Sunday, 9 May 2021

OUTDOOR CAFÉ

Treating Mum to a lovely lunch on a sunny, mild Autumn day!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.


Tuesday, 4 May 2021

ATHENIAN TEMPLE

The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Greek: Ναός του Ολυμπίου Διός, Naos tou Olympiou Dios), also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital, Athens, that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 638 years after the project had begun.

During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. The temple's glory was short-lived, as it fell into disuse after being pillaged in a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD. It was probably never repaired and was reduced to ruins thereafter. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, it was extensively quarried for building materials to supply building projects elsewhere in the city. Despite this, a substantial part of the temple remains today, and it continues to be a major tourist attraction.  

Fifteen columns remain standing today and a sixteenth column lies on the ground where it fell during a storm in 1852. Nothing remains of the cella or the great statue that it once housed. The temple was excavated in 1889-1896 by Francis Penrose of the British School in Athens (who also played a leading role in the restoration of the Parthenon), in 1922 by the German archaeologist Gabriel Welter and in the 1960s by Greek archaeologists led by Ioannes Travlos. 

The temple, along with the surrounding ruins of other ancient structures, is a historical precinct administered by Ephorate of Antiquities of the Greek Interior Ministry. On 21 January 2007, a group of Hellenic neopagans held a ceremony honouring Zeus on the grounds of the temple. The event was organised by "Ellinais", an organisation which won a court battle to obtain recognition for Ancient Greek religious practices in the Autumn of 2006.

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.


Sunday, 25 April 2021

ANZAC POPPIES

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).

Below is a little drawing of mine in oil pastels, which shows a field of Flanders poppies, which symbolise the sacrifice of those who who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. Lest we forget...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

More of my creative efforts here:



Thursday, 22 April 2021

JACOBINIA

A member of the Acanthaceae family, the Brazilian plume flower or jacobinia (Justicia carnea) is a shade-loving, soft-wooded shrub (ht 1.5m) with large, lush leaves. Thick plumes of white, pale pink or deep pink tubular flowers appear in regular flushes from early summer to late autumn. A form with dark purplish underleaves is known as 'Radiant' - perhaps more correctly should be called 'Huntington Form'.

Justicia carnea needs hard pruning in late winter, and regular dead-heading during summer will help to promote new blooms. It will also flourish in sunny spots but is useful for shaded sites, as are so many of the Acanthaceae family, which do so well in temperate climates. Whilst it will stand neglect, it responds well to feeding and watering. It is easily propagated from cuttings. It is a good companion to hydrangeas, Plectranthus species, ferns and camellias. The white form looks pretty with silver-leaved companions, such as Plectranthus argentatus and Pilea cadierei.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


SUNSET FLIGHT

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.


Thursday, 15 April 2021

NEMESIA

Nemesia is a genus of annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs which are native to sandy coasts or disturbed ground in South Africa. Numerous hybrids have been selected, and the annual cultivars are popular with gardeners as bedding plants. In temperate regions the annual cultivars are usually treated as half-hardy bedding plants, sown from seed in heat and planted out after all danger of frost has passed.

The flowers are two-lipped, with the upper lip consisting of four lobes and the lower lip two lobes. The cultivar 'Innocence', a low-growing bushy perennial with white flowers, has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. The cultivar shown here is 'Sunsatia Banana', which is a popular ornamental hybrid.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Thursday, 8 April 2021

AUTUMN ROSES

The days keep getting shorter and the rose bushes are full of rose hips and a few late blooming roses, saying a belated goodbye to Summer.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 1 April 2021

IRIS

Iris is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris, referring to the wide variety of flower colours found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. It is a popular garden flower and its blossoms provide wonderful splashes of colour in the Spring garden.

