It was a mild winter with a grand total of about 3 powder frosts, no subzero temps & just the odd bout of hail to remind us of axial tilt.
Most of these images were taken in the first month of the southern hemisphere spring; the last days of winter are always gratuitously limpid and dishwatery but with so many other places in the world experiencing chronic shortages of H2O, it seemed churlish to complain about dew.
Enjoy these images, most if not all of them the work of the Lovely R who tirelessly mines the angled light like the boffin he is. I think these were all taken in our yard.
I'll be posting some lo-fi shit about growing potatoes in the near future, starting with chitting. That's not a typo, but I can't really explain it until you see the pics. Coming soon.
ABOVE LEFT The emerging flowers of a native Kowhai (Sophora sp.) Though it contains toxins that render kitchen implements made from its wood potentially lethal, birds enjoy its nectar and giant Wood Pigeons munch them with impunity.
ABOVE RIGHT The insanely blue flowers of an unnamed South American Salvia. These humongous ornamentals do really well here and are taking over the garden.
RIGHT Nameless blood-red rhododendron in the side garden. It's perpetually yellow and dehydrated looking but always attempt to flower.
LEFT Green Goddess Cabbage Tree berries.
ABOVE Great fat Michelia doltsopa buds waiting to burst into supernaturally fragrant white blooms.
BELOW Grape Hyacinth
BELOW LEFT So excited! This tight-fisted bud is my first tree aloe flower ever! The plant is the beauteous Aloe speciosa and I raised it from a tiny wee thing.
We planted it in memory of my father just after his death so it's a little over ten years old now. From twiggy, sulky, uncertain beginnings rose this strange vegetable monster, leaning wonkily toward the sun and putting forth these plumy 25cm long lime-yellow cones at the terminus of every branch. Every year it makes us wait. And wait. And then stubbornly refuses to yield a decent picture when the flowers finally open. The Lovely R got up on a ladder to get this one. The birds and bees adore them. So do we.