Friday, November 23, 2012

Orchids In Flower

Hey All,
I'm sitting in the Brisbane Domestic Airport and I must say, I'm most impressed with the speed of the free internet... it's the same speed if not quicker than at home.

While I'm waiting for my plane (yeah, you guessed it... DELAYED), i thought I'd show you all some photos of what's in flower at the moment.

Sorry about the quality or focus of some of the photos, I only had time this week to do some happy snaps with the iPhone.

Maxillaria tenuifolia

Phalaenopsis Tying Shin Cupid x Phalaenopsis Carribean Sunset

Staurochilus fasciatus
These are photos of my Restrepia elegans.  I had to use the macro lens because these flowers are tiny, but I LOVE THEM!

Oncidium sphacelatum

Promenaea ovatiloba x xanthina

Dendrobium unknown

Ascocenda miniatum

Phragmipedium Noirmont (given to me recently by a friend, aren't the flowers amazing?)

And I thought this was cool, it's only of the leaves on my Nepenthes Alata Lantern

Well, I'd better start getting ready to board... we should be boarding in 10 minutes (originally we should of been in the air in 10 minutes).

EEEEK now I'm starting to get excited.  Melbourne Here I Come!

Happy Gardening,


Hey Everyone,
Yes I do still exist.... I think.... maybe.  This past week I haven't been sure what's assignment, exam, nightmare or real life.


In 5 hours I will be flying down to the lovely City of Melbourne to spend the weekend in the city exploring the Botanical Gardens, the Aquarium and the City itself, then on the way home we'll be stoppping in at some family friend's houses, some of which I am told have wonderful gardens, so I'll try make sure I have the camera... or iPhone at the ready.

and then to top it off, my christmas present will be coming early, in part the holiday in Melbourne, but also next Wednesday night when we STAY THE NIGHT AT DUBBO ZOO! WOOOOHOOOOOO I am so excited, I can't wait.

I'll try and update the blog when I can over the next week, but if i can't make it then don't worry and I shall see you all the week after..... I'm really looking forward to when more regular blogging can commence :)

well, I'd best get off my laptop now, another oral is about to start..... I'll be able to leave soon, YAY

Happy Gardening,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum

Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum

This plant is very rewarding and easy to grow and makes a wonderful addition to any collection.  The small hairs that adorn the flower spike, ovaries and the backs of the flowers are very interesting, though can hard to see, and are the namesake of the plant, derived from the Latin hirsutus, meaning shaggy or hairy.  Lindley in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine first described the plant in 1857.

I purchased this plant from Rob Trost at Rolin Farms, about 12-18 months ago.  At the time it was labeled as Paphiopedilum esquirolei.  However R. Govaerts, a member of The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew changed it to Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum var. esquirolei after publishing it as such on the World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in 2003.  Then in 2009 in Volume 25 of Z. Wu & D. Hong series of publications known as Flora of China, published by Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum var. esquirolei was renamed as just Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum.

Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum naturally occurs from Assam to Southern China and it is classed as a Hemicroptophyte by Kew Gardens.

            “Hemicryptophytes (hemicr.) have herbaceous stems that often die-back during unfavourable seasons, and surviving buds placed on (or just below) soil level. This group includes many biennial and perennial herbs, including those in which buds grow from a basal rosette.” (Source: Kew Gardens)

In summer and autumn I have the plant hanging underneath the benches in one of the shade houses with shade cloth of 75% on the roof and 50% on the sides, during that time it gets watered around two to four times a week depending on the temperature.  Then in Winter and Spring the plant is moved to the top shelf for extra light and a solid plastic cover is put on the roof to keep out the dew and any rain that we may receive so that I can control watering, and to stop the orchids from being wet and cold because, as people often say, a lot of orchids can stand being wet, or being cold, but not both at the same time.  I slightly cut back on watering in winter however that is merely due to the slower rate of the pots drying out.  The plant is in a mixture of medium Coconut Husk Chips, Stryrofoam Balls, and Medium Bark.  This plant, like all my others, gets fertilized whenever I remember to, or have the time.

