Thursday, 21 February 2019


Solandra is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. It is named after the Swedish naturalist Daniel C. Solander. The vines it contains are commonly known as Chalice Vines and are native to the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. They have very large flowers and glossy foliage.

Solandra grandiflora, more popularly known as Chalice Vine or Cup of Gold, is a perennial fast-growing climbing vine or liana. This vine quickly takes root and grabs onto the surrounding vegetation for support, the base stalk is thick, heavy and ropelike. These vines can easily exceed over 30 metres in length, each node on the branch will sprout tendrils and take root, giving the whole plant more stability and a larger root system to improve its ability to access essential nutrients: Water, minerals, sunlight. The leaves grow directly from the main stalk and side branches and are uniformly dark green, thick, with a smooth supple texture; they can grow as large as 15 cm in length, 7 cm wide and are oval shaped.

Chalice Vine is well known among gardeners, and is prized for its large ornamental flowers, which are yellow, grow up to 25 cm long, and are distinctly shaped like bells or chalices. The flowers will begin as bright, brilliant white and yellow with purple or brown stripes spiralling inside, and as the flower ages its colour will darken, ranging in shades from chartreuse, amber, lemon and golden yellow; hence the well earned common name, Cup of Gold. The flowers bloom in the evening or night and produce a strong sweet fragrance, which smells similar to coconut. In the wild they produce large yellow, white berries that contain many tiny seeds for future propagation, as the berries ripen they change colour from light yellow to deep red. However, when Solandra grandiflora is cultivated as an ornamental, it is usually grown from cuttings and the fruits are rarely if ever seen.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019


Eucalypts—often called gumtrees—are icons of the Australian flora. With more than 800 species they dominate the Australian landscape, forming forests, woodland and shrublands in all environments except the most arid deserts. Karri and Mountain ash form tall wet forests, mallee species grow in semi-arid regions and snow gums are stunted twisted trees of subalpine regions.

The Darebin Creek is made up many plant communities including River Red Gum Grassy Woodland, dominated by Eucalyptus camaldulensis. This important plant community consists of a scattering of large River Red Gums, smaller trees and shrubs in groups with grasses and wildflowers growing underneath. Grassy Woodlands have regional significance as they now occur in small fragmented areas within the Catchment.

Smaller plants such as grasses, climbers and shrubs are well suited to urban gardens, so why not grow indigenous plants in your own garden? Try native violets (Viola hederacea) to replace traditional violets and native lilies (Dianella species) to replace Agapanthus or Kidney Weed instead of a lawn and save water at the same time!

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

Tuesday, 19 February 2019


Relaxing while rowing on the Yarra River is one of the pleasures of the Yarra Bend Park.

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.

Monday, 18 February 2019


With late Summer comes the beginning of the fruiting season in many plants, some native and some exotic to Melbourne. These four found in our and neighbours' gardens.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday, 17 February 2019


Quiet time in the Treasury Gardens, relaxing with a book away from the hustle and bustle of the City.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Friday, 15 February 2019


"Life. This morning the sun made me adore it. It had, behind the dripping pine trees, the oriental brightness, orange and crimson, of a living being, a rose and an apple, in the physical and ideal fusion of a true and daily paradise." – Juan Ramón Jiménez

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.

Thursday, 14 February 2019


Banksia menziesii, commonly known as firewood banksia, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Banksia. It is a gnarled tree up to 10 m tall, or a lower spreading 1–3 m shrub in the more northern parts of its range. The serrated leaves are dull green with new growth a paler grey green. The prominent autumn and winter inflorescences are often two-coloured red or pink and yellow, and their colour has given rise to more unusual common names such as port wine banksia and strawberry banksia. Yellow blooms are rarely seen.

First described by the botanist Robert Brown in the early 19th century, no separate varieties of Banksia menziesii are recognised. It is found in Western Australia, from the Perth (32° S) region north to the Murchison River (27° S), and generally grows on sandy soils, in scrubland or low woodland. Banksia menziesii provides food for a wide array of invertebrate and vertebrate animals; birds and in particular honeyeaters are prominent visitors. A relatively hardy plant, Banksia menziesii is commonly seen in gardens, nature strips and parks in Australian urban areas with Mediterranean climates, but its sensitivity to dieback from the soil-borne water mould Phytophthora cinnamomi makes it short-lived in places with humid summers, such as Sydney. Banksia menziesii is widely used in the cut flower industry both in Australia and overseas.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

F for FORD

ford | fɔːd | noun
A shallow place in a river or stream allowing one to walk or drive across.

There are several fords on Darebin Creek, the waterway of the Parklands. This is the one at the Southern side and there is provision for both a pedestrian access ford, as well as a rather larger one for cars.

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

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


The Seafarers Bridge is a footbridge over the Yarra River between Docklands and South Wharf in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The bridge connects the north and south banks of the river while providing a formal entrance to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The bridge main span is supported by steel ties connected to elliptical arches, with three arches on the north side and four arches on the south side. The bridge was named in homage to the ‘Mission to Seafarers’ centre located nearby on the northern bank of the Yarra River and to represent Melbourne’s rich maritime history.

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.