Friday 30 November 2012

First frosts

Its cold....I'm wearing woolly hats on the bus on the way home and have cravings for heavy hearty food. OK so its not exactly that cold, and I am a bit of a weed, but today was the day where we had the first frost that I actually noticed and which has damaged plants

I wandered into the garden where it was crisp underfoot with a bit of ice on the pond, with the Cannas I haven't yet got to looking rather blackened. Part of it was nice as I like the crispness of the morning and as the seasons turn you can feel the renewal and what is coming more.

I know the RHS says don't tread on frosty grass, but screw that I like the crunch! Everything was also looking rather special with its light frosting of ice..

The tree Dahlias are huge and about to flower, but I think the frosts will beat them. This one is still standing tall

However this one looks to be asking to be put out of its misery....the winds blew it over a few weeks ago but it continues to grow but looks rather sad

This is also it for the ricinus....adeiu! generally it has been a disappointing year for this lot as they are only about 5ft when they should be 8ft!

The salvias are still hanging on.....
 Hedychium densiflora does autumn well... about 7ft but days are numbered
 Lily grass....I have been a proper gardener and potted some up for next year where a new army will take over

 I feel sorry for the giant echiums which are still growing loads....I have about 12 spread around so I hope at least one will flower
 Rubus linifolia
 Clerodenron berrys....

and at least the salvia on the terrace is finally flowering!

Keep warm!

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Bali: plants and jungle part 2

There is just so much fabulousness in Bali that it deserved two posts.......

The following is Tirta Gangga...a water palace in West Bali built around a holy spring. A very scenic series of lakes and fountains

i had no idea what these large plants were as they appeared to be some type of aroid pretending to be a banana tree...

If only lotus's could grow properly in the UK....

Scenic old gateway slowly decaying into the jungle

Meru at the mother temple.....the black thatch that they use for temples actually comes from a palm tree (sugar palm?). I just love the huge Cyathea? that is growing alongside it

 Lots of natural jungle alongside a sacred lake in the centre of Bali

There are lots of huge trees....check out the epiphytes which include a lot of birds nest ferns

Huge buttress roots and lots of banana trees...

Batukau in the middle of Bali....a so called garden temple as it is surrounded by plants and dense jungle....very atmospheric, even in the pouring rain!

more rice fields....swoon!

So I hope that there are things there to inspire....Bali is a fabulous place to visit, I just wish it was closer to the UK!

If you want to read more about Bali plants, design etc do check out a couple of books I like including Balinese gardens (Tettoni/Warren) and also Gathering Places (B Walker/J. Graham) which is more architecturey but rather good and also Architecture of Bali (M Wijaya)

Friday 16 November 2012

Bali: plants and jungle part 1

I have just got back from a couple of weeks in Bali and this is the first of two posts with lots of pictures of plants and jungle.

It is such an amazing tropical paradise, a real Garden of Eden....everything just seems so fertile, with luscious growth wherever you look. For the tropical garden enthusiast there is lots of inspiration from the plants to sculpture and design as everywhere you look there is beauty.

It is also a very spiritual place with a very strong culture and traditions which is evident in the architecture and day to day life. The island is littered with temples, and each village will have three. Even each house will have shrines and temples with daily offerings being made to the gods, ancestors and demons.

I am also a massive fan of the distinctive sculpture. This is all mainly religious and connected to its own distinctive blend of Hinduism which came over from Java in the 16th Century.  Carvings adorn everything, and there are loads of statues everywhere. To give them power they dress them with sarongs; give them an umbrella and offerings to encourage the gods to visit.  

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures...I will be off down the shops buying lottery tickets so that I can go back and start shipping containers of sculpture and goodies back!
Can I have one of these for above the front door please? These characters were above most temple doors
New ideas for a water feature?

These are durians......king of fruits, but not my cup of tea..they have a 'delightful' cold custard consistency and taste of cheese and onion crisps!


Durian tree flowers

The whole island is quite mountainous with two sacred such the land has these amazing rice terraces

Amazing natural ground cover....cyatheas also grew everywhere, and I saw a good few Amorphophalus (Charles that isn't me being rude, it is a real plant)

Large stone pot of water plantain

Temple in Oberoi hotel......temples are moated as it is about representing mount Meru, sacred home of the gods

Mother temple