catmint spring garden update, october 2012


Spring is progressing nicely. The weather is starting to warm up.  Yesterday the temperature briefly leaped to 28 degrees. You could tell many of the plants got a bit of a shock. The young 'uns had never experienced such heat in their lives. The old 'uns had gotten spoiled and quite forgotten what searing heat feels like. Hmm, summer is coming ...  what will it bring? and how will the garden grow? Meanwhile though, it's still raining ...

These photos  are taken with my new camera, an award winning compact three quarters DSLR, Olympus EM5. I gave up on my Nikon because I found it too heavy and too restricting to always have to use a tripod. So I traded it in for a compact Lumix point and shoot, but then found that too limiting, so have now bought this one. I'm not usually so consumerist, but with the blog, photography is gradually becoming a passion.







At the bottom of the garden a heap of feathers suddenly appeared. How they got there is a mystery. Was a bird attacked by a cat? Were two birds fighting? When I see one feather, I regard it as a pleasant souvenir. Such a number of feathers, though, seems ominous and I imagine the outcome for the bird or birds concerned was not particularly positive. Hopefully though,  my imagination is too vivid, and it is a simple case of spring moult.

Varying degrees of wildlife
Yellow Banksia Rose





Viola Tricolor Johnny Jump Up 

Echium wildpretti 


With this post I'm joining in the popular Garden Bloggers Bloom Day meme, hosted every month on the 15th of the month by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.


 Crabapple Buds 


These Borage flowers have completed their soft, seductive, pretty, flowery phase necessary to attract pollinators. Now they have started the next phase in the deadly serious business of ongoing survival. They are producing seeds that look like tiny missiles.   They will shoot these seeds into the damp soil to grow the next generation of Borage plants.  



2 plants that make themselves at home in the garden: self seeded
perennial Euphorbias and annual Forget Me Nots.

Views from the tree house

Pink Californian poppies, Forget me nots and Society Garlic



















Comments

  1. It's always nice to see gardens from 'down under' - completely opposite seasons and lots of plants I have never grown and hardly heard of. Thanks for letting me have a walk-about in your lovely garden :-)

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  2. Oh my!!!! Your garden looks so green and fantastic. Nice work! As for the camera, enjoy the upgrade. I think the better the camera, the more passionate you become about photography because there's so much more you can do. Love your shots today. Chris

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    1. I'm already enjoying the camera Chris, but still only using it on auto because I haven't had time to read the fine print in the manual.

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  3. Nice shots, i hope you are enjoying your new camera, the garden is looking very nice too. Enjoy the rest of your day.

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  4. Great pictures. Lucky you, you have spring! I wish we had too... Maybe a hawk has visited your garden? We used to have a hawk visiting our garden and it left those feathers after visiting and catching some little bird.

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    1. hi Satu, when you wrote that suddenly the penny dropped: it was that creepy fat cat I have seen lurking around the garden lately! It must have eaten a poor bird and left the feathers. You were right about the predator, just that it was a cat not a hawk.

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  5. Hi Catmint, your garden is looking great. But i smiled seeing the small stuffed toys of koala and the black dog alone on the road. Seeing it i thought maybe it is stuffed too, then i stared longer, oh i think it is real, hahaha!

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    1. very observant of you Andrea. When I climbed into the treehouse, my dog Potter looked quite puzzled, trying to work out how to follow me. Then she just sat and watched and waited. She didn't do the same with the teddy bears, though.

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  6. Hello Catmint. Thanks for your note on Loose and Leafy about Tree Following.

    Certainly following a group of trees counts!

    I'll add your name to the list.

    http://looseandleafy.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-is-tree-following-and-list-of-tree.html

    Whenever you post, let me know - either by leaving a note in the comments box or email me at

    looseandleafy@googlemail.com - and I'll include a link in a post and in the sidebar.

    Lucy

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    1. challenge accepted, brain has started whirring, hopefully not in the middle of the night.

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  7. I love the photo of the borage - it always looks so ethereal. Simply beautiful.

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    1. ethereal - I like that and think that's what I aim for a lot. Thanks for the compliment.

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  8. I was admiring all your blooms and thinking how much they reminded me of the flowers of my childhood. Then I saw you were from Melbourne where I grew up (or thereabouts). Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. in which case you are a new cyber-cobber!

