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Garden Photo of the Day

Part 2: The Heat is on Down Under

By Kim Charles

Here we are back in Frank Greenhalgh's garden featuring numerous feathered friends, creative use of agapanthus and other Aussie flavored highlights.

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Sulphur-crested cockatoo


Billabong



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  1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

    Two additional pics FYI - the rainbow lorikeet I promised, and a path through the rainforest. Enjoy!

    1. DeeinDe 01/24/2017

      Wow! Did you take that picture of the lorikeet? What an awesome bird!
      Your gardens are beautiful as well!

      1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

        Hi Dee - Thanks for your comment. No I cannot take credit for the photography. Cheers, Frank

    2. VikkiVA 01/24/2017

      Wow, what a magnificent bird! Vikki in VA

      1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

        Thanks Vikki - I thought it might be a hit!

    3. Maggieat11 01/24/2017

      Fabulous! Thanks so much for posting!

      1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

        Pleasure Margaret.

    4. chelleisdiggin 01/24/2017

      And now I see what everyone is raving about. What a magnificent bird, at least to my North American eyes. It looks like something out of a fantasy tale or a dream. It reminds me of my first trip to Miami, FL many, many years ago and seeing orchids and other air plants growing naturally in the trees. For a midwestern girl, it was mind blowing! Even though it's not your photo Frank, thanks so much for including it!

      1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

        Thought this pic might be of interest, Chelle. Yes it is a magnificent looking bird, and often flies in flocks which make heaps of noise. Glad you liked it. Cheers, Frank

    5. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/24/2017

      When my kids were little we took them to the San Diego zoo. One of our biggest thrills was feeding Rainbow Lorikeets nectar from little cups in our hands. Magnificently beautiful birds; noisy or not!

    6. Sheila_Schultz 01/24/2017

      Holy Moly Frank... now that's a gorgeous bird! I've never seen one before! WOW!

  2. user-3565112 01/24/2017

    Good evening Frank, Thank you for the additional photos. The barbecue pit & bench are unique in their own right & blend in with the art in other parts of your garden. Is the lorikeet a pet ? The picture would make a terrific postage stamp.
    Good luck to you, Joe

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Hello there Joe - Yes the fire pit is a prototype I designed, and the unique bench seat I bought at what we call a clearing sale (auction of goods and chattels etc., often when a house is sold). The lorikeet is a wild one, and the photography is not mine. It is a very noisy and bossy bird - its pecking order is way above its weight! I'm sure we do have stamps in Australia of our wonderful native birds. Thanks for your interest in the post Joe. Cheers from Australia

      1. user-3565112 01/25/2017

        Hi Frank, I read this last night & you & your creative gardens came to mind."Some men like to make a little garden out of life & walk down a path" Jean Anouth
        Good luck to you, Joe

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

          Thank you Joe for the quote and thinking of me. Yes life is a journey down an unknown path and if it goes through a garden all the better. Cheers mate

  3. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

    Thanks of your nice comments Diane. The property is 1 acre, and the agapanthus flower from mid-December to early February. Glad you appreciate the fun aspect of the garden. Cheers, Frank

  4. user-7007498 01/24/2017

    Great photos for day 2. I love the pattern of light on the billabong. Does it stay wet all the time, or dry out by the end of summer?

    The patio with the spit and the stove is cool. Love the antiques throughout your property.

    The grass is so green and mainicured, the first picture looked like a putting green with the flag. The picture of the rainbow lorikeet is awesome.

    Off to work, will check back later for a closer look.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Hey Kev. - Thanks for your input before you headed off to work. The billabong actually does dry out towards the end of summer unless we have a heavy downpour/thunderstorms. Nice analogy of a putting green with the flag etc. - would be a difficult green though because of the slope. Also too much slope for a cricket pitch. We use a flatter area on the track for a cricket match with the grandkids - the ball never gets past the wood heap standing in for the wicket keeper. Cheers mate

      1. user-7007498 01/25/2017

        Grins about the wicket keeper (and groans). Did you cut all of that wood? Frank, you are amazing.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

          Yes Kev. - thank goodness for chain saws and wood splitters!

