Thursday, 14 November 2019

EPIPHYLLUM HYBRID

The plants known as epiphyllum hybrids, epiphyllums, epicacti or just epis, widely grown for their flowers, are artificial hybrids of species within the group of cacti placed in the tribe Hylocereeae, particularly species of Disocactus, Pseudorhipsalis and Selenicereus. In spite of the common name, species in the genus Epiphyllum are less often involved as parents of epiphyllum hybrids.

The parent species from which epiphyllum hybrids were bred are different in appearance and habit from most cacti. They are found in the tropical forests of Central America where they grow as climbers or on trees as epiphytes. They have leafless (or apparently leafless) flattened stems which act as the plant's photosynthetic organs. Relatively large flowers are borne on the sides of the stems; in many species they open at night.

Hybrids between Disocactus and Epiphyllum have been called ×Disophyllum or ×Aporophyllum. The Epiphyllum Society of America (the International Registration Authority for hybrids of the Tribe Hylocereeae) maintains a list of epiphyllum hybrids (and Hylocereeae species) which contained over 7,000 names in 1996.

Epiphyllum hybrids need different treatment from semi-desert cacti. They should be protected from direct sunlight, with preferably 75% shading at midday. They are not frost hardy, so need to be protected from freezing conditions. It is recommended that the growing medium allows rapid drainage of water and is open, with at least one third of coarse material to prevent compaction. Plants should be kept moist. High nitrogen fertilisers are not recommended; no fertiliser should be given during the winter rest period.

Propagating epiphyllum hybrids from cuttings is easy. Rooting hormone can be applied to the base of the cutting before it is allowed to dry for ten days or more so that the cut forms a callus. The cutting is then planted sufficiently deeply so that it can stand upright. Water is not given for two weeks, after which the growing medium is kept at least slightly moist. Plants can be misted. They are fast growing plants and should flower within two years. Epiphyllum hybrids should be re-potted every 2 to 3 years as they tend to deplete the nutrients in their growing medium.

We have about half dozen different Epiphyllum hybrids growing in pots and they do quite well outside in Melbourne's climate. All of them we have grown from cuttings, and I am not aware of their "official" name. This pink one is quite spectacular with blooms about 20 cm in diameter. They last a few days (up to seven) on the plant and they can even be cut at the base of the stem as a cut flower that lasts 4-5 days indoors.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

SERIGRAPH

Serigraphy or screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed.

One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multicoloured image or design. There are various terms used for what is essentially the same technique. Traditionally the process was called screen printing or silkscreen printing because silk was used in the process. It is also known as serigraphy, and serigraph printing.

Currently, synthetic threads are commonly used in the screen printing process. The most popular mesh in general use is made of polyester. There are special-use mesh materials of nylon and stainless steel available to the screen printer. There are also different types of mesh size which will determine the outcome and look of the finished design on the material.

This post is part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.
Herbert Bayer (April 5, 1900 – September 30, 1985) was an Austrian and American graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, art director, environmental and interior designer, and architect. He was instrumental in the development of the Atlantic Richfield Company's corporate art collection until his death in 1985.
The square on the left is a piece found in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

Add caption

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

REMEMBRANCE

The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s largest and most visited war memorial and is probably Melbourne’s most recognised landmark. It is a permanent and lasting memorial to the ANZAC spirit and acknowledges those who served and those who died in the Great War of 1914-1918 and armed conflicts and peacekeeping duties since. The Shrine is located on Melbourne’s most famous boulevard, St Kilda Road, just south of the Melbourne central business district.

Designed by architects Phillip Hudson and James Wardrop who were both World War I veterans, the Shrine is in a classical style, being based on the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus and the Parthenon in Athens. Built from Tynong granite, the Shrine originally consisted only of the central sanctuary surrounded by the ambulatory.

The Shrine went through a prolonged process of development, which began in 1918 with the initial proposal to build a Victorian memorial. Two committees were formed, the second of which ran a competition for the memorial’s design. The winner was announced in 1922. However, opposition to the proposal (led by Keith Murdoch and The Herald) forced the governments of the day to rethink the design, and a number of alternatives were proposed, the most significant of which was the ANZAC Square and cenotaph proposal of 1926.

In response, General Sir John Monash used the 1927 ANZAC Day march to garner support for the Shrine, and finally won the support of the Victorian government later that year. The foundation stone was laid on 11 November 1927, and the Shrine was officially dedicated on 11 November 1934.

Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of the remembrance poppy) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. ("At the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

CREEK

The Darebin Creek flowing through the nature reserve of the Darebin Parklands.

This post is part of the "My Sunday Best" meme.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

WALK THE DOGS...

There is something very relaxing and tranquil about walking the dog. Not only do you and the dog get the benefit of the exercise, but there is also the knowledge that both of you are sharing an enjoyable activity and there is a sense of mutually comprehended agreeableness, without a single word being exchanged!

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.




