Monday, November 3, 2014

Beautiful but deadly...

As I was walking towards to see the Sculpture by the Sea, an annual outdoor display of sculpture (over 100 separate works) distributed along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, I had to stopped to take a photo of this beautiful oleander plant with its dense foliage providing privacy for its owner. Even on a very busy city road these plants can make a colourful screen against both noise and visual pollution. Hence its popularity as an hedge among home gardeners. I also noticed that it is a favourite outdoor shrub, popular for its evergreen qualities and delicate flowers in many houses around Sydney's famous Bondi Beach. Or is it because these plants easily cope by the seaside, not seeming to be worried with salt laden air; in arid hot conditions, and even where the drainage is poor .
With all those beautiful colours, perfume and toughness why I have recommended you do not plant it in your garden? The answer is that it is said to be poisonous - if you choose to eat it.
Oleander poisoning occurs when someone sucks nectar from the flowers or chews leaves from the oleander. How do I know? Because I googled this information for you.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

How the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Plant Got Its Name

With the recent popularity of lifestyle shows featuring garden makeovers we have begun to see a new type of poisoning case in our homes. Many of us do not know many beautiful plants such as this Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant, or Brunfelsia latifolia, we planted in our garden are poisonous and toxic. It got its common name because of its fragrant and tri-colour of purple, lavender and white blooms. This unique plant creates variegated clusters of colour and breathtaking beauty when all three shades are present.
These flowers last for three days and change color with each day. The first day they are purple (yesterday), the second day they change to a pastel lavender shade (today), and on the third day they change to an almost white color (tomorrow). Because each flower lasts for three days and goes through this colorful transformation, it is easy to tell whether it is a yesterday bloom or a shade representing today and tomorrow.
While these flowers are pretty, offer months of blooms and give off a sweet-smelling fragrance, it is important to note that these plants also contain poisonous alkaloids and may not be the best choice for households with young children. Seeds from the flowers are poisonous and berries from the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plants are especially toxic. To avoid accidental poisoning, caution should be taken and extra safety measures put into place such as adult supervision when toddlers, young children or pets are playing outdoors.