Geoffs Garden

My last post, can be viewed here, I mentioned my elderly neighbour Geoff had died. He was a good friend who often came for a cuppa on the verandah on a Sunday to tell of his latest addition to his chooks or what was happening in his garden or have a whinge about his “situation” (I am not going into that as it is too personal and also makes me too angry). He often told of his life, which was very often repeated, where he worked and of his family. One of the amazing coincidences was that we both went to the same High School, although he was there around 21 years before me. He was a great friend to me. Geoff was a Boilermaker by trade and his skills in doing things that i had no idea about, helped my development as a “man of the land”. I helped him in showing him the ways of nature and how the place we live in was very special, possibly developing him as a “bushboy”

There are many a story from the old days but in this I am relating the story of Geoff the gardener whose plants I have in my garden. When Geoff was to go into aged care as he really needed to have the caring he needed, he said to me “come and get as many plants and cuttings as you want” although his family (a cousin and niece as he never married or had any female relationships) did frown upon my doing so.

One of the things he said was that if he died he was leaving me his chooks in his will. Just before he left he asked me to come and get his chooks. A couple are still here, see this link, and are another reminder of Geoff.

Some of the plants I did go to Geoffs’ place and get are flowering and others are well and healthy.

This is his garden. I never took my camera to his place but I did a couple of times. So please enjoy Geoffs Garden.

This is the way into Geoffs place. The power lines to the left are a clearing and the main garden is on the right
geoffs garden_driveway_named_oct 2017
The sign at the front. Geoff said it meant the Gates of Heaven but if my Italian is correct it means Sky Harbour. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it should have been Porte del Cielogeoffs garden_property name_named_oct 2017
This is the only small piece of his garden that I have. The Hippeastrums that year were splendid.geoffs garden_view_named_oct 2017

Geoff  had some Australian native plants in his garden. The Candle Banksia was one my favourites
geoffs garden_candle banksia_named_oct 2017

There were some Grevilleas but not as many as I have.
geoffs garden_grevillea_named_oct 2017

He had a lot of birds at his place as well. Brown Honeyeaters enjoyed his Grevilleas.
geoffs garden_grevillea_brown honeyeater_named_oct 2017

One thing he enjoyed was a huge dish he filled with Sunflower seed, much to my displeasure. I bought him a wild bird mix as it was healthier for the birds but he persisted with his sunflower seeds. His verandah was always overflowing with sunflower seed husks that the Rainbow Lorikeets, King Parrots and other birds came to his place and feed. The King Parrots still hang around my place but the number of Rainbow Lorikeets has dropped. I don’t have any photos of his big bowl bird feeder.

OK. Back to his garden. These are a selection of his day Lilies. He loved the Port Wine Lily best. I hope I have one of these to remember him by.
geoffs garden_day lily01_named_oct 2017

If you look in the background, you can see some of his chooks as well.
geoffs garden_day lily03_named_oct 2017

It was a bit of pot luck in getting some of the day lilies as he wasn’t very well and couldn’t remember which plant was which until it flowered. The Yellow Day Lily was a lovely splash of yellow in his garden.
geoffs garden_day lily02_named_oct 2017

The pink variety was stunning to come across wandering about Geoffs Garden.
geoffs garden_day lily04_named_oct 2017

I have had a number of the Leopard Lilies in my garden. One of the first plants he gave me.
geoffs garden_leopard lily_named_oct 2017

At the back of his house he built a garden complete with rocks he made from concrete. After a few years you couldn’t tell that they weren’t real bush rocks. Among these “rocks” Geoff planted Golden Lycras. When they flowered the back garden was a blaze with yellow. I have so many around my garden as he was always lifting the bulbs and giving them away.
geoffs garden_golden lycras_named_oct 2017

Here is the Iris which has been on a number of my posts but not from this angle.
geoffs garden_iris_top_named_oct 2017

The Iris with bonus Stingless Native Bees who loved the Iris
geoffs garden_iris_bees_named_oct 2017

Geoff had a nice selection of Gerberas. This one was a rare Gerbera he had.
geoffs garden_gerbera apricot_named_oct 2017

The pink Gerbera really stood out in the garden.
geoffs garden_gerbera pink_named_oct 2017

Geoffs favourite flower probably was Hippeastrums. His garden was filled with all colours of Hippeastrums. It is a pity I don’t have a full record of these wonderful flowers.
geoffs garden_hippeastrum03_named_oct 2017

This Hippeastrum is currently blooming in the pot that I collected from Geoffs Garden
geoffs garden_hippeastrum01_named_oct 2017

The orange Hippeastrum was unusual.
geoffs garden_hippeastrum05_named_oct 2017

Another stunning colour
geoffs garden_hippeastrum06_named_oct 2017

This is one of my favourites.
geoffs garden_hippeastrum04_named_oct 2017

The almost white Hippeastrum is another rare one. Geoff also had a green Hippeastrum but I couldn’t remember which part of his garden the flower was in.
geoffs garden_hippeastrum02_named_oct 2017

Geoff loved the fragrance of Frangipannis.
geoffs garden_frangipani_white_named_oct 2017

This Frangipanni greeted you as you came up the driveway to the house.
geoffs garden_frangipani_apricot_named_oct 2017
Finally, here is Geoff just a short while before he had to go into care. He was a crusty old coot but a good friend.

Good bye mate

geoff_named_oct 2017

Novembers discoveries

I love this time of year. The warmth starts everything growing, flowers bloom in the garden, many birds arrive to spend the end of the year and life just abounds. It also gives me a chance to find things at my place, at my besties, in town and everywhere I am wandering.

