Thursday, 11 February 2016

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 143 - LAGERSTROEMIA

Lagerstroemia, commonly known as crepe myrtle, is a genus of around 50 species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs native to the Indian Subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia and parts of Oceania, cultivated in warmer climates around the world. It is a member of the Lythraceae, which is also known as the loosestrife family. The genus is named after the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerström, who supplied Carolus Linnaeus with plants he collected. These flowering trees are beautifully coloured and are often planted both privately and commercially. Popular varieties used in modern landscaping include the bright red Dynamite Crepe Myrtle, the deep pink Pink Velour Crepe and the purple Twilight Crepe Myrtle, which also has a bark that changes colours.

Crepe myrtles are chiefly known for their colourful and long-lasting flowers which occur in summer months. Most species of Lagerstroemia have sinewy, fluted stems and branches with a mottled appearance that arises from having bark that sheds throughout the year. The leaves are opposite, simple, with entire margins, and vary from 5–20 cm. While all species are woody in nature, they can range in height from over 30 metres to under one 30 cm, most, however are small to medium multiple-trunked trees and shrubs. The leaves of temperate species provide autumn colour.

Flowers are borne in Summer and Autumn in panicles of crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture. Colours vary from deep purple to red to white, with almost every shade in between. Although no blue-flowered varieties exist, it is toward the blue end of the spectrum that the flowers trend, with no sight of orange or yellow except in stamens and pistils. The fruit is a capsule, green and succulent at first, then ripening to dark brown or black dryness. It splits along six or seven lines, producing teeth much like those of the calyx, and releases numerous, small, winged seeds.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.





Wednesday, 10 February 2016

SHOPPING IN ELTHAM

Eltham is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 20 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the Shire of Nillumbik. At the 2011 Census, Eltham had a population of 18,162. Eltham is one of the 'green wedge' areas that provide relatively undeveloped, accessible environments within the Melbourne suburban region. These green wedge areas are under constant pressure from developments such as road and freeway expansions, but Eltham has managed to retain many tree-lined streets and leafy reserves. However, the character of the suburb is changing rapidly, with increased road traffic and higher-density housing becoming more common. Eltham's tourist attractions include the artists colony Montsalvat and the Diamond Valley Railway, the largest ridable miniature railway in Australia.

Eltham Village Shopping Mall on Main Rd has a mixture of older style strip shopping on the street, as well as newer plaza type areas in the rear, adjacent to the parking lots. As we often visit Eltham for the arts and crafts, we sometimes also visit the shopping mall for coffee, lunch or some shopping.

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.







Tuesday, 9 February 2016

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year begins to be celebrated on February 8th in 2016. The Chinese New Year celebrations can last for about 15 days. It is usually a busy time filled with festive programs across different communities in Australia. Like in many countries around the world, Chinese New Year celebrations in Australia include the following events and activities:

Street festivals featuring arts, entertainment and children’s activities.
Chinese New Year markets showcasing arts, crafts and food stalls.
Dancing, music and people wearing colourful costumes to welcome the Chinese New Year.
Vibrant displays of Chinese lanterns, firecrackers and fireworks.
Many Chinese Australian families spend Chinese New Year by gathering together for a festive meal.
Children often receive red envelopes with money (Hong Bao, Ang Pao, or Lai See).

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 Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.






Monday, 8 February 2016

MORE EASTLAND MURALS

Here are some more photomontage art murals from Eastland, one of the major shopping malls in the outer Melbourne suburb of Ringwood.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Monday Murals meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.






Sunday, 7 February 2016

DAREBIN CREEK

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 is the creek at the Darebin Parklands in Ivanhoe.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.





Saturday, 6 February 2016

DAWN AT THE PARKLANDS

The Darebin Parklands is a stunning example of thirty-three hectares of regenerated bushland, with indigenous vegetation, echidna, lizards, snakes, possums, flying foxes and more than fifty bird species.

