Saturday, 24 December 2011

The best ever

My grandson had to show us this house with the "best ever" Christmas light display. Have a look and see if you think he's right.

As we drove up, you couldn't mistake which house he meant. It was lit up with lights of all kinds. I couldn't capture them all with my camera.

There was a giant Christmas tree,

A gingerbread house in their driveway  
You could look through the windows to see the people inside with their tree. There was a larger than life Santa to greet everyone and wish them a Merry Christmas. There were trees sparkling with lights.

But the best was yet to come. . .
Around the corner you could enter the garden through a lit archway and the special magic began.

Throughout the garden were hidden the twelve days of Christmas - each handcarved and painted, lit by small spotlights. The children had to make sure they found them all.

Down a pathway, in his own grotto sat the Grinch in his cave.

A giant book told the story of the Night Before Christmas - with a tiny scene set in behind the pages.

Even at night you could tell, the garden itself was spectucular....  of course I tried to take some photos but the garden was just the backdrop and it was too dark. The real magic was happy faces, pointing, showing their parents, eyes wide as they made their next discovery, around every bend something new to wonder at.

Apparently, this couple have been opening their garden to the local children for many years. Can you image how many happy memories they have created?
I think my grandson was right.

Merry Christmas .

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Road Trip

Rather than fly, we decided to drive to drive to Cairns this time. Actually, it wasn't a case of preferring to drive - I just didn't get around to booking airfares until it was too late to get a cheap ones and it seemed a good option. It's just over 1700kms from Brisbane to Cairns. You wouldn't drive there for a weekend. 
We divided the trip into three parts - Rockhampton the first night (670km north), Townsville the next (another 720km), then on to Cairns.
John and I each chose a stack of CDs and bundled them into a bag - all our old favourites.

Leaving Rocky after the first night, the sign showed we still had a long way to go.

 We took turns with the driving, listening to our favourite music (sometimes singing along out of tune), checking out the changing scenery (lots of cows and crops and trees mainly), and sometimes chatting about life and things you may normally not get to talk about when you're busy with the usual rat race. We decided to each make a "bucket list" and on New Years Day we'll show each other.  I'm sure like most couples our dreams for the future are similar, but it will be interesting to see how they compare.

The motel in Townsville was more like a tropical resort - a huge swimming pool surrounded by tropical gardens - and the food at their restaurant was top class. Best barramundi I've tasted (and I have tasted lots).

On the third day, with Jimmy Buffett providing the background music, we arrived in Cairns - a bit tired from the drive but more relaxed I think than if we'd battled the traffic to the airport and the queues...
We've settled into our unit (which of course is surrounded by a wonderful tropical garden) are looking forward spoiling the grandkids.


The view from the balcony's obscured by trees.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Flowers for Friday

The start of Summer brought rain and cooler temperatures to South East Queensland. We've been wearing jumpers, getting back into the Winter PJs and snuggling under the blankets - weird for December.
Even though the temperature doesn't feel like Summer, throughout the garden, many of the warm weather plants are beginning to flower.
The frangipanis love this time of year.

 Most of our frangipani are grown from cuttings but now (after 5 years) can be called trees. They are one of the easiest plants to grow from a cutting and come in so many different shades, it's tempting to have one or two of every colour.

 The deep red is a bought one. I couldn't resist it when I came across it in a nursery. Even though I love the colour, I'm guessing it's some sort of hybrid because it doesn't flower as well as the old types and is the first to show signs of distress if it isn't given ideal growing conditions.




The pentas are doing well. I planted them as a "filler" but I think they've earnt a permanent spot in the garden.

 The ixora are just starting to bloom

Justica loves the rain we've been getting lately

Hibiscus are blooming throughout the garden.
They flower on and off for most of the year.

The real heat and humidity lovers are just starting to come out of hybernation. 

  the first heliconia bloom  of the season
 the first canna bloom

The shell ginger just starting....

The curcumas are coming up

The Beehive gingers are coming up too (not quite flowers yet)

Many of the bromeliads flower at this time of year as well


I love the way they form their own little water garden.

I'm joining in Tootsie's Flaunt your Flowers Friday
and

an Australian site - Friday Floral Fotos

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