    2. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      'Wicket keeper' for cricket matches, Kev!

  5. NCYarden 01/24/2017

    Excellent additional photos. Fantastic patio set up - much food and drink to be had I would think. I believe my favorite pic today though is the billabong - appears so still and calm - what a cool extension to the garden. Thanks for sharing

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Thanks David for your insights. Glad you like the billabong. I wasn't sure how it would be received. It supports a large population of frogs. They make a wonderful noise at different times of the year. In 30 or so years time people will be able to catch estuary fish (bream and flathead) in the billabong due to climate change and the sea/lake level rising - pity I won't be around to see that! Cheers, Frank

  6. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 01/24/2017

    You must be a master illusionist, Frank, because you have made your one acre seem like, Ta-dah, at least, five. The effort you have put in to create the generously wide traversing pathways, the different seating areas with welcoming entry points, the inclusion of good sized garden ornamentation has resulted in a magical property. And, then, to have the already in place element of the billabong to provide a place to commune with nature is very special.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Well Michaele - your summary is soooo good that I'm going to apply R&D to it i.e. Rob & Duplicate it for my future narratives on the garden. Thanks a lot for your lovely words. I appreciate them greatly. Cheers, Frank

      1. User avater
        meander1 (Michaele ) 01/24/2017

        I happily donate my words to your beautiful property, Frank...no R&D necessary. By the way, I had to break the bad news to my bevy of chickadees at a feeder outside my kitchen window that they were failing the eye candy test today. I was being served up much more colorful birds to think about ...oh, my, that rainbow lorikeet is magnificent.

  7. user-4691082 01/24/2017

    You didn't disappoint, Frank! The photos have so many things to study. I will need to look at them many times! My favorite is the rainbow lorikeet. Does the billabong have snakes? I am terrified of them. I love seeing your flag. Do many Aussies fly the flag? It is a ripper!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Hello Rhonda - Glad I didn't disappoint you. See if you can find the chooks/chickens when you re-examine the pics in detail. Yes there is the odd red bellied black snake down in the billabong area looking for frogs etc. What's the odd snake amongst friends???? Our flag is popular on occasions such as Aust. Day and during the Olympics etc., but not enough Aussies fly the flag on a regular basis. Love you catching onto our lingo, Rhonda. Cheers my dear friend

  8. ClareRocky 01/24/2017

    Frank, my eyes are so drawn to the agapanthus. They are fabulous! What are those purple blooms on the arbor? And I just love the beautiful birds -- that rainbow lorikeet is so amazing! Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden with us.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Glad you liked it, Clare. The purple blooms are those of Hardenbergia violacea (common name = happy wanderer). There are also white flowers of this plant on the arbour. This pic was taken after the peak flowering of this plant. Cheers, Frank

  9. Chris N 01/24/2017

    I was looking for a jolly swagman camped beside your billabong but didn't see one. I assume no jumbucks around either. Amazing birds you have there. It is funny that we foreigners (foreign to Australia, that is) see one of your native birds and can only think of zoos or pet shops. Hard to imagine them flying around wild. Liked your photo of the kookaburras yesterday although "Kookaburra sits on the old deck rail, merry, merry king of the yard and swale" doesn't scan as well as the original. Love all the agapanthus. I have one in a pot at work that I bring in every winter. Interesting that they help act as wildfire protection. You've said your lawn does too; I assume your paths are designed so wide to help with that as well? Keep posting photos, it's great to see your place.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Thanks you Chris for all your considered comments. Banjo Paterson would be proud of you knowing the lines of Waltzing Matilda. In terms of kookaburras, I too prefer 'The kookaburra sits in the old gum tree'. How do you know all this stuff? Is there an Aussie influence somewhere in there????? Yes the paths are part of the fire management plan. We cannot afford to have too much fuel around so that the flames get up into the tops of the tall gum trees - if they do it is all over rover! Glad you found the post of interest. Cheers mate

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/24/2017

        Now that I think of it, it is rather strange that I remember vividly singing both "Waltzing Mathilda" and "Kookabura Sits in the Old Gum Tree" in elementary school. Frequently; not just once in some social studies class. They were both standard songs we sang in music class. I guess I've been conditioned to like Aussies from a very young age!

