Saturday, February 28, 2009

A bit more silver


The silver branches of a wattle reaching to the sky. Wattles grow at such amazing speed, a mere shrub a few years ago is now a big tree. Their life of course is short as a result so I will enjoy this one while it is here.

Musing:
Proverbs 17:3 (New International Version)
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart.

Friday, February 27, 2009

More silver


Silver birch with a patch of lichen especially for Julie.

Musing:
Acts 3:2-7 (New International Version)
Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Silver trail


This is one of the new plants I put in on the bank around the cyprus. I think the foliage matched with the lichen on the rocks is lovely.

Reflection:
Exodus 20:23 (New International Version)
"Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Berries


These bright berries are the summer fruit of the vibernum.

Reflection:
Psalm 19:8 (New International Version)
"The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rust


The outdoor setting down the back looks like it has the patina of age. Actually it's new and painted with speckled rust coloured paint!

Reflection:
Matthew 6:19-21 (New International Version)
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grass


I gone mad over grass. In addition to the mondo grass I showed the other day, there are clumps of this golden haired grass multiplying under the cyprus and I recently planted red fountain grass on the other side of the path. Over the weekend I bought pots of silvery tufts to add to the mix in that corner. They look good.

Reflection:
Isaiah 40:8 (New International Version)
"The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Satisfaction


The rain came back in the afternoon. The morning was bright enough for me to go out on the garden and do some more jobs. I removed the entwined wisteria from the driveway trees, chopped out the crofton weed and tidied another garden bed. It is so satisfying to get these jobs done.

Reflection:
Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 (New International Version)
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Begonia


Along with Roses, Begonias are one of my all time favourites. They have such beautiful leaves and fabulous blooms. As pot plants they are perfect for my bad habits, they actually like to dry out between waterings and droop as a warning if they need to be refreshed. Added to that I can put the old tubers out in the garden and they reward me with more flowers the next year. This one is in the garden ... after a couple of days of warmer weather we are in the clouds again this morning.

Reflection:
Proverbs 11:25 (New International Version)
A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rock



Neighbours, as in yesterday's post, reminds me of the Robert Frost poem "Mending Wall" so today's picture is of one of the many rock walls in the garden. They are a beautiful way to make use of the iron stone found on the property.

Reflection:
Psalm 19:14 (New International Version)
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good neighbours


I guess the neighbours are pleased with my new rose bed as the weeds are gone and no longer encroach on their vegetable patch. We are on good terms with our neighbours, despite this. We share a bountry with three different properties. Two have gates to allow free passage between our gardens and the third has no fence so it is easy to pop back and forth.

I do note that the rather attractive plant at the side of the gate is another noxious weed, crofton weed. It's on our side of the fence ...sigh ... I will have chop it out before it flowers.

Reflection:
Matthew 22:35-40 (New International Version)
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lovers choice


I love roses but we have lots of mature trees so most parts of the garden are shaded. This year I decided there was one sunny corner previously a compost heap (aka weed heap) where I think they might thrive so I have planted some and we'll see.

Reflection:
Song of Solomon 2:1-2 (New International Version)
Beloved: I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
Lover: Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Majesty


Here's the cyprus. It's so difficult to capture the majesty of this grand old tree. With a trunk of this size you can imagine there is an awful lot of tree above it reaching out across the driveway.

Reflection:
Psalm 104:1 (New International Version)
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rain drop


I've been thinking I should show you the cyprus because the last three posts were about that part of the garden. Well here it is in a rain drop from top to bottom ... a tall lilly pilly, the neighbour's redwood and the big branches of the cyprus.

Reflection:
Job 36:26-28 (New International Version)
How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.
He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams;
the clouds pour down their moisture
and abundant showers fall on mankind.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The tangle


Yesterday I was going to move onto the other side of the driveway and untangle the wisteria from the trees but I was already wet and getting cold so gave it a miss. Here it is twining its way up the pencil pine at the gatepost.

We lit a log fire last night to get warm.

Reflection:
This is the interpretation of the parable in yesterday's post.
Matthew 13:36-43 (New International Version)
His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weeding


Last Saturday it was searing hot (36C). How quickly things change, after a week of rain it is chilly (12C) and the perfect time for weeding now the soil is nice and damp. I spent several hours in the rain pulling out privet and pittosporum seedlings hiding among the azaleas on the bank.

