Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Floral Tour of Chez Flinthart

This was a bastard of a post to manage. My surly satellite connection dropped out twice, and I could only load two images at a time or the whole system overloaded and fucked up on me.

Okay: first, to everybody in Briz I didn't manage to contact over the weekend -- all I had was a flying visit. I tried to call a friend about lunch in town, but in the end, even that didn't happen. I had time to do wedding-related stuff, and bugger-all else.

The time is definitely coming when I have to bring the family north for a proper meet-and-greet Briz holiday, I think.

Second: I took a slow walk around the property this morning, by way of resting a bit. And I carried the camera. I don't plant much by way of showy flowers, except for bulbs -- Natalie liked daffodils and jonquils and irises and tulips. Much of what flowers here is edible. And yet the place is still alive...

Bay laurel. Yes, the kind you cook with. The tree is about 8m high. The flowers look like shit, but they smell great and the bees love 'em.







Blood plum

A daffodil

Bugger. I've doubled up. This was meant to be the Snow Pear. They look similar.

I have no idea. I think it's a weed.



Russian comfrey, I think


Wee little daisies

Purple magnolias

White magnolia

Dunno this one. A native of some sort, and a real bee magnet.


JOnquils. You can't tell, but they're smaller than the daffy earlier.



Oh! There's my snow pear


Dandelion with afro


Quince, I think




  1. Spring's a hell of a time of year hereabouts.

  2. Yeah, what does Brisbane get? And invasion of purple Jacarandas. IT'S ALL YOU CAN SEE!

  3. Love them things, would have a whole backyard of them if I WAS ALLOWED TOO!.

    And that waratah kicks arse to BTW. Apologies...I only had you SHOT!, and writing..NOT squealing like a girl ok...just in case any other bastard here abouts suggests I would do such a thing..

  4. "I have no idea. I think it's a weed.

    Triffid in larvae srage

  5. Wow, freakin' gorgeous. If I had all that on deck, I'd never leave.

  6. Dandelions. Yay. They'll take the yard over, but at least they're edible.

    Now the lilacs are a sure sign of spring! And you aren't terribly far away from getting berries, it looks like.

  7. Nice to see that Dandelions are yet one more thing that links Aussies with Americans.

  8. Heidi: you should see the places around here that aim for floral display. I mostly plant edibles. There are houses down in Scottsdale that look like a Van Gogh canvas.

    Mr Barnes: I have since determined it is a Kangaroo Apple -- a native Australian species of Solanum the yellow, waxy fruit of which is edible, though bland, when the fruit is FULLY ripe. The emphasis on FULLY is important. Solanaceae include a number of useful species such as potatoes and tomatoes, and a number of toxic species like Nightshade and tobacco. Even so-called "deadly nightshade" berries can be eaten and enjoyed when absolutely squishy ripe, but even tomatoes can upset you if eaten too green. And we all know about green potatoes.

    Interestingly, Kangaroo Apple was once bush medicine. The fruit has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a major source of medical steroids (though it's actually Hungary that has the commercial plantations... go figure.) Anecdotal evidence suggests the unripe fruit is an effective abortifacient, and was used by the Australian aborigines as a form of birth control.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  9. You have a mature bay tree. I am so jealous, i'd love to have enough bay to cut and dry stems to burn in my smoking.

  10. Nice! I was going to hazard a guess with the purple Triffid larva and say Patterson's Curse...although they have smaller flowers.

    I'll bet the kids love it when the fruit is ripe, I know mine would! Oh, and the missus and I too. Best we can do is the mulberry tree around the corner that's gone berserk with fruit. Quite the flashback for me - when I wa a kid we had the biggest mulberry tree growing in the yard. At the fruit, cut branches off it to make shanghais, then climbed the tree and fired the fruit all about the place.

  11. Mulberries make the best smoothies....

  12. Bondi... we have so many goddam blackberries that this year, the boys are going to begin their own small business. Which was my plan anyhow - can't think of a better way for kids to make a bit of money and learn the pitfalls involved than this.

    Fruit season here is pretty special, yep. The nectarine tree has already flowered, as have the little almonds -- which are too small yet for more than a dozen or so nuts each. But summer and autumn are marked by a gorging, a glut, and you're right: happy, face-stained kids chuck-full of vitamins and anti-oxidants straight off the vine.

    Beeso: it never occurred to me to use the bay for smoking-wood. That's a damned good idea, as it's a bit bigger than I want it to be, standing between garage and house as it does.

  13. If you can cut and dry a heap of fennel a mix of bay and fennel stems is supposed to make the best smoked salmon. I've had limited success with fennel so far.

  14. Those Magnolias are magnificent. The Rhododendron look very similar to the Camilia. What a glorious piece of earth you must live on.

  15. Lovely stuff. The old man is big on camellias, even manages to grow them on the north coast of NSW in sand. I imagine they'd go brilliantly in your climate.

  16. The magnolias are indeed lovely - twin shrubs about my height, grown at a kind of choke-point with a gap of about 3m between them so you have to walk between them.

    Doc Yobbo: I'm pretty sure those are rhododendrons. We do indeed have camellias, but they're not currently in bloom. In fact, I've just put in six Camellia sinensis -- and I'm looking forward to a truly fantastic cup of tea in about three years.

  17. Oh, and Beeso -- I've been meaning to put some fennel in place. Now you've given me a really good excuse.