Succulents and Agave

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The plants featured above include :

Echeveria ‘Topsy Turvy’, whose leaves look as if they are positioned upside-down.  Looking spectacular with its soft green curled leaves, it has produced a couple of new plants to the side of the pot.

A pretty pink Kalanchoe – just bursting into bloom – is spreading out in a small rock garden.

An Agave, whose leaves are spotted with marks from the tiny hailstones which fell a few days ago.

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Garden Snapshots

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Other people’s gardens are often a delight to view and are a great source of ideas to implement in your own garden. My sister’s garden (pictured above) is no exception.

A beautiful red urn nestled amongst the greenery, and beside a small Buddha, adds colour to this courtyard garden.

The Euphorbia Lipstick, also known as the ‘crown of thorns’, looks stunning with its hot pink blooms and large green leaves. Flowering for most of the year, this euphorbia is a nice addition to any garden.

Growing happily in a pot, this hydrangea has just produced a pretty light pink bloom, which seems at first glance to be an artificial silk flower. On the same plant is an older bloom which is changing into pretty autumn colours.

Violas, which flower in a wide range of colours, have a soft, old fashioned look that complements this large basket.

A very hardy hedging plant which tolerates dry periods, the duranta has been trimmed as a hedge behind this decorative garden seat.

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460 Gallery and Sculpture Park

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Greenway Chapel and Memorial Garden, located between Gosford & Kincumber, is set in an idyllic bush setting that once was the site of the ‘460 Gallery & Sculpture Park’.
First opened in 1988, the sculpture park consisted of 16 acres of landscaped area with a lake, streams, a bridge and lawns featuring large scale outdoor sculptures by leading Australian artists.
Most of those features remain and can be accessed while enjoying a stroll around the park (situated to the left of the chapel carpark). There is no definite walking track but the large sculptures invite you to wander around the grassy area and take a few photographs. Sadly the two small galleries (which used to showcase paintings and pottery) are no longer open.
There is a pleasant walled courtyard garden and extensively landscaped grounds around the Greenway Chapel, which is also worth viewing.

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Owl slideshow

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Made from Feeneys buff raku clay, these little owls were hand-built.
Pinch pots were used for the bodies. The feathers and wings were formed separately and attached using an old toothbrush to roughen the surface. The face was patterned using pottery tools, then the eyes, beak and feet were added.
The speckled surface showing through the glaze gives the fired pottery a rough stone-like appearance.

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Raku-fired pottery

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The vase and small sculptured wizard (both pictured in the slideshow) were hand built using Feeneys white raku clay. My first exposure to Raku-firing occurred during pottery classes at the Potters workshop at East Gosford (on the Central Coast of New South Wales), where these pots were made.
The vase was created using slabs of rolled out clay, which were joined,  patterned and decorated. The top of the vase was made on a pottery wheel, then shaped to fit the rectangular vase and attached to form the neck. The handles were made from extruded, shaped lengths of clay.
As my first attempt, I was very relieved when this vase survived the extreme Raku-firing.
Showing the variety of colours which Raku-firing can produce – when reduction occurs – the wizard-like figure was assembled using rolled slabs of clay. The slabs used to form the coat were rolled in ball clay to cause the crackled pattern (which are visible on the sleeve).  Two pinch pots were made and joined together to assemble the head, extruded clay was used for the beard.

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Watercolour flowers

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Using small brushes for fine detail, these watercolour paintings were intended for use in greeting cards.
The ‘View from the window’ was painted in four sections, to suit a shaped card.
The ‘White flower’ was painted using washes, leaving a section of unpainted paper to highlight the flower.

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Creative Photos

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These photographs were taken by one of my grandsons.

  • Elizabeth Beach, south of Forster (New South Wales), is the setting for this awesome photograph of a seagull. Taken in the late afternoon, just as the wave was breaking on the shore, you can see the calm water receding before the foam of the next wave rolls in.
  • Shadows and footprints in the smooth sand made the perfect backdrop for this seagull, as it watched our approach seemingly unafraid.
  • I love this beautifully composed photo of our goldfish pond, combining shadows, movement and reflection.
  • This photograph of the wharf at Mallabulla, near Port Stephens (New South Wales), was also taken in the late afternoon. The sunset created a pink – nearly purple – glow over the calm water of the bay and even rendered the wharf a similar colour.
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Summer surprises

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Surveying my garden,  I was pleased to find many new flower buds.
The Polygala, ‘Little Polly’, has pretty mauve flowers and little feathery tufts that sit within its pea like flowers.
New buds on my miniature Agapanthus are a welcome sight, adding a touch of mystery as I wait for the reveal of their colour.
Periwinkle pink flowers are a mass of colour contrasting with the dark green leaves. Growing to a height of about 90cm, these cheery little flowers brighten up a section of the garden beside our driveway.
Soft new growth on the Indian Hawthorn is surrounded by leathery leaves.  Growing quite happily in a pot, our plant has many surprises as it produces new growth followed by pretty pink flowers, then seeds which change colour as they mature.

 

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Garden sculptures #2

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  • These Pit fired and carved urns, were made with a Puki (a bowl shaped dish) using the hand built coiling method.
  • A detailed wall pot, coloured with a blue glaze and iron oxide.
  • An owl carved from a block of hebel.
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