Thursday, 30 June 2016

GARDEN GATE

These calendulas grow luxuriantly wherever one let them. Their cheerful yellow and orange flowers certainly cheer up the grey and cold wintry days in Melbourne.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

YAMS

Yam is the common name for some plant species in the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae) that form edible tubers. These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania. There are many cultivars of yam.

Although some varieties of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) are also called yam in parts of the United States and Canada, sweet potato is not part of the family Dioscoreaceae but belongs in the unrelated morning glory family Convolvulaceae. If you are unsure as to whether you are eating yams or sweet potatoes use the key in the last illustration to determine what you have!

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





Tuesday, 28 June 2016

VANCOUVER, CANADA

Vancouver, officially the City of Vancouver, is the most populous city in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The 2011 census recorded 603,502 people in the city, making it the eighth largest Canadian municipality. The Greater Vancouver area of around 2.4 million inhabitants is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country.

Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. Vancouver is classed as a Beta global city. The City of Vancouver encompasses a land area of about 114 square km, giving it a population density of about 5,249 people per square km. With over 250,000 residents, Vancouver is the most densely populated Canadian municipality, and the fourth most densely populated city in North America behind New York City, San Francisco, and Mexico City.

The original settlement, named Gastown, grew up on clearcuts on the west edge of the Hastings Mill logging sawmill's property, where a makeshift tavern had been set up on a plank between two stumps and the proprietor, Gassy Jack, persuaded the curious millworkers to build him a tavern, on 1 July 1867. From that first enterprise, other stores and some hotels quickly appeared along the waterfront to the west. Gastown became formally laid out as a registered townsite dubbed Granville, B.I. ("B.I" standing for "Burrard Inlet"). As part of the land and political deal whereby the area of the townsite was made the railhead of the CPR, it was renamed "Vancouver" and incorporated shortly thereafter as a city, in 1886. 

By 1887, the transcontinental railway was extended to the city to take advantage of its large natural seaport, which soon became a vital link in a trade route between the Orient, Eastern Canada, and Europe. As of 2014, Port Metro Vancouver is the third largest port by tonnage in the Americas. While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second-largest industry.

Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for liveability and quality of life, and the Economist Intelligence Unit acknowledged it as the first city to rank among the top-ten of the world's most liveable cities for five consecutive years.[20] Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.







Monday, 27 June 2016

PANSIES

The garden pansy is a type of large-flowered hybrid plant cultivated as a garden flower. It is derived by hybridisation from several species in the section Melanium ("the pansies") of the genus Viola, particularly Viola tricolor, a wildflower of Europe and western Asia known as "heartsease". Some of these hybrids are referred to as Viola × wittrockiana Gams ex Nauenb. & Buttler. For simplicity, the older name Viola tricolor var. hortensis is often used. 

The garden pansy flower is 5 to 8 cm in diameter and has two slightly overlapping upper petals, two side petals, and a single bottom petal with a slight beard emanating from the flower's centre. These petals are usually white or yellow, purplish, or blue. The plant may grow to 23 cm in height, and prefers sun to varying degrees and well-draining soils.

We are in the midst of Winter here in Melbourne, and odd as it may seem we have these pansies flowering in a sheltered spot in our garden. I think this says something about the mildness of our Winters (e.g. max 10˚C and min 6˚C today).

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Friday, 24 June 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #77 - GREEN BIN

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!

GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
With the advent of the large plastic wheelie bins quite a few years ago now, the old metal rubbish bins have become a rarity. I discovered this one while walking a couple of weeks ago and it was remarkable enough for me to stop and photograph it... Besides, it was green!

Please link back to this page if taking part in the meme, and in the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

JONQUILS

Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil, Rush daffodil) is a bulbous flowering plant, a species of Narcissus (daffodil) that is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa, but has naturalised throughout Europe and the United States. It bears long, narrow, rush-like leaves (hence the name "jonquil", Spanish junquillo, from the Latin juncus = "rush"). It is in the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.

In Spring it bears heads of up to 5 scented yellow or white flowers. It is a parent of numerous varieties within Division 7 of the horticultural classification. Division 7 in the Royal Horticultural Society classification of Narcissus includes N. jonquilla and N. apodanthus hybrids and cultivars that show clear characteristics of those two species. N. jonquilla has been cultivated since the 18th century in France as the strongest of the Narcissus species used in Narcissus Oil, a component of many modern perfumes.

Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

MEDOUSA, XANTHI

Xanthi (Greek: Ξάνθη, Xánthi, [ˈksanθi]); is a city in Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the Xanthi regional unit of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. The population (2014) of the  Municipality is 70,873  people.

Medousa (Greek: Μέδουσα, Bulgarian: Мемково - Memkovo) is a settlement in the Xanthi regional unit of Greece. It is part of the Thermes community. The distinctive stone bridge of Papa is seen in the foreground, while the old mosque is on the right.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

COLMAR, FRANCE

Colmar (German between 1871–1918 and 1940–1945: Kolmar) is the third-largest commune of the Alsace region in north-eastern France. It is the seat of the prefecture of the Haut-Rhin department and the arrondissement of Colmar-Ribeauvillé. The town is situated on the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the "capital of Alsatian wine" (capitale des vins d'Alsace). The city is renowned for its well preserved old town, its numerous architectural landmarks and its museums, among which is the Unterlinden Museum with the Isenheim Altarpiece.

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, 20 June 2016

DAISIES

Daisies making the most of a little Winter sun...

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Friday, 17 June 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #76 - PRICKLY PEAR

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!

GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
Opuntia ficus-indica in the family Cactaceae is a species of cactus that has long been a domesticated crop plant important in agricultural economies throughout arid and semiarid parts of the world. It is thought to possibly be native to Mexico.

Some of the common English names for the plant and its fruit are Indian fig, opuntia, barbary fig, cactus pear, spineless cactus, and prickly pear, although this last name has also been applied to other less common Opuntia species. In Mexican Spanish the plant is called nopal, while the fruit is called tuna, which are names also used in American English, especially as culinary terms.

This post is also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme.

Please link back to this page if taking part in the meme, and in the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

ARISARUM

Arisarum vulgare, common name Cobra Plant,  Friar's Cowl or Larus , is a herbaceous, perennial, with an underground rhizome plant in the genus Arisarum belonging to the family Araceae.

Arisarum vulgare reaches on average 10–30 cm high. The leaves of this geophyte plant are basal only, wide, ovate to arrow-shaped, with a petiole 12–15 cm long. The stems are erect and unbranched, usually mottled and grow directly from the underground rhizome.

A single leaflike bract (spathe) forms a purplish-brown or olive green striped tube about 15 cm long, with an open upper part helmet or hood-shaped curved forward. It encloses a fleshy greenish club-like spike (spadix) bent forward, protruding from the tube and bearing at the bottom minute purple violet flowers. The 20 male flowers are located above the four to six female, with sterile flowers completely missing. The flowering period extends from Autumn to Spring. The sexes are united in the same individual plant. Pollination is granted by insects (entomophily). The fruits are greenish berries of about 1 centimetre long.

This plant native to Mediterranean region of southern Europe and northern Africa, east to the Caucasus, and west to the Canary Islands, the Azores and Madeira. Arisarum vulgare prefers grassy fields and rocky scrubland, forests and wasteland, mainly in shady and cool places and in moist soils, at an altitude of 0–800 metres above sea level.

Grow this cautiously in the garden as it can become invasive and take over large tracts of your garden beds! Once established, it is difficult to eradicate.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.



Tuesday, 14 June 2016

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, New South Wales, and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design.

Under the directions of Dr J.J.C. Bradfield of the NSW Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932. The bridge's design was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York. It is also the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m from top to water level. It was also the world's widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 m wide, until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Friday, 10 June 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #75 - STREET ART

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!

GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
A very special painted fence in the Melbourne suburb of Thornbury. The mansion in the background is a grand old Victorian home that dominates the hill.

Please link back to this page if taking part in the meme, and in the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

CAMELLIA

Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–300 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. There are also around 3,000 hybrids. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia. This genus is famous throughout East Asia; camellias are known as cháhuā (茶花) in Chinese, "tea flower", an apt designation, as tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, as dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korean and as hoa trà or hoa chè in Vietnamese.

Here is Camellia hybrid 'Anticipation Variegated' (introduced in New Zealand, 1978). It is a very popular variety here in Australia and one sees it in many Melbourne gardens.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

VEGIES COLLAGE

People who eat fruit and vegetables as part of their daily diet have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. USDA's "MyPlate" encourages making half your plate fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables are important part of healthy eating and provide a source of many nutrients, including potassium, fibre, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C. Options like broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and garlic provide additional benefits, making them a superfood! Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dietary fibre from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form healthy red blood cells.

Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy need adequate folate to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and spina bifida during fetal development.

Eating Vegetables Provides Health Benefits:
  • The nutrients in vegetables are vital for health and maintenance of your body.
  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables may reduce risk for stroke, cancer, heart diseases and type-2 diabetes.
  • One to four cups of vegetables are recommended each day, depending on how many calories you need.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footstep Creative Playroom Meme,
and also part of the Food Friday meme.

Monday, 6 June 2016

PYRACANTHA

Pyracantha is a genus of large, thorny evergreen shrubs in the family Rosaceae, with common names firethorn or pyracantha. They are native to an area extending from Southwest Europe east to Southeast Asia, resemble and are related to Cotoneaster, but have serrated leaf margins and numerous thorns (Cotoneaster is thornless). The plants reach up to 6 m tall. The seven species have white flowers and either red, orange, or yellow berries (technically pomes). The flowers are produced during late spring and early summer; the berries develop from late summer, and mature in late autumn.

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Friday, 3 June 2016

FRIDAY GREENS #74 - WOOL

Welcome to this meme active every Friday. The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!

GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
Please link back to this page if taking part in the meme, and in the spirit of community, please visit other participants to see their photos and leave a comment, which is always appreciated!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

OXALIS

Oxalis pes-caprae (Bermuda buttercup, African wood-sorrel, Bermuda sorrel, buttercup oxalis, Cape sorrel, English weed, goat's-foot, sourgrass, soursob and soursop) is a species of tristylous flowering plant in the wood sorrel family Oxalidaceae. Oxalis cernua is a less common synonym for this species. This is an invasive species and noxious weed in many other parts of the world, including the United States (particularly coastal California), Europe, Israel and Australia.

Oxalis pes-caprae is often called by the common name sourgrass or soursob due to its pleasant sour flavour. This sourness is caused by the exceptionally high content of oxalic acid, which is toxic in high doses. The plant is palatable and in modest quantities is reasonably harmless to humans and livestock. In South Africa it is a traditional ingredient in dishes such as waterblommetjiebredie (water flower stew).

The plant has been used in various ways as a source of oxalic acid, as food, and in folk medicine. The raw bulbs have been used to deal with tapeworm and possibly other worms. The plant has been used as a diuretic, possibly hazardously. The lateral underground runners, which tend to be fleshy, have been eaten raw or boiled and served with milk. The golden petals can be used to produce a yellow dye.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.