Thursday, 3 September 2015

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 126 - SPRINGTIME BLOSSOMS

The Spring blossom arrives early in Melbourne and both native and exotic trees have started to put on quite a show. Wild plum, purple leaf plum, wild pear, wattles, grevilleas are all in flower. Add to that of course the cultivated stone fruits: Peach, apricot, almond, pear, etc. It is a beautiful time of the year!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.












Wednesday, 2 September 2015

DAREBIN CREEK AT FAIRFIELD

Darebin Creek is a creek that runs through the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is the main watercourse of the Darebin Valley and a major tributary of the Yarra River. For tens of thousands of years it was used as a food and tool source sustainably by the Wurundjeri people, Indigenous Australians of the Kulin nation alliance, who spoke variations of the Woiwurrung language group.

The creek rises on the northern urban fringe of Melbourne north of the suburb of Epping, following a general southerly route and meeting the Yarra at Alphington. The creek forms much of the municipal boundary between the City of Darebin and City of Banyule. Formerly an intermittent stream, increased stormwater runoff with urbanisation of the Darebin Creek catchment has resulted in permanent water flow.

The creek runs through Darebin Parklands, a large nature reserve one or two kilometres northwest of the junction at which the creek meets the Yarra. The Darebin Creek Trail runs along the banks in the lower reaches of the creek.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.





Tuesday, 1 September 2015

WELCOME SPRING!

It was a wonderful first day of Spring in Melbourne today with the weather fine, warm (maximum of 18˚C in our suburb) and with blue skies all round. We went for a walk and it was wonderful to see all the flowers in bloom and enjoy the balmy weather. Winter seemed long cold and grey this year and dragged on somewhat, so at long last it was good to see a day such as today, marking the first calendar month of Spring.

Spring is one of the four conventional temperate seasons, following winter and preceding summer. There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs. When it is spring in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. Day length increases as the season progresses and of course the weather improves greatly. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Here is a selection of Spring flowers from our garden and the neighbourhood!

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Spring blossom of wild plum 
'Red Magnificence' Azalea 
Friesia yellow 'Bergunden' hybrid, highly fragrant
Pittosporum undulatum is a tree growing to 15m tall with wavy (undulating) leaf edges. It is sometimes also known known as Sweet Pittosporum, Native Daphne, Australian Cheesewood, Victorian Box or Mock Orange. It carries conspicuous orange woody fruits about 1 cm in diameter for several months after having masses of fragrant flowers in Spring
The common bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta; syn. Endymion non-scriptum, Scilla non-scripta, Agraphis nutans) is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial plant. Its cheery blue flowers light up dark corners of the garden
This brilliantly coloured Spring harbinger is the flowering form of (cultivated) Primula commonly known as polyanthus (P. elatior hybrids)
Spring star (Ipheion uniflorum)
Japonica, or Chaenomeles is a genus of three species of deciduous spiny shrubs, usually 1–3 m tall, in the family Rosaceae. They are native to eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea. These plants are related to the Quince (Cydonia oblonga) and the Chinese Quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis). This is Chaenomeles x superba 
Blossoming wild pear trees in our neighbourhood
Here are some fine specimens of various Kalanchoe hybrids, sold as indoor house plants here in Melbourne
Lachenalia aloides (opal flower; Cape cowslip) is a species of flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae, native to the Western Cape of South Africa. It is a bulbous perennial growing to 15–28 cm tall by 5 cm broad, with strap-shaped spotted leaves and fleshy stems bearing pendent tubular yellow flowers, red at the tips, in winter and spring 
Muscari armeniacum is a bulbous plant with basal, simple leaves and short, flowering stems. It is one of a number of species and genera known as grape hyacinth, in this case Armenian grape hyacinth or Garden Grape-hyacinth 
Magnolia liliiflora (variously known by many names, including Mulan magnolia, Purple magnolia, Red magnolia, Lily magnolia, Tulip magnolia, Jane magnolia and Woody-orchid) is a small tree native to southwest China (in Sichuan and Yunnan), but cultivated for centuries elsewhere in China and also Japan. It is now also planted as an ornamental in Australia, Africa, North America and Europe
Bellis perennis is a common European species of Daisy, often considered the archetypal species of that name. Many related plants also share the name "Daisy", so to distinguish this species from other daisies it is sometimes qualified as Common Daisy, Lawn Daisy or occasionally English daisy. It is native to western, central and northern Europe. The species is widely naturalised in Australia, North America, Africa and also in South America. A common belief is that Spring has not sprung unless you can step on more than 12 daisies with each foot. Spring is here!