The genus is widely distributed throughout the north temperate zone. Their habitats are varied, ranging from cold and montane regions to the grassy slopes, meadowlands and riverbanks of Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, Asia and across North America.  Irises are perennial herbs, growing from creeping rhizomes (rhizomatous irises) or, in drier climates, from bulbs (bulbous irises). They have long, erect flowering stems which may be simple or branched, solid or hollow, and flattened or have a circular cross-section. The rhizomatous species usually have 3–10 basal sword-shaped leaves growing in dense clumps. The bulbous species have cylindrical, basal leaves.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Monday, 29 March 2021

FRUITING SEASON

It's fruiting time for many decorative plants in the gardens, and as if to compensate for the relatively fewer flowers, this season brings us a wealth of fruits, nuts and seeds. From left to right: Victorian box (Pittosporum undulatum); Broad-leaf Privet (Ligustrum lucidum); Stinking Iris (Iris foetidissima); Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepsis indica), and Hawthorn haws (Crataegus monogyna).

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


Friday, 26 March 2021

AEGEAN SUNSET

Sunset on a Greek island with the Aegean Sea beckoning in the distance... 

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

LOOE, CORNWALL, UK

Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a ceremonial county and unitary authority area of England within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of 536,000 and covers an area of 3,563 km2. The administrative centre, and only city in Cornwall, is Truro, although the town of Falmouth has the largest population for a civil parish and the conurbation of Camborne, Pool and Redruth has the highest total population. Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, retaining a distinct cultural identity that reflects its history.

Looe (Cornish: Logh, meaning deep water inlet) is a small coastal town, fishing port and civil parish in the former Caradon district of south-east Cornwall, UK, with a population of 5,280 at recent census (2001 & 2011 census). The two electoral wards mentioning Looe but also including Polperro had a total population of 7,117 at the 2011 census.

The town of Looe is approximately 32 km west of the city of Plymouth and 11 km south of Liskeard. and is divided in two by the River Looe, East Looe and West Looe (Cornish: Porthbyhan, meaning Little Cove) being connected by a bridge. The town centres around a small harbour and along the steep-sided valley of the River Looe which flows between East and West Looe to the sea beside a sandy beach. Off shore to the west, opposite the stonier Hannafore Beach, lies the idyllic St George’s Island, otherwise known as Looe Island.

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.



Thursday, 18 March 2021

SNOW-ON-THE-MOUNTAIN

Euphorbia marginata (commonly known as snow-on-the-mountain, smoke-on-the-prairie, variegated spurge, or whitemargined spurge) is a small annual in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It is native to parts of temperate North America, from Eastern Canada to the Southwestern United States. It is naturalized throughout much of China. The type specimen was collected in Rosebud County, Montana from the area of the Yellowstone River by William Clark during the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Snow-on-the-mountain has grey-green leaves along branches and smaller leaves (bracts or cyathophylls) in terminal whorls with edges trimmed with wide white bands, creating, together with the white flowers, the appearance that gives the plant its common names.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




Tuesday, 16 March 2021

METHONI, GREECE

Methoni (Greek: Μεθώνη, Italian: Modone) is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. Its name may be derived from Mothona, a mythical rock. It is located 11 km south of Pylos and 11 km west of Foinikounta. The town is also known by the Italian name Modone, as it was called by the Venetians. Its economy is dominated by tourism, attracted by its beaches (including Tapia, Kokkinia and Kritika) and its historical castle.

Methoni has been identified as the city Pedasus, that Homer mentions under the name “ampeloessa” (of vine leaves), as the last of the seven “evnaiomena ptoliethra”, that Agamemnon offers Achilles in order to subdue his rage. Pausanias knew the city as Mothone, named after either the daughter of Oeneus or after the rock Mothon, which protects the harbour, and mentioned a temple to Athena Anemotis there. It was an important city in Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine times.

The Venetians had their eye on Methoni since the 12th century, due to its location on the route from Venice to the Eastern markets. In 1125, they launched an attack against pirates, who had captured some Venetian traders on their way home from the east, and who were inhabiting Methoni at that time. The Venetians took over the town in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, and secured recognition from the neighbouring Principality of Achaea through the Treaty of Sapienza (1209). A Roman Catholic bishop was installed in the local see.

