Thursday 30 April 2020

HEBE

Hebe is a genus of plants native to New Zealand, Rapa in French Polynesia, the Falkland Islands, and South America. It includes about 90 species and is the largest plant genus in New Zealand. Apart from H. rapensis (endemic to Rapa), all species occur in New Zealand. This includes the two species, H. salicifolia and H. elliptica, that have distributions extending to South America.

The genus is named after the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe. There are differing classifications for the genus and some botanists include Hebe, together with the related Australasian genera Chionohebe, Derwentia, Detzneria, Parahebe, Heliohebe and Leonohebe, in the larger genus Veronica (hence its common name 'Shrubby veronica'). 

Hebe has four perpendicular rows of leaves in opposite decussate pairs. The flowers are perfect, the corolla usually has four slightly unequal lobes, the flower has two stamens and a long style. Flowers are arranged in a spiked inflorescence. Identification of Hebe species is difficult, especially if they are not in flower. The plants range in size from dwarf shrubs to small trees up to 7 metres, and are distributed from coastal to alpine ecosystems. Large-leaved species are normally found on the coast, in lowland scrub and along forest margins. At higher altitudes smaller-leaved species grow, and in alpine areas there are whipcord species with leaves reduced to thick scales.

Hebes are grown in many gardens and public areas; they attract butterflies. Hebes cope with most soil types, and can be propagated easily from both seed and cuttings. Wild Hebe hybrids are uncommon; however, there are many cultivated hybrids, such as Hebe × franciscana 'Blue Gem'.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday 29 April 2020

AUTUMN

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ― Albert Camus

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

Tuesday 28 April 2020

CITY VIEW

A view of the City from the Southeast, reflected by the Yarra River.

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 27 April 2020

WILY WEB

Autumn in Australia, especially Victoria, is rather different to the Northern Hemisphere autumn. Here, most of our native trees (Eucalypts and Wattles) are evergreen, so with the first hint of cool, wet weather, we see their leaves take on a bright olive green to milky green hue. The grass is green because of our mild weather and foggy, cold mornings are more frequent. Every so often we enjoy a mellow, sunny and relatively warm day. It's a beautiful season.

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

Sunday 26 April 2020

ANZAC AT WHITTLESEA

The Anzac memorial in Whittlesea, a town about 40 km NE of the city, with a population of about 5,000 people. Each plane tree planted along the main street in Whittlesea is dedicated to a fallen Anzac who came from this area.

Anzac Day on April 25th is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served".

LEST WE FORGET...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.



Friday 24 April 2020

PARKLANDS

A lovely walk in the Darebin Parklands today, where many other people were enjoying the Autumn sun (while observing social distancing!).

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 23 April 2020

JULIA'S ROSE

Some roses in our garden continue to bloom despite the autumnal weather, like this beauty. Julia's Rose is a Hybrid Tea Rose bred by Wisbech. It is a rose of most unusual colouring, similar to that of parchment, with a mixture of copper. It has nice buds, opening to shapely rounded blooms; thus, it is beautiful at all stages. It is much sought after by flower arrangers. Quite good as a shrub, growing to about 1.0-1.5 metres.

This is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday 22 April 2020

DECAY

Autumn has set in and the garden is beginning to decline. Rose hips have succeeded the roses for the most part, and the leaves have started to decay.

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

Tuesday 21 April 2020

CITY LIGHTS

The City may be deserted due to to the COVID pandemic restrictions, but the lights are still on and the night view beautiful.

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 20 April 2020

JOGGER(S)

This mosaic is a combination of five successive photos of a jogger taken one after the other. I've created layers in Photoshop and have spatially combined the figure of the jogger as he moves away from the camera, giving at the same time an idea of temporal progression.

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

Sunday 19 April 2020

HAPPY (ORTHODOX) EASTER

It is the Orthodox Easter this Sunday, so to all who celebrate it, Happy Easter! For the vagaries of calculating the Western Church/Orthodox Church Easter and Passover, see here.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 18 April 2020

LITTLE RED HEN

There are still many houses in Melbourne that boast a generous backyard and many of them have their fair share of vegetable plots and a few fruit trees. Several around our neighbourhood also have a chicken coop and as I go walking in the morning I hear the occasional clucking or cock-a-doodle-doo! This is a neighbour's hen free-ranging in the front yard.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.


Thursday 16 April 2020

COLUMBINE

Aquilegia (common names: Granny's Bonnet or Columbine) is a genus of about 60-70 species of perennial plants in the Ranunculaceae family, that are found in meadows, woodlands, and at higher altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, known for the spurred petals of their flowers.

The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), because the shape of the flower petals, which are said to resemble an eagle's claw. The common name "columbine" comes from the Latin for "dove", due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together.

