Thursday, 31 March 2016

BLUE AGAPANTHUS

Agapanthus praecox (Common Agapanthus, Blue Lily, African Lily, or Lily of the Nile) is a native of Natal and Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Local names for this species include agapant, bloulelie, isicakathi and ubani. Most of the cultivated plants of the genus Agapanthusare hybrids or cultivars of this species. The plant is reportedly naturalised in Great Britain, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Eritrea, Ethiopia, St. Helena, Victoria, Norfolk Island, New Zealand, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Tristan da Cunha.

Agapanthus praecox subspecies orientalis (shown here) occurs in Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu-Natal. It has up to 20 poisonous, strap-like leaves per plant which are arching and are not leathery. These range in length from 20 to 70 cm long and 3 to 5 cm wide. Flower colour ranges from various shades of blue to white. Shiny black seeds are produced in three-sided capsules. These have perianth segments which are less than 50 mm in length.


Agapanthus praecox subsp. orientalis is highly regarded for being tough in sun and heat, long-flowering, and is a favourite for many councils in Australia for the landscaping of roads and other public areas which do not get watered. The plant is still widely planted but in some areas it is considered a weed, and planting has been discontinued, although it is not generally regarded as highly invasive.


This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

RAINY ROSE

Autumn showers in our garden are welcomed by the plants. The roses put forth their last brilliant display... This is a wonderfully fragrant "Just Joey" rose.

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.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

MT TAYGETOS, GREECE

The Taygetus, (Greek: Ταΰγετος, Taygetos), is a mountain range in the Peloponnese peninsula in Southern Greece. The highest mountain of the range is Mount Taygetus, also known as the "Prophet Elijah". The name is one of the oldest recorded in Europe, appearing in the "Odyssey". In classical mythology, it was associated with the nymph Taygete. During Byzantine times and up until the 19th century, the mountain was also known as Pentadaktylos (Πενταδάκτυλος; Greek for five-fingered, a common name during that period).

The Taygetos Massif is about 100 km long, extending from the centre of the Peloponnese to Cape Matapan, its southernmost extremity. It contains the tallest mountain in the Peloponnese, the Prophet Elijah summit, reaching 2,404 m; this is probably the classical Mount Taleton mentioned by Pausanias. Numerous creeks wash down from the mountains and the Evrotas river has some of its headwaters in the northern part of the range. The western side of the massif houses the headwaters of the Viros gorge, which carries winter snowmelt down the mountain, emptying into the Messenian Gulf in the town of Kardamili.

The slopes of Taygetos have been inhabited since at least Mycenaean times. The site of Arkina, near the village of Arna, contains three beehive tombs and is still unexplored. Taygetos was important as one of Sparta's natural defences. The Spartans threw criminals and "unfit" (weak, sickly, deformed, or mentally retarded) infants into a chasm of Taygetos known as Caeadas (Greek: Καιάδας). In antiquity, male Spartan newborns were abandoned there if deemed unfit after examination for vitality.

During the era of barbarian invasions, Taygetos served as a shelter for the native population. Many of the villages in its slopes date from this period. In Medieval times, the citadel and monastery of Mystras was built on the steep slopes, and became a centre of Byzantine civilization and served as the capital of the Despotate of the Morea. Mystras remains occupied by a tiny religious community. The buildings are remarkably well-preserved and a major tourist attraction in the region. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This post is 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, 28 March 2016

AUTUMN COLOURS

Autumn is upon us and there are fruits and berries, flowers and leaves turning colour. The weather has been suitably mellow the last few days...

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Blue 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, 27 March 2016

BUTTERFLY

A cabbage small white butterfly (Pieris rapae) feeding on Chinese plumbago flowers (Ceratostigma willmottianum).

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #40

Welcome to the Saturday Silhouettes meme! This is a weekly meme that looks at SILHOUETTES in photography.

SILHOUETTE |ˌsɪlʊˈɛt| noun: The dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.
ORIGIN - late 18th century: Named (although the reason remains uncertain) after Étienne de Silhouette (1709–67), French author and politician.
This post is also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Please add your silhouette shot below, using the Linky tool:

Friday, 25 March 2016

DIETES SEEDING

Dietes iridioides (African iris, Cape iris, fortnight lily, Morea iris, wild iris, dietes) is an ornamental plant in the Iridaceae family. D. iridioides has white flowers marked with yellow and violet, with six free tepals that are not joined into a tube at their bases. These flowers last only one day. The seedpods of the plant often bend the stalks down to the ground where they have a better chance of propagating new plants. The seedpods contain numerous large brown seeds and they split open to release them.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Thursday, 24 March 2016

EASTER ASTER

Aster Novi-Belgii 'Henry III Purple' is a double-flowering aster that blooms in Autumn, in time for a Southern Hemisphere Easter. The plant blooms profusely and makes for quite a show in the garden. It can also be used as a long-lasting cut flower.