The Venetians fortified Methoni, which developed into an important trade centre with great prosperity. Methoni became the important middle station between Venice and the Holy Lands, where every traveler stopped on their way to the East. A pilgrim who went by in 1484 admired its strong walls, the deep moats and the fortified towers. Nowadays the walls of the fortress, even though in ruins, continue to be impressive. The castle of Methoni occupies the whole area of the cape and the southwestern coast to the small islet that has also been fortified with an octagonal tower and is protected by the sea on its three sides. Its north part, the one that looks to land, is covered by a heavily fortified acropolis. A deep moat separates the castle from the land and communication was achieved by a wooden bridge. The Venetians built on the ancient battlements and added on and repaired it during both periods that they occupied the castle.

The castle of Methoni rises deserted and isolated today. When the winter winds hit its walls the locals say that you can hear the screams of the prisoners and the unjustly killed in the dungeons.

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, 11 March 2021

CALADENIA

Caladenia maritima, commonly known as coastal fingers or Angahook pink fingers, is a species of orchid (family Orchidaceae) endemic to Victoria, Australia. It has a single, almost hairless leaf and one or white flowers with greenish backs and only occurs in the coastal district of Anglesea, Victoria, Australia.

Caladenia maritima is a terrestrial, perennial, deciduous, herb with an underground tuber and a single, almost glabrous, linear leaf, 60–150 mm long and 1–3 mm wide. One or two white flowers 20–25 mm long and wide are borne on a stalk 100–200 mm tall. The backs of the sepals and petals are greenish with a dark line along the centre. The dorsal sepal is erect, sometimes curving backwards and is 10–15 mm long and 2–3 mm wide. The lateral sepals are 13–17 mm long, 4–5 mm wide and spreading. The petals are 13–15 mm  long and 4–5 mm wide and arranged like the lateral sepals. The labellum is 7–9 mm long, 5–8 mm wide and white with purple lines and blotches. The tip of the labellum is orange and curled under. The sides of the labellum have a few narrow teeth near the tip and there are two short rows of yellow or white calli in the centre of the labellum.

Flowering occurs from September to October. This orchid was first described in 1999 by David Jones from a specimen collected near Anglesea and the description was published in The Orchadian. The specific epithet (maritima) is a Latin word meaning "of the sea". Coastal fingers occurs near Anglesea in a single population, growing in woodland with a heathy understorey. 

Caladenia maritima is not classified under the Victorian Government Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 or under the Australian Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 but has been listed as "endangered" in Victoria according to the Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Vascular Plants in Victoria – 2004.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Monday, 8 March 2021

WOMEN'S DAY

HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY 2021

A day to:
  • celebrate women's achievements
  • raise awareness about women's equality
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities

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


Thursday, 4 March 2021

BLACK NIGHTSHADE

Solanum nigrum, the European black nightshade or simply black nightshade or blackberry nightshade, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Solanum, native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia, and South Africa. Ripe berries and cooked leaves of edible strains are used as food in some locales, and plant parts are used as a traditional medicine. A tendency exists in literature to incorrectly refer to many of the other "black nightshade" species as "Solanum nigrum".

Solanum nigrum has been recorded from deposits of the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic era of ancient Britain and it is suggested by the botanist and ecologist Edward Salisbury that it was part of the native flora there before Neolithic agriculture emerged. The species was mentioned by Pliny the Elder in the first century AD and by the great herbalists, including Dioscorides. In 1753, Carl Linnaeus described six varieties of Solanum nigrum in Species Plantarum.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 25 February 2021

GEUM

Geum commonly called avens, is a genus of about 50 species of rhizomatous perennial herbaceous plants in the Rosaceae family, widespread across Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, and New Zealand. They are closely related to Potentilla and Fragaria.

From a basal rosette of leaves, they produce flowers on wiry stalks, in shades of white, red, yellow, and orange, in midsummer. Geum species are evergreen except where winter temperatures drop below −18 °C. Geum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the grizzled skipper.

The cultivars 'Lady Stratheden' (shown here), and 'Mrs J. Bradshaw' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Monday, 22 February 2021

FOUR SEASONS

The changing moods of the big pond at the Darebin Parklands in suburban Melbourne. Different seasons change the atmosphere, but it's all beautiful!