Columbine is a hardy perennial, which propagates by seed. It will grow to a height of 30-60 cm. It will grow in full sun; however, it prefers growing in partial shade and well drained soil, and is able to tolerate average soils and dry soil conditions. Columbine is rated at hardiness zone 3 in the USA so does not require mulching or protection in the winter.

Large numbers of hybrids are available for the garden, since the British A. vulgaris was joined by other European and North American varieties. Aquilegia species are very interfertile, and will self-sow. Some varieties are short-lived so are better treated as biennials. Several hybrid cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

MOSS

The rains we've had awakened the mosses and fungi, and have begun the decay that readies the soil for the sleep of Winter. Autumn is here in the Southern Hemisphere.

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

Tuesday 14 April 2020

EXERCISE...

In the days of COVID-19... Thankfully in Melbourne we have many parks and parkland reserves right in the middle of the city. We are still able to go on walks around our neighbourhood to exercise, as long as we obey the social distancing directives. This is a track in the Yarra Bend Park, about 20 minutes walk away from our house.

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 13 April 2020

BLUE

Trawling the archives as home isolation means no new shots!

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 12 April 2020

FEDERATION SQUARE

Federation Square in the centre of Melbourne, lit up at night makes for a great place to visit (once the "stay home" restrictions have been relaxed!).

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Saturday 11 April 2020

Friday 10 April 2020

VENUS SETTING

Venus ("Evening Star" when setting or "Morning Star" when Rising), is a sight that fills one with hope as the sky darkens and twilight gives way to night.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 9 April 2020

HAPPY EASTER ASTER

Symphyotrichum novi-belgii also known as New York Aster is the type species for Symphyotrichum, a genus of the family Asteraceae whose species were once considered to be asters. They are ornamental plants native to Canada and the United States. All of these plants are collectively and popularly known as "Michaelmas daisies".

The variety 'Peter III Blue', shown here, is an autumn blooming, double flowering lilac-blue aster that provides a stunning number of blooms around the Southern Hemisphere Easter time (April).

Α HAPPY EASTER, PEACEFUL PESACH & ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ TO ALL!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

TOADSTOOLS

After the rain and cool Autumn weather we have been having lately, mushrooms and toadstools have begun to sprout forth everywhere one cares to look for them.

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

Tuesday 7 April 2020

PEAK HOUR

This is the train station that I normally commute from if I am going into the City. In these days of home confinement, peak hour at the train station is a rather surrealistic view of deserted platforms and the odd train going by ( a greatly reduced, skeleton schedule), which has few if any passengers in each carriage. These days of COVID-19 have really turned our life upside-down!

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 6 April 2020

RAIN

In Melbourne it's Autumn and April has come bringing rain, quite a lot of rain in fact! In the first five days of April in 2020, we've had 85 mm, while in 2019, for the same period we had only 7mm! Good to see thee water falling from the sky, we need it!

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

Sunday 5 April 2020

PARK WALK

Fortunately, wee are still able to go out of the house in order to exercise, as long as we adhere to social distancing rules. Yarra Bend Park is a wonderful place to walk especially so in good weather!

If you are stuck indoors because of the Coronavirus Pandemic restrictions and cannot go out, here are some things to do at home.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.

Thursday 2 April 2020

ALSTROEMERIA

Alstroemeria, commonly called the Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Alstroemeriaceae. They are all native to South America although some have become naturalised in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Madeira and the Canary Islands. Almost all of the species are restricted to one of two distinct centres of diversity, one in central Chile, the other in eastern Brazil. Species of Alstroemeria from Chile are winter-growing plants while those of Brazil are summer-growing. All are long-lived perennials except A. graminea, a diminutive annual from the Atacama Desert of Chile. The genus was named after the Swedish baron Clas Alströmer (1736 – 1794) by his close friend Carolus Linnaeus.

Many hybrids and at least 190 cultivars have been developed, featuring many different markings and colours, including white, yellow, orange, apricot, pink, red, purple, and lavender. The most popular and showy hybrids commonly grown today result from crosses between species from Chile (winter-growing) with species from Brazil (summer-growing). This strategy has overcome the florists' problem of seasonal dormancy and resulted in plants that are evergreen, or nearly so, and flower for most of the year. This breeding work derives mainly from trials that began in the United States in the 1980s.

The flower, which resembles a miniature lily, is very popular for bouquets and flower arrangements in the commercial cut flower trade. Most cultivars available for the home garden will bloom in the late spring and early summer. The roots are hardy to a temperature of −5 °C. The plant requires at least six hours of morning sunlight, regular water, and well-drained soil.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 1 April 2020

SOCIAL DISTANCING

In these "interesting" times we are living through, it's important to stay safe, heed the advice of experts and your government. It's only then we can beat the virus that has so disrupted our daily life.

However, at the same time, you can do much to help others in your community who are less able to fend for themselves. Please do something to actively support those in greater need than you. Your local community group, council or local government representatives can give you many workable and safe plans of action!

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