This year, the Hippeastrums were spectacular. The red ones were full of life and colour. Remember the native bees? The other colours bloomed after the reds and I found this little grasshopper while I was admiring the flowers. The grasshopper was inside the flowers trumpet but tended to be camera shy and started to get away from the lens.

grasshopper_home_named_nov 2015

I have no idea what this bug is! Maybe a grasshopper?  I was standing in the garden when it decided to walk onto my foot. This bloke wasn’t camera shy at all and kept walking towards me. Just after I took this photo, he jumped onto the camera.

bug_binna burra_named_nov 2015

On my besties place, a farm for more than one hundred years, I came across this concrete pier from a building long since gone. This is the only pier I have found, covered in moss, laying in what is now a young rainforest.

moss_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Also down among the leaf litter are the fungi. This one looks like it has been tied up by the grass.

red fungi_binna burra_named_nov 2015

There is lots of this type of fungi. It seems to grow on rotting wood especially bits of the fig trees which have tumbled from the big old trees, the remnants of the original Big Scrub rainforest.

fungi_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Now back to my place. I have found a couple of this grass species throughout the bush. The stem has a lot of purple fruit which really catch the eye when walking in the bush. This plant is growing beside the track to the house.

purple fruit_home_named_nov 2015

I love Gerberas, don’t you? They come in so many colours adding a splash of colour to the garden.

gerbera_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Enough of bugs and plants. The Bar-shouldered Doves have taken to walking around the garden in the mornings, examining the bits of bark and grass to find their breakfast.

bar shouldered dove_binna burra_named_nov 2015

We went to Ballina and came across these fluffy plover chicks who were in constant movement as the walked across the field, closely followed by the parents. Yes I was a chicken and stayed on the other side of the road as the parents didn’t like me getting too close.

plover chicks_ballina_named_nov 2015

My besties birdbath is a constant source of photo opportunities. The Little Wattlebirds have become a fixture in the garden over the past 3 years. This one looks like it saw me hiding on the verandah.

little wattlebird02_binna burra_named_nov 2015

This year the Jacarandas in Grafton were amazing. The large tree near the building where I work had an extra surprise this year. A Figbird pair decided to make their nest close to the building. Here is mum coming back to the nest to feed the young one. I think she saw me at the window don’t you?

fig bird_nest_grafton_named_nov 2015

But she soon settled down the sit on the nest among the Jacaranda blooms.

fig bird01_nest_grafton_named_nov 2015

A few days later, the wind was blowing when dad turned up to give the little feller a snack, blowing the blossoms away allowing a sneak peak at the young one.

fig bird_feeding_nest_grafton_named_nov 2015

Then he took over the nest sitting duties.

fig bird_male_nest_grafton_named_nov 2015

Late in the evening at my besties, the Green Catbirds start making their strange calls from high among the trees.

cat bird_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Yes it is getting dark. The flowers in the garden still shine in the encroaching darkness.

night garden_binna burra_named_nov 2015

Well the sun is setting, so I must say goodnight and a goodnight from the Kookaburra too.

sunset_grafton_named_nov 2015

See you next time. What did you enjoy the most, the bugs, the fungi, the flowers or the birds?

Flowers bugs and birds

The many wanderings around the north coast of NSW has taken me to many places, seen many things and of course taken many photos. The last wandering took in the warm days of Spring. The flowers are blooming and many of the birds are coming back to the gardens.

The Calendulas are looking great in the garden.

calendula_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The Gerberas just stand out in the sunshine.

gazania_binna burra_named_oct 2014

Lemon trees are full of buds. It’s hard to imagine that this little flower will turn into a lemon.

lemon blossom_binna burra_named_oct 2014

All through the garden the nasturtiums are a riot of colour, brilliant reds and oranges.

nasturtium_orange _close_binna burra_named_oct 2014

I thought it would be good to look deep inside to see what they look like. The patterns and shapes are quite different.

nasturtium_red _close_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The wisteria trailing over the arbour with the hanging blooms added a splash of mauve to the garden.

wisteria_binna burra_named_oct 2014

Lots of native flowers are looking good this year as well. The Egg and Bacon plants tiny flowers, only about 5 to 8mm across, are very showy.

egg and bacon flower_home_named_oct 2014

With the onset of warm weather the insects are always present around the house and garden. This Crane Fly was hovering around and finally resting on a leaf.

crane fly_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The baby geckos are also on the move at night. This little bloke lives in the laundry.

gecko_baby_home_named_oct 2014

The King Parrots send waves of reds and greens through the garden as the fly about the trees and bushes.

king parrot_home_named_oct 2014

Whereas the Rainbow Lorikeets provide a constant chatter.

rainbow lorikeet_home_named_oct 2014

The old broken pot has made a great birdbath. The Wattlebird is a bit shy when bathing.

brush wattlebird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

But doesn’t seem to mind sharing with the Spangled Drongo.

spangled drongo_wattlebird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

At Lismore Lake the birds are busy. The late afternoon has birds flying and singing everywhere. The Egrets stalk around the water plants, probably looking for an unsuspecting frog or fish.

egret_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

The Superb Fairy Wrens were flitting about the shrubs.

superb fairy wren_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

I wondered why that little bloke was so intent of capturing my attention. A bit of an investigation found these two.

superb fairy wren_chicks_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

Back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater kept a wary eye on me as he had a feed on the Bottlebrush flower.

scarlet honeyeater_home_named_oct 2014

A convenient post let the Eastern Whipbird call his mate.

eastern whipbird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The sunsets are quite spectacular this time of year, it must be time to go.

sunset_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The candles are lit so time to settle down for a bit relaxing after a busy day wandering about. Good night.

candles_binna burra_named_oct 2014