Tuesday 31 March 2020


Melbourne Docklands is a waterfront development in the heart of Melbourne, located on the spectacular Victoria Harbour with three kilometres of Yarra River frontage. With extensive waterfront promenades, urban art, interesting architecture, historic and contemporary buildings, state-of-the-art marinas, stylish waterfront restaurants, cosy bars and active waterways, Docklands has plenty to offer.

The views on the water include, as well as the numerous leisure craft, the Bolte Bridge, which is a large twin cantilever bridge. It spans the Yarra River and Victoria Harbour in the Docklands precinct to the west of the Melbourne CBD. It forms part of the CityLink system of toll roads that connects the Tullamarine Freeway from the northern suburbs with the West Gate Freeway and the Domain and Burnley tunnels to the Monash Freeway and the south eastern suburbs.

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

Sunday 29 March 2020


These are the days of COVID-19 when our cities become deserted more and more each day. The spectre of the virus hangs heavy in the air and few people brave the open air, foraging for essentials, always in a hurry to go back home. 

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 28 March 2020


Now that we are trying to deal with the difficult situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's good to raid the archives and find images that make us feel better...

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Thursday 26 March 2020


A tussie-mussie (or nosegay) is a small flower bouquet, typically given as a gift. They have existed in some form since at least medieval times, when they were carried or worn around the head or bodice. During the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), these small bouquets became a popular fashion accessory. Typically, tussie-mussies include floral symbolism from the language of flowers, and therefore may be used to send a message to the recipient.

Here is my tussie-mussie from our garden for you, a gift in these trying and sorrowful times, and I hope that it lifts your spirits somewhat. The plants it contains are:

Fennel for sorrow
Rue for suffering
Rose-scented geranium for preferred company
Lavender for grace and calmness
Diosma for breath of heaven
Mint  for protection from illness
Feverfew for safety and immunity
Peppermint for invigoration and inspiration
Ivy for friendship and affection
Immortelle for eternity
Laurel for triumph of humanity
Parsley for festivity
Sweet basil for my best wishes to you

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,

Wednesday 25 March 2020


The Coronavirus Pandemic has changed our lives and whether we like it or not we have to confine ourselves in our homes. Here is a view of peak hour traffic at Southbank under normal circumstances (above - granted it is a rainy evening) and now while the COVID-19 is wreaking havoc (below). The other two photos are city streets on the way home.

Driving through the City streets this evening was an eerie and quite upsetting experience. The normal hustle and bustle was absent, few cars and even fewer people were about, public transport almost empty of passengers. The only thing I wanted to do was get home as quickly as I could and lock myself indoors. We've been warned that things may get worse and the restrictive measures may be tightened even more at any stage.

I'm hoping you are coping where you live, and that you and those near to you are safe. This too will pass, I hope you've got enough toilet paper...

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.

Tuesday 24 March 2020


"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

We are now well entrenched in the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions that have been imposed in order to curb the spread fo the virus. Most people are confined to their homes (and gardens if they are lucky like us) and only venture out for essentials and some exercise, provided they adhere to social distancing rules. It seems appropriate that my travel Tuesday entry be a short excursion into our back yard, which thankfully is still replete with flowers even if Autumn is showing signs of its approach...

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.

Sunday 22 March 2020


The Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere was on the 20th March 2020. The decline has begun.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Thursday 19 March 2020


It's been a good season for ivy this year and the plants all around our suburb are full of distinctive green flowers. They provide much nectar for insects and I expect we'll have lots of black ivy berries later once Autumn advances.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 18 March 2020


Bush or "wild/uncultivated country" is something that we have a lot of in Australia - in fact, we have much more bush than we have tamed, cultivated, very prim and proper land. Nevertheless, even in the big cities like Melbourne or Sydney we have a special treat in the midst of our metropoles. Quite large areas of "bush" in dedicated, unspoilt areas of parklands where native flora and fauna make their homes. This example is from the Yarra Bend Park in Melbourne.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.

