Thursday, 19 April 2018

SPIDERWEB TRADESCANTIA

Tradescantia sillamontana is a perennial evergreen herbaceous plant of the genus Tradescantia, of the family  This species is one of the most succulent and xerophytic, but at the same time one of the most attractive species of Tradescantia. It is endemic to dry areas of the State of Nuevo León in northeastern Mexico.

This plant has a very recognisable and distinctive appearance. The leaves are arranged in a precise geometric shape. Almost completely white hairs cover all parts of the plant: Leaves, shoots, and even the buds. These protect the plant from direct sunlight and excessive evaporation. Shoots and stems reach a height of 30–40 cm, first erect, later prostrate and rooting at the soil surface. The leaves are fleshy, ovate, 3–7 cm long, covered with grayish-white short hairs. During the summer, the flowers appear at apical growth points or in the axils of the bracts; these are typical Tradescantia flowers. The corolla consists of three bright purplish-pink to purple petals and three small sepals.

Tradescantia sillamontana is almost as easy to grow as other species of the genus Tradescantia. However, unlike most species of Tradescantia, this species is almost succulent and nearly xerophytic (perhaps the only more xerophytic and succulent member of the genus is Tradescantia navicularis). T. sillamontana should be grown in a well lit position, although direct summer sun can cause burns, so gradual acclimatisation is needed. Flowering in summer is quite abundant, if well-cultivated. The plant quickly loses its desirable appearance with abundant watering, too dark a location, and an excess of nitrogen. Spraying the leaves is not recommended at all. Soil should allow good drainage, with at least a third to a half made up of coarse sand and gravel.

Moderate watering is required during the growing season; the plant should be kept almost dry in winter maintenance. The minimum temperature during the period of dormancy is 10°C. The plant can be divided in Spring, with any shoots which are too long being trimmed. In the subtropical zone this is one of the most popular garden plants. In Europe it is sometimes cultivated in gardens and rock gardens, but in the winter it is brought into a cool greenhouse or protected from cold and moisture with a temporary shelter. Reproduction is easy by cuttings 5–8 cm long, rooted in sandy soil, or by dividing and transplanting the bush.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

ORCHID

The orchid family, Orchidaceae, is a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants, with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant. Along with the Asteraceae (daisy family), they are one of the two largest families of flowering plants. The Orchidaceae have about 28,000 currently accepted species, distributed in about 763 genera.

The determination of which family is larger is still under debate, because verified data on the members of such enormous families are continually in flux. Regardless, the number of orchid species nearly equals the number of bony fishes and is more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars!

Below is Phalaenopsis first described by Blume (1825), also known as moth orchids, abbreviated Phal in the horticultural trade. This is an orchid genus of approximately 60 species. Phalaenopsis is one of the most popular orchids in the trade, through the development of many artificial hybrids. It is native to southern China, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia (Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.), New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Queensland.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

CLUNES, VICTORIA

Clunes is a town in Victoria, Australia, 36 kilometres north of Ballarat, and 146 km from Melbourne, in the Shire of Hepburn. At the 2006 census it had a population of 1,026. The 2011 census recorded a population of 1,656 usual residents. The town was home to Victoria's first registered gold discovery made by James Esmond. His discovery, first published in the Geelong Advertiser on 7 July 1851 triggered the first gold rush in Victoria. 

The township was established a few years later and subsequent gold mining, predominantly driven by the Port Phillip and Colonial Mining Company saw the town's population rising to well over 6,000 residents in the late 1880s. Clunes post office opened as early as 1 October 1857 and in 1874 Clunes was connected to the Victorian railway network. Clunes station was opened in the same year.

In 1873 mine employers attempted to introduce Saturday afternoon and Sunday shifts. The miners refused to sign the new terms outlined in their contract renewals and went on strike. Some days into the action the miners organised the Clunes Miners' Association and what were to become known as the Clunes Riots, successfully resisting the use of foreign labour as strikebreakers. The Clunes Miners' Association is one of the earliest antecedents of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

From the 1850s through to 1893, when gold mining eventually came to an end, Clunes was an important gold production location in Victoria. During this period gold in excess of 1.2 million ounces was produced at Clunes. Surrounded by grassland, meadows and pastures, the town has preserved many of its elegant historic buildings until today and is recognised as one of the architecturally most intact gold towns in Victoria.

