Weekly Photography Challenge: Surprise

Life is full of surprises, especially for forgetful gardeners. It’s autumn down under, and nerines are appearing out of nowhere – or at least, out of bare ground. The red one was given to me as white, and took years to decide to flower at last in this unexpected colour. Surprise! I’m fairly sure the bud is a pink one, but I’d forgotten where I planted it…

The fragile little bells of Leucojum autumnale were a lovely surprise, because there were no flowers last year, and I thought it was lost forever.IMG_1359small

My favourite colour is pink’n’orange, so it’s a nice surprise to find a geranium that colour. A photo never seems to quite do it justice, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.IMG_1361small



Weekly Photography Challenge: Tiny

I’ve always been fascinated by and collected tiny things, but rather than take photos of my miniatures for this weeks Photography Challenge, I went into the garden to find tiny flowers. The ornamental grape is just coming into flower (a month late), and in a week or so the garden will be filled with its perfume, and with bees. The plant is large, but it’s flowers are minute and very numerous.

There’s a Cecile Brunner rambler rose mingled with the vine – they flower at the same time, and their perfumes blend in the air. The roses are perfect miniatures on a very large plant, the arching canes being metres long, right over the top of the pergola.

More tiny things in my garden – a prickly little Juniper bonsai, Lobelias flourishing in a hanging basket, a dainty Aquilegia flower, and a spike of tiny onion orchid (Michrotis sp) flowers.  The orchid is an endemic species, which “just growed” in another hanging basket one year, and has self-seeded into other containers in my garden.The tiny flowers are barely 1mm long, and I’d need a microscope to see them properly!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Roy G Biv

The challenge for photographers this week is to portray the whole rainbow of colours, singly or all together. I have plenty of photos of the spectrum, cast from ‘crystals’ hung in sunny windows, and I love colour, so my files are full of possibilities for this challenge, but I thought it would be more challenging to go out in my cold wintry garden (it’s the winter solstice today in the southern hemisphere) and try to find the magic seven. Here’s what I found…

My Limelight salvia, which did have bright blue flowers was looking sad (but not very blue) after a ‘good’ frost yesterday, and Blue Chalk sticks are not very blue either, but I found an adequate spectrum, considering mid-winter, I think!

Years ago, when the garden was much newer, I used to record what was in flower every winter solstice in a garden notebook. There is more in flower than I have shown here – I didn’t take photos of pink flowers, because there’s no pink in the rainbow (my youngest son will argue that there’s no indigo, either…)spectrum (Large)


Weekly Photography Challenge: Vivid

The photography challenge theme this week is to portray “Vivid”,  – something brightly coloured, brilliant, glowing, radiant, vibrant…a flower perhaps, or a splendid sunset. I suspect that most photographers are compelled to try to capture vivid colours in flowers and sunsets – I certainly am!

I didn’t find any vivid enough sunsets in my files (plenty of flowers!), so I’ve substituted the eye-popping colour of some vintage Japanese fabrics, which I bought last week here in Canberra. If you too love orange and fabric, check out KimoYES – there’s plenty of both, and they send to anywhere!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Broken

The photography challenge for this week is to portray something ‘Broken’, a topic that struck a chord with Mike Hardisty! My choices are rather more domestic. It was my father-in-laws funeral just over a week ago (although it seems much much longer, what with coming up to Canberra to cat-sit so soon after!). After the service, the beautiful flowers are placed near the reception area, and the mourners are invited to take one (or a handful) as a memento. Otherwise they are discarded. I chose some orchids (he used to grow lots of them), delphiniums, leucadendrons and roses.

We were only home for a day before packing up for Canberra, where I will be for 3 weeks. It seemed a shame to leave the little bouquet, so I propped it, vase and all, in the boot of the car with everything else. And that is why it is a little bit broken in places – but still beautiful.

broken boots As are these sparkly punky pink boots I bought for Juni in an op shop/thrift store. They are probably still a bit big for her, but she loves to stomp around in them, resulting in some wear and tear in their shiny awesomeness.

Friday Poem: Your Face

april 2011 036 (Large)

It’s actually raining at this very moment, and has been for a while, which is wonderful for our garden and for the water tanks of many people around here. Maybe I should have had a poem about rain for today’s post, but I don’t…

Your face
is my face
And the flowers on the altar
Last forever
While the smoke rises
Rises curls and vanishes
Lost in the fragrant clouds
The ageless flowers
Lost in your ageless face.

The poem, being a bit mysterious gives me an excuse to share some equally numinous and enigmatic photos.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Day lily stamensPapa Meiland rosebud

Cactus bloom

Day lily -here today, gone tomorrow.

I suppose flowers are a bit of an obvious choice for ‘delicate’, but that’s because they generally are. The rose is more of a stayer than the day lily or the cactus, but even they are soon shriveled on a hot, windy day. Day lilies get their name by lasting just a day, and most cactus flowers are so fleeting that I often miss them altogether! They are there to attract pollinating insects, not us, and once the bee, wasp or moth has done its task, then the flower is finished.