Royal Botanical Gardens Kew,
What Orchid Is That? Edited by Alec Pridgeon,
Internet Orchid Species Photo Enclyclopedia by Jay Pfahl

this years flowering (2012)

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Hectic and worry-filled GBBD - November 2012

Hey Everyone,

ruler of the roost
Well what a hectic time it is for me at the moment, for those of you who don't no I'm in grade 11 at school and at the moment I've just entered into exam block so as you can probably guess the stress levels are running pretty high and sadly I've barely had the chance to go out into the garden, though this afternoon I did get a lovely surprise, but more on that later on in the post.  This week at I've handed in a 15 page long Chemistry assignment, and a 24 page Biology assignment, as well as an in-class essay that I wrote today in my english exam.  With all that I'm only a third through my assessment, next week I have a Geography exam, and oral, my Mathematics B exam, as well as a dreaded Chemistry exam and a Study Of Religion oral.  But thankfully in 7 days I shall be on a plane flying down to the lovely city of Melbourne and spending the weekend in the city (while I'll be exploring the Aquarium down there, as well as the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens which should be amazing), then on the drive back home (Brisbane), we'll be stopping off at numerous friends houses, craft shops, orchid nurseries and plant nurseries, it is promising to be an amazing trip.  Now the reason for my abnormally late GBBD post is due to all this horrible school stuff, but as you probably know I am once more joining Carol and all those other wonderful blogs for the monthly Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and of course I'll also have to write my post for the amazing Foliage Follow-up as well that is held on Pam's Blog over at Digging, but I'll be writing that post tomorrow :), that should give me something to procrastinate with :) hehehehe.

some Maize that is growing from the
old bird seed
Now, as I eluded to at the beggining of this post I had an absolutely WONDERFUL surprise today.  Most of you will be thinking of plants, or shade houses, well if so I can tell you, you're wrong (meant in the nicest way possible of course), my surprise was sooooo much better.  Well, I guess I'd better be out with it, my friend Bev, who has known me since I was "a meat loaf"as mum describes it, or "knee-high to a grasshopper" as other describe it, but either way Bev and I have been as thick as thieves my entire life and we get on like a house on fire.  The really special thing about Bev visiting is that I'm going to be visiting her next weekend, yes, in Melbourne because that is where she lives, she came up today to visit her aunt, and to fly back with her to Melbourne and while she was up she range to ask if she could "come over to see the garden", yes that's right, she didn't ask to visit Mum, of Dad, or anyone in particular, but to see this garden that I've been telling her so much about, because you see, Bev is just as potty about plants as I am, but has never been able to see the garden because whenever she is normally in town, which is for bussiness, she can only visit at night, so a stroll around the yard is normally out of the question, and so the last time she saw the place was when we first moved in, the place was COMPLETELY BARE.... or at least in comparison, because the previous owners didn't have an interest in the outdoors what-so-ever so she thought she'd pop in to see the objects of my obsession.

What a wide looking dog he is
Now, I must set the scene so that you really get the full scope of my excitement.  I was up until about midnight last night cramming for my English exam today, and to finish off my Biology assignment, so I was tired when i woke up, and to be honest I just didn't care about school, if I failed I failed, if I passed with flying colours then woop-de-doo, but just got to the stage where my emotions could only be described by the acronym: CBF.  So as soon as I'd finished my English exam all I wanted to do was get out into the garden and get dirty, sweaty and to do something outdoors that did not what-so-ever involve being in my study, the house, or anything school related.  But alas that was not to be, I got home and had to do my revision questions in preparation for my Geography exam on Tuesday so that I could get some feedback from my teacher as to wether or not my answers were of high enough standard (stupid paragraph response questions).  So I forced myself to sit down and get the work done so that I could spend the afternoon pottering about the garden not having to worry about school... for now, and as Carol's Old Woman at the Door mentioned in April, "If you rid your garden of procrastination, you’ll have no regrets, and you’ll have a garden that you can share with others because it won’t be just in your mind, it will be a reality that you can sit in, stroll through, harvest from, and garden in.” and boy am I glad I did because if I had procrasitnated and left the geography revision until later then I wouldn't of been able to have such a wonderful afternoon.... 
a mark down Chrysanthemum from Bunnings, only $3, the plant should come good very soon

