Hi There!

Whenever I see this plant, mostly when it’s in flower I just sigh or even a MMMmmmm or AAHHhhhhh and amazingly it’s not a rose.  But! it is somehow connected to them, all will be revealed later.  In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about Malus ioensis plena.  Also known as the Betchel crab Apple, this beautiful tree only grows to about 6m tall by about 3-4 wide.  This means it can be planted in lots of smaller gardens making it possibly one of the most common crab apples or even of all smaller tree’s.  Common you say!  Well yes its very common but in gardening terms common actually means something that has been tried and tested and survived and performed and continued to perform over and over.  I know if you say common it sounds dull but hey, have a look here.

Malus ioensis plena

Seriously, how beautiful is that!

Malus ioensis plena

It’s seriously just a sea of blossoms.  Now how is it connected to roses?  Well simply put it belongs to the Rosaceae family.  How?  Read on.  The majority of species in  Rosaceae have leaves with serrated margins and a pair of stipules where the leaf joins the stem.  Branch spines and prickles are common on trees and shrubs in the rose family.  There are plenty of more similarities that put crab apples into Rosaceae.  Simply put if you look at a human family group the offspring of the parents will have distinguishing marks and looks that make them look like their parents to some degree, and if you have cousins, their features will match yours in some way(mostly).

So we know roses have lots of thorns, this crab apple has sharp spine like tips to its branches.  Get the connection?  Anyway, enough of that stuff, more photo’s I think.

malus ioensis plena

malus ioensis plena

Even the buds are gorgeous!

malus ioensis plena

I think the photos say more than all my ramblings….



A few more things

Hi There!

Todays stroll revealed a few more things of interest, take this for example, Anemone sylvestris from central and western Europe which looks quite delicate but is found in dry deciduous woodlands and also meadows.  So it may have some hardiness to it, I have yet to test this in my garden.  I could imagine a whole lot of these flowering under some tree’s somewhere.

Anemone sylvestris Anemone sylvestris

Here’s something interesting as well.  Linaria aeruginea which hails from Spain and Portugal.  This plant is a small perennial, say  15-30 cm both ways with interesting coloured snapdragon like flowers, I think its name means rust coloured.  The flowers certainly have splashes of rust colouring on them!


Here is Aquilegia saximontana which comes from North America and is endemic to the Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rocky Mountain Columbine.  It grows to only about 15-20 cm and has dainty lavender and white flowers with hooked spurs protruding behind the flowers.

Aquilegia saximontana

Here’s a side view

Aquilegia saximontana

I think these would look good massed planted, actually any Columbine would look good massed planted.


A Few things

Hi There!

I like to take a stroll through the garden most days, but springtime is a great time to do it because there is something happening all the time.  Plants are growing, buds are forming, flowers are opening and the weeds are growing.  Weeds are plants too you know.  They just happen to be in the wrong place for me.  Thistles growing in the chook yard would be fantastic!  Chooks love them, but when their in the garden it means work.  See what I mean: chook yard-thistles, magic!  Thistles-garden, non magical!

Now to a few things I saw today.  Here is Rosa xanthina looking magical in full flower, a great rose from china with primrose yellow single flowers.  It grows too about 2.5-3 metres each way and  flowers once during spring.

Rosa xanthina

I know this photo doesn’t really do it justice, but it is quite stunning seeing it in full flower.  Below is a closeup of the flowers.

Rosa xanthina

Here’s another great rose, Rosa omiensis pteracantha comes from china again, with a funny name again but commonly known as the Red winged thorn rose, has super large translucent red thorns on new growth.  This rose has unique single flowers which only have four petals, I think it’s the only rose to do so and their only about the size of a 10 cent piece and quite insignificant really, but alluring at the same time.  Confused?  So am I.


While we’re thinking about roses, here’s another one.  Rosa fedtshenkoana another fabulously named rose from a country other than China.  Russia, da! that’s right Russia.  This rose has pure white single flowers which are simply smashing!

Rosa fedtschenkoana

Quite a thorny brute too.

One more rose to round them out would be “Fruhlingsgold” simply put, a sight to behold in full flower in my opinion that is.  Pale lemon or pale yellow or pale egg yolk or whatever colour you think it is semi-double flowers on a large shrub to about 2-2.5 metres both ways simply make for a magnificent visual impact.

Rosa "Fruhlingsgold"

Up close and personal you will hear the mass sound of bee’s at work.

Rosa 'Fruhlingsgold"

One more photo for good measure.

Rosa 'Fruhlingsgold"

Now we will move on to something quite different.  Not sure what I call this?


Here’s Aster alpinus looking all cheerful and everything, I think I need more of these.

Aster alpinus

Aquilegia alpina doing what it does best at this time of year, looking brilliant!

Aquilegia alpina

We will finish off with a bright splash of colour from Eschscholzia ‘Red Chief” just to really startle you!

Eschscholzia Red Chief

This is a Californian poppy which certainly makes an impact with its bright red/orange flowers imposed on grey foliage.  I think I need more of these!

Eschscholzia Red Chief



Hello and Goodbye

Hi There!

After deciding to go down the solar electricity route, we signed up for a system on the 17th of July.  When the installers got here finally and installed the system on our shed roof, they asked how are we connecting this to the house.  We said via the trench you have to dig and lay the appropriate cable.  “No one told us about a trench” they said.  “You contact your people” I said.  They said back “you contact your people”, okay.  My people said ” we will contact their people”, which they did, their people contacted them back then back the other way and then vice versa.  “You will have to pay for the trench and appropriate wiring” my people said to me.  “No I won’t” was my reply, the contract say’s it’s going on the shed roof, not my fault your sales team forget to mention anything about a trench to connect it to the house as was discussed with said sales people.

Trench people finally come, dig a trench make a mess, run a cable, connect it all up, test the system, do some more paperwork, oh and while trenching miss the phone, gas, mains and watering system pipes/cables but manage to clip the storm water pipe!

Said mess after trenching people left and sink holes appearing.


Now we wait for the electrical inspector to come and check it all out,  which he doe’s in a timely fashion, fantastic!

Now we ring our power provider to see if they have received the paperwork so they can send someone out to reprogram our smart meter.  “Sorry, cannot connect you to our solar people today, we’re having phone problems?” or the next day or the one after.  Do they really want us going solar, me thinks not.  Finally get through, “yes have your paperwork, its wrong, have got it fixed up by the trenching people, we have lodged it with another company, they will come and adjust the smart meter”, “when?”, “oh, in the next twenty business days”  Great I say!

Today is the 14th of October, Hello Solar and Goodbye power bills.  We are generating!!!


4.5 kilowatts of beautiful german made solar panels


Inverter and sundry items


A beautiful thing!