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


Thursday, 11 February 2021

OREGANO

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a common species of Origanum, a genus of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It is native to temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1–4 cm long. Oregano will grow in a pH range between 6.0 (mildly acidic) and 9.0 (strongly alkaline), with a preferred range between 6.0 and 8.0. It is sometimes called wild marjoram, and its close relative Origanum majorana is known as sweet marjoram.

The flowers are purple, 3–4 mm long, produced in erect spikes.  It has spade-shaped, olive-green leaves. It is a perennial, although it is grown as an annual in colder climates, as it often does not survive the winter. Oregano is planted in early spring, the plants being spaced 30 cm apart in fairly dry soil, with full sun. It prefers a hot, relatively dry climate, but does well in other environments.

Many subspecies and strains of oregano have been developed by humans over centuries for their unique flavours or other characteristics. Tastes range from spicy or astringent to more complicated and sweet. Simple oregano sold in garden stores as Origanum vulgare may have a bland taste and larger, less dense leaves, and is not considered the best for culinary uses, with a taste less remarkable and pungent. It can pollinate other more sophisticated strains, but the offspring are rarely better in quality. The related species, Origanum onites (Greece, Turkey) and O. syriacum (West Asia), have similar flavours. Some varieties show a flavour intermediate between oregano and marjoram.

The ‘Greek Kaliteri’ cultivar is a small, hardy, dark, compact plant with thick, silvery-haired leaves, usually with purple undersides. It has an excellent reputation for flavour and pungency, as well as medicinal uses, with a strong, archetypal oregano flavour (in Greek i kaliteri means ‘the best’).

Oregano is an important culinary herb, used for the flavour of its leaves, which can be more flavourful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity. Good-quality oregano may be strong enough almost to numb the tongue, but cultivars adapted to colder climates often have a lesser flavour. Factors such as climate, season, and soil composition may affect the aromatic oils present, and this effect may be greater than the differences between the various species of plants.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Tuesday, 9 February 2021

KAYSERSBERG, FRANCE

Kaysersberg is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. The inhabitants are called Kaysersbergeois. The name means "Emperor's Mountain" in German. The high fortress that dominates the city serves as a reminder of both its strategic importance and its warlike past.

Kaysersberg was the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965), theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician. Together with the rest of Alsace-Lorraine, Kaysersberg was part of Germany during the period between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War. Kaysersberg is one of the finest wine growing areas in Alsace. The first vines were brought here in the 16th century from Hungary, and wine production is still an important aspect of the town’s economy today. Wine produced from the Pinot gris variety is a local specialty.

We visited Kaysersberg in 1999 during an extended holiday in the Alsace-Lorraine region and we enjoyed the trip immensely. The photographs are original digital ones, but they have been taken with an early model Olympus digital camera so excuse the poorer quality. They are a wonderful reminder of our holiday there.

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.











Thursday, 4 February 2021

TURNERA

Turnera subulata is a species of flowering plant in the Passifloraceae family known by the common names white buttercup, sulphur alder, politician's flower, dark-eyed turnera, and white alder. Despite its names, it is not related to the buttercups or the alders. It is native to Central and South America, from Panama south to Brazil. It is well known in many other places as an introduced species, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, several other Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and Florida in the United States. It is commonly cultivated as a garden flower.

This plant is a perennial herb growing from a thick taproot and woody stem base. It reaches a maximum height around 80 cm. The leaves are roughly oval in shape with toothed edges. The undersides are glandular and coated in white hairs. The upper surfaces may be somewhat hairy, as well. The leaves are up to 9 cm long. Flowers occur in the leaf axils, borne in calyces of hairy, glandular sepals. The petals are rounded to oval, the longest exceeding 3 cm. They are white or yellowish with darker bases. The dark patches at the bases are nectar guides. The centre of the flower is rough, said to feel like a cat's tongue. The fruit is a hairy capsule containing seeds with white arils. The seeds are dispersed by ants, who are likely attracted to their high lipid content. 

