Monday, August 26, 2013

what's in the basket

It's all about the gorgeous yellow Safari Goldstrike leucadendrons here at Swallows Nest at the moment!  I'm so happy with the crop this year.  The flower heads are lovely and big, and the stems are up to a metre long.  They're a pleasure to pick, but they do present a problem for the poor basket, which strains under the weight and can't cope with the length.  I've taken to carting them on my shoulders instead!  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hints of Spring

August in my part of the world is characterised by the colours yellow and blue.  It seems that wherever I look those two colours catch my eye.  The sea, the mountains, and often the sky are a rich blue,  and provide a lovely backdrop for the cheerful yellow that is glowing everywhere.  Wattle season is definitely in full swing and the large black and silver wattle trees are becoming golden with their masses of little flowers, all like miniature sunbursts.  I love wattle!  

At Swallows Nest, the signs of spring are everywhere, with many of the Leucadendrons in flower.  Safari Sunset, usually rich red for most of the year, are yellow and pink at the moment with a delicate rose-like fragrance that makes picking them a joy.  

Safari Gold Strike are beginning to flower and are a beautiful fresh yellow at the moment.  I have started to pick them in earnest now and I'm so happy with their long sturdy stems and beautiful big blowsy flower heads.  Yellow is such a great colour to lift the spirits at the end of winter.  

Inca Gold are another stand-out for this time of year - yellow pointed blooms stretching toward the sky.  

Yellow is such a happy colour!

These flowers are the Tall Red Leucadendron.  It is a very vigorously growing plant that we pruned with a chainsaw (they really were unruly!) in our first year at Swallows Nest.  They have grown back to be bigger than they were at first.  They will need to be heavily pruned this year, and this gives them great stems for next year.  I love their lime green pompoms!  

I love the combination of colours available at this time of the year - and the textures too.  It's all just a hint that spring is not far away.