one of my lovely roses
I promise I'll get to the actual scene that I'm trying to set everything for.  So once I got my Geography done and emailed to the teacher I figured it was about time the lawn had a good mow because last weekend we got some amazing, lovely rain for the lawn is actually green (for the first time in 3 months, HALLELUJAH).  And I must say, a well mown lawn does wonders for the overall appearance of a garden.  I was just starting to mow in the back yard (we live on 5 acres so I'd been at it for about 2-3 hours) when Dad came out and told me that Mum said I had to mow around the shade houses before any other part of the back yard, and I had to do that immediately, when asked why Dad told me it was a long story and he'd tell me once I'd finished mowing.  So I started to move everything out of the way so I could mow around the shade houses, when Mum came out and told me she would help me, that she would move everything out of the way, do a little tidying, and that I should mow around as best, and as quickly as I could.... 
The best chook to have in a garden... one that can't do any damage
A wonderful bee I caught in my Basil flowers
Now can you see the confusion that I was suffering from at the moment? Normally, well I say normally, I mean Every single time I've ever mown I've been left to do it how I want, in the way I want and have to BEG someone to help me out by moving the stuff, and that's only if I can be bothered asking, normally I just do it myself, but no, not today.  Today I had Dad, then Mum, within the space of 2 minutes come out and tell me how I should mow the lawn, then they were helping me.  Well, like a good kid I did as I was told and mowed around my shade houses, then Mum and Dad dissapeared and went back inside so I kept mowing.  As I then turned our wonderful 0-turn mower around to keep going there they were, Mum and Dad on either side, and Bev standing in the middle perfectly framed by my parents and the mock orange hedge that runs around the raised decking.  They all had big smiles on their faces because they knew how excited I would be.  

Chives flowering in the middle of a sea of gre

A wonderful bee I caught visiting my Basil flowers
Once again I must do a bit of explaining, I have always known I would see Bev twice a year at least because she and my Mum both used to go around Australia to all the major craft shows with their bussinesses, and there was a big one in Brisbane twice a year, however last year mum pulled out of the shows, and then Bev pulled out this year so I was terrified it might be years before I'd see one of my best friends again.  Then, after having a stressful day, looking forward like nothing else to seeing Bev next week, and there she was standing on my back veranda, oh what a wonderful surprise, I took at double take then ran over to give her a hug.  Now this must sound very odd to you all as to how excited I was to see her, but I see Bev as being part of the family and not one of those aunts, uncles or cousins who you dread having to put up with, but one of those wonderful members who you look forward to seeing again, only 10 minutes after saying good bye to them.   
The many tenticled monster, my Hawarthia, look at all those flower spikes

The bee that was visiting my Basil
Bev and I then spent a wonderful couple of hours going through the shade houses, showing her every nook, cranny and plant within them, as well as the stories behind them, their names and who has given me what, then we went around the garden and thankfully she could see past the weeks and grass that had grown up in the past few weeks while I've been busy with school, and she could see all the wonderful plans I had for the garden beds, and the way they should and would look, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable time.

The wonderful red Snapdragon that I got for $2 at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers
WOW, I certainly wrote more than I had intended to when I started, but I hope this makes up for the lack of posts lately, and I promise I'll start up again over the holidays :).

Now I guess it's about time I got on with the plants.
the pretty pink Dianthus that I got for $2 at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

and of course the pretty, nice smelling white plant-thingy, I don't know the name but it sure is nice.

A wonderful bee I caught in my Basil flowers

A wonderful bee I caught in my Basil flowers

some of the many alyssum coming up all throughout the garden after I shook the seeds out of the old plants all over the garden

Epidendrum unknown.

a lovely Gazania that I'd forgotten I had it where I do

the aggies are all coming into flower, I'd forgotten how much I love them

my important shade tree in one of my gardens is coming back after it's "hacking"

Look at the lovely green grass
the last may flower

the beginnings of the vege-patch... it had to go on hold, thanks a lot school... NOT

the Hippies are putting on their last blast of flower power

a present form Annette
one of my flowering Broms

And I figured it was about time I introduced you all to "The Girls"

Madame Audrey Orpington, quite the arisocrat

Matilda, a bossy old so and so

group shot, though others were out of the frame
My best bud' Bluey, I hatched her in an incubator that I was hiding in my bedroom closet :)

and this is is Zsa Zsa, some of you may know her name sake, no resemblance what-so-ever, but a name I thought was cool :)

And what's a post from me without some orchids.
Phalaenopsis King Car x White Fall

Maxillaria tenuifolia

Phalaenopsis Tying Shin Cupid x Carribean Sunset
Well, I've best be off to bed, 
Wish me luck with exams, and Happy Gardening

p.s. I hope my post made sense, I can barely keep my eyes open so I couldn't proof read it.  I'll have a read of it until tomorrow, but until then fingers crossed because I'm a gonna get some shut-eye :)