Intro: I Love My Garden
About 8 years ago we moved to a 1 acre rural property in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (Qld, Australia). At the time we knew nothing of gardening. Over the years we've experienced great joy in landscaping our property and making friends with the local wildlife. It's coming on for winter now (ha ha, we're sub-tropical which means cool nights [5-15c] and bright sunny days [18-25c]), but there's always something to appreciate year round. All of these photos were taken with either a Ricoh 5MP point 'n' shoot or a venerable Nikon Coolpix 5700. I hope you enjoy my garden....
1. FRANGIPANI. Driving to work one day, I found a storm-tossed branch from a Frangipani tree on the road. In the boot, then in the ground she goes. We now have about 25 trees all from found cuttings.
2. GECKO. This is a native Australian (spoon tail) gecko. I found this poor fellow one morning clinging to a twig floating in a bucket of water that had been left out overnight. I fished him out and put him on the wall to dry. The poor beggar was so exhausted he let me get a nice close photo. These geckos are actually becoming rare in South East Qld as they are being out-competed by Asian Geckos that hitch rides in containers of furniture imported from Indonesia.
3. HIBISCUS. This variant is called 'Moonshot'. It was a gift from my Mother-in-law when we moved into our house and is our favourite.
4. TAWNY FROGMOUTH. For obvious reasons these owls are quite hard to spot during the day. This one spent some time supervising my handiwork last year whilst I was building a Balinese pavilion.
5. SNAKE PLANT. Actually, I have no idea what this shrub was. It was a gift and an eye-catching splash of colour in the garden. Unfortunately, due to it's low-spreading growth, it was a favourite with Eastern Brown snakes, so had to be removed.
6. RED NECKED WALLABY. This girl (with joey in the pouch), is having a rest in the pumpkin patch. We have up to 5 of these on our property at any one time. They are quite used to us.
7. STANDARD WATER LILY. These are pretty much endemic to any dam in the area. This one is in one of my two fish ponds.
8. DRAGONFLIES MATING. I noticed these young lovers early one morning last spring in my fish pond and couldn't resist a photo.
9. CORDYLINE. This is one of a number of Cordylines we have in our garden. I love the play of light and colour on their leaves.
10. LOUISE. This is my best friend (after my wife of course). She loves to lie in the sun on the lawn.
11. BROMELIAD. I was lucky to get this photo one morning when the light was just right. I really like the luminosity of the tiny flowers, which are about 5mm across.
12. KOOKABURRA. We have a few of these around - the old bush alarm clock. They wake you at sunrise, and farewell you at dusk. This one is happy to keep my pond from becoming overstocked with goldfish :-)
13. DAYLILY. There are literally thousands of Daylily variants. As the name suggest, each flower only lasts a day. But each plant may have 15-20 flowers. In a mass planting they can be quite spectacular.
14. GREEN FROG. I'm often surprised at how close I can get to our native fauna for a photo. I guess everyone here is a bit relaxed. This was taken in the larger of my two fish ponds.
15. CROTON. Like the Cordylines, Crotons can add a splash of colourful vegetation around the yard.
16. BIRTHDAY BEAR. I know, I know - It's not a bear. Koalas are marsupials. Koalas have a 'range', they will move around a given area over the course of a year so they don't denude their food trees. This one started showing up a few years back on my wife's Birthday - hence the name.
17. TIMOR BLACK BAMBOO. We have 9 clumps of Bamboo on our property. I'm always surprised by how reticent people are to plant Bamboo. It grows quick, requires little maintenance, has no harmful roots and is easy to maintain (so long as you don't buy one of the 'running' varieties). This is Timor Black. The culms are a gorgeous black, which sets off the glossy green leaves.
18. DAY'S END. As the sun goes down, the Kookaburras sing and the cockatoos call, there's nothing nicer than relaxing in the garden with a cold beer.