Monday, August 31, 2009

Today's Flowers; Dendrobium speciosum;

RockOrchids; Dendrobium speciosum are flowering at the end of winter.

It is a wonderful show when the big sprays of orchid flowers appear. They have a very distinctive fragrance, not sweet, but still very special when you smell it you know the rock orchids are flowering.

A native orchid that grows on rocks or trees. It has sprays of small, creamy-yellow flowers, thick, leathery leaves and swollen, bulbous roots (called pseudobulbs). The flowers appear in spring. A third petal in the centre of each flower is known as the lip, which serves as a landing strip for insect pollinators.

Click here for Today's Flowers;

Thank you to Luiz Santilli jr. and his team.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Song of Innocence; Something blue;

Something blue;
Wednesday afternoon was school free. When I returned home for lunch, which I did every day not just on Wednesday, I spotted already from afar an unfamiliar blue colour between a small copse of birch trees and my home.

I loved the look of those trees at anytime of the year. One of them stood out much taller. I liked to peel off their soft, silken bark. My mother said one should not cut deep into the bark of the birch because it will bleed. I could not resist and tried to carve my name into the bark. The letters looked crooked and the tree bled which made me feel bad and I did not finish my name.
In spring, heart shaped leaves unfurled in the softest apple green. They quivered like a ballet dancer en pointe with the slightest breeze. Towards summer the leaves changed to dark green and their shadows danced on the coarse grass. In autumn the leaves turned golden before their final dance to the ground.
The trees looked white and ghostlike in winter, gossamer shreds peeling from the trunks and limbs. Their soft shape merging into the white, misty landscape.

On the tallest and sturdiest of the birches my father had hung a swing on a branch. He had sanded and smoothed a piece of wood, carved my name into the seat and blackened the letters with a blowtorch. I loved to sit on the swing and move slowly to and fro. There was always a creaking sound when I swung forward. I liked to look up through the sunlit leaves into the blue of the sky.
Today I ignored the swing as my attention was drawn to a sky blue painted gypsy wagon. All was quiet when I walked around it. Small, neat windows surrounded by painted flowers. I wondered who had left it there and who lived in there.
I looked around and saw a girl coming towards the wagon. She carried a full bucket of water that slightly spilled over the rim.
To me she did not look at all like a Gypsy with black hair and a dark complexion. She looked rosy and a long red blond plait was hanging over her shoulder. I was rather disappointed with her looks. There was nothing exotic about her, no golden earrings and bangles, or colorful skirts. She was wearing a very ordinary, rather drab skirt and blouse.

I said hello and pointed to my house where I lived. I asked if I could help with the bucket. She shook her head and walked on towards her wagon. I followed her and asked her all sorts of questions, which she patiently answered. She opened the door, I asked if I could come in as I had never been inside a gypsy wagon.
I had seen the wagons of the circus people when my mother and I went to the side show. My mother did not let me near the wagons because she said the circus people do not take it kindly if one invades their privacy.
I was wondering if the girl would welcome me into her home. When Serafina, she said I can call her Fina, let me see her home, I was amazed how neat, colorful and comfortable everything looked.
She put her finger to her mouth and looked at me while she opened a curtain to reveal a tiny room with just enough room for a big, high bed and a small window. Where ever I looked there were flowers, the bedspread, the curtains the carpet, the walls were painted with flowers, it was like a flowering bower. In the middle of the bed slept a baby. Everything about it was tiny.It was only two month since it was born.

It was getting late and I had to go home to do my homework for school. I hoped she would still be here tomorrow. I wanted to visit her after school. Fina said if everything goes well she will stay for a week or two and than she has to move again. I wondered where her horse or tractor was to pull the caravan. There was no horse as the caravan was transported by train.
I mentioned that it must cost a lot of money to transport a caravan, so she better stay here for a long time. Fina said she can not decide how long she is allowed to stay. There were certain rules they had to obey.
I also met her husband, he had a big red moustache and I thought he did not like me as he ignored me completely. Perhaps he did not like me visiting his family. I thought he looked like a Walrus, but I did not say that to Fina as it would have been rude. He was not often there when I visited which I was glad about.

Fina knitted everyday tiny garments for her baby. She said bring your doll and I will knit an outfit for her. I asked my mother for wool. She gave me a jumper which was too small for me. There were different colours and Fina was very pleased when she saw it and I helped her to unravel the knitting and we made neat balls of wool, each colour separate.

One day, out of the blue, the wagon was gone like it had arrived, without an announcement.
A small card was in the letterbox. It said “Perhaps we meet again”. I have never forgotten Fina and her baby. She was kind and had a lovely voice when she sang. She had knitted underpants, socks and made a dress for my doll. Sometimes I thought I saw the blue wagon in the copse when I returned from school but it was only my imagination. We never met again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reading: The Memory Keeper's Daughter; by Kim Edwards;

Life is like a glimpse through the trees. (T.S.)

A bestselling novel about parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love.

Pick up this book and you want to read it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's Flowers; Daylilies;

It is not yet Daylily time in my garden. As I am planting some now I thought to show off some of my beauties. Usually the first start to flower at the beginning of October.

Charlie Pierce Memorial is a new one I have planted now.

Champagne Elegance is a new one.

Spode; I planted last year; it was a bonus plant from my Daylily supplier Shelly.

Bold Encounter I planted last year.

Maleny Debutante; was also acquired last year.

So softly spoken,flowers since many years in my garden.

Double Orange; I received more then 30 years ago from a fellow garden friend. Her Ancestors migrated to Australia in the 19Th century and brought this plant with them.

These are just a few of my daylilies. I must admit I am addicted to them!
Click here Today's Flowers; Luiz Santilli jun. and his team.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Today's Flowers;

Bridal Pink; floribunda; 1967. This rose is recommended to grow in zones 5-9. It does grow and flower well in my subtropical climate zone 11. This rose lasts especially long as cut flower and looks attractive at any stage has also a nice fragrance.

Heartsease growing from the base of a hanging pot. A seed must have lodged itself there.
Photos T.S.
Today's Flowers click here

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A facelift...

For my kitchen;Welcome; The front entrance which leads into the boot room and is actually the back of the house has received a facelift as well, a new door and a new colour, it looks much friendlier now!

This sunny nook in the kitchen is my favourite place!

My farm!

New mosaic tiles; new Caesar stone counter top. The cupboards were still good so they got a new laminate paint. The colour is apple bitter and it is a moody colour which changes with the light from beige to a buttery colour or a tint of green. It matches well with the wall tiles and the floor. New sleek handles and the transformation is complete.

The exhaust was not replaced as it is very efficient, so just got a new copper lining on the hood.

A new big, deep sink; on the right the well water and on the left town water. Well water is for drinking and cooking.
I like my kitchen it is simple, easy and very functional. I do not like the new super kitchens with their big stoves, to much to clean. I also do not like to many gadgets. I would not know what to do with a rice cooker! I have a few handy appliances which I use. A kitchen Aid, a stick mixer, a blender, a toaster and a Espresso machine that is about it....and I like to cook!

How does your kitchen look like, what do you like best in your kitchen? Do you like to cook?