Tuesday 17 March 2020


Inverloch is a seaside town located in Victoria, Australia. It is located 143 kilometres south east of Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway on the Bass Highway at the mouth of Anderson Inlet, in the Bass Coast Shire of Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Known originally for the calm waters of Anderson Inlet, it is now also known for the discovery of Australia's first dinosaur bone.

At the 2011 census it had a population of 4,960. Inverloch is a popular tourist destination, particularly for swimming, kitesurfing and windsurfing at the calm waters of Anderson Inlet. Fishing and surfing are also popular. The town was first named Andersons Inlet after Samuel Anderson, the first European to settle here. It was later renamed Inverloch after Loch Inver (Lake Entrance) in Scotland. The town is also home to a tennis club which is home to the some of Australia's greatest players.

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 15 March 2020


Yarra Bend Park has been one of Melbourne’s largest expanses of inner suburban parkland for nearly 150 years. Yarra Bend Park and neighbouring Studley Park were reserved in 1877. Both park areas and several reserves were combined in 1929 to create one large park. The combined area became known as Yarra Bend National Park despite never being raised to formal national park status.

During the 1930’s additions included picnic and sporting grounds, toilet facilities and a public golf course. The Yarra Bend Golf Club House, officially opened in May 1936, is an original example of American ‘Country Club’ type architecture. The Park provides a great open space for walking, bike riding, riverside cafes, golf, boating, BBQs, picnicking and a host of other leisure activities.

Looking rather Autumnal and cool, this vista close to the Yarra River, seems to remind us that Summer is over!

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Friday 13 March 2020


Ballooning is a very popular activity in Melbourne in the Summer months, although it is more of a tourist activity than one the locals indulge in. Having said that, I wouldn't mind having a go...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 12 March 2020


Vigna caracalla is a leguminous vine from the family Fabaceae, originating in tropical South America and Central America. The species is named "caracalla", from the Latin for "hood or cloak", referring to the hooded shape of the open flowers. Some people suggest that this specific meaning comes from Caracas in Venezuela, but this is probably a misapprehension.

This perennial vine has fragrant flowers reminiscent of hyacinths. The buds, especially have a distinctive curled shape, giving rise to the common names "corkscrew vine", "snail vine", "snail creeper", or "snail bean". This vine is hardy in zones 9 and above, liking full sun and consistently damp soil. It prefers high heat and humidity and can become invasive if these conditions are met. In colder zones, it does well in a pot if it is overwintered inside.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 11 March 2020


A blue rose is a flower of the genus Rosa (family Rosaceae) that presents blue-to-violet pigmentation instead of the more common shades of red, white, or yellow. Blue roses are often portrayed in literature and art as symbols of love, prosperity, or immortality. However, as a result of genetic limitations, blue roses do not exist in nature. As roses lack the specific gene that has the ability to produce a "true blue" colour, blue roses are created by dyeing white roses.

In a book entitled Kitab al-felahah written by Ibn al-‘Awwām al-Ishbīlī[ in Arabic in the 12th century, and translated into French by J. J. Clement as Le Livre de l'Agriculture, there are references to azure blue roses that were known in the orient. These blue roses were made by placing a blue dye into the bark of the roots. Scientists are yet to produce a truly blue coloured rose, however, after thirteen years of collaborative research by an Australian company, Florigene, and a Japanese company, Suntory, a rose containing the blue pigment delphinidin was created in 2004 by genetic engineering of a white rose. The company and press have described it as a blue rose, but it is lavender or pale mauve in colour.

