This weekend we visited Ballarat, northwest of Melbourne, in the Victorian Goldfields area. As we walked around Lake Wendouree we met these black swans, which were not 'a-swimming', but looking for food from humans.
The last few days have been rather warm, in the mid 30s Celsius. We've come to the mid-summer month and because we have not yet had excessive hot weather, the summer flowering plants are at their peak.
This photo shows the 'herbaceous border' in front of the original Directors House in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
I am very impressed by this particular garden display, and well aware of the large number of hours it takes to create and maintain.
One plant that caught my eye was this large mass of 'goldenrod', solidago, a native of North America that I first saw in the New England region in 2014. I have a couple of plants in my garden for the first time this year. However, they have not flowered.
Certain eye-catching Australian native plants are also flowering at the moment. The Black Bean tree, castanospermum australe, above, is actually a little past its peak.
However, close up the flowers look spectacular. Another particular favourite of mine is brachychiton discolor.
In the photo above, the dense canopy of flowers has been photographed at a distance, because it is surrounded by other trees.
Here you can see a beautiful cascading branch with a lot of ikebana possibility, were it not in the Botanic Gardens!
I was able to photograph one flower close up. The flowers are a delightful soft pink and very fleshy.
This week's ikebana is otherwise unrelated, except to say that this hydrangea is just past its peak in our garden and soon likely to be burnt if there are a few consecutive days of hot weather. The vase is by Graeme Wilkie of Qdos Gallery.
Greetings from Christopher
5th February 2017