Six on Saturday W34/2019 – Spring is in the air

It’s 05:30, and the dawn is just breaking. The magpies are gently whistling the world awake, and the kookaburras are chortling away in the tall gums across the road….. so begins a new Saturday, and of course, another Six on Saturday!

Red Cedar Toona ciliata

The first tell-tale sign that spring is in the air is the heady scent of jasmine! Unfortunately I no longer have a jasmine plant in the garden (this sad state of affairs needs to be rectified!). Instead of the jasmine, the budding red cedar on the footpath lets me know that spring is on the way.

2. Magnolia

An unknown shrub appeared close to the fence in the back garden in summer last year. I had no idea what it was, and actually cut it back as it was overcrowding a rather pretty pink hibiscus that I was trying to encourage! A couple of days ago I noticed this flower. What a great surprise to discover that I did indeed have a magnolia in the garden! I’d being admiring the magnolias in the neighbourhood on our daily walks, and was weighing the pros and cons of buying one. Problem solved!

3. Lavender

This lavender bush survived the summer humidity, and as we move into spring it is full of buds. I do not know what variety this one is, unfortunately. I bought it as tube-stock at a local farmer’s market, and it quickly established itself in the garden and grew remarkably well.

4. Finger Lime Citrus australasica

Another surprise this week was discovering that the finger lime bush, which I have had for almost three years, has produced its first bud! All our other citrus has finished cropping, but this little bush has just started! The finger lime is native to south east Queensland where it grows as a rainforest tree, and today there are a couple of varieties available on the market, ones with white flesh and others with a pink flesh. The juice vesicles in these fruits are small and round, resembling caviar, and they are packed with a strong lime flavour. Lovely to pop some over fish, or in salad for an explosion of flavour. We have also discovered that the entire fruit can be frozen. To use, let the fruit thaw, then split it open length-wise and remove the vesicles, which surprisingly are still intact.

5. Clivia miniata

My clivia’s are flowering at long last! I have a couple of varieties, but it is the miniata that is flowering this year. I’m hoping that seed will form so that I can bulk up my collection. A couple of years ago I visited a clivia nursery in South Africa and was utterly amazed with the different varieties they have bred! There are some stunning colours available.

6. Calendula

My garden beds are alive with colour from these beautiful calendula flowers.

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