        1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

          That is absolutely amazing Tim - bet that doesn't happen in your elementary schools today! Hope the next generation grow up to like Aussies too. Cheers, Frank

          1. Chris N 01/24/2017

            Standard songs when I was growing up. In America, the popular folk singer Burl Ives recorded Waltzing Matilda. Although, like many folk singers of the 50's, he was blacklisted for a while, unlike many, he cooperated with the House Un-American Activities Committee and "named names", losing his blacklisting. He was thus safe for American school children to listen to. Kookaburra was one of many rounds we learned.

          2. User avater
            Linda on Whidbey 01/24/2017

            Oh, no like Sheila I'll be hearing these songs all day, especially "Waltzing Matilda".

          3. Sheila_Schultz 01/24/2017

            I don't know about your voice Linda, but I'm ever so grateful my earworms always have a random singer, and it's not me! haha

          4. User avater
            Linda on Whidbey 01/24/2017

            My children usually ask me to please stop singing and often compare me to whale sounds when I'm singing with my headphones on so, yes, I prefer others voices in my head, too:)

          5. Sheila_Schultz 01/24/2017

            Okay, you gave me a big smile and a giggle at the end of a long day of purging and scrubbing!

        2. Sheila_Schultz 01/24/2017

          Funny, as I was reading that line from the Kookabura song I immediately started singing in my head. I must have learned it in school music class, too! It's definitely going to be my earworm for the day!!! Gee, thanks Tim! HA!

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/24/2017

            You're welcome?
            :)

          2. Chris N 01/24/2017

            We all need to sing kookaburra as a round. Frank can start us off.

          3. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

            Chris, you guys know the words better than me. I'm absolutely gobsmacked about this and the Waltzing Matilda song. You know there might be a few minor cultural differences between North Americans and Aussies, but underneath it all we have the same basic values and beliefs. Regards, Frank

        3. NCYarden 01/24/2017

          We all sang 'em in elementary school way back when. You can't not know the words.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/24/2017

            Must have been standard US curriculum-even up until the early 90's when you were in elementary school........ :)

        4. deannalchurch 01/24/2017

          I remember singing "Kookabura Sits in the Old Gum Tree" too.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/24/2017

            Glad to know I'm not alone. I grew up in Iowa. Where did you grow up, Deanna?

          2. deannalchurch 01/24/2017

            Illinois in the 50's, 60's.

  10. tennisluv 01/24/2017

    Frank, thanks for continuing our walk about thru your garden. Your combination of earth path, rock borders, and manicured lawn lined by elegant agapanthus make for a striking landscape. Love all the iron antiques, the tractor seat turned garden seat, the hand plow, and the cast iron kettles. At first I thought the billabong was a moss covered area until I saw the water in the lower right corner and your description. Really quite lovely. Does it bred mosquitoes? Having lived as a child next to a small swamp not to dissimilar from your billabong, we certainly had our fair share. What is the tree in 5th picture with the yellow/chartreuse flowers (or are those leaves)? Thanks for giving us a glimpse at OZ.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Gee Sonya - I'm sooo impressed with what you have picked up e.g. the tractor seat, the hand plough (called a mouldboard) and the cast iron kettles - marvellous piece of work! I terms of mosquitoes have a look at the attached pic. The yellow flowering tree is a wattle (Acacia species). FYI the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is our national floral emblem. Totally blown away with your eye for detail. Cheers from Oz

        1. tennisluv 01/24/2017

          Oh my goodness. That made me laugh out loud. My husband already considered me a bit loony this morning as I have been Waltzing Matilda all around the billabong, but I think I just clenched it.

        2. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 01/24/2017

          That's a hoot and a half.

