Thursday, January 5, 2012

Summer Blooms

Summer is the time when King Proteas are in bloom. These flowers really are the "kings" of the protea world, opening up to the size of dinner plates! For this reason, Protea Cynaroides (their botanical name) are the national flower of their native South Africa. They truly are stunning. At Swallows Nest Farm, we have been busy planting King Proteas this season in a stunning White. I am so excited about them! Unfortunately, I will have to contain my excitement as they will not be ready for harvesting for 3 years.  I will have to content myself with the few Mini Kings that we have! It will not be a chore - they are equally as beautiful, if alittle smaller. Still a fair size for a flower at the diameter of a bread and butter plate. They are a beautiful colour with soft purple on the centre crown, and cream and pink outer petals.  Then there are the soft creamy green centre stamens.

The whole flower is like a performance as it opens slowly over days and even weeks. I watch captivated as they open, changing shape unfolding themselves. Recently, I had one on my windowsill for a fortnight and took photos as it underwent its slow unfolding performance. These are some of the photos.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to The Swallows Nest

Welcome to our blog. We live on the Tasman Peninsula in South-Eastern Tasmania. We grow Proteas and Australian Native flowers. We are passionate about our flowers and we want to share them with you. This blog is a way of documenting the different flowers we grow, and the different blooms available as the seasons change throughout the year. We hope you enjoy them, as much as we do!

January is warm in Tasmania, but we are blessed with the ability to produce flowers that many on the mainland are unable to grow at this time of year. At the moment, we have some beautiful late flowering Leucospermums in bloom. They are commonly known as pincushions or tiaras. They are a protea native to South Africa. The variety that is at its peak in January is called Fountain and is a beautiful pinkish orange with purplish dots on the ends of the unfurled fronds. The centre of the flower head is a beautiful glowing greenish white. They are lovely in a mixed bunch or en masse! These little beauties have only been in the ground for two years and this year is our first harvest. We look forward to having these as a regular part of our summer stock.