Sunday, 29 July 2012

More winter flowers... Arisaemia, jonquils, rosemary and beans....

I suppose it is the winter weather that makes me look for flowers in the garden....  these are cryptic strange blooms that  never cease to intrigue....  it is an Arisaemia sp. but I can't identify which one....
 ... they are just amazing plants and I think that I have two different kinds here.

There are more and more jonquils and signs of other bulbs with leaves just beginning to appear....
 .... I still enjoy these mid winter flowers.

The rosemary is flowering....
... and of course the broad beans are trying to do their thing already....
... we just need some warm weather to get some "fruit" for eating.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Garden flowers in winter

It is mid winter....  or at least just after mid winter, and there are some unusual flowers in the garden.
Lemon verbena...
 ....  calendula (the first bloom with my favourite maroon centre)....
 .... and these purple tube flowers. This is a South American plant that has been frost bitten (and lost all of its leaves as well as the flowers) in most winters here,  however,  not htis year.  (I have forgotten the name.) We have had a couple of mild frosts, but not enough to "hit" some of the tender plants in the garden.
 And the first of the watsonia flowers is coming out...  a sign of spring!
This morning is sunny, though with looming clouds and the heavy "pre-rain" air that we sometimes feel.  I hope that it rains,  but the weather bureau has been predicting a dry winter and spring because of an El Nino warm ocean out there.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Landscape

Today I have been out and about....  and the lambs are getting bigger and bigger....
 ... and they still have their tails.

The country looks beautiful and the crops are green....  and the winter colours are beautiful.

One of my favourite trees between Allendale and Hamilton......
....  despite the cold,  I love the look of the winter.

The nest hole has been re-modelled.

The nest hole in the gum tree is being checked out again by Rosellas and by Galahs.  There's been some modification of the entrance though....
 ... and up close it looks like this....
 ... and here is how it looked last year.....
..... there has been quite a bit of pruning of the bark around the opening and I'm wondering whether there is any reason for it.  Perhaps it reduces habitat for parasites or at least places for them to be transferred from bird to bird.  Interesting.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Reading the menu

Today I was away during the day, and arrived home wondering what to do about dinner.  Of course I went out to check on the garden....
... where to begin....  all kinds of baby root vegetables, and then I saw this cabbage....
... this is one that was looking a bit dodgy a few weeks ago (the aphids had invaded) and the outer leaves look a bit messy but the actual cabbage is beautiful (there are a few like this)....

Wandering around the yard, I found a few interesting bits and pieces...  the rocket is flowering... so beautiful...
 .... rosemary flowers...
 ...jonquils....  these are everywhere....
 ...and the oldest surviving parsley plants are flowering very early!   Parsley usually "goes to seed" late in the summer,  but some seem to last until the following spring.
 I think that I'll try keeping these seeds separate and see whether they continue to produce late into the summer (rather than running to seed when I'd still like to have some parsley.)  Parsley is one of those plants that is only supposed to "run to seed" in its second year, but I'm not sure about these... I'll check it out.

... and this is the lovely broad bean flower...
... completely "out" and looking good.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Rain has brought the Galahs.

The rain has caused a stir in the bird community at Kapunda garden. I have seen a pair of Rosellas and a pair of Galahs both checking out the hole in the gum tree again...  this is the pair of Galahs....
... they have been busy modifying the entrance.  Birds in Australia are prompted to breed when rain has fallen rather than when spring has sprung.  Many of those nursery rhymes and stories about spring, not to mention "flying south" don't make a lot of sense here.

Back again, with flowers and vegetables.

I have been out of blogging for a couple of weeks.... a few shocks to the household, fabulous family visits and heaps to do.

The garden has slowed down, it's colder now and so everything is growing more slowly.  The season was late, because we didn't have much rain until recent weeks.  We had about 75 mm in June and another 16 mm so far in July.  This is definitely below average,  but there is still time,  and I am now waiting for the "follow-up" rains that the farmers are all talking about.

Today I found the first broad bean flower....
 ... it's still too cold for any beans,  but it's excitingto see the first flower.

While the family were visiting,  we had plenty of potatoes, broccoli and kale.  The broccoli plants are already producing side shoots (tiny pieces of broccoli) so that I'll have plenty for some weeks yet....


Today I picked quite a few of these side shoots and dug a few more potatoes to have with fish for dinner tonight.
 I am back to cooking for one and it is quite a luxury.....  much less work both cooking and cleaning up!

Along with the winter crops are some winter flowers....  jonquils....
... aand soon the grass will need mowing