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  9. Ah, spring! I was justing thinking yesterday how long I'll have to wait for my Lady Banks rose to bloom - and now I get to see a photo of yours blooming! Hoorah! I also love your groupings of the poppies, forget-me-nots, and society garlic. Lovely.

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    1. thanks Holley - they're all self seeded, so they group themselves. And they do it much more aesthetically than I could ever do.

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  10. I am amazed by your Echium wildpretti, a plant I am unfamiliar with. It is striking in your garden. I also love your stone paths and the view from your tree house. But I had to laugh a little at your comment about the 'searing' heat. 28 degrees is about 82 degrees fahrenheit here, and I consider that to be a pleasantly warm day. Looking at the climate range on your sidebar, I see you also have some hot summer weather, though overall your temperatures are more moderate. I think we stay hotter longer and also have a colder winter. It's all in our perspective!

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    1. Hi Deb, We have very hot dry summers often, whereas in Alabama it is hot and very humid. That must make a big difference in the kind of plants we can grow. Our climate is similar to that of California. I don't consider 82 degrees F. searing, just compared to the cool temperatures we've had for quite a long time recently. I agree it's all in our perspective, that's one of the joys of this international blogging scene, isn't it - sharing perspectives.

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  11. Hi Catmint, our hottest day of the Summer was a one day flook of 80f. The rest of the Summer was generally between 54 and 62f, a scattering of days in the 70s here and there. Impressed with the pictures with your new Olympus EM5, I had to google it, well maybe because I am nosey. Ah well, I guess I will have to stick with my TZ8.

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    1. I know Alastair, it was definitely extravagant. Your climate is really different, so much colder, I am always surprised when you grow so many of the same plants we grow down here though.

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  12. Wow Catmint, your garden's looking lovely...but it does feel odd that you're moving through spring as we're heading deeper into Autumn!
    I've been wanting to trade up from my little Lumix point&shoot and I do have a fondness for Olympus cameras, so I might just have to have a look at one like yours - especially if it means that i can take photos like yours!!

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    1. this one does seem fantastic so far, and I've barely started exploring its possibilities.

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  13. What lovely blooms! I love borage flowers, but mine didn't so well for some odd reason this year. Your garden is so full of color and life--nice to see when ours is winding down. Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. thanks Julie, some years my borage doesn't do so well. It's loved all the rain this year and last year. I threw some seeds on the garden probably 15 years ago and since then it just does its thing, whatever and wherever.

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  14. Lovely spring flowers and a lovely time of year - enjoy! Have just looked at my thermometer and your 28 C translates to about 86 F, that is very hot for a spring day, will your summer be even hotter?

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    1. that's just what I am wondering - I think I saw a prediction somewhere that we could be heading into a very hot summer. Not sure, but still have memories of really dry searing heat and very very stressed plants and a gardener (me) trying not to stress too ...

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  15. Still looking for a reasonable DSLR but will wait...love the pics of your spring garden and especially from the tree house...my borage blooms all summer and never has the chance to shoot any seed or rebloom.

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    1. your borage behaves very differently to mine, mine is a short lived annual, gone by summer if it's a hot summer. I guess the advantage is I never have to worry about replanting.

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  16. Your garden looks so lovely...and I adore Borage...so photogenic :-)

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  17. Your new camera's delivered some lovely, detailed photos, Catmint. I especially love your Banksia Rose. It's like I've not seen your garden before.

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    1. how interesting Faisal, although I think the garden has changed in a year. It seems to be always changing.

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  18. hey catmin they are gorgeous photos even the one of the feathers! great colours and so clear. Not to mention the garden looks so pretty.

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  19. It is nice to look at spring flowers. It makes me feel hopeful that spring is not as far off as I think it is. I like your image of the feathers because they are such delicate things, and yet their presence on the ground gives the shot a mysterious somewhat ominous quality. Borage has such interesting flowers. Like the feathers, they have a certain duality: they are pretty, but the blooms are spiky and sharp.

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    1. Hi Jennifer, I'm so pleased I was able to communicate those contradictions with both images. I like the way you explained it for the feathers: the delicate feathers in an unexpected place. I love ambiguity! Borage flowers are pretty and not sharp at first, then they change and become like this.

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  20. For me your garden is such an interesting mix of familiar and totally exotic flowers. I love the Echium, it looks completely alien, but in a good way. At the same time the Borage, Forget-Me-Not, and Crabapple are all old favorites.

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