The genetic engineering involved three alterations – adding two genes, and interfering with another. First the researchers inserted a gene for the blue plant pigment delphinidin cloned from the pansy into a purplish-red Old Garden rose 'Cardinal de Richelieu', resulting in a dark burgundy rose. The researchers then used RNA interference (RNAi) technology to depress all other colour production by endogenous genes by blocking a crucial protein in colour production, called dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), and adding a variant of that protein that would not be blocked by the RNAi but that would allow the colour of the delphinidin to show. If the strategy worked perfectly, in theory it could produce a truly blue rose. However the RNAi did not completely knock out the activity of DFR, so the resulting flower still made some of its natural colour, and so was a red-tinged blue – a mauve or lavender.

Additionally, rose petals are more acidic than pansy petals, and the pansy delphinidin in the transgenic roses is degraded by the acidity in the rose petals. Further deepening the blue colour would therefore require further modifications, by traditional breeding or further genetic engineering, to make the rose less acidic. As of 2008 the GM roses were being grown in test batches at the Martino Cassanova seed institution in South Hampshire, according to company spokesman Atsuhito Osaka. Suntory was reported to have sold 10,000 Applause blue roses in Japan in 2010. Prices were from 2,000 to 3,000 Yen or US$22 to 35 a stem.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the My Corner of the World meme.
The legendary blue rose, what every florist desires! My photo of a white rose which I have edited with Photoshop.

Dyed blue rose.

The Suntory Blue Rose, 'Applause' (TM)

There are some traditionally bred roses that have a lilac/lavender colour and are available for planting in your garden. We have "Blue Moon", but there are also "Blue for You", "Purple Haze", "Nautica", "Amnesia" and illustrated above is "Ocean Song".

Tuesday 10 March 2020


A delightful place in Melbourne is the Royal Arcade, which since 1869, has acted as a hub between Melbourne's, Bourke St Mall, Little Collins Street and Elizabeth Street; The Royal Arcade houses some of the most well-known and beautiful shops in Melbourne. One of the most striking features of the arcade is Gaunt's Clock which is flanked by two giant statues of the mythical figures of Gog and Magog. Since its implementation in 1892, the two mammoth statues have struck chimes at every hour, and can be heard resounding throughout the arcade. The clock and statues provide endless fascination for this young chap!

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.

Monday 9 March 2020


Our unsettled weather is reminding us that the season is changing and that nature is beginning to wind down, progressing inexorably towards Autumn...

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday 8 March 2020


It's been rainy the past week or so and the umbrellas have been out day and night in the City.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Thursday 5 March 2020


This is Italian (or Spanish) Lavender (Lavandula stoechas, or "Princess" Lavender). It is an evergreen shrub that usually grows to between 30 and 100 cm tall and occasionally up to 2 m tall in the subspecies 'luisieri'. The leaves are 1–4 cm long, greyish and tomentose. The inflorescence is crowned by a mass of purple elongated ovoid bracts about 5 cm long. The lower flowers form a tight rectangular in cross-section. The upper of the five teeth has a wrong-heart-shaped appendage. The crown is blackish-violet, up to 8 mm long and indistinct two-lipped. 

The flowers, which appear in late spring and early summer, are pink to purple, produced on spikes 2 cm long at the top of slender, leafless stems 10–30 cm long; each flower is subtended by a bract 4–8 mm long. At the top of the spike are a number of much larger, sterile bracts (no flowers between them), 10–50 mm long and bright lavender purple (rarely white). It blooms in spring and early summer, from the month of March in its native habitat, depending on the climate in which it grows. The Latin specific epithet stoechas comes from the Greek stoichas meaning “in rows”. It is also the Greek name for this species.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Tuesday 3 March 2020


Early morning on the Yarra River in Melbourne. Lately, it's been quite cool, wet and rather grey and currently the best place to be at this time is indoors!

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 2 March 2020


The wheel of the year turns and the seasons dance their cyclical, stately sarabande...

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday 1 March 2020


At my local train station waiting for the morning commuter train to go into the City to work. On rainy mornings slightly less people seem to be using public transport, opting for taking their car to work.

This post is part of the Weekend in Black and White,
and also part of the My Sunday Best meme.