  11. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/24/2017

    Thanks for more photos Frank. That billabong photo is awesome. A Sulfur-crested cockatoo? You're killing me.
    Love the beautiful stacked stone wall and brick path leading to the archway. Is the stacked stone your artistry?

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/24/2017

      Hi Tim - Thanks for your nice words. I'm amazed (but happy) at the interest in the billabong - just goes to show how our cultures differ slightly. There is not much interest in billabongs here. I'm learning a lot through these posts, and GPOD in general. Yes the dry stone wall is my work.

      Hope the post didn't make you miss an early start in your planned work program today. Cheers mate

  12. deannalchurch 01/24/2017

    I went through yesterdays photos four times and have already looked at these twice. Between the pictures and your descriptions I am becoming entranced with Australia. The billabong with it's frog serenade sounds absolutely wonderful. I have a tiny pond and summer evenings I enjoy sitting out in my swing listening to the frogs. I found your chooks! I have chickens too! Mine provide me with eggs and entertainment...and fertilizer too. I have been to many zoos from South Florida up to Chicago, Illinois. I tend to spend a lot of time in the aviary feeding the lorikees. They are so entertaining. A few years ago I went to a park that was named Kentucky Down Under. I am attempting to include some pics... :)

    Thank you for providing us with such a great couple of days of photos!!



    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/24/2017

      That's so cool, Deanna. I need to consider a visit to the states due south!

    2. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

      Thanks for your interest in the pics. and nice comments, Deanna. Congrats. on finding the chooks. Also, thanks for the lovely pics at Kentucky Down Under - the kangaroo seems to be taken with you big time! Cheers, Frank

  13. Sheila_Schultz 01/24/2017

    The second round of your Aussie images did not fail to disappoint, Frank. I feel as if we've had a private tour of a portion of your amazing world! For me, the beauty of GPOD is that it is filled with mini-travelogues along with a lot of LOL commentary! What an excellent way to start my morning, my jaw is still dropped with the variety of wildlife that visit your neighborhood! Very cool, thanks!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

      Hey there Sheila - Glad you weren't disappointed, and thanks of your nice comments. I too really loved the discussion and input from fellow GPODers - it was great from my perspective. Cheers my friend

  14. User avater
    gringopeligroso 01/24/2017

    Frank!!
    Joining in so late that I can only echo (heartily) what others have stated!! Not sure which I love more; the Pix or the Conversations??!! Your contributions of views and vignettes and banter have rightfully generated a nice and delightful depth of layers to explore and enjoy!
    You've also encouraged and enabled me upon a path I'm just starting to explore for myself After so many years of being a gardening purist....and employing ONLY plants for eye candy with only a minimum of hardscape for framing...I now find myself becoming both more practical and whimsical with my new endeavours. Your pathworks and artworks inspire me to continue further along both routes of learning! As your gardens demonstrate, getting amongst the colour and foliage is an immersion of senses one cannot obtain from an orchestrated and planned point of perception. (Stand HERE and point camera THERE.) Wandering and discovering is a bit more delightful! And, i don't know why it took me so long to figure that Art and Collections and Gardens go SOoooo well together! Your's exemplifies beautifully, but also personalizes this bit of Oz as Yours!
    Your warm photos of dinners on the lanai are still a few months off for us, yet, but your images fired up several delicious memories! (Insert tummy rumbling: Here!!) And, I particularly love your Gazebo and would love to try that high seated branch bench on for size...both look so comfortable!!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

      Hello there Jesse - I am absolutely delighted that I gave you some inspiration for paths and artwork, and understanding of the complementarity of art and gardens. This alone makes the 2 posts well worth it from my perspective. The gazebo took a bit of work to build - thank goodness for compound mitre saws to help my son and I conquer the angle problems with a hexagonal build. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and comprehensive response to the post. Cheers mate

  15. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 01/24/2017

    Gday Frank, I can't begin to express the feelings that your photos inspire so I will just say " ditto" to Jesse's post since she said it so well. That high bench or table is great and I was wondering if you made it from branches on your property. Also, I looked through these photos several times and saw the Cockatoo but failed to see the Rainbow Lorikeet, which was such a sight for us to see while in OZ. Waiting for some of your heat here in NA.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