The pollen on open Aster flowers often attracts bees. Plant in a location with at least a half-day of full sun with good soil drainage and air flow. Not recommended to plant near decks, patios or other social locations since they attract bees. Plant in landscape at same soil level as existing container. Water well after planting. Do not fertilise when plant is in bloom. Do not cut back old flowers and stems until the following spring.

If you are celebrating Easter this weekend,
Best wishes for a peaceful and happy holiday!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

VANCOUVER

Vancouver, officially the City of Vancouver, is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. The 2011 census recorded 603,502 people in the city, making it the eighth largest Canadian municipality. The Greater Vancouver area of around 2.4 million inhabitants is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country, the second largest city on the United States–Canada border, and the most populous in Western Canada. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. Vancouver is classed as a Beta global city.

The City of Vancouver encompasses a land area of about 114 square km, giving it a population density of about 5,249 people per square km. Vancouver is the most densely populated Canadian municipality, and the fourth most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America, behind New York City, San Francisco, and Mexico City. The original settlement, named Gastown, grew up on clearcuts on the west edge of the Hastings Mill logging sawmill's property, where a makeshift tavern had been set up on a plank between two stumps and the proprietor, Gassy Jack, persuaded the curious millworkers to build him a tavern, on 1 July 1867. From that first enterprise, other stores and some hotels quickly appeared along the waterfront to the west.

Gastown became formally laid out as a registered townsite dubbed Granville, B.I. ("B.I" standing for "Burrard Inlet"). As part of the land and political deal whereby the area of the townsite was made the railhead of the CPR, it was renamed "Vancouver" and incorporated shortly thereafter as a city, in 1886. By 1887, the transcontinental railway was extended to the city to take advantage of its large natural seaport, which soon became a vital link in a trade route between the Orient, Eastern Canada, and Europe.

As of 2014, Port Metro Vancouver is the third largest port by tonnage in the Americas (displacing New York), 27th in the world, the busiest and largest in Canada, and the most diversified port in North America. While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second-largest industry. Major film production studios in Vancouver and Burnaby have turned Greater Vancouver and nearby areas into one of the largest film production centres in North America, earning it the film industry nickname, Hollywood North.

Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life, and the Economist Intelligence Unit acknowledged it as the first city to rank among the top-ten of the world's most liveable cities for five consecutive years. Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, UN Habitat I, Expo 86, the World Police and Fire Games in 1989 and 2009; and the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics which were held in Vancouver and Whistler, a resort community 125 km north of the city. In 2014, following thirty years in California, the annual TED conference made Vancouver its indefinite home. Several matches of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup were played in Vancouver, including the final at BC Place Stadium.

We visited Vancouver in August 2001 and enjoyed it immensely. These photos are from that time and they were taken on one of the early Olympus digital cameras.

This post is 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, 21 March 2016

CLEMATIS 'ETOILE DE PARIS'

Clematis is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Their garden hybrids have been popular among gardeners, beginning with Clematis × jackmanii, a garden standby since 1862; more hybrid cultivars are being produced constantly. They are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin. They're very popular in gardens with stunning large flowers. Most species are climbing and look beautiful trained up a trellis.

They will grow best with cool moist roots and plenty of sun. They'll grow in most types of fertile soil. They are fairly easy to grow but are susceptible to various diseases and also to pests so they can be a little high maintenance. There are many different colour varieties, from white to lilac, pink and rich burgundy. The flowers are usually large and star shaped. This variety, 'Etoile de Paris' was hybridised by Christen in 1885 and has large, showy blue flowers.

This post is part of the Blue 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, 20 March 2016

PILGRIM GEESE

Pilgrim geese (Australian Settler geese in Australia) are a breed of domestic goose. The origins of this breed are unclear, but they are thought to be either descended from stock in Europe, or developed from American stock during the Great Depression era.

Contrary to legend, Pilgrim geese were not brought to the United States by early settlers. Oscar Grow, noted waterfowl expert from the early 1900s developed this breed from one or more of the auto-sexing European breeds such as the West of England goose or the French Normandy goose. Their name was supposedly assigned by Mrs. Grow to commemorate her family’s personal pilgrimage to Missouri during the Great Depression. They were admitted to the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection in 1939.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.



Saturday, 19 March 2016

SATURDAY SILHOUETTES #39

Welcome to the Saturday Silhouettes meme! This is a weekly meme that looks at SILHOUETTES in photography.

SILHOUETTE |ˌsɪlʊˈɛt| noun: The dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.
ORIGIN - late 18th century: Named (although the reason remains uncertain) after Étienne de Silhouette (1709–67), French author and politician.
This post is also part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Please add your silhouette shot below, using the Linky tool:

Friday, 18 March 2016

CALENDULA SEEDHEAD

Calendula is a genus of about 15–20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae that are often known as marigolds. They are native to southwestern Asia, western Europe, Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean. Other plants are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, and plants of the genus Tagetes.

The genus name Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning "little calendar", "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass". The common name "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold shown here (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named 'calendula' invariably derive from C. officinalis.

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