Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Sightings

10 year old Bonny says, "As long as I have a ball, I'm never bored!"
Whoever says they're bored, hasn't learnt to really open their eyes and see all the incredible beauty around them.  You don't need lots of money to make your life interesting. All you require is a good pair of eyes, spectacles or a magnifying glass and you need step no further, from your own threshold, than into your own garden, regardless of how small that may be. You see, size does not matter if your intention is to "See a world in a grain of sand, And a Heaven in a flower" (William Blake) There is so much infinite beauty all around us, yet we fail to see and appreciate it.

Come and step into my garden with me, while I show you the many beautiful things my husband and I discovered this afternoon (all photographs were taken by my husband). 

To continue this post, please click the Read more button below...
Minute droplets reflecting the light amongst mosses and pebbles still wet from last night's rain.

The fairyfolk have been stringing tiny little H2O jewels again!

Moss growing amongst little river stones that line a drainage line in the garden.

If you tiptoe very quietly in my garden, you might be lucky enough to find a little mossy, forest creature. Do be carefu,l as they frighten easily!

Moss and lichen competing to decorate the bark of this tree.

There are so many types of moss.

Mosses and lichens vying for attention on the gnarled trunk of our white bottle brush tree.

Wonderful colouring defines this lichen.

Ripe berries on one of my Clivia plants.

Baby lichen beginning life on this log.

These lichens are like little shells.

Lichens are all so different in shape and texture.

These tiny mushrooms are no larger than a pinhead, only just visible above the carpet of rotting leaves.

Lichen growing happily on the trunk of the Crab Apple tree.

Here, it is establishing itself at the site of old scar tissue where, a while back, we'd sawn off a dead branch.

Lichen establishing itself on another piece of driftwood.

A baby plant that has germinated in one of my bits of old wood...this is one of the most magical aspects of gardening...the way little plants pop up in all sorts of unexpected places!

A few days ago, I saw little mushrooms/toadstools popping up everywhere, in enticingly different shapes and colours. I kept intending to photograph them, but foolishly did not make the time to do so.  Today, I was eager for my husband to capture them...but, sadly, they'd all disappeared! We've had a very cold snap and only a few teeny-tiny little ones could be found.

I have disks of sawn wood and bark chips scattered throughout my garden beds.  Along with each season's leaf litter, the perfect environment is created for the growth of mosses and lichens, ferns and mushrooms and all those vitally important little garden creatures that ingest and breakdown all this litter to create nutritious and friable soil particles. This is the heartbeat of my garden!

Peace-in-the-home, another of my favourite ground covers...this one is growing between the brickpaving and stepping stones at our 'back tap'

This is one of my favourite ground covers. It appeared as if my magic well over 20 years ago and has never left.  I think it is one of the Violas, but have never been able to identify it. It has the prettiest heart-shaped leaves (tiny) and these dainty tiny blue flowers.  It has a creeping habitat and grows anywhere and seemingly under all conditions. When it gets tatty or over-enamoured with itself, I just pull it out and it quickly grows back again from the many tiny seeds it drops.

It truly is one of my all-time favourite plants!

This is the flower of a white confetti bush, also a native of South Africa.

This is Westringia (wild Rosemary) a native of Australia. It is one of my favourite shrubs.

This is a hardy shrub that requires heavy pruning to keep it in check. I have forgotten its name, but I am under the impression that it is native to South Africa.

I love this shrub for its beautiful pink blossoms.

A little waterskimmer on the surface of the pond.

No garden should be without Rosemary.  Apart from the wonderful smell, I use this herb when cooking lamb and roast potatoes. The flowers attract bees and butterflies and being blue, take pride of place in my heart.

A seedhead on one of our miniature, variegated, papyrus plants.

The ballerinas of the garden...they never fail to bring pleasure and always remind me of my Mother. She was a whizz at growing them in her South African gardens, but says she has limited success with them in her Queensland garden.

Even in winter, my fuchias continue to put on a pretty show!

Plectranthus...another South African native. They do so well in my largely shaded garden...I have them in all shades (white, blues, pinks).

I have completely forgotten the name of this beautiful shrub...I bought it because of its stunning pink foliage!

Bright sunny face adding warmth to my winter garden.

Gaillardia dressed in yellow.

Gaillardia dressed in pink.

Lobelias are indigenous to South Africa. My garden is never without them!

Another piece of driftwood sporting a frilly lichen ruffle.

Mossy beginnings on one of the many hunks of driftwood I have in the garden.

One of our indigenous Lobelias.

