Tag Archive | #GardenChallenge

Blooming Truro

Exploring England #8

Garden Photography: Urban Spaces

In the warmth of a September evening, Truro is bright with natural colour. Beautiful hanging baskets greet visitors to Truro Cathedral.

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Window boxes overflowing with greenery and planters filled with late summer blooms decorate the streets.

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Begonias, all velvety yellows, oranges and reds, are complemented by delicate purple salvia.

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These vibrant flowers fill me with anticipation for my own Southern Hemisphere summer!

Enjoy more blooming urban spaces with Jude.

Revealed

Exploring England #5

November: Woodland

From our airbnb home just outside Bridport, the rural view was green and serene. Hidden behind a veil of early morning mist, Colmer’s Hill seemed distant and mysterious.

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As the mist began to lift, the surrounding woodland became clearer,

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and soon the Caledonian pines atop the hill were revealed.

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Jude’s Garden theme in October is Woodland

Peace and Longevity

October: A Garden Portrait

Japanese stroll gardens are places of contemplation and harmony where visitors can wander along meandering paths through thoughtfully planned landscapes. The Japanese Garden at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba is the largest stroll garden in Australia. Its traditional design includes large rocks, a tumbling waterfall and a central lake surrounded by sweeping lawns and sloping beds of Japanese and Australian native plants.

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Children come to feed the resident ducks, artists can often be seen recreating the serenity on paper and, on most weekends, wedding ceremonies take place here. Whatever the activity, the garden lives up to its name – Ju Raku En – public place of peace and longevity.

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The Japanese Garden is located in Regent Street, Darling Heights, Toowoomba and is open daily 6:00 am to dusk. Entry is free.

See more garden portraits at the earth laughs in flowers

Beautiful Begonias

September: Flower Portrait

There’s no doubt about it – in summer, England does potted plants better than anywhere else I’ve been. Beautiful baskets hang on every building, overflowing with geraniums, fuschias and lobelia.

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Colourful pots and boxes adorn every spare corner and line every street.

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Of all the spectacular blooms I’ve seen, the vibrant begonias are my favourite.

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The richness and ruffles of the supersize blooms surprise me each time, and I have to stop and take one more photo.

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See more flower portraits at Jude’s Garden challenge

Celebrating Flowers

August ~ Flower Show

In the last full week of September, Toowoomba celebrates all things floral during its annual Carnival of Flowers. Australia’s Garden City confirms its reputation with a grand floral parade, competition gardens and colourful exhibitions featuring everything from teapots to quilts.

Every year, St Luke’s Anglican Church hosts a beautiful floral display created by the Toowoomba Floral Art Group. Spectacular arrangements featuring both everyday and exotic blooms fill the church and thousands of visitors come to enjoy and admire.

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There are more beautiful flower shows and open gardens over at Jude’s place.

Piña Colada Coming Right Up!

Garden Photography: July – The Edible Garden

I love the flavour of coconut – in cakes and cookies, macaroons and muffins and cool refreshing drinks.

This palm tree, laden with coconuts, leans out over the beach at Port Douglas in far north Queensland. If only I could grow one in my backyard!

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Visit Jude to see more enticing edible gardens.

The Essence of Summer

There are more than 700 species of Eucalyptus and almost all are native to Australia. Commonly known as gum trees because of the sap that oozes from any breaches in the bark, they grow almost everywhere, from the inland deserts to the alpine areas of the southern states.

The flower of a eucalypt is not composed of petals. Instead, a large number of long feathery stamens are held together by a colourful operculum. As the stamens dry and fall away from the clusters of blossoms, seeds form in the opercula which dry and become hard – we call them gum nuts.

When the gum trees are flowering, we know summer has begun.

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Visit Judes’ Garden Challenge to see more of the Essence of Summer

Growing Wild

Holiday in Hawaii #20

When we travel, I like to buy charms for my charm bracelet – it’s a simple way to remember the wonderful places we’ve been to. In Hawaii I found the perfect bead. Its circlet of flowers was reminiscent of a beautiful lei, made of the flowers of the frangipani tree. When I told the shop assistant I love frangipanis, she corrected me. “These are plumeria,” she said. I was confused – I’d always thought leis were made from frangipani flowers.

Later, as we walked through the mall, I pointed to a frangipani tree in the garden and asked Marsha what it was called. “Plumeria,” she said. Mystery solved! Plumeria = frangipani; the same flower with two names.

The scientific name Plumeria honours the 17th century botanist Charles Plumier, who studied the plant species of the New World, while the common name Frangipani refers to a 16th century Italian who invented a plumeria-scented perfume.

We saw frangipanis blooming everywhere in Hawaii: in the gardens of historic missionary homes, between the headstones in churchyards, and adorning the monuments at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

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And I have a frangipani lei on my bracelet!

See more beautiful wildflowers at Jude’s Garden Photography Challenge

When is a Goose not a Goose?

Holiday in Hawaii #10

When is a goose not a goose?

When it’s a mongoose of course.

During our lunch break at Wai’anapanapa State Park on the Road to Hana, we had the feeling we were being watched. We spotted movement near the stone wall, but the creature moved so fast we missed him at first. So we sat very still and waited, and out he came again.

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He surveyed the scene carefully before venturing out in search of food, but quickly darted back into the gap in the rock wall when people came too close.

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Mongooses were imported into the islands of Hawaii in the 1800s to reduce the rat population in the sugar cane fields. Unfortunately, they took a liking to the native ground nesting birds and devoured them as well as the rats. The only Hawaiian island that doesn’t have mongooses is Kauai; the story goes that when a delivery of mongooses was being unloaded of a ship in Kauai, a mongoose bit the hand of a worker. He was enraged and threw all the cages into the ocean. As a result, Kauai has a much larger bird population than any other island.

Visit Jude’s Garden Challenge this month to see more animals in gardens.

Mystery on Maui

Holiday in Hawaii #6

Garden Photography Challenge February: Monochrome

The gardens of Maui are lush. Every possible shade of green complements the brightly coloured tropical flowers. It’s joyful to behold.

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In her February Garden Challenge, Jude asks for monochrome images, so they accentuate shape rather than colour. Tall coconut palms are spiky and angular.

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The canopy and roots of the banyan tree spread to fill vast spaces.

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This single thorny stem reaches out over the cliff top on Maui’s southern coast.

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Can anyone identify this mystery plant?

Garden Photography Challenge