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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Gardens of the van Buuren Musem - PART 5

Right next to the Rose Garden but separated from it by another retaining wall is the Garden of Hearts which is hidden by tall well clipped topiary which forces you to make your way between tall block-like pillars of greenery in order to enter the cobble stone garden with its heart shaped topiary.
The white gravel pathway between the Rose garden's lower retaining wall (right) and the Garden of Hearts (left)

 The last time I visited the centres of the hearts were field with blood red ....
 
View of the Garden of Hearts from between two Green Pillars that surround it.
 This year however, the Gardens have hosted an exhibition by artist ... and one of the "pieces" was a series of bright orange artificial "flowers" whose petals were made out of garden trowels.

View of the Garden of Hearts. In the foreground is one of the artificial flowers which was part of an exhibition being held in the Gardens.

View of the House/Museum from one of the lawns. The steps leading to the Rose Garden can be seen between two of the Green Pillars. To the left are box garden beds leading to the Garden of Hearts. The Greenery you can see below the house is from the vine covered terraces that flank the rose garden.
 




Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs                            

· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/

· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/

· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Family Acanthaceae (or Acanthus family) - PART 1

The Family Acanthaceae (or Acanthus family).

Asystasia gangetica - Chinese Violet


Asystasia gangetica - Chinese Violet


Asystasia gangetica - Chinese Violet


Asystasia gangetica - Chinese Violet
Odontenema cuspidatum - Firespike


Odontenema cuspidatum - Firespike


Odontenema cuspidatum - Firespike
 Ruellia tuberosa - Popping Pod

Ruellia tuberosa - Popping Pod

Thunbergia alata - Black-eyes Susan vine

Thunbergia alata - Black-eyes Susan vine


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs

· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/

· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/

· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Monday, 19 August 2013

Intriguing Plants: Popping Pod, Ruellia tuberosa

Ruellia tuberosa also known by the common or vernacular names of Popping Pod, Cracker plantr, Duppy gun, Minnie Root, Fever Root, Snapdraggon Root and Sheep potato is a plant that might be familiar to many children in the Pacific Island region. As children a common pass time for some was to pick the dried pods then lick them and throw them on an unsuspecting victim. The moisture would cause the dried seed pod to pop, startling the victim and scattering seeds and pod halves in their hair or where ever the pod had been thrown.


Ruellia tuerosa
In the course of looking up some other plants in Whistler's "Wayside Plants of the Islands. A Guide to the Lowland Flora of the Pacific Islands including Hawai’i Samoa Tonga Tahiti Fiji Guam Belau", I came across a photo of Ruellia tuerosa and was surprised to discover after a bit of on-line research that it actually had some uses beyond being the instrument of childish pranks. Unfortunately as it is generally considered a weed I had trouble finding one to photograph.
Ruellia tuerosa
I did see one specimen growing at Tanunamanono along the Cross Island Road/Vailima Road but when I went back armed with my camera I discovered to my dismay that someone had decided that the road verge had to be cleared and it had been caught up in the process.
Ruellia tuerosa
 Fortunately while driving along the Maninoa - Lefaga road a few weeks later, I caught sight of a perfect specimen and was able to take some pictures. In the process though, I discovered that dogs too like to have their photos taken as this chap stopped and then casually posed for a photo.
Ruellia tuerosa

Ruellia tuerosa





Taxonomy

Order: Lamiales - Family: Acanthaceae - Genus: Ruellia - Species: R. tuberosa


Medical Use:

Scientific studies have been done examining its antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties.

It has also been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a diuretic, anti-diabetic, antipyretic, antihypertensive, gastroprotective and to treat gonorreah.
Other Uses:

It is also used as a natural dye



Glossary:
Ayurvedic medicine: Traditional medicine of the Indian sub continent
Antinociceptive:
Anti-inflammatory: anything that prevents or reduces  inflammations
Diuretic: a diuretic is anything that promotes the production of urine
Analgesic:
Anti-diabetic: anything that works against diabetes either to reduce the effects
Anti-pyretic: are drugs or herbs that reduce fever. The etymology of the word is Greek anti (against) and pyreticus (pertaining to fever).
Antihypertensive:
Gastroprotective: anything that protects the gastrointestinal tract



Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs

· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/

· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/

· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/


Family Gesneriaceae

The Plant Family Gesneriaceae includes a number of familiar plants.

Flame Violets (Episcia)  belong to the Genus Episcia. I have two varieties (below) although there are many more including Episcia with blue and yellow flowers.
Flame Violet, Episcia (unknown species)
 They also have different types of leaf colours ranging from silver or green to burgundy leaves.
Flame Violet, Episcia (unknown species)
The depth, intensity and combination of colours on the leaves can also differ slightly depending on how much sunlight the plant gets.



Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs

· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/

· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/

· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

The Gardens of the van Burren Museum - PART 4






Some flowers have the ability to look exotic at all stages of their existence. Take this blue wonder.


 
Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.
My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Summer in Belgium - PART 6

During Summer in Belgium it is often quite astonishing the number of bees you see around especially in some cities and towns. But then where you find lots of flowers you are bound to find bees especially when the flowers are the kind that bees like to visit to collect pollen. The interesting thing that I have noticed is that most of the yellow flowers have a rather strong "honey" smell.






Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs

· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/

· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/

· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Summer in Brussels - PART 5




 
 

 
Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.
My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

The Gardens of the van Buuren Museum - PART 3

The gardens of the van Buuren Museum are rather large and comprise "The Picturesque Garden", "The Labyrinth", and "The Garden of the Heart" all designed by landscape architect Jules Buyssens.
There is also a Rose Garden but for some reason that is not mentioned on the official website. To me there were five distinct areas: "The Picturesque Garden", "The Labyrinth", "The Garden of the Heart", "The Rose Garden" and then a huge expanse of lawn divided into two by more plants, trees and pathways.
The Gardens cover 1.5 hectares. Although from the street you would not have any idea that a huge garden is hidden away. There are lots of large trees around the garden which along with a tall thick hedge screen it from surrounding properties and houses.

It was along the boarder separating the two lawns that I found this plant. I think it is some sort of Thistle but am not 100% sure. In any case it looks like the type of plant most people would consider a weed despite of its incredibly exquisite flowers.

The different Gardens are clearly delineated by boarders of some sort be they simple paths, hedges or as with that between the "The Picturesque Garden" and "The Rose Garden" a four foot retaining wall with stairs leading to "The Rose Garden",  the other entrance to "The Labyrinth", "The Garden of the Heart" and the Lawns beyond.
The stone wall separating this division in itself could be considered a Garden in its own right because it is planted with a number of different plants some which have flowers and other which are equally attractive due to their overall structure.
There were a few people there but I was the only one who actually stopped to examine the small plants on the retaining wall or as I will call it "The Rock Wall Garden."




Additional Information:

The van Buuren Museum Official website

Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs

·         Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters)

·         The Blood of  Souls (language, translation and etymology)

·         Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Visit to The Orator Hotel - Part 8

As I continued my photo shoot I saw this young Ginger Cat basking on the rocks in the garden.

 With the typical sixth sense that model cats have for cameras this chap instantly noticed me and looked casually over before acting all cool and disinterested.





Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs

·         Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters)

·         The Blood of  Souls (language, translation and etymology)

·         Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general)