It is an amazing phenomena how a fairly ordinary Bromeliad plant on a tree, can suddenly transform into a bird attracting and beautiful specimen by producing these delicate blue and pink flowers. Yesterday morning during a garden meander I noticed these flowers, but I wasn't fast enough to grab the camera and snap the sun bird which was burrowed into the blue flower lapping up the nectar. I've learned from that as our garden is always full of wonderful surprises that I need to have my camera or phone on me at all times. It makes me realise how patient and prepared nature photographers must be. Birds don't hang around to be photographed.
I think that a large part of my gardening enjoyment are the memories of who gave me what. Mr. HRK's cousin Judy, who lives on a lovely property in Maleny in Southern Queensland, gave me this bromeliad around 8 years ago. I attached a piece to our Golden Penda tree, which it has now completely encircled and it is now flowering. We always called in to see Judy when we travelled through to Brisbane, and as we don't drive to Brisbane much now, we haven't spoken recently. When I saw the sun bird and the flowers I was so excited that I called Judy on the phone to tell her about it. She is a real nature lover and a keen gardener so she was really thrilled to hear from me. Communicating with like minded friends and relatives is just another dimension of gardening. Judy doesn't think this brom has an actual name, so if you know it and it has a name I would love to hear about it.
My day progressed into icing a cake that I made the night before, as the Mahjong ladies were coming that afternoon. I made my favourite ginger cake recipe, as it looked like rain and what is better on a wet day than ginger cake. This time I decided to ice it with a lemon icing rather than use a ginger syrup and that worked well. Here is the recipe if you haven't already seen it. It is such an easy cake to make and I always add about 6 chopped up pieces of crystallised ginger to the batter for extra oomph.
The cake was delicious and so was the lemon icing.
120 g unsalted butter
250 ml golden syrup
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
220 g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
250 ml milk
2 free-range eggs, beaten
2 cups of icing sugar
juice of a large lemon
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
Grease and line a medium sized square cake tin. Melt butter and golden syrup over low heat; remove. Sift flour, ginger, mixed spice, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
Add milk and egg and mix until smooth. Gradually add butter mixture and stir.
Pour batter into tin; bake for 50-55 minutes or until risen and firm to touch.
Allow to cool before icing.
I often make this cake with a Ginger syrup instead of icing, less sugar, I wish. This is a link to my original post with the recipe using Ginger syrup which is also absolutely delicious.
It is nice to eat cake with proper cake forks, especially when I have friends over so I cleaned them and some of the other silver cutlery I own. There are still droplets of water on the cutlery in the photo.
It is almost cup of tea time, it was an early start. I hope you find time to put your feet up today and enjoy a nice cuppa.
We are supposed to receive significant rain today so here's hoping. So far we have only had about 15 ml. Fingers crossed.