutabilis

I love creating new bouquets from them all!

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Copper Queen, Blue Salvia and Catmint
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Heaven Scent, Copper Queen, Lolita, Just Joey, Icegirl, Dahlias and Salvia
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Alnwick, Windermere, Children’s Rose, Heaven Scent, Verbena and Catmint
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Closeup of first photo
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Calendulas and Cornflowers
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Left to right : Mr Lincoln, Icegirl and Lolita

The dahlias have blasted on to the scene with their eye-catching gold and red.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-22 17.18.07BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.54.02BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.53.47BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 17.52.32BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 17.52.05Their magnificent bold display is only matched in intensity by the scarlet pomegranate flower and the bright orange Calendulas. They are paving the way for the orange Monbretia later in the season.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 19.37.37BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-27 11.10.32BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 17.51.03BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.54.30Lily time is almost upon us. I expect these Madonna Lily buds will open next week. The blue and white Agapanthus (also known as ‘Lily of the Nile’) are forming great regiments to supersede the Acanthus, once it finally finishes. It is amazing how their giant heads can be contained within the cases of their tight buds.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-23 18.00.11BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.58.53BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 19.39.42Blue and white is also provided in the stocks and cornflowers of the Cutting Garden.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 19.36.36BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.48.28The growth in the Hydrangea corner is mind-blowing, especially when you consider how heavily we pruned them last Winter!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.58.05Nandina is in full bloom along the back path.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-23 19.12.41The Buddleias also responded very vigorously to their pruning with many beautiful purple, mauve and pink nectar-laden blooms for bees and butterflies to feast on. The scent in the air is beautiful!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 17.47.45BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-27 12.06.21BlogSummers here 30%Reszd2015-11-27 12.04.48 - Copy - CopyBlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-27 15.29.30BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-27 15.36.37BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-27 15.34.59BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-27 15.38.04The soft pastel blooms complement their grey-green foliage and wave gently against the bright blue sunny skies. However, these same pastel colours can also look very dramatic against a background of navy blue felt, as seen in this cushion cover I recently made for a friend’s birthday.photoBlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-13 08.55.34I based it on a fuchsia design, which I had made in a past lino-cutting class. The following photos show the whole process.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-07 21.10.49BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-13 08.45.07BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-12 22.36.13BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-13 08.54.30BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-13 08.54.38I also made her a matching card from the images, which I had googled and printed out to help me choose the felt colours, then laminated it. Yes, you can laminate an A4 card, so long as you crease it immediately after it has emerged from the laminating machine, while it is still warm and malleable!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-12 11.12.55In the vegie garden, Ross has removed all the old radish and lettuces. The Dutch Cream potatoes are in flower and the tomatoes are setting lots of fruit. Here is some of our fresh produce, which Ross harvested for one of his stir-fry dishes: our own onion, broccoli and silver beet! Not to mention Ross’s fresh home-made bread!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 18.12.51The mulberries have finally finished, so Ross also pruned underneath them and cut back branches, which were shading the rose hedge and inhibiting its growth. He also got rid of all the invasive poplar suckers.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 17.54.07We are very excited about the amount of fruit in the garden. We tasted our first raspberry the other day. As a good Tassie ex-pat, they really are my favourite fruit and it is so good to be able to grow them again and know that they are permanent. No more moves for us!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-23 17.46.47We also have 2 different types of plum in the garden and a bumper apple crop.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.50.01BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.49.00We also admire both our neighbours’ fruit trees : pears and apples galore!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 18.01.22BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 18.02.02The sulphur-crested cockatoos are already massing in the gum tree on our laneway, waiting patiently for the apples to ripen, while outdoing each other in their acrobatic wheeling and aerial manouevres. When we were in Geelong, I remember returning home one New Years Eve to discover the local cockatoo gang had stripped the apple trees bare during a drunken raid that same night!!! I wish they would stick to these attractive Duranta berries like the King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-22 19.42.47BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-23 17.43.51The galahs also love feasting on the Duranta berries.BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-26 19.36.09BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-26 19.35.55

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Sulphur-crested Cockatoo in the Mulberry tree

The photogenic visitor below also enjoys our garden- hopefully for the beauty of the blooms, rather than the small birds! We think it is the same cat we saw on our neighbour’s roof, no doubt getting his own birds-eye view of potential feasting sites and a true example of a ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’!!!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-21 16.10.39BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-21 16.10.30BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 17.59.07BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 17.59.45Please little blackbird, stay safe! Get Mum to come and feed you in the tree!!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-28 19.39.26BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-28 19.39.35BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-28 19.23.45A final farewell from our flamboyant Peony Poppies, which have entranced us for the last few weeks. Their blooms just about over and their foliage and stems brown and withered, we sadly pulled them out to freshen up the Soho Bed, saving as many of their drying seedheads as I could, despite Ross’s protestations that I only needed an ‘nth’ of what I collected!!! Here are a few final photos for the year! I marvel at the circuitous routes their seed head stems take and wonder why they make so many twists and turns! Life can be a bit like that sometimes!!!BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 19.38.16BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.45.46BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.44.49BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-24 19.38.28BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-23 17.54.42BlogSummers here 20%Reszd2015-11-25 18.45.32