The idea of transforming Clunes into a European-style booktown was first conceived and developed by Councillor Tim Hayes, Linda Newitt, Graeme Johnston and Tess Brady. Clunes held its first 'Booktown for a Day' event on 20 May 2007. Over 50 booksellers from around Australia set up shop for the day in the town's heritage buildings. Renamed to 'Back to Booktown' a year later and to 'Clunes Booktown Festival' in 2012, the township now holds the event each year on the first weekend in May. With more than 60 booksellers, millions of books and 15,000 visitors, it has become the largest collection of books in any regional centre of Australia and the major Victorian regional book event.

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, 16 April 2018

Sunday, 15 April 2018

WAITING...

For his master...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

QUOKKA

The quokka (Setonix brachyurus), the only member of the genus Setonix, is a small macropod about the size of a domestic cat. Like other marsupials in the macropod family (such as kangaroos and wallabies), the quokka is herbivorous and mainly nocturnal.

Quokkas can be found on some smaller islands off the coast of Western Australia, in particular on Rottnest Island just off Perth and Bald Island near Albany. A small mainland colony exists in the protected area of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, where they co-exist with the critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo.

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

Friday, 13 April 2018

STORM BREWING

As Autumn progresses, our weather is becoming more unstable and we begin to experience wilder weather events.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

NIGELLA

Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist, ragged lady) is an annual garden flowering plant, belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is native to southern Europe (but adventive in more northern countries of Europe), north Africa and southwest Asia, where it is found on neglected, damp patches of land. The specific epithet damascena relates to Damascus in Syria. The plant's common name comes from the flower being nestled in a ring of multifid, lacy bracts. It is also sometimes called devil-in-the-bush.
It grows to 20–50 cm (8–20 in) tall, with pinnately divided, thread-like, alternate leaves. The flowers, blooming in early summer, are most commonly different shades of blue, but can be white, pink, or pale purple, with 5 to 25 sepals. The actual petals are located at the base of the stamens and are minute and clawed. The sepals are the only coloured part of the perianth. The seed capsule becomes brown in late summer.

The plant self-seeds, growing on the same spot year after year. This easily-grown plant has been a familiar subject in English cottage gardens since Elizabethan times, admired for its ferny foliage, spiky flowers and bulbous seed-heads. It is now widely cultivated throughout the temperate world, and numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use. The related Nigella sativa (and not N. damascena) is the source of the spice variously known as nigella, kalonji or black cumin.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

ROSA, 'EBB TIDE'

Rosa 'Ebb Tide' was bred by Tom Carruth, USA, in 2004. It is a wonderful rose, which created a massive impact for the intense colour and fragrance which was rarely seen in modern roses. This very free-flowering rose bears flowers in small clusters with an amazingly intense clove fragrance throughout the flowering season.

Ebb Tide has beautiful, medium sized, glossy and dark green foliage which is highly disease resistant. The bushy growth is around 90 cm in height with flowers all over the shrub. The striking purple colour and the intense, spicy fragrance will make this rose variety a delightful addition to the rose garden.

Roses thrive in generally sunny, dry and hot conditions as we experience in most Australian gardens, and roses will flourish when you take measures to provide the following:

WATER – Roses are very deep rooted plants and require one good, deep soaking at least every 10 days in hot and dry conditions.
FEED – Because roses flower throughout all but the Winter season, they should be regularly fertilised with quality (preferably organic) fertiliser which contains a balance of major nutrients (NPK) and trace elements. The fertiliser should be applied at least once a month – small amount often – with fortnightly applications of liquid seaweed over the foliage.
PRUNE – During Winter, 70% of the rose plant should be pruned and all old wood removed back to the crown and the bush pruned to shape. During the flowering seasons, 25% of all flowering stems should be cut back after flowering to encourage strong re-growth.
MULCH – Particular attention to application of lucerne or pea straw directly around the root-zone of each rose will enhance the overall health of the rose and then the whole bed should be mulched to 75mm with any other mulch medium available.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

TRIESTE, ITALY

Trieste is a city and a seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city. It is also located near Croatia some further 30 kilometres south. Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste and throughout history it has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Latin, Slavic, and Germanic cultures.

In 2009, it had a population of about 205,000 and it is the capital of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The metropolitan population of Trieste is 410,000, with the city comprising about 240,000 inhabitants. Trieste was one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, belonging to it from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century the monarchy was one of the Great Powers of Europe and Trieste was its most important seaport. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague).

In the fin de siècle period at the end of the 19th century it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. Trieste underwent an economic revival during the 1930s, and Trieste was an important spot in the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs after the Second World War. Today, Trieste province is one of the richest in Italy, and it is a great centre for shipping (through the Port of Trieste), shipbuilding and financial services. Trieste is the most important port of Italy and it will be the 2020 European Capital of Science - ESOF.

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.