An Iceberg this time of the year, they are tinged pink. In summer, they are pure white.

I do not know the name of this winter flowering bulb.  It was given to me 28 years ago by one of our neighbours, shortly after we moved into our newly built home and were establishing the beginnings of our garden.

One of the Viburnums currently in flower in the garden.

A tightly curled frond from one of my Australian tree ferns.

Camelias are Coco's favourite flowers!

I have not yet pruned my few rosebushes...this is a late Iceberg bloom.

Come on, little Ladybirds! Where are you? There are plenty of aphids to feast on!

"OK, can we PLEASE play another round of catch???"


  1. I have never seen so many beautiful flowers in one a joy to see....
    Thanks for sharing it with us....
    But.....i understand that a ball is much more fun then watching flowers....hihihih......
    Love Bianca xx

  2. O sweet Bonny..i would like to play with him.......enjoy your week

  3. Hi Desiree. Waow! What a stunning array of photographs for us to look at today, and all from just outside your door in the garden! Is your husband a professional photographer?! I'd love to know what make and model of camera he was using for those incredible shots. I love the H2o necklace! Love that William Blake quotation, and look at that gorgeous Bonny. He was being very patient! The little forest creature was very cute! Lovely post my friend. Hugs.

  4. Des your hubby take such wonderful pictures and all the garden photos were awesome but my favorite has to be your 10 year old buddy with the ball. I will be posting some soon and hope they turn out as good as they seem on my camera. Take care

  5. Thisisme:

    To answer your questions...No, my husband is not a professional photographer, just a hobbyist. He's been taking pictures ever since I met him.

    The camera he's currently using is a Nikon D80 and he was using a 12mm Macro lens for today's pictures. His lenses fit my Nikon D3100, too...which is great!

    Bonny is female ;) She's the most gentle natured, loving German Shepherd I've ever known. She wouldn't hurt a fly (even though she snacks on bees)!

  6. I am speechless, I can't say more than LOVELY PHOTOS!

  7. This made me happy. I feel the same way. Money should not dictate your pleasure in life. That's why I wrote my I believe post. I love that you make the pictures big enough for me to see. It is one of my small pleasures. Thank you.
    PS Elisa is a card isn't she?

  8. Wonderful macro shots. You are so right that if you have eyes to see you should never be bored. I feel so sad for those that can't see, whether because of actual blindnesss or because they just don't see.

  9. Your husband has captured some really beautiful images, Desiree. Thanks for sharing them with us. I love all the mosses and lichens and mushrooms and raindrops. Love the flowers too. We often get a flush of mushrooms here when our winter rains come back.

  10. I love a good garden tour - and this one was lovely. As the world gets smaller and every occurance in every country is immediate, the garden and it's teeming life is a good focus. I fine that when I'm in the garden I am completely lost to the big wide world.

  11. You are so right. Just open your eyes and admire the beauties of the world.
    I too find the Blake quote very apt.

  12. What a wonderful tour of beautiful sightings found around your garden. It does look very wet there, - I love the photos of water droplets, although I cant decide which is my favorite photo. thanks for sharing.

  13. OMG what wonderful, fantastic photos you have shared with us all I love the detail in them and the ones of the water droplets oh my such beauty is often overlooked. The pink iceberg bud that turns white is so lovely but of course you know I love pink flowers so my favorite flower would be naturally the Camelia of all the ones posted here today.....

  14. So many interesting fungus, lichen, and blooms!I love the fern pic, too!

  15. Hi,
    I'm new to your blog, but you had me at clay soil. We moved from New Orleans the land of silt and loam to North Carolina USA the land of red clay. We compost and are constantly enriching the clay soil but find it a constant battle! I'll be following you for lots of ideas and beautiful postings and photos!

    Thanks and stop in for a visit when you get a chance!

  16. Such great photos, and such a different garden to my own English cottage garden!


  17. Desiree, Oh my! What a lovely garden and patch of beauty you ahve blessed us with. Just love it.
    The photos are stunning. And you know all the names! Oh to know all the information.
    Thank you for sharing.
    So Im ready to play another round of ball with Bonnie. Im sure my CK girl and ehr would have so much fun. Though she doesnt play much ball any more. it use to be her favorite thing to do. Not so much any longer. Just love her.
    Big hughs to Bonnie and you.
    Many blessings

  18. Bonny is adorable and 11 year old Ted says he'd love to play with her. He also asked me to put in a good word for him. He says: I am a nice looking with a happy face-I like long walks-any food-playing with balls and chasing rabbits. GSOH and have all my own teeth. I don't bark much. Would like to meet fun loving female with view to friendship.
    Does he stand a chance? Lol.
    Carol aka Facing 50

  19. Oh my goodness your husbands macro photographs are simply incredible and beautiful. The beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me and even more since becoming more keen on photography. Thankyou so much for the note you sent me, such a kind thought, I am not doing too badly but keep forgetting I can not just pick up the phone to talk which I did 2 or 3 times a week! As for the Book Review, you need to keep an eye on LLM's Book Reviews though I will try and remember to let you know, as not sure if you follow that blog.

