Orange & Yellow

Say ‘Hello’ to my latest Cacti flowers, from my Parodia Mairanana!

I was walking up the side of the house (that we just moved to) and something caught the corner of my eye…it was the gorgeous colour of these flowers.

My Cacti and Succulents (before we moved) had grown to 160 plants. Some of them were duplicates, most not and I have realised that my hobby was getting out of hand. We intend to buy a house next year, however, after the latest move I have come to the conclusion that I need to downsize my collection.

We had a garage sale before moving and I sold/offloaded about 50 plants, reducing my collection to 110. This is still a lot of plants to move, particularly when you consider the size of some of the plants and the pots.

I am going to bite the bullet and pick out my favourite say, 30 plants and have another garage sale.

I also think that I am going to change direction slightly in terms I what future Cacti and Succulent plants I will buy, i.e., I think I will aim for the smaller, flowering plants. There will still be some columnar plants but mainly smaller Ball-type ones.

Written by David Johnson

28 November 2022

More Beauties!

It has been a bit of a challenge posting in this past week as we are in the process of moving. Always a fun task, not!

Following on from my last post, I can excitedly report that two more of my Cacti and Succulents have flowered in the past week.

The first is an Aylosteria pulvinosa. It is only a small Cacti plant measuring 5cm across and has had pups and the flowers in the image are (apart from that flowered last week) the first full crop of flowers that this plant has produced.

The second plant to flower this week (in fact it bloomed today), is an Epiphyllum Hybrid which is sometimes mistakenly called a ‘Dragonfruit’ plant, according to the Cacti and Succulent Association of Australia. I joined the Society nearly 12 months ago and am learning a lot.

I love the rich, Red colour of this flower which really contrasts well against the Green foliage of the plant.

Two more beauties from my collection that have flowered so far in Spring.

I am so looking forward to the rest of Spring and Summer!

Written by David Johnson

12 November 2022

A Fleeting Beauty!

One of my other hobbies is Cacti and Succulents. As mentioned previously, I have had them as an interest for the last 45 years (since I was 14).

I’m not an expert by any means and although I collect them I do not regard myself as ‘true collector’, like a lot of the people that are in the Cactus & Succulent Society of Australia, which I joined during the last Covid lockdown in 2021.

I enjoy their uniqueness and beauty.

Yesterday, one of my Ball Cacti, of the Echinopsis variety, flowered for the first time ever and I thought that was worth of a post.

The stem of the flower has been growing for a number of weeks and leading up to the point of flowering, there is always great anticipation, particularly when you don’t know what colour the flower will be. I walked out the side door yesterday and upon walking past our cattery that holds our single Cat, Miri, the flower came into full view.

I never tire of this type of flower’s exquisite beauty! It begins to open nocturnally and we are blessed with its beauty in the morning. The flower only blooms for 24-48 hours, then its gone. A fleeting beauty.

Written and photographed by David Johnson

4 November 2022

A Stunning Display

Visual Delight

Thoughts In Flower

When Creativity Comes…

When creativity comes

Stretching My Comfort-Zone…Flowers

Being still (what I would call) relatively new to Watercolour, I am still exploring the types of subject matter that I would like to paint. Predominantly, I have been painting landscapes, seascapes, sky-scapes with a few buildings thrown in here and there.

I hadn’t really thought of painting flowers. They always looked rather challenging (and still are) and I have so much still to learning about painting them.

Recently, I purchased the book, ’The Watercolour Flower Painter’s A – Z’ An Illustrated Directory of Techniques for Painting 50 Popular Flowers.

Thus far, I have attempted 3 of the exercises 1) Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise); 2) Freesia and 3) Petunia and found the exercises easy to follow, offering detailed instruction and a delight to read.

Under ‘Essentials’ in the front of the book it covers nearly 30 essential techniques to learn that will aid the aspiring Artist in artistically reproducing the subjects.

If you are looking for an easy to follow book that will take you out of your ‘painting comfort-zone’ then I would highly recommend you take a look at this book.

Written by David Johnson

March 2020

IMG_4609
Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise)

IMG_4603 (1)
Petunia

IMG_4772
Freesia