Friday, 8 November 2019

OUR LITTLE WINTER

We may be only three weeks away from summer, but snow is falling on the mountains around Melbourne! After some days in the mid-30s last week, the weather has taken a turn for a winter flashback. Showers produced extensive hail and they are expected to continue tonight along with cold and gusty winds.

Fresh snow has already fallen at Mt Hotham and will continue to fall into the weekend, with the temperature there expected to reach a minimum of -7˚C tonight. Melbourne is in for a chilly top of 14˚C today and tomorrow, before improving on Sunday. Meanwhile we keep the home fires burning!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.



Thursday, 7 November 2019

ROSA 'CASANOVA'

Rosa 'Casanova' is a floribunda/modern shrub rose raised by Fryers, UK. This very versatile rose will stand out wherever it is planted because of the bright warm orange blooms which hold well in all weather conditions and fade at the very last to a pale orange/pink.

Casanova has the most striking crimson new foliage which turns dark green and is so very disease-resistant. When the plant is so clothed with green foliage, the orange blooms stand out and put on a grand display. The rounded bush of 1 metre x 1 metre is never without flowers from very early in the Spring right through to Winter pruning.

There is a strong fragrance of floral spice when it is warm and still, and this rose is a brilliant one to pick in great branches for the vase – it holds up very well as a cut flower. Suited to mass planting or a low rose hedge.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

RENOIR

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919), was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau." He was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–1969). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre.

Next to his "Self Portrait", c.1897, is "The Guitar Player" of 1896. This painting is in the National Gallery Victoria in Melbourne. Renoir often painted people enjoying quiet, private moments. Women were frequently the subject of these paintings, and were portrayed bathing, reading, sewing, or closely interacting with children. From the late 1880s onward, Renoir produced a number of intimate studies where the sitters are playing musical instruments. Curiously, very few of these works convey any sense of ‘performance’, or any suggestion that the music is meant for ears other than the player’s.

The painting below is the famous "Luncheon of the Boating Party" (1881; French: Le déjeuner des canotiers). It was included in the Seventh Impressionist Exhibition in 1882, and was identified as the best painting in the show by three critics. It was purchased from the artist by the dealer-patron Paul Durand-Ruel and bought in 1923 (for $125,000) from his son by industrialist Duncan Phillips, who spent a decade in pursuit of the work. It is now in The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light. This is impressionism par excellence!

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


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

CUP DAY!

The Melbourne Cup is the greatest horse race of all Australian great horse races. Every year when this race is run around 3:00 pm, it literally stops the entire nation. Melbourne Cup Day is fixed on the first Tuesday in November and although it is a public holiday only in the Melbourne Metropolitan area, Australians all over the nation are glued to their television screens or listen on the radio (or more on the internet, nowadays, I suppose) to watch this historic race.

The race is held over a distance of 3,200 meters, the traditional two-mile cup distance, for horses three years and older and is the richest and most prestigious “two-mile” handicap in the world. It is held in Flemington Racecourse, located in Flemington, one of Melbourne's inner city suburbs, which is named after a butcher who lived there in the 19th century. I certainly hope he didn't sell horse meat - that would be grand irony!

The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. There were 17 starters and the prize was 170 pounds and a hand-beaten gold watch (this was the trophy given before the traditional Loving Cup which the Melbourne Cup is known for). “Archer”, the first Cup-winning horse, had been walked to Melbourne from its stable in Nowra, New South Wales, a distance of about 800km. “Archer” won again the following year to a prize of 810 gold sovereigns (£810) and a gold watch. “Archer” went on to win the race the following year once more, making him one of the five horses to win the event more than once.

The Victoria Turf Club and the Victoria Jockey Club merged to form the Victoria Racing Club in 1864. The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) had taken charge of the proceedings since then. The Melbourne Cup saw even more promise and popularity under the auspices of the VRC. By 1865, Cup Day was declared a half-day holiday. By 1877 it was declared a whole day holiday to allow patrons to crowd the Flemington racecourse. The Cup was first held on the first Tuesday of November in 1875. It then too adopted the four-day format, which later evolved to today's well-attended Carnival.

From then until now the Melbourne Cup was growing to a locally and internationally supported event. The Flemington racetrack is the most popular course in Australia and the home of the organisers of the VRC. The whole field has a capacity of 120,000. Spectators who cannot get into Flemington watch from the television panels outside of the field. The pear-shaped track has a back straight of six furlongs. The final straight to the finishing post measures 450 metres long. The length of the home stretch has decided Melbourne Cup races throughout history.

Animal rights activists and anti-horseracing groups staged a demonstration at Flemington,  today, holding placards and chanting as punters inside the racecourse waited for the main event. A groundswell of negative sentiment has been building for weeks, with a number of celebrities – including US pop star Taylor Swift and Australian model Megan Gale – pulling out of attending the Cup. The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses was the main organiser of Spring Racing Carnival demonstrations and said awareness of animal welfare issues was the highest it has ever been this year, with more Australians “saying nup to the Cup”. A number of other groups have advocated for boycotts, including Animals Australia and the group PETA, which urged disruptive action including wearing “gory” fascinators covered in fake blood.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.