The biodiversity of the Darebin Creek is not obvious at first. Walking along the creek the signs of careful planting by the rangers and Friends of Darebin Parklands becomes obvious with healthy clumps of native grasses and blooming wattles. The Parklands are a beautiful green, open space close to the City and al the better for us as they are within walking distance of our home!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Saturday Silhouettes meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.





Friday, 5 February 2016

EMERALD

Emerald is a town and semi-rural locality in the Greater Melbourne area, Victoria, Australia, 44 km south-east from Melbourne's central business district, outside the urban area. Emerald is located in the scenic Dandenong ranges between Belgrave and Cockatoo. Its local government areas are the Shires of Cardinia and Yarra Ranges. At the 2011 Census, Emerald had a population of 5,813. Emerald also includes Cardinia Reservoir, Melbourne's second largest water supply reservoir.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.



Thursday, 4 February 2016

'MARIANDEL' ROSE AT THE STATE ROSE GARDEN

In 1976 the State of Victoria in Australia (of which Melbourne is the capital city) became known as the "Garden State". It was suggested then that our state should be the perfect site for a public Rose Garden, given also that our climate was favourable. In 1980 approval was given. In 1986 the garden was finally opened in Werribee.

In 1993 after a public appeal, the supporters group was formed to help maintain the garden even though the Garden is part of Parks Victoria. All of the work pertaining to the Roses is done by volunteers. This is the largest Public Rose Garden in Australia and the only non-European garden to receive a Garden Of Excellence Award from the World Federation of Rose Societies.

The Garden is spread over 4.75 hectares and contains 6000 rose bushes of all types. 120 volunteers work on average 7000 hrs per year to keep the roses blooming for the visitors' enjoyment.

The 'Mariandel' floribunda rose was bred by W. Kordes Söhne in 1985. It carries medium sized, full, dark red flowers, which are self-cleaning. The initial growth of the foliage is dark red maturing to glossy dark green. It is a compact variety of medium height (50 - 80 cm). It is a good bedding rose with 5-6 plants per square metre, planting distance, 40 - 45 cm.

This rose is only slightly fragrant and is moderately resistant to mildew and only slightly resistant to black spot, so it may require some care to keep it healthy. However, it is very hardy and will grow very happily in temperate climates making for a fantastic display of remontant blooms.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




Wednesday, 3 February 2016

DAREBIN CREEK & PARKLANDS

The Darebin Parklands straddle Alphington and Ivanhoe, approximately 10 kilometres northeast of the City of Melbourne, and they are a district park covering an area of 33 hectares. Darebin Creek flows through the Parklands, to join the Yarra River, at Alphington. The Darebin Parklands are highly regarded for its social, recreation, education, conservation, water quality management, cultural and heritage values.

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.





Tuesday, 2 February 2016

WINDSOR HOTEL

Melbourne's Hotel Windsor is a luxury hotel, notable for being Australia's only surviving grand 19th century city hotel and only official "grand" Victorian era hotel. The Hotel Windsor has a 5-star rating and is considered one of the grandest hotels in Melbourne. The Windsor is situated on Bourke Hill in the Parliament Precinct on Spring Street, and is a Melbourne landmark of high Victorian architecture. The hotel has a significant role in the history of Australia as the place where the Constitution of Australia was drafted in 1898. For much of its 20th Century life the hotel, dubbed the 'Duchess of Spring Street', was one of the most favoured and luxurious hotels in Melbourne. It has hosted many notable national and international guests.

One of Melbourne's classic trams is going past the Hotel on the free City Circle line. When the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board was formed to take over the operations of the various Municipal tramway authorities, it found itself with a unified cable system, but an absolute plethora of electric tram types, which it gave letter codes from A through to V. The board decided that it was time to introduce a standard design. The new W-class design, first introduced in 1923, was an outstanding success, and has been the mainstay of the Melbourne tram system for the bulk of this century. It is a two-bogie, drop-centre design, which has had many variants over the years. The oldest W-class tram still in active service was built in 1938!

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 Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.