Thursday, 28 April 2016

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 147 - TECOMA CAPENSIS

Tecoma capensis (common name Cape honeysuckle) is a species of flowering plant in the family Bignoniaceae, native to southern Africa. Despite its common name, it is not closely related to the true honeysuckle. Synonyms include Bignonia capensis, Tecomaria capensis and Tecoma petersii.

An erect, scrambling shrub, it grows to 2–3 m in height and a similar width. Normally evergreen, it may lose its leaves in colder climates. In certain habitats it may scramble, meaning that it shoots out long growth tips which lean on the stems and branches of other plants, as well as boulders, trellises, fences and walls; this can lead to the plant appearing untidy. The leaves are up to 15 cm long. They are opposite, slightly serrated, green to dark-green, and pinnate with 5 to 9 oblong leaflets. The flowers are tubular, narrow, about 7.5 cm long, and are produced at different times throughout the year. They are grouped in 10–15 cm long terminal clusters. The flower colour ranges from orange to orange-red to apricot.

The species occurs naturally in South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique. It is cultivated in other areas of the world, such as in South-east Asia, Australia, Hawaii and California. It can be considered invasive in remote islands such as the Azores (as seen at the island of São Miguel, near Ponta Garça). 

Tecoma capensis has been in cultivation for many years and is often used for hedging, as it is a scrambling shrub. It can be propagated from cuttings or by removing rooted suckers during the active growth phase. It can be planted in semi-shade to full sun. In cold areas young plants should be protected from frost. To keep this shrub clean and tidy, it must be pruned back in late winter to promote new growth and flowers. The application of a balanced fertilizer after pruning will enhance the growth and flowering. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme.





Wednesday, 27 April 2016

PARKLANDS POND

Darebin Parklands is one of Darebin Council’s premier conservation parks sited along the Darebin Creek. The park is managed by the Darebin Creek Management Committee which the Cities of Darebin and Banyule are members. Darebin Parklands is a wonderful setting for walks and escaping into the natural environment, and is located only 5 km from Melbourne's CBD.

The park has a full time Ranger coordinating the Education Centre which details the parks rich history and commitment to conservation and environmental sustainability. The Darebin Creek Trail runs through the centre of the park and provides shared trail access through to Bundoora Park 10km to the north. Darebin Parklands comprises an area of approximately 40 hectares of urban bushland, between the suburbs of Ivanhoe and Alphington.

The park is highly accessible being both on a bus route and adjacent to the Hurstbridge railway line. We always enjoy visiting this as it is only about 10 minutes walk from our house.

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, 26 April 2016

ROYAL ARCADE

Royal Arcade is a heritage shopping arcade in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria. Originally constructed in 1869, the arcade connects Little Collins Street to the Bourke Street Mall, with a perpendicular passage running to Elizabeth Street in the west. It also connects to the smaller Hub Arcade near the Little Collins Street end.

Originally designed by Charles Webb, the arcade features a high glass roof and windowed stores. At the south end, the arcade features effigies of mythical figures Gog and Magog and a clock which chimes each hour. The arcade was restored between 2002-04 which resulted in additional natural light and consistency of the shopfronts.

It is a significant Victorian era arcade, listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. In addition, Melbourne's Golden Mile heritage walk runs through the arcade. Along with Melbourne's other arcade, the Block Arcade, and Melbourne's lanes, it is a tourist icon of the city. Royal Arcade is famous for its fashion stores as well as specialty stores such as tarot card reading store.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also 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, 25 April 2016

BUILDING FRENZY

Rapid expansion in construction and high-rise development in the city’s CBD and inner north threatens to destroy the quality of life and amenity for many local residents alike. With no fewer than 30,000 new residents predicted to live in eight city blocks bounded by Swanston, Victoria, Queen and Lonsdale streets – local resident, architect and urban designer Bruce Echberg has found himself at the “epicentre of the biggest and most rapid skyscraper-building frenzy Melbourne has seen.”

Buying in to one of the first wave of apartment developments in Melbourne in the early days of the Melbourne City Council’s ‘Postcode 3000’ program, Mr. Echberg is now concerned that his apartment “could be rendered uninhabitable by massive and poorly designed residential developments on three sides.” Apart from an oversupply of high-rise construction, one of the key issues comes back to the quality of design and build; with many of these skyscrapers funded by overseas developers and sold to offshore investors, these finer details are often overlooked – at the cost of residents, renters and the local property market.

For these reasons and many more, there should be stricter guidelines and restrictions on minimum standards for apartment developments — because as we’ve seen, previous governments unfortunately approved developments on the ground of “piecemeal – without any regard for the area as a whole.” Source: theage.com.au

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme.
and also part of the Through my Lens meme.





Sunday, 24 April 2016

BACKYARD BIRDS

We are lucky in suburban Melbourne to see some wonderful birds that in many other places of the world are considered quite exotic and unusual and would be seen only in zoos.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.
Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla)
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)
Male Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus)
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)
Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)
 Red-Rumped Parrots (Psephotus haematonotus)


Saturday, 23 April 2016

AUTUMN SKIES

As we settle deeper into Autumn, the changeability of the weather increases, the days keep getting shorter and the clouds keep rolling in...

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



Friday, 22 April 2016

AT THE BOTANIC GARDENS

The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne are internationally renowned botanical gardens located near the centre of Melbourne, on the south bank of the Yarra River. They are 38 hectares (94 acres) of landscaped gardens consisting of a mix of native and exotic vegetation including over 10,000 individual species. The Royal Botanic Gardens have a second division in the outer Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne, some 45 km south-east of the city.

The 363 hectare (897 acres) Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne have a focus solely on Australian native plants, and feature an award-winning special section called the Australian Garden, which was opened in May 2006. The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne are adjacent to a larger group of parklands directly south-east of the city, between St. Kilda Road and the Yarra River known as the Domain Parklands, which includes: Kings Domain Alexandra Gardens and Queen Victoria Gardens.

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.








Thursday, 21 April 2016

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 146 - BRUNFELSIA

Brunfelsia jamaicensis is a species of flowering plant in the family Solanaceae, the nightshades. It is endemic to Jamaica, where it grows in mountain forests above 1400 metres in elevation.

The common name of this is "Jamaican Lady of the Night" and the long tubular, white-to-cream flowers exude a delicious fragrance. This endangered species flowers from early spring through Autumn. The fragrance intensifies at night, often filling the growing area with its rich scent.

This tree is a tropical/subtropical exotic, but manages to grow in Melbourne if it is a frost-protected spot. I have seen several of these in flower around the neighbourhood and I am tempted to get one for our garden. It needs a sunny spot and regular watering.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 20 April 2016

OLINDA, DANDENONGS

Olinda is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 36 km east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the Shire of Yarra Ranges. At the 2006 Census, Olinda had a population of 1568. Olinda is home to cafes, restaurants, antique and craft shops, and numerous art galleries, showcasing local, national, and international artists in such areas as sculpture and painting. It has a public swimming pool, a primary school, and is home to the National Rhododendron Garden and the Olinda State Forest. The Ashendene Boys Home was located in Olinda.

"The Loft In The Mill" is a magnificent bluestone replica of an old flour mill with adjacent stone carriage house. It is located at 1602 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd in Olinda, located in the middle of Olinda Village: Walking distance to boutique shops; lovely gardens, galleries and tearooms; and quality restaurants. A short distance away is the local golf course, and William Ricketts Sanctuary. 15 minutes away is Puffing Billy Railway or the Yarra Valley's numerous wineries.


This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,

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