Thursday 30 April 2020


Sparrow sitting pretty in amongst red salvias. Salvia splendens, the scarlet sage or tropical sage, is a tender herbaceous perennial native to Brazil, growing at 2,000 to 3,000 m (6,600 to 9,800 ft) elevation where it is warm year-round and with high humidity. The wild form, rarely seen in cultivation, reaches 1.3 m (4.3 ft) tall. Smaller cultivars are very popular as bedding plants, seen in shopping malls and public gardens all over the world.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday 23 April 2020


Doryanthes is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Doryanthaceae. The genus consists of two species, D. excelsa and D. palmeri, both native to the coast of Eastern Australia. Plants grow in a rosette form, only flowering after more than 10 years. They enjoy a warm environment, good soil, and much water during the warmest time of the year.

The genus Doryanthes was first described in 1802 by the Portuguese priest, statesman, philosopher and botanist José Francisco Corrêa da Serra (1751–1823), a close friend of Joseph Banks. Doryanthes excelsa or "Gymea Lily", endemic to southern Sydney and the Illawarra. The family Doryanthaceae, placed in the order Asparagales of the monocots, has only recently been recognised by taxonomists. Formerly the genus was usually placed in the family Agavaceae.

Doryanthes palmeri (the Giant Spear Lily), shown here, grows in a rosette and the leaves can reach the length of about 3 m. The flowers arise in springtime on a stalk which may reach 5 m in height. A succulent herb, its leaves are hairless and grow in the shape of a sword. The Giant Spear Lily is listed as 'vulnerable' under the New South Wales Threatened Species Act (1995). Here it is seen growing in Melbourne's Fitzroy Gardens, close to the Conservatory.

This is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 21 April 2020


Shanghai is one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of China and the most populous city in the world, with a population of more than 24 million as of 2017. It is a global financial centre and transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the East China coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north, south and west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea.

As a major administrative, shipping and trading city, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to trade and recognition of its favourable port location and economic potential. The city was one of five treaty ports forced open to foreign trade following the British victory over China in the First Opium War. The subsequent 1842 Treaty of Nanking and 1844 Treaty of Whampoa allowed the establishment of the Shanghai International Settlement and the French Concession. The city then flourished as a centre of commerce between China and other parts of the world (predominantly the Occident), and became the primary financial hub of the Asia-Pacific region in the 1930s.

However, with the Communist Party takeover of the mainland in 1949, trade was limited to other socialist countries, and the city's global influence declined. In the 1990s, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city. It has since re-emerged as a hub for international trade and finance; it is the home of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, one of the world's largest by market capitalization. Shanghai has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland China; renowned for its Lujiazui skyline, and museums and historic buildings, such as those along The Bund, as well as the City God Temple and the Yu Garden.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday 19 April 2020


Bluff is a town and seaport in the Southland region, on the southern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the southern-most town in New Zealand (excluding Oban) and, despite Slope Point being further to the south, is colloquially used to refer to the southern extremity of the country (particularly in the phrase "from Cape Reinga to The Bluff"). According to the 2006 census, the usually resident population was 1,850, a decrease of 85 since 2001.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Friday 17 April 2020


Along the Yarra River, looking towards the East, with Melbourne's tallest skyscraper the Eureka tower visible mid-right. Eureka Tower is a 297.3-metre skyscraper located in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Construction began in August 2002 and the exterior completed on 1 June 2006.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 16 April 2020


The Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule, syn. Papaver croceum, P. miyabeanum, P. amurense, and P. macounii) is a boreal flowering plant. Native to subpolar regions of Europe, Asia and North America, and the mountains of Central Asia (but not in Iceland), Iceland poppies are hardy but short-lived perennials, often grown as biennials, that yield large, papery, bowl-shaped, lightly fragrant flowers supported by hairy, one foot, curved stems among feathery blue-green foliage.

They were first described by botanists in 1759. The wild species blooms in white or yellow, and is hardy from USDA Zones 3a-10b. This is a beautiful garden flower that makes a good cut flower also. However, keep in mind that all parts of this plant are likely to be poisonous, containing (like all poppies) toxic alkaloids. In particular, P. nudicaule has been shown to contain the benzophenanthidine alkaloid, chelidonine.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 14 April 2020


Japan (Japanese: 日本 Nippon [ɲippoɴ] or Nihon [ɲihoɴ]; formally 日本国 About this sound Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, meaning "State of Japan") is a sovereign island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and China in the southwest. The kanji, or Sino-Japanese characters, that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun".

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Thursday 9 April 2020


Flowering bulbs are easy to grow either in your garden or in pots. Moreover they can forced to bloom out season if you follow a simple set of directions. Freesias are particularly rewarding bulb flowers as they need little care, bloom profusely and many varieties are scented beautifully. Many of the new large-flowered cultivars come in some astounding shades.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Monday 6 April 2020


Now during these dire days of COVID19, with more and more people confined at home, it's important to look after our diet. If you are lucky enough to have a garden in your back yard, eating fresh produce is a lot easier, as planting a few vegetable seedlings can give you edible results within a few weeks. Other keen gardeners grow their salad in pots on balconies, terraces and rooftops. The rest of us may need to venture out and shop for our health-giving meals at the supermarket or greengrocer. In any case, eating fresh, seasonal produce can only help your body be protected from all sorts of ills!

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Sunday 5 April 2020


Wave Rock is a natural rock formation that is shaped like a tall breaking ocean wave. The “wave” is about 14 m high and around 110 m long. It forms the north side of a solitary hill, which is known as “Hyden Rock”. This hill, which is a granite inselberg, lies about 3 km east of the small town of Hyden and 296 km east-southeast of Perth, Western Australia.

Wave Rock and Hyden Rock are part of a 160 ha nature reserve, Hyden Wildlife Park. A wall lies above Wave Rock about halfway up Hyden Rock and follows the contours of the wall. It collects and funnels rainwater to a storage dam. The wall and dam were constructed in December 1928 by the Public Works Department for the original settlers of East Karlgarin District. Both were renovated in 1951 to increase water capacity for the Hyden Township. Such walls are common on many similar rocks in the Wheatbelt.

Wave Rock has cultural significance to the indigenous Ballardong people. Local tribes believed that the rock was a creation of the Rainbow Serpent, and was created in her wake by dragging her swollen body over the land after she had consumed all of the water in the land. They respected this area as an icon of cultural learning; a moral from this Dreamtime tale was to be remembered for life. More than 140,000 tourists visit Wave Rock every year.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.