Monday, 31 August 2015

WATTLE BLOSSOM TIME

Wattles, also called acacias, are amazing Australian native plants. More than 850 species of wattle (Acacia spp; family Fabaceae) grow in Australia, ranging from ground covers and charming shrubs to giant trees that provide fine timber and screening. With this number of species and many cultivars there is a wattle for just about any garden in Australia.

Most wattles are quick growing, short-lived plants that will usually last for about seven to 12 years. Some species, however, are longer lived. If planted in a thicket, they will self-sow, which will mean that short lived plants are quickly replaced. Wattles are tolerant of a broad range of conditions.

While there are wattle species which flower throughout the year, the winter-flowering species are particularly attractive in the landscape, where their bright yellow or cream flowers bring colour to the garden at a time when many of the more traditionally grown plants are bare or not flowering. Currently, in the late Winter/early Spring of Melbourne, the gold of the wattle flowering is beautiful in the green landscape. Especially so, when the days are fine and the sky is blue, the wattles reign supreme...

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.






Saturday, 29 August 2015

A GONDOLA ON THE YARRA...

Yes, that is the Yarra River in Melbourne Australia. There are several of these gondolas on our river, which are based on the original Venetian boat plans and built in Melbourne. These gondolas are a great way to cruise the river and provide an opportunity for a romantic boat ride, with champagne, soft music and nibbles.

This post is part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday, 28 August 2015

A GAME OF CRICKET

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players each on a field at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch. The game is played by 120 million players in many countries, making it the world's second most popular sport. Cricket was first played in southern England in or before the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, it had developed to be the national sport of England. The expansion of the British Empire led to cricket being played overseas and by the mid-19th century the first international match was held. ICC, the game's governing body, has 10 full members. The game is most popular in Australasia, England, the Indian subcontinent, the West Indies and Southern Africa.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 125 - PEACH

The peach (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree, native to Northwest China, in the region between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Shan mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit also called a peach or a nectarine.

The specific epithet persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia, whence it was transplanted to Europe. It belongs to the genus Prunus which includes the cherry, apricot, almond and plum, in the rose family. The peach is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell.

Peach and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. In contrast to peaches, whose fruits present the characteristic fuzz on the skin, nectarines are characterised by the absence of fruit-skin trichomes (fuzz-less fruit); genetic studies suggest nectarines are produced due to a recessive allele, whereas peaches are produced from a dominant allele for fuzzy skin. China is the world's largest producer of peaches.

These past couple of weeks we are seeing a mass of Spring blossom on street and garden trees: Almond, plum, peach apricot, pear... The last couple of days have been quite cool and rainy, as you can see by the water droplets on the flowers.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




Wednesday, 26 August 2015

CONSERVATORY, FITZROY GARDENS

One of Melbourne's favourite tourist attractions, the Conservatory opened on the 13th of March 1930, over 80 years of providing spectacular floral displays. The Building copies the Spanish mission architectural style, measuring 30 x 15 metres and originally costing 4,000 pounds. The Conservatory is a vital part of the City's commitment to excellence in horticulture. There are five separate displays each year. It is visited by tourists, schools, families and anyone who wants to capture a moment of floral beauty.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.