This plant has uses in traditional medicine. It is used for skin, gastrointestinal, and respiratory ailments. In Brazil, the plant is made into cough syrup, and the roots are said to be good for dysmenorrhea. Laboratory tests showed it has some inhibitory activity against various fungi, such as Candida glabrata, Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Candida albicans.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Tuesday, 26 January 2021

UZBEKISTAN

Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbek: Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi, Ўзбекистон Республикаси), is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia. It is a unitary, constitutional, presidential republic, comprising twelve provinces, one autonomous republic and a capital city. Uzbekistan is bordered by five countries, Kazakhstan to the north; Tajikistan to the southeast; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest.

Once part of the Turkic Khaganate and later Timurid Empires, the region that today includes the Republic of Uzbekistan was conquered in the early 16th century by Eastern Turkic-speaking nomads. The area was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, and in 1924 what is now Uzbekistan became a bordered constituent republic of the Soviet Union, known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR). Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991 (officially celebrated the following day).

Uzbekistan is officially a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The country's official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 85% of the population; however, Russian remains in widespread use. Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians (5.4%), Tajiks (4.0%), Kazakhs (3.0%), and others (6.5%). A majority of Uzbeks are non-denominational Muslims. Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, its government continues to maintain economic controls which imports in favour of domestic "import substitution".

Illustrated is Bukhara, which is a city-museum, with about 140 architectural monuments. The nation's fifth-largest city, it had a population as of 31 August 2016 of approximately 247,644. Humans have inhabited the region around Bukhara for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long served as a centre of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. UNESCO has listed the historic centre of Bukhara (which contains numerous mosques and madrassas) as a World Heritage Site.

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.



Saturday, 23 January 2021

EARWIG

Earwigs make up the insect order Dermaptera. With about 2,000 species in 12 families, they are one of the smaller insect orders. Earwigs have characteristic cerci, a pair of forceps-like pincers on their abdomen, and membranous wings folded underneath short, rarely used forewings, hence the scientific order name, "skin wings." Some groups are tiny parasites on mammals and lack the typical pincers. Earwigs are found on all continents except Antarctica.

Earwigs are mostly nocturnal and often hide in small, moist crevices during the day, and are active at night, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants. Damage to foliage, flowers, and various crops is commonly blamed on earwigs, especially the common earwig Forficula auricularia (seen here). Earwigs have five moults in the year before they become adults. Many earwig species display maternal care, which is uncommon among insects. Female earwigs may care for their eggs, and even after they have hatched as nymphs will continue to watch over offspring until their second moult.

As the nymphs moult, sexual dimorphism such as differences in pincer shapes begins to show. Some earwig specimen fossils are in the extinct suborders Archidermaptera or Eodermaptera, the former dating to the Late Triassic and the latter to the Middle Jurassic. Many orders of insect have been theorised to be closely related to earwigs, though the icebugs of Notoptera are most likely.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.


Tuesday, 19 January 2021

CITY MORNING

COVID-19 is still at large and wreaking havoc with our lives, not least our travel plans. Local travel and tourism is fortunately an option here in Melbourne, with many places in Victoria still offering a wealth of options for local tourists both in the metropolitan area, as well as further afield, daytripping!

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.


Thursday, 14 January 2021

TWEEDIA

Oxypetalum coeruleum is a species of flowering plant, native to South America from southern Brazil to Uruguay, in the Apocynaceae family. The synonymous name Tweedia caerulea is also used. Growing to 100 cm, it is a straggling evergreen perennial with heart shaped, gray-green, downy leaves. It is grown for its clear pale blue, star-shaped flowers, which are long lasting and cut well.

The summer flowers age to purple and are followed by 30 cm long, boat-shaped seed pods. The seeds have downy parachute-like tufts (cypsela). The cultivar 'Alba' has white flowers, while 'Rosea' has pink flowers. Oxypetalum coeruleum requires full sun in a well-drained soil that is dry. Propagation is via seed. With a minimum temperature range of 3–5 °C,  it can be grown outdoors in a frost-free, sheltered environment. Alternatively it can be grown as an annual. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Tuesday, 5 January 2021

TAJ MAHAL, INDIA

The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognised as the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. The Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahaur is generally considered to be the principal designer.

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.