  20. Carol & Ted:

    I am flattered that you'd consider proposing you and I become friends, Ted. You do sound like quite a catch (even though so mature!) but we live too far apart for it to work. You're in France and I'm in South Africa. The airlines don't make it easy for the likes of us to travel and then there are all those intercontinental rules and regulations regarding right of access. I'm too old to have to waste time in quarantine, just so I can see you. I hope Carol is taking good care of you, although it sounds as if you're jolly easy.

    Love Bonny xoxo

  21. Beautiful photos, your husband has a real talent for photography. How lucky you are to have so many beautiful plants in your garden even in winter. I am rarely bored because I like to read, but when I was a child, I used to go into the woods and sit for hours just watching all the creatures go about their business. Too bad my children are all too impatient to sit quietly for any amount of time, they are missing out.

  22. I am mesmerized by the beauty in your garden and I can totally see getting distracted from a simple game of toss the ball. I can only dream of the Iceberg rose photo printed as a background in my future book of poetry. Lovely.

  23. The Desert Rocks:

    You'd be most welcome to have the iceberg photograph should you so wish when the time comes ;)

  24. Thank your husband for the great photo tour!

  25. Goodness to mercy...I'm overwhelmed by all your fantastic photos! I'm just commenting then going back to view each one again! That one kind of lichen the first one pictured, we have here and call it 'Turkey-tail lichen." beautiful, Desiree!!

  26. Desiree, the bright blue lobelia is my favorite! I'm in love with your garden! It is always so wonderful to visit you your blog and your garden are an oasis, the home of a kind friend who shares a deep appreciation for the natural world.

  27. Positively delightful Desiree. Your husband has taken such wonderful photographs.
    I'm in awe of all the little treasures thoughout your garden. Such a variety of lichens, mosses and fungi too.
    We're fortunate to be sharing in it all... thank you to the both of you :D)

  28. How clever and creative to look so deep, at the spectacular tiny faeries of your garden :-) I really enjoyed these. I especially loved the "ballerinas". I've never seen anything like that, before.

    You've had a cold snap - it's over ninety here today ( I think that's about 31?) We've had no rain in two and one half weeks, and oiur sprinkler system isn't working, so I've been watering and watering by hand... a lot of work. The gardens are okay but the grass is not so green as I'd like.

    Sprinkler man comes today. Hurray! We have well over an acre and hand watering in this heat is just not working!

  29. Bonny is Beautiful...but so is the minute droplets, the lichens, driftwood and the numerous flowers.

  30. Dear Desiree,

    Your husband has a real talent for catching wonderful moments and to show beauty hidden to the eye. Amazing pictures!!
    A big hug to adorable Bonny :)

  31. I must have looked at the photos a few times before reading the post. I'm trying to resist trying them all on as wallpapers on my desktop. I loved the phrase "the heartbeat of my garden". Your garden is really alive.

    The Gaillardia is really beautiful with its colours. I guess you are lucky, without any snow and mild temperatures during winter, the plants will stay green and happy most of the time.

    Also, congratulations again for winning! I hope you got my mail.

  32. DOH!, of course Bonny is a female !! Sorry about that. Tell Bonny that she doesn't want to have anything to do with that Ted. I expect that Carol has been spoiling him rotten, so I don't think he would be a good catch at all. Hee Hee!!

  33. So gorgeous! I had to stop and remind myself that I wasn't looking through a National Geographic magazine!

  34. Please tell your husband just how fantastic I think his pictures are. You two are a matched set. He with is pictures and you with your dialogue.

    My mother loved fuchias.....Thanks for the memory.


  35. Ciao Desiree - once again, your gorgeous blog inspires me. Every time I come here I want to to hire someone for a total blog makeover. Seriously.

  36. That is one sweet puppy - and lucky too. We have two rescue dogs so I understand how it feels to love the one who needs it most.

    Desiree, you are missed! I hope to hear from you again soon. take care.


I would love to hear from you!