Six on Saturday – W26/2020 – Tawny surprise

We have had less rain and more sun this week, which has been a blessing as the soggy ground has dried out a little and the clay is now less slippery to walk on. Unfortunately, I have not had much opportunity this week to take advantage of the lovely weather and do some gardening. Instead we have been completing other projects such as finishing off the painting of the house (inside) and completing the back verandah extension. Hopefully, the warm days will continue into next week and I can get back into the garden again.

This morning we went off to buy some weldmesh for the back verandah project and for a new trellis, and on the return trip we went to a recycle yard in Yandina. This took care of the entire morning, and we returned home just in time for lunch. Our arrival was heralded by the cheerful song of a butcher bird, and as I got out of the ute I scanned the trees to see if I could see the bird. And that was when I spotted my number 1 for this week’s Six on Saturday! Can you spot it in the tree?

Have a closer look…..

  1. These birds are Tawny Frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) and are related to owls. They are nocturnal and are carnivorous, catching rodents, spiders and insects with their strong beaks. During the day they usually perch on a tree branch right next to the trunk. Their remarkable colouring and markings help them to blend in with their surroundings.

This particular bird was perched in the Australian native tree (I think it is a red cedar) that grows just outside the garden on the footpath. While the tawny is napping in the tree, let us continue out stroll in the front garden.

2. The Dombeya is nearing the end of its flowering period. It looked spectacular when it was in full flower. There is now a mix of new white flowers and the old flowers have turned brown and crisp and make wonderful everlastings. I quite like the look of the old and new flowers together on the shrub. Once it has finished flowering I will cut the bush back and use some of the cuttings to propagate some more shrubs.

3. The beautiful coloured foliage plant, Strobilanthes dyeriana, is now in flower. The flowers are not as spectacular as the foliage is, and in fact the bold colours of the foliage have faded somewhat during winter. This is another plant which needs pruning back after flowering, and I will also try and propagate it by cuttings.

4. Near the Strobilanthes dyeriana in the front garden, in the shade of the Tibouchina tree, is an Iboza riparia or Tetradena riparia, also known as the Musk or Nutmeg bush or Misty Plume Bush. This shrub is a mass of tiny white flowers which give the impression of a mist. I have also seen plants with pale mauve flowers, but the one I have is white. The shrub has medicinal properties, and the leaves are aromatic. It is very easy to propagate from cuttings.

5. On the northern side off the house, in the warmest part of the garden, are two potted desert roses, Adenium obesium. Both of these plants have pink flowers. The seed pods of these plants look like two horns.  A seed pod has just split open releasing the seeds to the wind. The seeds will all be gone in a couple of days’ time. I was lucky to see them. These plants need dry conditions and well-drained soil and will not thrive in our clay soils. They are in pots so that they can be moved out of heavy rain and into more protected positions.

6. A little further down from the two pots of Desert Rose is my final one for the week, a pretty pot of Sedum which adds a lovely light green colour to the bed in amongst the kalanchoe, miniature Shasta daisy and a red leaved sorrel.

Interested in seeing more Sixes in the garden? Pop over to The Propagator’s site, the host for Six on Saturday, and click on some links to gardens around the world in the comments section. Happy gardening through the week!!


  1. My goodness, what amazing camouflage! Thank you for showing that. 🙂

    The Dombeya flower is pretty, I hope you’re successful in propagating your shrubs from this plant.

    That’s a gorgeous photo of the Misty Plume Bush – it must be lovely to be surrounded by all these exotic plants.

    • They are such beautiful birds! I had the big lens on a tripod trained on the bird for a couple of hours and got some lovely photos of it. Seems I have lots of cuttings to do over the next few weeks, and potting up of cuttings that have already rooted to make space for the new ones! The garden is looking lovely right now, but as summer begins it goes into a bit of a decline due to the heat & humidity.

  2. It is so lovely to see your frogmouth bird. Really owl like and do well disguised. Hope you get a bit of garden time this week

    • Frogmouths are just beautiful birds. They are regular visitors here, but we usually hear them more (at night) than we see them, so yesterday’s sighting was really special. Today (Sunday) has dawned wet and cool, so will be an inside day again. Hoping for a drier week to catch up on some gardening.

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