Fungus and Moss

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Underneath one of many hanging pot planters that we have, some kind of fungus grow from drainage holes. It is growing in clumps and brown in colour. They don’t look pretty at all until I took some photos. Enlarged by macro zooms, the small mushrooms have beautiful folds. The stems and the pretty folds can be clearly seen.

Just like fungi, moss is also very primitive species of plants. Through naked eyes, moss is just  mats of greens that can be seen around our garden. They grow in moist places, on rocks and stones and also in crevices in between paving tiles. If you take macro photos of moss, the details of the plants are clear and very pretty. The tiny pods that contain spores look similar to flower buds.



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I saw the most beautiful pink Cymbidium orchid in the market. It was a medium cascading hybrid with five spikes. And the price…. around one third less than in the shop. It was a bargain. I did not plan to buy plants but I bought it anyway.

At home I saw a name tag inserted on the side of the pot and it said: Sleepy Sarah ‘Lovely’ X Ruby Eyes ‘Tetra Baron’. Wow, what a mouthful to say but I nickname mine Pinky.  I am really glad to have it and it is the first pink cymbidium orchid that I have. The medium size is just perfect.

Nature Strips

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On TV news yesterday: A Frankston woman, Hannah Russell, was ordered to remove the plants that she grows on the nature strip in front of her property. It has made me think about the issue: ‘Should we be allowed to grow plants on the nature strips and will it make look better?’

Nature Strip along our property

What are Nature Strips? Here in Australia, nature strips are public (Council’s own) strips of land along the street and mostly sit along the foot path. Most of these nature strips are grassy area where street trees grow and underneath can contain essential instalations of sewer and water pipes, gas, power and telephone lines.

Though nature strips belong to the council, it is residents’ duty to keep the grass on the nature strips tidy (to mow the lawn). While cutting or prunning street trees should be done by the council. In most areas, we will need a permission to alter or to grow plants on the nature strips.

Apparently Ms. Russell has permission from the council to grow plants on her nature strip and she has been growing ornamental plants there for many years. Why all of sudden now she is asked to remove the plants? It seems that other residents complain about her untidy nature strip. It is overgrown with weeds and full of rubbish. If she keeps her nature strip garden neat and tidy, probably there will be no problem at all.

Hannah Russel’s Nature Strip (Image from: Frankston Standard Leader).

If someone asked me to grow plants on my nature strip, my answer would be a big ‘NO’. I think all councils should not let anyone grow anything else on nature strip. All nature strips should look uniform. All should only have lawn and street trees growing there.

  • As nature strips can contain instalation of pipes and cables underneath, it is wise to be left as it is.
  • Growing plants on nature strips can create problems as many plants tend to overgrow and out of control.
  • Over grown plants on nature strips will make the place look untidy.
  • Over grown plants will narrow foot paths and this is not good for pedestrians and  especially for the postmen.
  • Many people can’t even keep the nature strips tidy by regularly mow the grass, just imagine if all sorts of plants grow there. Most plants need to be looked after to make them nice and tidy.
  • Nature strips have to be clear to put rubbish, recycle and garden waste bins on collection days. If they are full of plants where we supposed to put the bins?

Well enough is said here to write my opinion after watching the news last night……. Happy mowing your nature strip!!!!


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This morning is not too cold, but it is grey and wet. Yesterday I decided to move the flowering orchids (still in buds) away from rain, frost and possible hails. I never thought that cymbidium orchids grow that big and take so much space. All of them  7 pots had to move to the covered back yard veranda. There was not much space so I had to move the bromeliads out in the garden dan put the orchids in the covered area. The large epiphyllum had to be shifted also out in the back garden.

The best spot for the bromeliads was under the pear tree, so I cleaned it up. It was an empty place before and  was full of fallen leaves. I have two different kinds of bromeliads. One grows in tight clump with long orange flowers and the other one is smaller and grow in stolons. I think the smaller one is Neoregelia, but I don’t know what kind of bromeliad is the bigger one. The rossetted leaf cups catch water to provide nutrients for the plant.

I am quite happy with the new arrangement. The untidy spot under the pear tree is quite pretty now and the cymbidium orchids are safe from excessive moisture.

Earthquake and My Sweet ‘Amy’

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There were two things worth to mention about yesterday (July o5, 2011).  First, I felt the floor of our study room moved gently up and down. The windows and things in the house rattled. At first I thought it was the strong wind, but later on I started to suspect an earthquake. An hour later it was already online to confirm that it was a small earthquake here in Melbourne measuring 4.4 Richter Scale at 11.36 am (4.6 according to USGS report). The epicentre was again in north Korumburra (like the one in 2009), about 120 km south-east from Melbourne. From what I felt, it lasted around  6 seconds. It was widely felt all around Melbourne area.

The second thing worth writing down here is that we have a new Cymbidium orchid My Sweet “Amy”. Beautiful little flowers, white petals with reddish pink lip and throat. It is a small cascading variety  or can be tied up to form an erect display. To sum it up, My Sweet ‘Amy’ is very pretty and girly.

Garden – Winter 2011

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Today is sunny and beautiful, will reach around 17 deg C. It has been dry for a while lately and it is very good for the Genista racemosa that  is having a problem of rotting roots.  I can see a part of the base of the trunk is black and many little branches are dry while it loses many of it’s tiny foliage. Yes, the poor thing is sulking and sad right now! Hopefully, it will recover with dryer soil. Fingers cross. It is not dead completely but I think it is really in stress and struggling. To many rain falls lately during the Autumn were not so good for Genista racemosa. The other small one that I have that grows under the eaves along the driveway is allright and it is very green.

The winter flowering plants like Thryptomene saxicola and Crassulas are in full bloom. Some of the Zygocacti are are still blooming. This year our Cymbidium orhids are doing very well as they are all having many flower spikes. Oh, it is so very exciting and cannot wait to see them blooming in Spring. The ‘green turn to yellow’ orchids that I divided last year are also having spikes.

I have finished pruning the roses and many other plants. The weeding is done also and our green waste bin is absolutely full  over the brim. Soon towards the end of the winter will be the time for repotting the bonsai trees.

“Did you ever think how a bit of land shows the character of the owner?” – Laura Ingalls Wilder