My winter garden

Out and about in the garden earlier this afternoon, during a brief sunny period, I was struck by how many plants were in flower, and particularly how many of them have red flowers.  Left – flowering Aloe Vera

By now it will have become obvious to anyone following my blog that I’m a green and red girl.  So I took the opportunity to continue the exploration of my camera settings – I’m determined to try to take better photos – and record a few of my favourite plants.

About 2 months ago I took a set of pictures and have been waiting until winter is fully upon us to see how the colours change.  The Red Devil, to the right, is a beauty.  It doesn’t flower as such but the petals/leaves change colour dramatically.

Look at the deep red of autumn compared to the washed out lighter pink and yellow/green today.

Here’s a close up of the amazing centre, a green ball with a yellow netting-look fibrous coating,  that will harden and dry into a solid miniature cone over time.  From here will branch out new stems which will, in turn, end in these ‘flowers’ and bulbs.

My miniature Kangaroo Paw is flowering in earnest with deep red heads.  What I love is that the colour travels down the stem like a thin furry coating.

To the right you can see it as the sun came out after I gave the garden a quick drink via the hose.  Quite different to the picture taken in the shade.

A photo from a few weeks ago (right) shows a different Kangaroo Paw, which flowers in yellow, with a similar red base.  Pretty spectacular when it is in full bloom.

My Camellia bush is also just in flower with hundreds more buds in various stages of opening.  The green of the foliage is so different to most others in my garden.  Such a deep, dark, rich and broody colour against the vibrancy of the bloom.

And here it is with all the water drops still sitting on the petals giving it a crystal like appearance.

This Mother-of-Millions picture has been taken looking up at the plant with the foliage of a Hydrangea behind.  The base of the plant consists of spiked Aloe-style rigid dark green/grey leaves.

Having just been reading about this plant I find that it is native to Madagascar and is classed as a weed that prevents natural re-vegetation in bushland here.  Seeing as there are some on the edge of the bushland around us I imagine that the seeds have blown up from there and established themselves in my rockery.  I had no idea, perhaps I should think about removing it.

Finally, I strayed from my green-and-red-in-nature analysis to photograph my most prized garden feature – my orange tree.  The love of my life (after my husband and dogs of course!!).  Last year, after long months of nurturing, pruning, drip watering and removing every Bronze Orange Stink Bug (Musgraveia sulciventris) individually by hand I was rewarded with a bumper crop of oranges.

Having been forwarned about marauding fruit thieves, who scour residential streets stealing ripe fruit (and took ours the previous year) and driving off with buckets full, I protected my tree with a double layer of fruit netting until harvesting.

My efforts translated into 48 jars of marmalade and 6 litres of fresh orange juice.  Now when I think of the hours spent preparing the oranges for cooking and the amount of sugar we tipped into the jam pan to make the marmalade I’m shocked at the sheer volume.  On average, bought marmalade and jam has around 62% sugar content, and mine wouldn’t have been any less.  Concentrating on my Project 7 & 10 sugar theme has awoken more emotions and thoughts closer to home than I had anticipated.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
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