      Hey Linda - The lorikeet was an additional pic. at the start of the comments/discussion. Here is another pic since you missed the first one. Thanks for appreciating the post. It was an interesting exercise for me and I learnt a lot (e.g. your former music curriculum in elementary school) and found the conversation very interesting and informative. Kim helped a great deal with the 2 posts (her idea to have Parts 1 & 2), and I'll send her a note thanking her. However, I need to get to bed early tonight - staying up till 2.30am to respond to comments has whiskers on it! Cheers from Oz

  16. Schatzi 01/24/2017

    WOW Frank! Just gorgeous. I have seen pictures of rainbow lorikeets, but none like this one, with all the feathers flared. Magnificent! Love the agapanthus, the use of natural wood and stone, the wood bench, the cockatoo - all of it. Thanks for sharing some of your part of the world with us.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

      It's been a pleasure, Shirley. Thanks of your lovely words. Cheers, Frank

  17. OneKSGardner 01/24/2017

    A beautiful garden. Thank you for sharing.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

      Hi Gwen - Glad you enjoyed the post. Cheers, Frank

  18. Foxglove12 01/24/2017

    Beautiful! The cockatoo looks very happy and friendly. A billabong is a tree?

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

      Hi Lori - All the birds seem pretty content, and certainly very trusting. A billabong is an isolated part of a water course. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Frank

  19. krissgandier 01/25/2017

    Hi Frank: It was again very enjoyable viewing your lovely yard with all the agapanthus. I always wondered just what a Billabong was. Looks like you might find some great fish in there. Hope there's no alligators or crocodiles about though. You are so lucky to have such beautiful birds to enjoy in your yard. The cockatoo looks like he may be a tame pet. Are you able to hand feed any of those tropical parrots? Hope you're having a wonderful time enjoying your fishing and lovely garden.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

      Hey Kriss - Great to hear from you my Canadian friend . Don't think I'll still be on my perch when sea/lake levels rise sufficiently to allow estuary fish into the billabong. No problem with crocs. in the billabong - too cold down here cf. northern Australia. I assure you that the cockatoo is wild. Visitors cannot believe how you can hand feed and touch the kookaburras - the clan of up to 12 kookas are so trusting now. The crimson rosellas, rainbow lorikeets, king parrots, butcher birds, bronze winged pigeons etc. etc. are also pretty tame, but you cannot feed them like the kookas. Life is good Kriss. Thanks for your lovely input. Cheers from Oz

  20. Cenepk10 01/26/2017

    Phenomenal... Resort. Love the 2 additional photos as well. Great shot of that bird. I had a cardinal obsessed with my reflecting ball today. All day long. Think he fell in love with himself. Your bench & firepit is awesome too. I'm flying over to party. Place looks like too much fun !!!!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/26/2017

      Hey Cenepk10 - What time do my wife and I pick you up at the Tullamarine airport, Melbourne? Thank for your kind comments. They reminded me of a large mirror we have near the rotunda/gazebo area and a grey shrike thrush keeping on whistling and strutting itself in the mirror - hoping for a mate. Cheers from Oz

  21. OregonGardenGal 01/27/2017

    Thanks for sharing. The agapanthus are amazing! Fun to see a bit of Australia while it is so gray and cold here in the states.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/28/2017

      Hi Nancy - Glad it seems to have brightened up your cold day with gray skies. And glad you liked the agapanthus. Thanks of your input. Cheers, Frank

  22. user-3790686 02/07/2017

    Time for a walk-about! That's what your gardens and pathways and un-pathways invite me to do. Can you walk on the billabong at all - it looks pretty marshy and full of hidden creatures! How deep is it? Does is occasionally dry up? Does it ever sport flowering plants like water lilies? This teacher wants to know! All I ever heard about billabongs was in the song "Waltzing Matilda" Now that I have a garden friend in Australia, I have to find out.... PD and all that! (click, click, click!)

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