I photographed this pretty Montbretia a week or so ago when the sun was shining. Despite its beauty, it is a card carrying weed. As a Class 4 noxious weed it must be controlled and the plant may not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed. This last remnant escaped my eradication programme. Such a shame to pull them out, but if I don't they march across garden beds and through the neighbour's fence.

Reflection:
Matthew 13:24-30 (New International Version) The Parable of the WeedsJesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared."The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'" 'An enemy did this,' he replied."The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "

Friday, February 13, 2009

Paving


Julie asked if we did our own paving. The answer is no. The garden has had a lot of work done at different times by two wonderful landscape artists Alex Strachan and Jim Coghill ... the driveway, paths, stone walls and the circle down the back under the liquid amber.

This is the driveway which sweeps around a big cyprus pine. Its edge is softened by Mondo Grass that has grown thick and luxurious over the many years since it was planted. Note the fallen pine needles, I do more sweeping in the garden than I do in the house!

Reflection:
Revelation 21:2, 21 (New International Version)
"I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband ... The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass. "

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cycad


Today Peter posted a fast growing cycad in his blog. This one isn't. It has been here for 10 years or so and has looked lush for the first time ever this year.

Reflection:
Proverbs 4:18 (New International Version)
"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day."

Unexpected visitor


Our resident possom broke into the house tonight because we accidentally left the door between the garage and house open. I do so wish he would go find a tree hollow to live in, like this walnut down the back yard.

Reflection:
Hebrews 13:2 (New International Version)
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A place to rest


Under the Liquid Amber is a great spot to rest and catch a cooling breeze.

Reflection:
Matthew 11:28 (New International Version)
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome rain


The temperature has dropped and in the afternoon there was the pitter patter of rain and the rattle of hail on the tin roof. The plants slurped up the moisture.

Reflection:
Matthew 5:43-46 (New International Version)
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

Monday, February 9, 2009

When the heat is on


Yesterday was again a day of extreme heat, but Sunday is a watering day so I was able to give my thirsty plants a refreshing drink.

The reflection in my last post had me thinking all day about the practical application of faith through forgiveness and love.

Reflection:
Romans 12:9-10 (New International Version)
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Virtue


I'm feeling virtuous because, despite the searing hot day, I chopped off all the Agapanthus seed heads before they spawn another million plants. Was too late with this one.

I'm impressed, the blog is already helping towards a better garden!

Reflection:
Colossians 3:12-14 (New International Version)
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Crown of thorns


Here is the flower of the Acanthus, surprisingly prickly.

I was checking up a fact suggested by Julie that Acanthus was used for for Roman wreaths but I think they were laurel wreaths. However in the process I turned up this Wikepedia snippet. "The Acanthus is believed by some highly respected theological scholars to be the plant used by Roman soldiers to make the crown which was placed on the head of Jesus Christ when they mocked him. The Greek word for "thorn" and "acanthus" have the same genitive plural (akanthon), which is the word used in the Gospel of Matthew."

Reflection:
Matthew 27:27-31 (New International Version)
"Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him."

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Greek connection


In the summer Acanthus shoots up tall flower spikes and then its glossy green leaves die off for the season. Apparently the Acanthus leaf motif was very important in ancient Greek design.

Reflection:
Galatians 3:28 (New International Version)
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ivy


Yes I know Ivy strangles trees but right now I think it makes a pretty photograph, I will pull it back soon.

Reflection:
Jonah 4:6-12 (New International Version)
Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live."

But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?"
"I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die."

But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Taming needed


The Agapanthus, which come in blue and white, eventually fade and set seed. Cutting off the heads before the seed is dispersed is one way of taming their abundance.

A job for this weekend, cutting the spent Agapanthus blooms, it's already too late for some.

Reflection:
James 3:5-6 (New International Version)
Taming the tongue: Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Abundance


You don't need a green thumb to grow Agapanthus -- while they are pretty much a weed they certainly make for an attractive low maintenance corner of the garden. Agapanthus sell for $12 a plant in the nursery -- I've got an untapped fortune down the back!

Reflection:Luke 12:15 (New International Version)
Then he [Jesus] said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Monday, February 2, 2009

The colour of summer


Agapanthus breathes the colour of summer into every sunny nook.

Reflection:
Matthew 6:28-29 (New International Version)
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Growing slowly


I expect my growth with be slow. As slow as these box plants that have been lining the path for at least 10 years.

Reflection:
1 Corinthians 3:7 (New International Version)
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.